"Human beings are wired to care and give and it's probably our best route to happiness."
- Dacher Keltner
What is Greater Good Sciences Center (GGSC)?
The GGSC is a non-profit initiative of the University of California, Berkeley. Since 2001, the GGSC has been at the fore of a new scientific movement to explore the roots of happy and compassionate individuals, strong social bonds, and altruistic behavior—the science of a meaningful life. The GGSC is unique in its commitment to both science and practice: GGSC sponsors groundbreaking scientific research into social and emotional well‐being, and helps people apply this research to their personal and professional lives. The GGSC studies the psychology, sociology, and neuroscience of well-being and teaches skills that foster a thriving, resilient, and compassionate society and disseminates this science to the public through its award-winning online publication, Greater Good Magazine.
What is the mission and vison of GGSC?
"GGSC studies the psychology, sociology, and neuroscience of well-being and teaches skills that foster a thriving, resilient, and compassionate society." GGSC turns scientific research into stories, tips, and tools for a happier life. The mission is accomplished in many ways. In addition to the digital magazine, GGSC also publishes an online gratitude journal, Thnx4.org, and a library of research-tested practices for a happier and more compassionate life, Greater Good in Action. Nearly 500,000 people have registered for the online Science of Happiness course. Its Education program also supports the social and emotional well-being of teachers. Other initiatives include programs for parents, health professionals, and workplace leaders.
How does GGSC achieve its aim?
GGSC focuses on long-term, large-scale outcomes such as the following: A shift in conventional wisdom about human nature. Greater awareness about the keys to social and emotional well-being. Responding to increased demand for programs that foster the social-emotional well-being. Fostering a deeper understanding within educational institutions including Higher Ed, of how and why to support social-emotional development, specifically in families, schools, workplaces, and the health care system. These initiatives help prepare people to respond to others with care, equanimity, and generosity.
What are the some of the core beliefs of GGSC?
The core beliefs are grounded in the science and include the following:
*Compassion is a fundamental human trait, with deep psychological and evolutionary roots. *Happiness is not simply dependent on a person’s genes. It is a set of skills that can be taught, and, with practice, developed over time. *Happiness and altruism are intertwined. *Science should do more than help us understand human behavior and emotion in the abstract; it should be applied toward improving people’s personal and professional lives. *Studying the roots of good, healthy, and positive behavior is just as important as studying human pathologies.
*Individual well-being promotes social well-being, and social well-being promotes individual well-being. In essence, the well-being of society can be supported by providing information, tools, and skills to those people directly responsible for shaping the well-being of others.