What is the University Network of Happiness?
It is an interdisciplinary network in which teaching and research staff from different national and international universities participate. We apply the philosophy of happiness management to different areas related not strictly to the company, but to the interactions between people and in our daily work. We start from the management of the well-being of citizens and social marketing as instruments of the social sciences, seeking a more productive, humanized, altruistic and supportive ecosystem. In short, we seek the corporate happiness of the citizenry.
How do you apply happiness management in your work as teaching and research staff?
To begin with, setting an example. It is not a question of going through life smiling, but of relativizing the bumps that arise and facing the day to day in a proactive way, not focusing on the problems, but on the solutions. Working with people can be very rewarding, but also very hard. In my teaching, in my research and in my professional relationships I always try to rationalize each situation and try to generate well-being in the immediate society. Thus, for example, I always tell the students that their time at the university is probably one of the best times of their respective lives. And, to my co-workers, when a setback arises, I try to transmit tranquility, not giving more importance than it has to minor conflicts that can be resolved by word and example. I think it is vital to always try to be collaborative and seek agreement and understanding.
Is happiness found in the University?
Yes and no. I mean: yes, of course. The University is a place of knowledge, wisdom, work… and, with it, empathy and understanding of the environment that surrounds us. In addition, surrounded by young people with the contribution of illusion and new ideas that this generates. In this sense, happiness is easily attainable.
But sometimes human beings get carried away by selfish intentions or get lost in trivial issues to which they attach great importance and that can generate frustration, fear or other negative feelings. That is when my answer becomes negative and I ask myself if happiness is found or not in the University in a natural way. In any case, from this network we instill a series of values that we think should be established as basic in the university institution. It is about offering a way to positively channel our attention and energy into the situations we face every day.
In research, we design each study with the perspective of improvement, of seeking the greatest possible well-being and, with this, generating knowledge transfer to society with those values.
Is the University Network for Happiness visible in the teaching and research that those of you who participate in it do?
Yes, or so I want to think. For our students we propose the management of happiness as a guiding principle in each class, each knowledge, each approach to the classroom. In research, we design each study with the perspective of improvement, of seeking the greatest possible well-being and, with this, generating knowledge transfer to society with those values. In the end, applying well-being to the University is almost a geometric progression: the greater well-being we project, the greater achievements we achieve and, with these achievements, the greater happiness is generated again. In the end, a virtuous circle is created where the commitment to a happy society model is the basis.
What does the University Happiness Network contribute to society?
Change, well-being, growth, momentum, entrepreneurship, economy… The true engine of social impulse comes closely from the University, and this brings with it a series of consequences that generate positivity, evolution, improvements… new ways of doing things.
Happiness spreads and extends from the personal to the professional, and vice versa. With the University Network of Happiness we seek to increase these levels and bring the happiness management to all areas in which the University influences society.