Carnegie UK runs a rolling portfolio of research, policy, practice development and advocacy programmes to advance our strategic aims of putting wellbeing at the heart of decision making and tackling issues that threaten aspects of wellbeing. We use our challenge questions to guide our work. 

Read about our current work:

Measuring Wellbeing 

  • Life in the UK Carnegie UK promotes putting wellbeing at the centre of policymaking across the UK. We believe we need a new, holistic measure of social progress to tell us whether policies and actions are positively influencing how well we are living.

The Life in the UK index is a three-year demonstrator project designed to measure the collective wellbeing of the people of the UK, looking at social, economic, environmental, and democratic aspects of life. This landmark research, conducted in partnership with Ipsos, is based on a survey of more than 6900 people.

We launched the first set of findings in November 2023. Other reports published using this data are:

This work is based on a pilot project Gross Domestic Wellbeing which we launched in 2020.

Wellbeing, and place

  • A Wellbeing and Sustainable Development Bill for Scotland  – A Wellbeing and Sustainable Development Bill for Scotland would enable the Scottish Government to provide a clear vision and guidance for public bodies to put wellbeing at the centre of decision-making.
    It would also strengthen accountability, for example by establishing a commissioner for future generations. This new institution would ensure that there is always a voice advocating for the wellbeing of the people of the future. We believe this change is especially important as Scotland looks to play its part in tackling the climate crisis and other intergenerational issues.
    Contact: [email protected]  
  • Wellbeing in the North of Tyne – In 2021, Carnegie UK and North of Tyne Combined Authority brought together the ‘Roundtable on Wellbeing in the North of Tyne’.
    This group of specialists worked together to design a wellbeing approach for the North of Tyne, built on the voice of people living across the region.
    In 2023, we’ll expand on this work with information about how other institutions can adopt a similar approach.
    Contact: [email protected]
  • Imagining a Wellbeing Economy in Ireland – In partnership with WEALL Ireland, we are bringing together a community of artists and other creative people to reimagine a society that puts wellbeing first.
    This approach is designed to start a discussion about the case for building a wellbeing economy across the island of Ireland.
    Contact: [email protected]
  • Understanding Welsh Places and Understanding Scottish Places – Carnegie UK supported the development of these online tools designed to help decision-makers make informed decisions about local economies and places. 

Tackling threats to wellbeing 

  • Online Harms (ended October 2023) – Carnegie UK worked for over four years to develop and promote a systemic, risk-based approach to regulation to tackle online harm in the UK and has influenced the development of the UK’s Online Safety Act. This programme of work came to an end in October 2023. However, our former associates Maeve Walsh and Professor Lorna Woods have continued to work on the implementation of the Online Safety Act. To get in touch with them, or find more about this work, please visit their website. To keep up with the latest developments on their work, you can also sign up to their new newsletter here. You can access the archive of Carnegie UK’s work on tackling online harms here, as well as an archive of our dedicated Online Safety Act resource page here. You can read archived editions of our former Online Harms newsletter here.
  • Democratic wellbeingDemocratic wellbeing means that we all have a voice in decisions that affect us. It’s about recognising that wellbeing cannot be done to people. It must be done by and with them.
    A lack of trust is undermining democracy and its institutions. This will be compounded if existing and new efforts to adopt more forms of participatory democracy are unable to deliver change and demonstrate impact.
    We would like to strengthen our understanding of participatory democracy’s contribution to democratic wellbeing in the UK. We have been exploring what the barriers and enablers are to more and better participatory democracy in Scotland. This will help us to understand the role that we can play between participatory democracy and the institutions charged with enacting change.

    Contact: [email protected]