Homes are the solution

HRF at the United Nations. The day came. 15 May 2024. The United Nations celebrated the 30th anniversary of the International Day of Families at its headquarters in New York and we attended the big party. Two days full of working sessions, presentations, data, arguments, debates with a clear conclusion: The family and the home are the solution to the problems facing society today.
Discussion of climate challenge does not describe a hopeful scenario, crises follow one after the other and it seems that people are forced to survive in a world in which instability and uncertainty seem to be the norm. In recent years we have seen: demographic crisis, educational crisis, climate crisis, housing crisis, geopolitical crisis.
As we know, people need a stable climate for their development, they need security, permanence, certainty and hope. All this is possible in the environment of a stable home and a strong and solid family. That was the aim of the different organisations, academics and policy makers gathered at 42nd Street 1st Avenue, to put on the table the vital importance of taking care of families and to suggest policies that protect and promote households.
Human beings are resilient and throughout history, we have managed to overcome the various challenges that have arisen. Foresight is key and so is knowing and caring for the environment.
From the Home Renaissance Foundation and after months of work, we present our proposals. Prof. Gamal Abdelmonem opened the day with the results of our Experts Meeting and the policies suggested by our experts.
Our CEO Mercedes Jaureguibeitia closed the two days with a presentation on the ethics of care, putting people at the centre, making them participants in the world in which they live, a common home for all, and proposing the home as an ally in the face of climate emergencies.


Newsletter September 2023

Dear friend,

Greetings to you all from Nottingham. This newsletter, the third of the year, finds us at the beginning of one of the most important events of 2023 for our Foundation, the Expert Meeting ‘Home, Family and Climate Change’.

A year ago, the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs contacted us to commission a report to serve as a reference in the celebration of the 30th anniversary of the International Day of Families (IYF+30). This day has been celebrated since 1994 every 15 May with sessions and round tables at the UN headquarters in New York.

With our director Professor Gamal Abdelmonem and his institution, Nottingham Trent University, as a partner, we have organised two days of meetings in which experts will discuss, based on their research, how households can be allies in combating the climate emergencies we are facing. More than 15 experts from different disciplines, from Europe, the United States and Asia are meeting from today to provide answers to the great unknowns that we are facing. You can see their profiles here.

Next week’s Be Home Blog post will highlight the main ideas and little by little throughout this quarter we will be unpacking the most significant conclusions.

From this third quarter of the year, we are very proud to announce that our director Sophia Aguirre, distinguished Ordinary Professor of Economics and researcher in the field of finance, family, and economic development, was appointed President of Catholic Distance University on July 1, 2023. Dr Aguirre has been part of our board since HRF began. She led our latest Expert Meeting in Washington on Home and Displaced People. She has also participated in several conferences and contributed to our publications. We congratulate her and wish her well in her new role.

In these summer months, we have continued to work to give the home a voice. In July we participated in the Tenth Congress on Family and Work at IESE. Dr Stephen Davies, representing HRF, presented our book ‘Happiness and Domestic Life’ and shared his expertise on the architectural evolution of the home in relation to social trends.

Our Communications Manager Ángela de Miguel attended the Conference on Care, People and Society celebrating the 25th anniversary of the International University of Catalonia. Please see here to revisit the post we published on this event. 

Taking advantage of the excellent climate of the city and the generosity of our directors, we met in Barcelona to discuss issues and establish the pillars to make this Expert Meeting, which starts today both a successful event and a significant contribution to IYF+ 30.

The years may go by but at Home Renaissance Foundation we have the same enthusiasm and the same desire to put homes at the centre of the story. Last month I reflected on what motivates me to continue leading an institution like this, which you can read here.

Wishing you and your families a good and fruitful autumn,

Bryan K. Sanderson

Family and Media | Does technology help or inhibit the development of children´s five sense? See here: Article 
McNight’s Senior Living | Live-in intergenerational programs combat loneliness, ageism, study finds. See here the article 

Event May 16 Fundación Telefónica, Madrid

Home Renaissance Foundation and the International Center for Work and Family of the IESE Business School have carried out a study to understand the impact of housework on individuals, their family relationships and their well-being at work.

The results have yielded interesting data on how levels of well-being at work improve (psychological empowerment, job satisfaction, greater professional commitment or job crafting) when the attitude towards housework is positive. It is also observed that couple relationships and communication with children improve when there is good planning and disposition towards housework. The negative note: the misuse of technology, the lack of techno-references and phubbing threaten our mental health and family well-being.

On Tuesday 16 May at 19.00 at the Fundación Telefónica (C/Fuencarral, 3. Madrid) and as part of the Telos Cycle ‘The Future of Work’, we will analyse the results of the study with experts in a round table discussion. It’s free but registration is required. 

Antonio Argandoña, Home Renaissance Foundation
Professor Emeritus of Economics and Business Ethics at IESE Business School. He is the holder of the CaixaBank Chair of Corporate Social Responsibility at IESE Business School. He is the author of numerous books and articles on economic theory, Spanish and international economics, general economics, ethics applied to economics and business, corporate social responsibility and corporate governance. Since 2017 he is one of the directors of the Home Renaissance Foundation for which he has edited four publications.

Begoña Pérez, La Ordenatriz
Known on social media as La Ordenatriz, Begoña Pérez is a professional home organiser, married and mother of seven children. She accumulates thousands and thousands of followers on the different platforms with whom she shares her tidying and cleaning tips. In September 2022 she published a book entitled ‘Cleanliness, order and happiness’.

Carmen del Campo, Mutua Madrileña
Director of Innovation at Mutua Madrileña where she has been working for 4 years, previously she was head of the Market Intelligence area for cities at Ferrovial, and did strategic consulting for the public sector at Deloitte. She holds a degree in Law and Business Administration from the University of Navarra and a Bachelor of Business Administration from IESE Business School.

José Miguel Cubillo, Expert in Family Therapy
Graduated in Psychology and Architecture, José Miguel Cubillo has combined professional practice with teaching throughout his career. He has been a guest lecturer at various international universities and is also an expert in family therapy. He was for years the president of the association Aula Familiar and, later, president of the International Federation for Family Development in Spain, an institution with General Consultative Status at the United Nations.

María Zabala, iWomanish
María Zabala is the Director of Society and Technology at Alabra. As a journalist has been working in communications for more than 20 years. After many years in news agencies, radio, press and television, she focused on the biomedical and scientific sectors from where she reflects on the impact of the digital society on our lives. As a consultant, she advises companies and institutions on digital education content.

María José Olesti, The Family Watch
She is a lawyer and managing director of The Family Watch, the international institute for the study of the family. Maria José has been working for the foundation since 2012. She holds a law degree from San Pablo CEU University and a Master’s degree in Social Leadership from IESE Business School. She is also a family advisor at IFFD.


Newsletter March 2023

Dear friend,

It is a great pleasure to get back in touch with you, especially with so many plans on the table as I write. Although in this quarterly newsletter, we look back on the highlights of the last three months, this time I will also be able to announce some exciting future events.

To begin with, we are delighted that the results of the first phase of the research we have carried out with ICWF/IESE have already been published and you can consult them on our website. Please see here the article published in Forbes and the Mercator interview with the academic leader, Mireia Las Heras. These fascinating results will be presented with a round table on Tuesday 16 May at the Telefónica Foundation in Madrid. More details to follow soon.

HRF directors met in Rome in February to welcome the new directors of the board:  Maria Teresa Russo, M. Gamal Abdelmonem and Susan O’Brien. Valuable reflections came out of this meeting hosted by Professor Russo at Roma Tre University, thanks to the two external experts who came to inspire new approaches to our work. You can read more about Prof. Wauck’s session ‘Toc, toc! “It´s me”‘, and Prof. Antonio Argandoña, who reflected on Juan Narbona’s presentation, ‘Home and Trust’.

It is a privilege to have such a distinguished and engaged board to work on current and future projects. A key one of which is the Experts Meeting on ‘Home and Climate Emergencies’ led by Professor Abdelmonem co-organised with Nottingham Trent University and the United Nations. This event will take place in September, 2023.
Friendly reminder, if you are researching the impact of households on climate change, and would like to participate, please get in touch with us by sending an email.

Earlier this month our Communications and Project manager, Ángela de Miguel, on behalf of HRF attended as a Think Tank Observer a meeting on Mental Health and Families in Madrid, which you can read more about here. Today, she is in Brussels, invited by a European association that connects companies and foundations with young people entering the world of work to find opportunities together. The strong and timely message both at home and in society: it is important to work together.

With my best wishes to you and your home and family and with thanks for your support of our work throughout the year,

Bryan K. Sanderson, CBE

Connected Homes | HRF is delighted to be working with Professor Bridgette Wessels and her team on the Connected Homes Project with The Crichton Trust. See here: Connected Homes Report

What Makes a Home a Home | The Institute of Family Studies recently shared this positive post by John Cuddeback of Lifecraft, which echoes HRF’s recent work on relational well-being and the home. See post here: What Makes a Home a Home

Nueva Investigación con el IESE

En Home Renaissance Foundation hemos realizado un estudio con el Centro Internacional Trabajo y Familia del IESE Business School, para conocer cómo influye el trabajo del hogar en la persona, la familia y su bienestar laboral.

Organizamos una mesa redonda en el Espacio Telefónica para presentar los resultados el martes 16 de mayo.

Vídeo completo de la sesión aquí | Resumen en español aquí

Además, en estos enlaces podrás encontrar los resultados del estudio, las conclusiones, las infografías y las recomendaciones de los expertos:

1. El Phubbing amenaza nuestra salud mental y el bienestar familiar

Nota de Prensa | Infografías

2. El trabajo del hogar es el nuevo aliado para alcanzar mejores niveles de bienestar laboral

Nota de Prensa | Infografías

3. Una actitud positiva hacia las tareas del hogar influye positivamente en la relación de los padres con sus hijos

Nota de Prensa | Infografías

4. Continúa existiendo desigualdad de género en el cuidado de las tareas del hogar, ahora bien, cuando la pareja goza de buena relación la diferencia es mucho menor

Nota de Prensa | Infografías


Los expertos del ICWF/IESE que han realizado esta investigación son:

Mireia Las Heras | Profesora de Dirección de Personas en las Organizaciones en IESE Business School, Universidad de Navarra, España – donde ejerce como Directora del Centro Internacional Trabajo y Familia.

Yasin Rofcanin | Profesor de Psicología Organizacional y Gestión de Recursos Humanos en la Universidad de Bath y Doctor en Filosofía (Ph.D.), División de Organización y GRH, Doctor en Comportamiento Organizacional en la Universidad de Warwick -Warwick Business School.

Marc Grau | Profesor e Investigador de la Cátedra de Políticas de Atención a la Infancia y a la Familia de la Universitat Internacional de Catalunya y WAPPP Research Fellow de la Harvard Kennedy School.

Para cualquier entrevista o más detalles de la investigación, contactar con Ángela de Miguel

A positive attitude towards housework has a positive influence on parents’ relationship with their children

  • Men’s attitude towards housework is different from women’s and changes throughout life
  • Men have a greater interest in housework after 35, women between 20 and 35
  • Between 35 and 50 there is greater similarity in interest and time spent on daily cleaning and cooking


London, January 23, 2023. According to the first study carried out by IESE Business School’s International Center for Work and Family and the London-based international think tank, Home Renaissance Foundation, those parents who are more involved in the work of the home are those who also spend more time with their children and show more interest in their daily tasks and relationships. Those with more interest in housework are more involved in their children’s plans (under 14), talk more with them about their friendships and homework, and play more with them. (See infographics).

When the mother’s attitude towards housework is VERY positive, the number of days per week she spends with her children in various activities is 6 days. This is very similar to the amount of time the father spends with his children when the father’s attitude towards housework is also very positive.

Attitudes towards housework are different for men and women and change with age. Interestingly, attitudes evolve in the opposite direction: while men are more interested in housework from the age of 35 onwards, women are less interested in housework from that age onwards.

Two practical examples:

Cleanliness and tidiness: The need for a clean and tidy home increases with age for men, while women become slightly less demanding with age.

Cooking: The biggest difference between men and women is between the ages of 20 and 35. In this age group, women are 60% more likely to agree that daily cooking is a must. Between the ages of 35 and 50, the difference narrows to 6%, and between the ages of 51 and 65, men agree 18% more strongly that daily cooking is essential.

Is it possible to enjoy housework?

Men and women do not differ substantially (less than 10% difference) in their perception of housework as enjoyable. The biggest difference is in the under 35 age group, where women are 15% more inclined to enjoy housework than men. The most similar age group is the 35-50 age group.

The academics who carried out this study recommend:

–  the media and public campaigns encourage better attitudes towards housework, which in turn will encourage involvement in children’s lives and development.

– couples try to share their responsibilities in the home, understanding that domestic tasks require both planning and carrying them out.

– companies and educational programmes encourage the co-responsibility of men and women in the home, so that fathers and mothers are equally and more involved in their children’s lives.


Other conclusions of this study are:

  1. Phubbing threatens our mental health and family well-being (See infographics | Read press release).
  2. The work of the home is the new ally in achieving better levels of employee wellbeing (See infographics | Read press release).

The work of the home, a new ally in achieving higher levels of employee wellbeing

Psychological empowerment, job satisfaction, greater professional commitment or job crafting are some of the benefits of having a positive attitude towards housework.

  • Psychological empowerment predicts job innovation and satisfaction, as well as work-life balance, and the higher it is, the lower the emotional exhaustion
  • Job satisfaction and work engagement respond to the desire to stay at work, so higher levels of job satisfaction lead to lower absenteeism, higher levels of job performance and lower intentions to leave the organization
  • Job crafting predicts work meaningfulness and safety behaviours (in jobs that involve risks to oneself or others), and organisational commitment. Higher levels reduce risk of workaholism.

London, January 23, 2023. According to the first study carried out by IESE Business School’s International Center for Work and Family and the London-based international think tank, Home Renaissance Foundation, people who have a positive attitude towards housework have higher levels of employee wellbeing.

So what are all these terms and how do they relate to housework? Psychological empowerment, or in other words, a sense of self-control in relation to one’s own work and active engagement in one’s own role, is a skill that increases by 9% if one has a positive attitude towards housework. (See infographics).

Job satisfaction increases by 20% and Work engagement also increases by 26%, which means that the employee feels involved and an active part of his or her company, making it difficult to disengage and feeling that time passes quickly.

Job crafting, on the other hand, improves by 18%. Job crafting refers to proactive behaviour aimed at adapting work to one’s needs and preferences, rather than reactively performing work that the organisation has created.


– recommend that public campaigns encourage better attitudes towards housework, which in turn will increase well-being at work.

– encourage couples to share domestic responsibilities, not seeing housework as a duty, but as an opportunity to serve others and develop their own skills.

– suggest further training on planning and fulfilling household tasks as a means to improve individual and family well-being.

– And finally, we recommend that companies facilitate co-responsibility for their employees, as this will improve their well-being at work.


Other conclusions of this study are:

  1. Phubbing threatens our mental health and family well-being (See infographics | Read press release).
  2. A positive attitude towards housework has a positive influence on parents’ relationship with their children (See infographics | Read press release).

Phubbing threatens our mental health and family wellbeing

Almost 50% of the men surveyed are at risk of phubbing because they perceive that their employers expect them to be highly available for work at any time. For women it is 33%.

London, January 23, 2023. According to the first study by IESE Business School’s International Center for Work and Family and the London-based international think tank, Home Renaissance Foundation, mental health, self-esteem or well-being could be threatened by phubbing because parents perceive that they must be highly available for work at any time of the day.

What is phubbing? Ignoring others by being on your phone or electronic devices. A practice that not only does not serve as an example for children at home (lack of technological reference) but also causes social isolation and problems in relationships, since the times when phubbing occurs most often are at mealtimes or when they spend time together. Those who are neglected are at risk of feeling unimportant, excluded or rejected.

Phubbing is intensified in cases where the family lives under financial pressure, i.e., when the health of the household economy feels threatened. In such cases, parents’ neglect of their children is 70% higher for men and 50% higher for women. (See infographics).

This financial pressure also affects “technoference”, i.e., the number of times children interrupt their interaction with their parents to pay attention to different screens. The greater the financial pressure, the more children interrupt activities with their parents to turn to digital devices.

The health of family relationships is important for later performance in the workplace, so this study recommends:

To companies: encourage their employees to disconnect from work to promote good use of technology at home and a healthy enjoyment of free time.

To families: establish rules at home regarding the use of technology and encourage healthier communication between household members, especially when eating together, travelling or enjoying leisure time.

And for schools: develop screen-free initiatives to raise awareness of the excessive use of technology and the benefits of interpersonal relationships not mediated by screens.


Other conclusions of this study are:

  1. The work of the home is the new ally for achieving better levels of employee wellbeing (See infographics | Read the press release).
  2. A positive attitude towards housework has a positive influence on parents’ relationship with their children (See infographics | Read the press release).

Newsletter December 2022

Dear friend,

As the year comes to an end we are grateful that although economically there is still a long way to go, 2022 has allowed us to get our lives back on track. We have seen each other’s faces again, we have been able to meet again, trust and renew connections.
Our Christmas newsletter is always a summary of the year, a time to look back and remember what we have achieved. We are grateful and pleased to report that as the activity of HRF is progressing, credibility is growing and we see daily the enormous interest and commitment shown towards our topic: HOME.

The ongoing crisis in Ukraine is one which, of course, stays in our news and in our thoughts at this time. In September our Experts Meeting in Washington, ‘The Home and Displaced People’, was timely as it addressed a new topic for HRF: the migration crises and the impact of displacement. It proved a very enriching meeting that opened the doors to a new group of highly prestigious experts with whom we are already working on a future publication.

In addition, we have had the opportunity to reinforce earlier topics with the publication of ‘Happiness and Domestic Life’, which we have already presented in Argentina and Italy. Here you can learn more about our event at Roma Tre University. In the first quarter of 2023, there are plans for launches in the UK, Poland and Spain. At the same time our research on digital homes, the Communication Project ‘The Impact of Technology in the Home’ which has prompted 5,000 downloads, continues to leave its mark.

We are delighted that you find our work helpful, and it is good to see how many of you also consult our experts’ working papers published on the website. We are committed to providing new content and fresh approaches to the study of the work of the home. In this context, we shall be soon releasing details of the first tranche of research carried out in partnership with the International Centre for Work and Family at IESE Business School.

Before I end this newsletter, I would like to announce an agreement we have recently reached with NTU and the UN to investigate the impact of climate emergencies on homes and vice versa. We want to find out how homes and families can be great allies of public policies to curb climate impacts. The Expert Meeting is planned for late summer 2023, and we shall send more details soon for how to contribute to this work.

My thanks on behalf of us all at HRF to everyone we have had the pleasure and privilege of working with this year.  It only remains for me to wish you a very Happy Christmas and that 2023 will be full of good news for homes, which will mean a better future for everyone.


Bryan K. Sanderson CBE


The Home: the cradle of Happiness | Book Launch in Italy

Addressing happiness is always a difficult challenge. The experts who took part in our event last Thursday at the Roma Tre University were faced with the complexity of defining the term because it is ambiguous, broad, and often even paradoxical.

Professor Antonio Petagine (Università Roma Tre) said that we all want happiness, we all seek it, and we all long for it, but we do not always obtain it, and on many occasions, this impossibility of finding it is due to the fact that we fall into the error of giving it a hedonistic meaning, seeking our own satisfaction. But this attitude leaves an emptiness that rarely makes us happy.

Given the thousands of suicides and the high consumption of antidepressants, Professor Vinicio Busacchi (Università de Cagliari) suggested turning to philosophical reflection to discover those situations that make our lives unhappy and try to improve them. “Philosophy can help us understand the meaning of life and become a school of life,” said Busacchi, recalling the title of a famous essay by Lou Marinoff entitled “More Plato and less Prozac.”

And then, the concept of relational happiness came up, when Professor Nicola di Stefano (CNR Roma) explained that Aristotle said that, among other things, happiness depends on the number of friends one has and the quality of that friendship. Can our happiness depend on the environment around us? Is the home the first place to find happiness because it is the first place where we relate to others? The home is a test bed, a private place, where we feel protected, it is a nest,” Di Stefano stressed.

Ambassador Roberto Rossi, author of “Aristotele: l’arte di vivere. Fondamenti e pratica dell’etica aristotelica come via alla felicità” (FrancoAngeli, 2018), recalled that happiness is not a moment in life, but a constant state of the soul, a concatenation of actions that help us to find the ultimate goal of life, happiness. Aristotle insisted that happiness is identified with the good life, i.e. the virtuous life. The “recipe” is therefore to try to seek the best possible good in everything we do, unselfishly.

As the editor of the book ‘Happiness and Domestic Life‘, Professor and Philosopher Maria Teresa Russo, explained, the question we have to ask ourselves is: what home for what happiness? Because we can understand the home as a refuge or, conversely, as a place of conflict and happiness as well-being in a material sense. On the other hand, the home is that physical place where we live, think and love: where we guard our own intimacy and define our identity. A complex but unitary system, where happiness is taking care of each other, disinterestedly.