Past Event

Deepening the Impact of ESD through Happiness & SEL

September 18, 2022
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Online Event

Panel 2: Deepening the Impact of Education for Sustainable Development through Social Emotional Learning and Happiness

1:00 - 2:00pm EDT

The Global Happiness Council Education Policy Briefs give us the space to re-imagine education to support the psychosocial well-being of learners and educators as a foundation for effective teaching and learning.

The panel “Deepening the Impact of ESD through Social Emotional Learning and Happiness” is taking place on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly and the inaugural Transforming Education Summit, convened in response to the global crisis in education. The panel is co-hosted by the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), The Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University, The World Happiness Report, Wall’s Ice Cream, and the Blue Chip Foundation.

Panelists will discuss the Education Briefs of the Happiness Council to encourage countries and Ministers of Education to urgently prioritize strategies within education that take a more holistic approach and focus on learner mental health, well-being, and skills for resilience. The discussion will also build on the topics shared in the Ministerial Panel in the previous session as well as recent research produced by the World Happiness Report in partnership with Wall’s Ice Cream, the panel will discuss opportunities and holistic strategies to impact the resilience, mental health and well-being of every child and learner.

By bringing together policy interventions, practical strategies, and evidence-based approaches, the event will explore how social connection is a key driver for happiness and improved well-being and a crucial player in achieving SDG 4.7.


Opening Remarks: Jeffrey D. Sachs – University Professor, Columbia University, and SDG Advocate under U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres

Moderator: Alison Bellwood, Founder and Executive Director, World’s Largest Lesson at Project Everyone


  • Dr. Lara Aknin – Editor, The World Happiness Report; Professor and Lab Director, Helping and Happiness Lab, Simon Fraser University
  • Lisa Vortsman – Marketing Director, Good Humour (Wall’s Ice Cream)
  • Louka Parry – Founder and CEO, The Learning Future & Founding Member, Karanga
  • Rachael Olivia McDonald, Education Specialist

Key panel discussion points will include:

  1. What is the role of happiness in development and progress, and why should it be used as an indicator and measure for economic growth?
  2. Social & Emotional Learning: why it matters and how it impacts ESD
  3. What are some effective Social-Emotional-Learning strategies that you have seen being employed in schools that have impacted the lives of the learners?
  4. What is your one key message to the Ministers of Education that they need to consider in their post-pandemic recovery efforts to support children and learners in schools?
  5. What are some of your personal COVID-19 lessons on education that you would like to take forward to improve education design and delivery?
  6. What is the role of corporate institutions in supporting education for wellbeing and learner needs?

Contact Information

Haein Shin