By Joe Daly
There are 5 billion ways to lead a life, and we should study them all. — George Gallup
Gallup has been studying people’s wellbeing for more than 80 years. When Dr. Gallup said that, there were only 5 billion people on Earth. Dr. Gallup largely dedicated his life to understanding what a good life — a high wellbeing life — looks like. His passion has continued to inspire Gallup’s work throughout the decades and was the driving force behind the creation of the Gallup World Poll in 2005.
Since its inception, the Gallup World Poll has surveyed adults in more than 160 countries and areas representing more than 98% of the world’s population. We’ve asked people worldwide about all the aspects of their lives that matter, from food security to personal security to wellbeing.
Starting this year, in partnership with the Wellbeing for Planet Earth (WPE) Foundation, Gallup is expanding its global studies of wellbeing to incorporate more globally inclusive concepts. Gallup and WPE have officially launched the Global Wellbeing Initiative (GWI), which will develop new models of wellbeing to reflect the influence of culture, community, governance and nature from a non-Western perspective.
Gallup added an additional set of wellbeing questions to the Gallup World Poll in 2020 to complement current wellbeing metrics. These new measures of wellbeing will be collected annually. In the years to come, GWI will release a new World Wellbeing Report that aims to complement existing global wellbeing research with more diverse wellbeing concepts. The Gallup-WPE partnership is planning a global launch and dissemination of key findings in September 2021 on World Peace Day.
Another important element of this new partnership is an annual summit that brings together scholars, wellbeing researchers, and thought leaders to discuss global wellbeing concepts and insights. The first annual summit that took place in 2019 in Kyoto, Japan, provided the foundation of thinking for our expansion of global wellbeing measurement. In October 2020, GWI is planning to host a virtual summit that will explore six wellbeing topics, including general wellbeing, aging, and the role of nature and the environment.
As Gallup expands the horizons of the collaboration to include all corners of the globe, spanning all cultures, we will truly be able to gain a clearer, more inclusive picture of the nature of wellbeing around the world, and continue to build upon Dr. Gallup’s vision from so many years ago.