Perspectives: Using Positive Psychology and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals to Build a Better World
Keywords:sustainable happiness, wellbeing, sustainable development goals, climate change, positive psychology, Middle East/North Africa
Abstract: How the COVID-19 pandemic will affect society long-term remains to be seen, but the role taken by wellbeing researchers and practitioners can shape our communal future. Never has wellbeing and the field of psychology been better equipped, nor more relevant, in addressing issues of sustainable development known to significantly contribute to and underlie wellbeing. While efforts have been made across many areas, with each converging into the need for a more systemic view evidenced by theoretical developments in the field of positive psychology, wellbeing cannot remain the purview of individuals alone. Positive psychology interventions can be expanded to include attention to social and ecological issues as well. To support our claim, we explore issues that researchers and practitioners are tackling globally and consider how the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) can guide that work. We also look at which of the SDGs are most critical in the Middle East region. Researchers and practitioners must align their activities towards the resolution of broad systemic issues bearing on wellbeing identified by the SDG agenda and in this manner, effectively contribute to the creation of a better world.