The good life

Think tank: Onward

Author(s): Luke Stanley; Will Tanner; Jenevieve Treadwell

March 11, 2022

This report from UK think tank Onward looks at how to restore connection, belonging and security to post-pandemic life.

Strong human connections; a locus in a thriving place; a place to call home; a job that is secure and rewarding; and institutions that bridge social groups and embed shared values. These have been the foundations of the good life for much of humanity’s existence and they underpin the fabric of society today. As the UK emerges from the pandemic and starts to rebuild society and the economy, we should take the time to fix those foundations. The pandemic has exposed weaknesses in the way we live just as the coronavirus exposed vulnerabilities in our bodies. Being locked down in our homes reminded us of the importance of human connection, and the consequences of alienation. Restrictions reacquainted us with the networks and institutions that matter, and the restlessness and rootlessness that being away from them can bring. The pandemic showed why secure work and thriving places are valuable not only to individuals but to society as a whole. In this report we have explored the long decline of the foundations to a good life and provide solutions to address rebuilding them.