Home All Well-Being as Well-Doing

Well-Being as Well-Doing

written by Andrew Soren 21 August 2023
Head of Aristotle

Andrew Soren, MAPP '13, is the founder and CEO of Eudaimonic by Design, a global network of facilitators, coaches, and advisors who share a passion for well-being and believe organizations must be designed to enable it. Together they harness the best of scholarship and years of experience to advise organizations and design systems that unlock potential and bring out the best in people. Andrew is also co-chair of the 8th IPPA World Congress on Positive Psychology. Andrew's articles are here.

We Did It On Purpose

There were some quizzical looks on the final day of this year’s IPPA World Congress on Positive Psychology. We kicked off our plenary sessions with a panel on eco-anxiety and youth mental health. Then we came back with a session on the integrative science of social inequality and its consequences for our health and well-being.

Finally, we wrapped things up with a keynote on the replication crisis in our field and what it might take to bring more rigor to our research. Seemingly this was not a very positive way to end the World Congress on Positive Psychology.

As one of the co-chairs for the IPPA World Congress, I can assure you that there was intention behind our choices.

IPPA Congress Chairs

IPPA World Congress Chairs (Click to see larger image)

Carrying Forward an Important Influence

Our intentions started with the International Positive Psychology Association’s pioneering member, Aristotle. His musings on what constitutes a good life have influenced countless philosophers, researchers, and practitioners over the past 2400 years. They also help shape the questions our researchers ask and the impact we want to have together as a positive psychology community. 

Head of Aristotle

Aristotle argued that a life well lived was one of virtuous action moderated by reason. He called this eudaimonia. Every day we are confronted with difficult and complex life projects. Tackling them requires a pursuit of excellence, full engagement, and most importantly, ethical action.

Chances are high that this daily work won’t always be fun and it certainly won’t be easy. But for Aristotle, if people can look back on a lifetime of striving to bring the best of themselves to accomplish significant and worthwhile aims, chances are good that they’ll score their lives as good ones.

In a nutshell, a big part of well-being is well-doing.

A Roadmap for Massive Change

In three days, across multiple sessions and formats, we contemplated bridging the gap between well-being and sustainable social change. We heard, loud and clear, about the need to make positive psychology more accessible, international, inclusive, and integrative. We explored cutting-edge topics such as how we might

All of the plenary sessions will be available to view for IPPA members over the next few months. If you were not able to join us in Vancouver, I encourage you to sign up to be a member today. We will be in touch when the recordings are available. 

Andrew Soren makes closing remarks for the IPPA World Congress (Click to see larger image)

Following Another Lead

Stanley Park Totem Poles

Totem Poles in Stanley Park, Vancouver BC

July 23, the final day of the IPPA World Congress, was Squamish Amalgamation Day for the First Nation of Canada on whose land we were congregating in Vancouver. One hundred years ago to the day, 40 First Nation chiefs amalgamated 16 villages to form one political body that would combat oppression, create stability, and spark hope for indigenous populations of what is now Vancouver and its surrounding areas. 

Imagine what might be possible if we amalgamated all of the resources, strengths, and passions of the positive psychology community for the betterment of people and the planet. That is the kind of well-doing I hope we can pursue together.  

Note from editors: We are welcoming short articles from people who attended the IPPA World Congress about their most important takeaways. Interested? Please read the editorial policy and then use these instructions to submit.



Aristotle. The Nicomachean Ethics (Revised edition). In Oxford World’s Classics; Ross, D., Brown, L., Eds.; Oxford World’s Classics; Oxford University Press. Oxford Scholarly Editions Online (2020): Oxford, UK, 2009. 

Image Credits

IPPA Logo and image of Andrew Soren on stage courtesy of the International Positive Psychology Association.

Head of Aristotle. Vienna, Museum of Art History, Collection of Classical Antiquities. Licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons (cc-by-sa-2.0).

Vancouver BC Stanley Park Totem Poles. Dietmar Rabich / Wikimedia Commons / “Vancouver (BC, Canada), Stanley Park, Totem poles — 2022 — 2039” / CC BY-SA 4.0

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