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Sustainable development will not be achieved without some fundamental changes in our patterns of living. Therefore, it will be necessary to rely less on material commodities and more on immaterial goods to realise our conception of a good, valuable life while maintaining or even improving our overall well-being. However, in order to trigger a democratic and participative transition towards sustainable development, it is necessary, first to know what are the shared conceptions of a good, valuable life and second, what criteria citizens use to assess social arrangements in terms of quality of life. On the other hand, improved indicators of well-being have become indispensable to guide public policies as it is widely acknowledged that increasing production and consumption has ceased to induce more well-being and happiness. We will use 'Focus group' methods to collect reflexive opinions on well-being, quality of life, happiness and human flourishing. Q-Methodology will be used to uncover communalities in social discourses and to get a first estimate of the weights of the different dimensions that compose well-being. A large sample survey and multi-variate statistical analysis will then be used for collecting statistically significant weightings for the components of well-being, exploring the socio-demographic correlates of the subjective assessments of well-being and their relationship with objectives facts about respondents' conditions of living. We hope that policy simulation will allow us to explore the likely impact of hypothetical sustainable development policies on well-being.
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