In anticipation of the 2023 World Happiness Report, experts from Aalto University in Finland are available to comment on what happiness means in this context and how this small country ensures its residents’ well-being. Finland has topped this subjective well-being ranking for the past five years. Aalto’s experts can talk about three factors that contribute to the country’s happiness:
- Measuring and maintaining well-being in a society of trust. University lecturer Frank Martela, an expert on the basis of Finland’s happiness, has talked about the importance of monitoring well-being and how this can help national governments and institutions guide their policies to make people healthy and happy.
- High rewards from high taxes. Timo Viherkenttä, a senior fellow at Aalto, explains that a progressive taxation system underpins the country’s reliable institutions and strong welfare system, and ordinary people know they benefit from this system.
- Urban planning that makes people feel healthy and safe. Professor Marketta Kyttä can discuss how the design of Finland’s cities contributes to people’s wellbeing.
Frank Martela is a philosopher and researcher of psychology specialized in meaningfulness, happiness, and how organizations and countries can unleash human potential. His book A Wonderful Life – Insights on Finding a Meaningful Experience (HarperCollins 2020) has been translated into 24 languages, including French, Spanish, German, Japanese, Korean, and Indonesian.
Martela has become one of the key experts on why Finland is so happy. He has written about the topic for Scientific American Observer and co-authored a chapter on the Nordic countries for the 2020 Word Happiness Report. Martela has been interviewed by The New York Times, Vice News, Le Monde, and the Monocle Observer. He earned his first PhD in organizational research (Aalto University, 2012) and his second PhD in practical philosophy (University of Helsinki, 2019).
Marketta Kyttä, professor of land use planning, studies child- and human-friendly environments, environments that promote wellbeing and health, urban lifestyles, perceived safety, as well as new methods for public participation. Her multidisciplinary research team is currently focused on the place-based, person-environment research with public participation, using geographic information system methodology. The team has also worked on numerous real-life public participation projects in Finnish cities and abroad.
Timo Viherkenttä is a senior fellow at Aalto University with extensive experience in tax law and the economy. He was the CEO of the State Pension Fund of Finland (2015-2020), and has also served as Justice of the Supreme Administrative Court, as well as Director General of the Budget Department at the Finnish Ministry of Finance.
Information about the publication of this year’s report is available on the World Happiness Report website.