Human flourishing
in a fairer society


Emerald and SDGs
An Emerald mission in support of the UN Sustainable Development Goals

Human flourishing is a concept at the core of the SDG declaration and their aim to ensure that 'all human beings can fulfil their potential in dignity, equality, and in a healthy environment.' As Wendy Purcell notes in her insightful piece for this page, flourishing is "about the opportunity to thrive. Anyone can flourish, but it's clear not everyone is doing so – hence the pursuit of the global Agenda 2030 that seeks to create a world where 'no one will be left behind'"[1].

What makes life worth living? What does living a 'good life' really mean? Are we overlooking the importance of the ability to thrive in our quest for narrow health outcomes? These are the kind of questions which now seem crucial to address in a post-Covid world, where the ability to flourish, and not merely survive, should become the benchmark for a fair society.

Here we have brought together some of our authors, articles and books to examine ideas around human flourishing, thriving and well-being. We also are pleased to be publishing the first post from our Fairer Society Goal Advisor, Wendy Purcell, and the work of some of her colleagues at the Harvard Human Flourishing Program, and the Sustainability and Health Initiative for NetPositive Enterprise (shine).


On this page


If you have research in fields related to Human flourishing in a fairer society, we would love to hear from you, so please get in touch with us.

This mission is aligned with our Fairer society goal

Section 1

Free access to our articles, & author videos & blogs


Our publications have content on human flourishing that we’d like to share with you.

Using life goals to explore subjective well-being of people in northeast Thailand

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy

Buapun Promphakping, Pornpen Somaboot, Farung Mee-Udon, Nopparat Rattanaprathum, Pattaraporn Weeranakin, Ninlawadee Promphakping, Sungkom Suparatanagool

Blogs & videos

To find out more about what our authors have to say regarding human flourishing, watch/read our latest videos and blogs.

Blog: Remarkable lives

The concept of flourishing is the main driver of Positive Psychology, rather than the pursuit of happiness. Research suggests that flourishing remains an ambition, rather than a reality, for many people with mental health problems. In his blog, Remarkable lives, Professor Jerome Carson discusses his series of over 30 papers, which show how many people overcome huge personal adversity in their lives.

Video: Remarkable Lives

Series: Remarkable Lives – a series of students’ mental health recovery narratives

Blog: Healthy & healing environments

Our health and wellbeing is dependent on many influencing factors, such as our genetic blueprint, age, income, education, job characteristics, life style, mindset, living circumstances and care system. The impact of the built environment is also very important.

In his blog, Healthy and healing environments, Dr. Theo J.M. van der Voordt discusses the impact of the built environment on our health and wellbeing.

Special issue: Healthy work environments, Journal of Corporate Real Estate

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Different routes to publication

If you would like to contribute to the discussion, take a look at our different routes to publication and contact us to get involved.

Recent books

Visit our online bookstore to see all our latest publications.

Special issues

See our recently published special issues on this topic.

section 3

Additional information

Further insights

An article, recently published in the International Journal of Social Economics found that while having children typically increases life satisfaction, this was not the case among working parents, especially mothers and those with younger children attending primary school.

The study highlights the need for family policies and support for these parents, in line with economic strategy and labour market goals.

Examining the nuances of life satisfaction among working parents is an infographic examining the impact of having children on the life satisfaction of mothers and fathers, working parents, and those with children of various ages.

Download the infographic (PDF)

What's in the infographic

Examining the nuances of life satisfaction among working parents

Working parents experience a high demand on their time and finances; balancing their personal and professional life is often difficult

Data from the European Social Survey of 2006/07, 2010/11 and 2016/17 in Ireland showed that:

  • 60% of all parents are employed
    • 81% of all fathers
    • 46% of all Mothers
  • 39% of households have both parents working
  • 25% Parents find it difficult to live on their present income
  • 7.11/10 Average life satisfaction among Irish parents (marginally higher among fathers compared to mothers)

Statistical analysis of the data suggests:

Having primary school-going children up to 12 years old:

  • Increases life satisfaction among parents in general
  • Is negatively associated with life satisfaction among working parents, especially if both are working

Working mothers report significantly reduced life satisfaction.

Economic recession and financial difficulties lower the parents’ life satisfaction.

Parents who have difficulty managing their incomes are associated with lower satisfaction levels than those 'living comfortably'.

Purposeful family policies and support can help improve working parents’ individual well-being while being consistent with economic strategy and labour market goals.

Life satisfaction amongst working parents: examining the case of mothers and fathers in Ireland
International Journal of Social Economics
Walsh, E. and Murphy, A. (2021) DOI: 10.1108/IJSE-05-2020-0295

Talk to us about your work

We really welcome insights not only from researchers but practitioners too about their work.

If you would like to contribute to the discussion, or you are working on research in areas related to human flourishing in a fairer society, please let us know by filling in this form.

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Mission-led research – our goals

Our core area of focus is interdisciplinary research aligned with the UN SDGs, with these key goals in mind, all of which are about creating real world impact, at a time when it's needed most.

Fairer society

We are passionate about working with researchers globally to deliver a fairer, more inclusive society. This perhaps has never been more important in today’s divided world...



Healthier lives

We understand the value of a world that recognises and protects the most vulnerable and acknowledges the importance of a healthy mind as well as a healthy body...



Responsible management

We aim to champion researchers, practitioners, policymakers and organisations who share our goals of a more ethical, responsible and sustainable way of working...



Quality education for all

We believe in quality education for everyone, everywhere and by highlighting the issue and working with experts in the field, we can find ways we can all be part of the solution...



Sustainable structures and infrastructures

We recognise the transformative power of sustainable engineering, design and building practices in creating a world where our planet and its inhabitants can thrive.