Happiness in the minds of the All-Russia civil forum expert community and Russians - a survey of Levada Centre

    Charity and work for the good of the society fills life with content and makes you feel happy – say the participants of the survey “Happiness: personal and universal in the minds of the civil society”, conducted by Levada Centre in October 2018 by the order of the All-Russia civil forum. The results of the survey were presented by a sociologist and expert of the Levada Centre Denis Volkov at the opening of the VI All-Russia civil forum.

    Among the respondents were people from the All-Russia civil forum community: the questionnaires were sent to 28 122 recipients, almost 2500 people from almost all regions of Russia gave their answers. The goal of the survey was to understand what makes people happy, how the perception of the situation in the country affects the feeling of happiness and how civil and charitable activities affect the personal feeling of happiness. Some of the questions on the questionnaire are comparable with the data from the all-Russia surveys of the Levada Centre, which allowed to carry out a comparative analysis and determine the similarities and differences in the views of the population in general and the All-Russia civil forum community.

    The survey did not find any differences in feeling happy between the participants of the All-Russia civil forum and the population of the country: 77% and 74% of people are happy, 23% and 26% of respondents do not feel happy. However, there were differences in what makes people happy: the majority of citizens finds happiness in family (74%), while for members of the All-Russia civil forum along with family (31%), self-realisation and doing things you love are very important as well (29%) . “Charity, helping others, working for the good of the society - not only fills life with content but also delivers positive emotions and makes them happy,” the survey says.

    According to the survey the socio-political conditions do not allow people feeling happy. But ordinary citizens in the majority suffer from "lack of money", "low wages", "high prices" (54% of respondents).

    As for responsibility for various aspects of civil life, the respondents of the All-Russia civil forum community demonstrate the same attitudes as the population of the country as a whole, the differences in responses are not significant. However, with regard to the ability to influence what is happening, the participants of the All-Russia civil forum demonstrate greater confidence in their own abilities compared to ordinary citizens. 

    The majority of the respondents are concerned about the situation in the country. Most respondents trust Russian non-profit organizations as well as small and medium-sized businesses; low confidence is expressed in State Duma,  government, certain ministries, courts and police.

    You can find the results of the survey in the Russian language here. 

    The dialogue about happiness was continued by the discussion about civil responsibility “Why are we doing this? #Potomuchtoludi . How civil and charitable activities affect personal feelings of happiness? 

    Among the speakers of the discussion were famous businessmen, philanthropists, writers and state officials of the joint social-media project of the All-Russia civil forum and Committee for civil initiatives #Potomuchtoludi:

    Alexey Kudrin, Chairman of the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation, member of the All-Russia civil forum Organizing Committee; 

    Vladimir Smirnov, philanthropist, founder of the private charitable foundation “Obraz Zhizni”, the Foundation for the Support of young Artists and the founder of the Center “Blagosfera”; 

    Alexander Tsypkin, writer, trustee of the Butterfly children Charitable Foundation and trustee of the Cancer Prevention Foundation;  

    Anastasia Tatulova, founder of the Anderson cafe chain. 

    The discussion was moderated by Andrey Sharonov, President of the Moscow School of Management Skolkovo, trustee of the Foundation “Bureau of good deeds”.

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