It has been a privilege to serve ISQOLS as its President
Letter from Mariano Rojas (ISQOLS President 2017-2018)
I have been a member of ISQOLS since 2000, and my academic career has substantially beneﬁ ted from participating in its conferences and in related activities. My life has been enriched by interacting with so many warm, enthusiastic, and learned scholars from so many countries and disciplines. It has been a privilege to serve ISQOLS as its President during the years 2017 and 2018. I am grateful to all members of ISQOLS for giving me the opportunity to serve; it has been two wonderful years which allowed me to contribute to ISQOLS. ISQOLS gives great opportunities to all scholars – young and old – to keep growing up as researchers and I am planning to be fully involved in the Society in the future. ISQOLS is an international and multidisciplinary society that relies on scientiﬁ c knowledge to contribute to people’s well-being around the world. I do strongly believe that ISQOLS has a noble and very relevant mission and that its best years are ahead. ISQOLS is an international society that puts into contact researchers from all parts of the world. Coming from Latin America, I do feel very strong about this international scope of ISQOLS. Bringing together researchers with diﬀ erent life trajectories and cultural backgrounds is very important for the study of quality of life, well-being and happiness. The multicultural background of ISQOLS is important for a better understanding of people’s well-being by recognizing the relevance of values, beliefs, and traditions. It also shows that it is possible to interact in a globalized world with respect, appreciation, and understanding of diversity. ISQOLS is a society that favors evidencebased knowledge. The desire for a world where people’s well-being is high is not new; this desire has been common in political discourses for centuries. In fact, the desire for a better world has inspired many utopias; unfortunately, many of them have usually ended up as dystopias. ISQOLS gathers a large group of scholars who rely on scientiﬁ c research –rather than on doctrines and ideologies- to address issues regarding people’s experience of being well. Databases, qualitative and quantitative techniques, methodologies and approaches, hypotheses and corroborations, and respectful discussions are necessary in order to provide sound knowledge to guide personal decisions and private and public policy in the pursue of well-being.
ISQOLS gathers scholars from many disciplines. It seems that the current compartmentalization of knowledge is very limited to fully understand the experience of being well that concrete human beings –of ﬂ esh and blood- have. Hence, disciplinary-based academic societies are not well-positioned to make substantial contributions to people’s well-being; ISQOLS provides the space for multi, inter and even transdisciplinary research. ISQOLS is also ﬁ nancially sound; thanks in great part to the excellent work of the Development Committee and the philanthropic will of many endowed-track honorees. Revenues have also exceeded our expenditures during the past years, and we have been able of generating some surplus which could be used to ﬁ nance special programs: in fact, we are using some of this money to support the PhD-dissertation-awards program and to offer conference-participation grants to young scholars. I believe it is important for ISQOLS to invest in people, in particular in young and enthusiastic people who may come to ISQOLS who may ﬁ nd in the Society the appropriate place to enrich their academic life and who in the near future could take the leadership and make ISQOLS stronger. Professor Ming-Chang Tsai will become our President in January 2019; I have had the honor of knowing him for many years and I wish him all the best. During the next weeks we will be involved in the election of the Board of Directors and the President Elect 2019-2020. The Nomination Committee has already started this task. Four ISQOLS conferences are already in the horizon: Granada, Spain in September 2019; Rotterdam, The Netherlands in 2020; Vermont, The United States in 2021; and Sabah, Malaysia in 2022. If I may have a seasons’ wish it is for ISQOLS to keep the sense of community that shows that people from diﬀ erent disciplines and from many corners of the world can come together with the single purpose of contributing to the well-being of people. I would like to express my gratitude to all the members of the Executive Committee and of the Board of Directors as well as to the Executive Director for their support during the past two years. They made my job easier and they contributed to make ISQOLS stronger. Thanks . . . many thanks.
ISQOLS President’s Message
The Quality of Life and Policy Issues among the Middle East and North African Countries
Publisher: Springer; 1st ed. 2019 (September 21, 2018)
This book addresses the challenges threatening the quality of life (QOL) and well-being of people living in the MENA region. It focuses on both internal / local and external / global drivers impacting their well-being particularly in the domains of economy, health, and education. Additionally, it presents a critical analysis to help readers understand the position that the MENA countries currently occupy in the world. Lastly, it provides policy analysts and decision makers with otherwise hard to obtain data and information related to socio-economic, cultural, demographic, technological, and political factors that have influenced the quality of life there.
The book, first of the Springer book series of Human Well-Being Research and Policy Making, is a timely work in that it addresses quality of life in the 21 nations of the Middle East and North Africa Region by focusing on multiple policy dimensions of well-being. Furthermore, this monograph seeks to delineate cross-cultural similarities and differences by extensively and comparatively focusing on six of the region’s most diverse countries six countries (Egypt, Iran, Israel, Tunisia, Turkey, and the UAE), selected specifically to highlight the diversity in QOL found in the region.
In brief, this book:
Due to health-related problems, Liz Eckermann, ISOQLS's President Elect for 2019-2020, took the decision of withdrawing from the position. We hope for her complete and prompt recovery. In order to fill the President Elect position, ISQOLS's President (2017-18), Mariano Rojas, in coordination with ISQOLS's Board of Directors, called for an extra-ordinary election and asked the Nomination Committee to start the process of nomination candidate(s) for the President Elect position.
The Nominating Committee (Graciela Tonon, Habib Tiliouine, Joe Sirgy, Daniel Shek, Kai Ludwigs) nominated Ming-Chang Tsai as a candidate for the ISQOLS President Elect in replacement of Liz Eckermann.
The President-Elect is the position of the person elected by the general membership to assume the presidency after the completion of the term of the current president. The general membership officially voted with majority approval for Ming-Chang Tsai.
Letter to the ISQOLS Community from Ming-Chang Tsai
Dear ISQOLS members,
It is a great honor, and a privilege as well, to serve the Society as President for the coming two years (2019 and 2020). The main ideal interest of our society is to study the well-being and quality of life across the globe from a multi-disciplinary approach. In the past decades, we have firmly established a strong academic community benefiting from our numerous members, whose enthusiasm, efforts, engagement in exploring how human societies can advance in happiness and providing policy suggestions to achieve that desirable goal. The relay goes on. We are gathering here to contribute our research inputs. We surely know it helps make the world a better and happier planet. And this job cannot be done if we do not provide evidence-based suggestions from our scientific research.
We still have missions ahead. First, we need to mobilize a new generation of researchers to work with us. Young cohorts indicate fresh ideas, high dynamics, and of course, new friends. Any organization will not make progress without new members joining in. It is not just about the increase of size, but what matters is to keep the momentum at a high level. I hope we all assist the Society to grow this way.
Second, we also can strength our Society as a venue of sharing new ideas for academics. Our annual meetings have been very successful in gathering interested scholars. Less paid attention are our webinars. In the digital era, we have to take advantage of communicating online. Our community surely benefits from more of this sort of exchange activities. I believe it also is a good way to talk to colleagues and maintain connected when being present is not possible. We need to mobilize more volunteers to share their ideas online.
Third, our society can advance when we provide services and advices to practioners. We have a long tradition in offering policy opinions for people working on community well-being. In addition to certificate programs, we also need to develop other modules that help realize better quality of life in community, city and even larger regions. Moreover, we encourage our members to design social indicators for specific fields, be it for urbanites, children, women, or the poor. We should actively offer social reporting to see where we stand now and where to go in next phases.
I wish to work with all of you to accomplish these important tasks. Your involvement and contribution make the Society a truly worthy union. We will feel very proud of ourselves because we work and study together to contribute to make a better and happier future.
Launching the Estes Weighted Index of Social Progress on MIQOLS website
(Estes WISP; http://www.miqols.org/toolbox/isp.html)
The Management Institute for Quality-of-Life Studies (MIQOLS) is pleased to announce the launch of the Weighted Index of Social Progress (WISP). The WISP is a quality-of-life metric innovation of Professor Richard J. Estes, Professor Emeritus of Social Work and Policy at the University of Pennsylvania (USA). Professor Estes has developed the WISP in the 1970s and has reported the quality of life on many countries and world regions since (from 1970s up to 2018) (see references to his publications regarding the WISP in http://www.miqols.org/toolbox/isp.html (click Show Sources).
Specifically, Professor Estes’ WISP is a composite index of quality of life at the country level. That is, the WISP index captures quality of life of the vast majority of the countries (countries that maintains social indicators data). The WISP consists of an overall composite score of each country (shown as an actual score varying from 0 to 100, ranks, and standard deviation from the mean). The overall index is made up of 10 subindices: education, health, women status, defense effort, economic, demography, environmental, social chaos, cultural cohesion, and welfare effort.
The Education Subindex is made up of four indicators: (1) Public Expenditures on Education as Percentage of GDP (+; i.e., the positive sign indicates that the higher the score the higher the quality of life); (2) Primary School Completion Rate (+); (3) Secondary School Net Enrollment Rate (+); and (4) Adult Literacy Rate (+).
The Health Subindex consists of six indicators: (1) Life Expectation at Birth (+); (2) Infant Mortality Rate (-; i.e., the negative sign indicates that the higher the score the lower the quality of life); (3) Under-Five Child Mortality Rate (-); (4) Physician Per 100,000 Population (+); Percent of Population Undernourished (-); and (6) Public Expenditure on Health as Percentage of GDP (+).
The Women Status Subindex consists of five indicators: (1) Female Adult Literacy as Percentage of Male Literacy (+); (2) Contraceptive Prevalence among Married Women (+); (3) Maternal Mortality Rate (-); (4) Female Secondary School Enrollment as Percentage of Male Enrollment (+); and (5) Seats in Parliament Held by Women as Percentage of Total (+).
The Defense Effort Subindex consists of one indicator, namely Military Expenditures as Percentage of GDP (-).
The Economic Subindex consists five indicators: (1) Per Capita Gross National Income as Measured by PPP (+); (2) Percent Growth in GDP (+); (3) Unemployment Rate (-); (4) Total External Debt as Percentage of GDP (-); and (6) GINI Index Score (-).
The Demography Subindex comprise three indicators: (1) Average Annual Rate of Population Growth (-); (2) Percent of Population Aged < 15 years (-); (3) Percent of Population Aged > 64 Years (+).
The Environmental Subindex has three indicators: (1) Percentage of Nationally Protected Area (+); (2) Average Annual Number of Disaster-Related Death (-); and (3) Per Capita Metric Tons of Carbon-Dioxide Emissions (-).
The Social Chaos Subindex has six indicators: (1) Violations of Political Rights (-); (2) Violations of Civil Liberties (-); (3) Number of Internally Displaced Persons Per 100,000 Population (-); (4) Number of Externally Displaced Person Per 100,000 Population (-); (5) Estimated Number of Deaths from Armed Conflicts (-); and (6) Perceived Corruption Index (-).
The Cultural Cohesion Subindex has three indicators: (1) Largest Percentage of Population Sharing the Same or Similar Racial/Ethnic Origins (+); (2) Largest Percentage of Population Sharing the Same or Similar Religious Beliefs (+); and (3) Largest Share of Population Sharing the Same Mother Tongue (+).
Finally, the Welfare Effort Subindex has five indicators: (1) Age First National Laws-Old Age, Invalidity & Death (+), (2) Age First National Laws-Sickness & Maternity (+); (3) Age First National Laws-Work Injury (+); (4) Age First National Laws-Unemployment (+); (5) Age First National Laws-Family Allowance (+).
Please visit the WISP metric on MIQOLS’ website at http://www.miqols.org/toolbox/isp.html and start using it for research and to guide public policy decisions at the national and international levels.
Congrats to ISQOLS Member, Wolfgang Glatzer on his new book: "History and Politics of Well-Being in Europe"
This book presents a reconstruction of the history of well-being on the European continent with special attention to the European Union, as people from Europe have a history of a long-term march towards well-being. It discusses ancient civilizations on the European continent, which have contributed significantly to the features of well-being in contemporary Europe.
Click to read more...
Congratulations ISQOLS member,Carol Graham & her co-authors on the publication of their article in Science Magazine Online! "Well-being in metrics and policy" Click to read the full article:
The International Society for Quality of Life Studies (ISQOLS) calls for nominations for the “2019 ISQOLS Prize for the Best Dissertation on Quality-of-Life, Well-being, and Happiness.” The deadline for nominations is December 31st, 2018 (31/12/2018).
The aim of the prize is to promote the activity of young researchers working on quality-of-life, happiness, and well-being issues. All dissertations that have been successfully defended during the two calendar years prior to the award deadline are eligible for consideration. Resubmissions of unsuccessful nominations from prior years are welcome, as long as the dissertation defense date remains within the period of eligibility. Dissertations must be written in English.
The member student’s advisor or the scholar most familiar with the student's research must send the nomination. Nominations must be sent via email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the title “Dissertation Award Nomination” in the subject line. The deadline for the submission is December 31st, 2018 (31/12/2018).
The nomination letter should be written in English and it should include the following information:
ISQOLS awards the best dissertation with a lump sum of $1,500 USD, one-year free membership to ISQOLS, one-year free access to the journal Applied Research in Quality of Life Studies, and free registration to the 17th ISQOLS conference that will be held in Granada (Spain) from the 4th to the 7th of September 2019.
To further promote the research on quality-of-life, well-being, and happiness, ISQOLS may award up to five second best candidates who will receive a lump sum of $300 USD, one-year free membership to ISQOLS, one-year free access to the journal Applied Research in Quality of Life Studies, and free registration to the 17th ISQOLS conference.
The submissions will be reviewed by a committee chaired by ISQOLS’s Vice-President of Academic Affairs.
Successful candidates will receive their prizes at the concluding ceremony of the 17th ISQOLS conference. They are expected to present a summary of their work during a special session of the conference. Successful candidates are also expected to acknowledge ISQOLS in their publication.
Winners will be notified by March 30th, 2019.
If you use data to improve community conditions, join us Sept. 17 & 18 in Minneapolis at the 2018 Impact Summit. Our focus is on making data accessible, credible and actionable with and for the community. The 2018 Impact Summit boasts some of the field’s most influential presenters, panels and interactive workshops in a forum designed to be conducive to the sharing of ideas, learning of new concepts and meeting new connections. Concurrent tracks will discuss Data tools, Data to action, Measuring, Engaging the community, Sustaining your work.
Attendees are program managers, data analysts, communications folks, researchers and students from nonprofits and foundations, research institutions and consulting firms, government and academia. More information: http://communityindicators.net/conferences/2018-impact-summit/
Note that we are still accepting sponsors and exhibitors as well: http://communityindicators.net/conferences/2018-impact-summit/2018sponsors/
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The International Society for Quality-of-Life Studies (ISQOLS)
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