Community psychology, happiness and the third industrial revolution


This contribution offers a theoretical and socio-political reflection of the meaning of happiness in times of crisis and explores the role of Community Psychology as a key and proactive approach to understanding human relationships and planning suitable transformations. We will explore the main social inequalities emerging nowadays in Europe, such as the suffering welfare state, beginning with the heated debate emerging over the last decade among epidemiologists, sociologist and economists. We imagine possible ways out following Rifkin and his theory about the third industrial revolution, which moves towards the empathy economy, requiring high levels of participation, involvement of all social actors, and new attitudes in decision makers and citizens. Proximity plays a relevant importance: cooperation with neighbours becomes a strategic asset for better living conditions such as, being both producers and users of social services. This paper proposes three areas of action: the social capital; the enterprise as a social factor, not only economical – resource producer (and we refer to Olivetti, an Italian entrepreneur famous for his anticipatory vision and relationship between local and global, and his building, not only of an innovative enterprise but also of a new community setting); and the local government and the role of policy makers. These areas may be explored to generate strategies of intervention thanks to Community Psychology, which enables the provision a sound theoretical and methodological framework so as to move towards collective well-being and happiness.

DOI Code: 10.1285/i24212113v2i1p105

Keywords: social capital, proximity, well-being, participation, happiness


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