Fri, 19 March 2021

6:30 pm - 7:30 pm GMT

Paul Krugman Meets Richard Layard

Can We Be Happier?

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When Richard Layard made the case for measuring happiness alongside GDP, governments listened. Nobel laureate and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman joins him to discover how we can build back happier.

What would our world feel like if wellbeing was the core value of its citizens and the chief aim of government policy? How would our lives change if everyone – from economists to scientists, politicians to teachers, therapists to middle managers – was driven by the need to help alleviate suffering and produce a gentler, less egotistic and competitive society?

Richard Layard believes a better world is possible – and that we all have a role to play in achieving it. As the founder of Action for Happiness, the co-founder of the UN’s World Happiness Report, and of the LSE’s globally-renowned Centre for Economic Performance, he is the world’s most influential thinker on the subject of happiness. His ideas were adopted by the British government and others, and have yielded major change in public policy.

He joins us for a livestream conversation with another titan of contemporary economics: Paul Krugman. Widely considered the voice of 21st century liberal thought both in the United States and across the globe, 2008 Nobel laureate for Economics Paul Krugman combines the erudition and insight of a renowned scholar with the immediate relevance, clarity and originality of thought expected of a columnist at the New York Times.

Paul and Richard will unveil concrete proposals for how we can each work to transform society, creating a culture that values and improves happiness for all. It’s your chance to hear from two of the most influential figures in contemporary political and economic thought, and discover a social movement promising to powerfully challenge our common assumptions and prejudices, injecting a note of rational optimism into our turbulent age.

Praise for Richard Layard’s Can We Be Happier?:

‘In this book ‘Can We Be Happier?’ which is part of Richard Layard’s excellent, ongoing exploration of what happiness is and how it can be achieved, he provides evidence that if you have peace of mind and are full of joy, your health will be good, your family will be happy and that happiness will affect the atmosphere of the community in which you live.’ – The Dalai Lama

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Richard Layard

Professor of Economics, LSE

Richard Layard is Professor of Economics at the London School of Economics, where he founded and directed the Centre for Economic Performance – one of Europe’s leading research centres. He is now Director of the Centre’s Wellbeing Programme and a member of the UK House of Lords where he focuses on education, employment, mental health, and of course, wellbeing policy.

Paul Krugman

Economist and New York Times columnist

Paul Krugman is recipient of the 2008 Nobel Prize in Economics and best-selling author, has been a columnist at The New York Times for twenty years. A Distinguished Professor at City University of New York, he resides in New York City. Photo by Fred R. Conrad / The New York Times / Redux