Oasis of Radical Wellbeing

What is Radical Wellbeing?

At the heart of radical wellbeing is the idea that the perspective of wellbeing is viewed simultaneously at the individual and community level. A prosperous and active community provides support and resources for an individual’s wellbeing and resilience. This creates a positive cycle of wellbeing between the individual and the community.
Work in Progress. Image by Suvi Helko, 2022.
Oasis of Radical Wellbeing is a living thing. Picture by Suvi Helko, 2022.

The goal, then, is not merely an "eudaimonic" pleasure that emphasizes an individual's happiness and prosperity, but a person's growth and development into an active member of the community.

The American civil rights activist and feminist writer Audre Lorde coined the term "radical self care". An individual cannot act for the benefit of his or her community without wellbeing and tools to withstand the pressures - be they personal, social, or deriving from the ecological state of the planet or human rights issues. Lorde saw radical self-care as part of civil rights struggles in the 1960's.

At Aalto, we have found that concerns about climate problems are a burden on both students and researchers. For example, Aalto is committed to SDG goals, but in the everyday life of an individual on the verge of burn-out, there may not be resources left to use. On the verge of burning out, a person does not have the resources to help others around them, and seldom do they have the power to care about social issues.

A person’s wellbeing empowers them to take an active part in the social issues important to themselves. This, in turn, increases their sense of belonging and relevance. This develops the wellbeing of the community, and a well-off community supports the wellbeing of the individual.

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