Over 140 participants from all over the world met together in Phoenix, Arizona, USA, between October 15th and 17th, 2015 to engage and reflect upon the question: "What is the future of quality of life?".
There were over 40 unique sessions, which included nearly 150 individual papers, with topics ranging from global well-being, poverty, economy, sustainability, international relations, family, food, wealth, happiness, society, government, methods and data collection.
The conference began on Thursday with an opening reception at the world-renowned Heard Museum, a living arts museum focusing on American Indian Arts and Culture. The keynote speaker, Richard A. Easterlin, gave a compelling presentation entitled, "Paradox Lost?", in which he discussed findings related to economic growth and happiness.
Friday morning was kicked off with a delicious breakfast and the Richard J. Estes Lecture featured speaker, Carol Graham, the Leo Pasvolsky Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution and College Park Professor at the School of Public Policy at the University of Maryland. Graham presented, "Bentham or Aristotle in the Census Bureau? What the New “Science” of Well-Being Can Contribute to Economics and to Policy", and reviewed the challenges of measuring happiness.
Friday's lunch hosted the Edward Diener Lecture, featuring Diener himself in a presentation he titled, "Advances in the Science of Subjective Wellbeing". Diener concluded societal conditions matter beyond income, with multiple benefits for the person and society. The Edward Diener lecturer, Elizabeth D. “Betty” Capaldi Phillips, a University Professor, Provost Emerita, and Professor of Psychology at Arizona State University, presented, "The Psychology of Eating: The Good, the Bad and the Fattening."
One of the pioneers in the field of quality-of-life studies, Alex Michalos, chaired Saturday's lunchtime panel discussion on lessons learned in publishing. Distinguished panel members, Richard Estes, Joseph Sirgy, Kenneth Land, Liz Eckermann, Wolfgang Glatzer, and Daniel Shek all gave insight, tips, stories, and advice on the process of publishing with the QoL field.
The conference closing ceremony and awards ceremony on Saturday evening was held on the beautiful skyline rooftop garden of the hotel Renaissance downtown. Guests were greeted by traditional mariachi music and treated to a fabulous dinner in celebration of a wonderful conference weekend. The ceremony featured student speaker, Robert Davis, who gave an overview of his work with refugees in the state of Arizona. After dinner, ISQOLS President, Rhonda Phillips, and ISQOLS Vice President of Publication, Don Rhatz, presented several awards to well-deserving researchers who have made significant contributions to quality-of-life studies. A full list of the awards can be viewed at this link http://www.isqols.org/award-overview/.
Other highlights of the conference included a research and student poster exhibit, with three posters from ISQOLS members who were accepted presenters but could not physically attend. A student poster contest featured six posters from young, budding QoL student researchers. The winner of this contest, Alex Slaymaker, earned a $250 prize for her poster project titled, “Illegal Dumping: An Applied Quality of Life Project in Cincinnati, Ohio Neighborhoods”.
The ISQOLS Conference Committee wishes to thank our conference sponsors: Halloran Philanthrophies, Management Institute for Quality-of-Life Studies (MIQOLS), Springer Publishing, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability Arizona State University, and Local First Arizona.
Thank you to all participants who made the 2015 ISQOLS Annual Conference a great success! We look forward to seeing you all again in Seoul, Korea 2016! Stay tuned for details and updates.
Sociedad Mexicana de Estudios de Calidad de Vida
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