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UCL Wellbeing Week 2012

13th -17th February 2012

Organised by the UCL Grand Challenge of Human Wellbeing and UCL Crucible

UCL Wellbeing Week (13-17 February 2012) was a series of events, convened by Nick Tyler (Chadwick Professor of Civil Engineering, UCL Civil, Environmental & Geomatic Engineering, Director, UCL Crucible) which challenged researchers to think about wellbeing questions, some of them controversial, in a new light and to develop innovative research projects.

Wellbeing Week was organised not only to stimulate discussion but also to help pre-selected participants prepare for an innovative facilitator-led workshop which offered a £10,000 research prize for the best wellbeing project.   On the day an expert panel of judges from UCL awarded the prize to Sophie Bostock (PhD, Epidemiology and Public Health); Helene Joffe (Reader, Psychology); Matthew Pope (Senior Research Fellow, Archaeology) and Tse-Hui Teh (Lecturer, Bartlett School of Planning), for their project entitled Windows to Wellbeing. 

The project team argued that there was a growing academic research base identifies drivers of well-being, but it was not clear which strategies are most effective for improving wellbeing at different ages and life stages. The project will examine times of transition- such as beginning university or retiring –which may provide windows of opportunity during which stress can be reduced by the wellbeing of individuals and communities being actively enhanced. Specifically the project will investigate whether a well-being intervention initiated at times of environmental and cultural change, such as when starting university or retiring, can boost wellbeing. 

If you are interested in the workshop-prize model as a means to tackle research problems, please contact Michael Reade, Coordinator, Grand Challenge of Human Wellbeing, OVPR:  m.reade@ucl.ac.uk / 020 7679 8713

Video recordings of Wellbeing Week's two panel discussions are available:

13th February
Are we making life worse? Wellbeing research at UCL: What are we going to do about wellbeing in the next 100 years?

16 February
The extended lifespan. Is it in our best interests?

Wellbeing Week Programme

Monday, 13th February (5-7pm)

Are we making life worse?

Wellbeing research at UCL: What are we going to do about wellbeing in the next 100 years?

Aiming to be a little controversial, this panel discussion aims to explore the different facets of research which takes place at UCL. How does this research impact upon improving peoples’ lives today as well as those born today who will be in old age in a 100 years time? What work are we doing at UCL now that will have positive implications for wellbeing in a 100 years time? Further details and registration

Wednesday 15th February (1.30-3pm)

Microsoft KINECT, 3D Scanning and Wellbeing

Philip Treleaven, Professor, UCL Computer Science, Director, PhD Centre in Financial Computing

This lecture will discuss how 3D body scanning might be used to enhance wellbeing. It will demonstrate the ShapeDynamics 3D Healthcare system currently being trialed by GPs, and demonstrate the potential of the KINECT with illustrations of the use of statistical body shape modeling to improve the quality of captured data. Further details and registration

Thursday, 16 February (6-7.30pm)

The extended lifespan. Is it in our best interests?

This public discussion will draw out the various impacts of an extended lifespan. It is noted that the life span of someone born in 2011 could easily be 100 years in some societies, yet below 40 years in others. As our life expectancy grows, how will we cope with continual degradation of our dexterity, eyesight or mental capacity? Further details and registration


Friday 17 February (10am- 5pm)

UCL Wellbeing Workshop

NB: attendance is by application

The UCL Wellbeing Workshop, with an attractive £10,000 research prize, will bring together a cross-disciplinary group of researchers to identify possible solutions and ways to convert exciting off-the-wall ideas into wellbeing research activity.

The workshop will be guided by a professional facilitator and will build upon the discussions that will take place through Wellbeing Week. The aim of this workshop is to stimulate new thinking and to catalyse collaborations across UCL with researchers who work on different aspects of wellbeing and so take wellbeing research forward. Further details and online application

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