What do you think is important in life? What, in your opinion, is characteristic of the quality of life in Germany? These were questions that the German government discussed with the people between April and October 2015. The national dialogue gave everybody in Germany the chance to make their voices heard and to contribute their ideas – either in person at about 200 events held up and down the country, online or by using a simple postcard.
Quality of life in Germany
With the dialog the German government aimed to identify yardsticks that can be used to pinpoint the many different facets of the quality of life. This will allow the government to gear its action in future to what is important to the people in Germany. The government’s strategy builds on the Chancellor’s National Dialogue on Germany’s Future and the Study Commission on Growth, Wellbeing and Quality of Life. It also picked up on ideas advanced by the scientific and research community.
A national dialogue on well-being and quality of life
As a starting point the German government tried to reach as many people as possible and find out what they think is important. It wanted to hear from people with a wide variety of opinions, perspectives and hopes – people who are as different and diverse as Germany itself. Associations and foundations, churches and social welfare organisations, business associations and trade unions supported the national debate by organising dialogues across the country. Members of the government attended more than 100 of these events in person. At another 50 events the Cabinet ministers or the Chancellor herself were present.
The results of the national dialogue held throughout the country, the online dialogue and postcards were evaluated with the help of independent academics. On the basis of their analysis the German government developed a government report and a set of indicators that provides information on the status and development of wellbeing in Germany.