"Money, Generosity and Happiness" with John Helliwell, Elizabeth Dunn, and Bill Harbaugh

The Dalai Lama on the idea of wise selfish:

“Helping others does not mean we do this at our own expense. [Wise people] want happiness. How to do this? By cultivating compassion, by cultivating altruism. When they care for others, they themselves are the first to benefit—they are first to get maximum happiness. That’s real wisdom.”

- Wisdom of Forgiveness, by the Dalai Lama and Victor Chan (Riverhead, 2004).

The panelists on "Money, Generosity and Happiness" will present their latest research from economics, social psychology and neuroscience that relate to the Dalai Lama’s insights gleaned from a lifetime of spiritual practice. They will discuss altruism, charitable giving and the factors that promote well-being and happiness in individuals as well as in society.

Dr. John Helliwell is Arthur J.E. Child Foundation Fellow of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research and co-director of CIFAR’s program on ‘Social Interactions, Identity and Well-Being’. He is also Professor Emeritus of Economics at the University of British Columbia, an Officer of the Order of Canada, a member of the National Statistics Council, and a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research.

Dr. Elizabeth Dunn is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of British Columbia. She completed her undergraduate degree at Harvard College and received her PhD in 2004 from the University of Virginia. After spending a year in Sydney, Australia as a postdoctoral fellow, she came to UBC in 2005. Dr. Dunn conducts experimental research on self-knowledge and happiness, with a current focus on how people can use their money more effectively to increase well-being.

Dr. Bill Harbaugh is a professor of economics at the University of Oregon who studies why people make charitable donations. His work uses methods ranging from economic theory to experiments to fMRI neuroimaging. The neuroimaging research (joint with Dan Burghart and the psychologist Ulrich Mayr) shows that people exhibit a “pure altruism” response in reward-related areas of the brain when they see money going to a charity that provides food to the poor, and that those people with larger neural responses are more likely to make charitable donations.


Date: Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Time: 7:30 pm
Doors Open: 7:00 pm
Venue: SFU Harbour Centre
Address: J & R Segal Centre, Room 1400, 580 West Hastings, Vancouver
Tickets: CAD 22 regular / CAD 18 seniors and students, plus applicable service charges available at vancouvertix.com, by phone at 604-629-8849 or in person at the Arts Club Theatre on Granville Island.