Meeting 5: The O’Donnell Report

Our fifth and final evidence session took a step back from policy detail to explore overarching questions about the role of well-being in policy, and the challenges that must be overcome to accelerate the shift to a well-being approach.

We were joined by keynote speaker Lord Gus O’Donnell, former Cabinet Secretary, who introduced his recent report as Chair of the Legatum Commission on Wellbeing and Policy. Our two respondents were Lord Richard Layard, fellow Legatum Commissioner and member of the APG as well as a leading expert on well-being economics, and Simon Fiander, Clerk to the Environmental Audit Committee, who gave an overview of their own recently published report on well-being.

This was followed by a wide ranging discussion, from how a well-being approach could be applied to budget allocation at the level of government departments, to whether a values shift was needed to reassert the importance of non-material factors in the political discourse. Full notes of the discussion are available here.