The Alternative Futures Research Hub (AFRHub) – at the University of Newcastle (UON)- has been partnering with New Economy Network Australia, to be part of the Reimagining Quality of Life Project, which maps the emerging landscape of transformative initiatives in Australia (in parallel with similar works in other countries – see for instance: https://kumu.io/realeconomylab/rel-ecosystem-2).
The project is a response to the current intertwined ecological, social and economic crises, and will play an important part in articulating, connecting and strengthening the remarkable transformative work being carried out by people and organisations across the emerging ecosystem of transformative actors in Australia.
The Re-imagining Quality of Life Project aims to build a participatory platform and process, leading to a unifying picture of the projects, ideas, movements and networks which offer viable alternatives to the faltering status quo, and to present this as a compelling case for wider coordination and support by all stakeholders. The research process will see UON and NENA acting as facilitators and connectors of the progressive movement, by connecting the dots and creating the conditions for convergence across the new ecosystem. The ultimate goal is to give voice to grassroots and community organizations in reshaping public debates and policies on Quality of Life and Wellbeing.
The project involves two phases of data collection:
(I) An Australia-wide survey to capture social initiatives’ characteristics and their general approaches to defining ‘quality of life’ and ‘wellbeing’ of Australian communities.
(II) A smaller sample (15 organisations) will then be invited to participate in interviews and focus group discussions.
UON researchers will then synthesise and write up summaries of what ‘quality of life’ and ‘wellbeing’ means to people, groups, and networks studied in this project through the survey and interviews, and this will provide a strong evidence base to support further positive social and policy actions.
What will be the outcomes of this research project?
The outcomes of this project will be:
- A summary report, setting out the findings of the survey and interview process, that provides invaluable material describing how Australians perceive and define Quality of life and wellbeing
- A network map, showing how hundreds of organisations within the NENA network connect and interact
- An ongoing process for understanding and reviewing our progress in achieving quality of life and wellbeing objectives.
- A series of webinars/seminars, academic journal articles, conference papers, and book chapters on the findings of the project