Home and Happiness

This Communication Project is “close to home” as within its pages it touches on things closest to us all. When we asked the question “What makes you happy?” we were not looking this time for expert analyses but heartfelt responses. And this is certainly what we received. As you read the thoughts of a rich variety of voices and look at the drawings sent to accompany them it is hard not to be moved. For at the heart of happiness are those we love.

The quality of our relationships has the greatest impact on our lives. Our personal well-being is inextricably linked to how we relate to those around us. There is increasing evidence that health and economic outcomes are also shaped by this – those in strong and stable unions enjoy both the daily and life-long benefits of being in good relationships. Of being able to thrive, not just survive.

At Home Renaissance Foundation we know that good relationships start at home. They are built and modelled when we are young and equip us to build positive relationships. Supporting the home supports the flourishing and well-being of each new generation, as the many young contributors to this report can testify.

We hope you will enjoy reading this report and commend it to you now as an encouragement to value all those things closest to home for us all.



The Home and Climate Change | Nottingham

Understanding the power of home to transform societies in the face of Climate Emergency.

28-29 September 2023 | Nottingham Conference Centre, Nottingham Trent University, UK

Organisers: Home Renaissance Foundation (HRF), Nottingham Trent University (NTU) and the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN-DESA)

This Expert Meeting aims to explore the role home and family play in the transition towards a sustainable and carbon-neutral planet, where our Carbon footprint is neutralised by offsetting our consumption with the production of clean energy and a sustainable lifestyle. Building on the lessons learnt during COVID-19 Pandemic, and the global response to a universal emergency, this meeting will bring experts, scholars and scientists from diverse disciplines, professions, and research backgrounds to debate the challenges and opportunities facing the home as societal institutions to achieve that goal. It tries to respond to a key question, ‘how can we engage more effectively with the home and family as a resilient unit to help societies and economies compact Climate Change?’

Key Questions

  1. How far do we understand the impact and consequences of climate change and global warming on the health and wellbeing home and families at home?
  2. How far is the home, as central social unit, is considered in the current policies, plans and international response to Climate Change?
  3. What are current conceptual, theoretical knowledge gap about the potential role and value of the home in achieving net-zero cities’ targets?
  4. What scientific evidence do we have on the obstacles and challenges facing households and the opportunities they offer in responding to extreme weather conditions and situations?
  5. What are the frameworks that enable the home and family to become effective plays in productive and carbon-neutral economy and trade? What policy approaches we can adopt in response.
  6. To what extent our neighbourhood planning, land use, digital infrastructure enables the home to play a key role in re-distributing our Carbon emission and
  7. How can the results of this work be incorporated into new policy and actions?


Academic Leaders

Mohamed Gamal Abdelmonem is Chair in Architecture and the Founding Director of the Centre for Architecture, Urbanism and Global Heritage (CAUGH), and co-lead of Global Heritage Research at Nottingham Trent University. He previously lectured and taught architecture and design at The Royal Academy of Arts in London, University of California at Berkeley, University of Sheffield and Queen’s University Belfast. Professor Abdelmonem advises several governments and international organisations on aspects of sustainable heritage preservation, urban planning and the architecture of home. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and the 2014 recipient of the Jeffrey Cook Award for outstanding research in the Built Environment.

Antonio Argandoña holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Barcelona. He is Emeritus Professor of Economics and of Business Ethics and holds the “la Caixa” Chair of Corporate Social Responsibility and Corporate Governance at IESE Business School, University of Navarra. He is a member of the Royal Academy of Economics and Finance of Spain, President of the Standing Committee on Professional Ethics of the Economists’ Association of Catalonia and a member of the Commission on Anti-Corruption of the International Chamber of Commerce (Paris). He has published numerous books, book chapters and articles in prestigious journals on economics and business ethics. He has been editor of books and journals, member of ethics committees of business associations and financial institutions, and has held government positions at IESE Business School and with numerous scientific and professional bodies.



See here their biographies.

Event Programme

Two days, six panels, over 15 experts and a policy roundtable.

See here the event programme. 



Home Renaissance Foundation has carried out a study with the International Work and Family Centre of the IESE Business School, in order to find out how the work of the home influences the person, the family and their well-being at work.

Here are the conclusions and recommendations:

  1. Phubbing threatens our mental health and family wellbeing

Press Release | Infographics

2. The work of the home is the new ally for achieving better levels of employee wellbeing

Press Release | Infographics

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

Press Release | Infographics

Academics involved:

Mireia Las Heras | Professor of Managing People in Organizations at IESE Business School, University of Navarra, Spain – where she serves as the Director of the International Center for Work and Family.

Yasif Rofcanin | Professor in Organizational Psychology and Human Resource Management at the University of Bath and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), Organisation and HRM Division, Ph.D. in Organisational Behaviour and HRM at the University of Warwick -Warwick Business School.

Marc Grau | Professor and a Researcher at the Childcare and Family Policies Chair at Universitat International Catalunya and a WAPPP Research Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School.

The Impact of Technology in the Home

We are delighted to commend to you this new communication report. Our work on ‘The Home in the Digital Age‘, supported by the Social Trends Institute, pioneered the now more widespread understanding of the home as the frontline of new technologies. In this report, the implications of increasingly digital homes are given voice through powerful and insightful testimonies. If the home is to be understood not just as another market, but as the place where life-long wellbeing is fostered, then we do well to take a discerning view of what comes through its doors the challenges and the opportunities.

We hope that this report will be a valuable resource for those working in this field, and for all with an interest in the fast-growing role of technology in the home. We hope too that it will be an even more
vital reminder of the human work needed to engage with the challenges and to make the most of the opportunities on offer in our homes today.

English version ‘The Impact of Technology in the Home’

Spanish version ‘El Impacto de la Tecnología en el Hogar’

The Home and Displaced People | Washington

Home is more than a place to stay: how can a fuller understanding of home inform approaches to migration and support of displaced people.

22 -23 September 2022 | Catholic University of America, Washington DC, USA

See the agenda here | See the article here | Watch the video here

KEYNOTE | Monsignor Robert J. Vitillo, Secretary General of the International Catholic Migration Commission since June 2016. A national of the United States of America, Msgr. Vitillo is a trained social worker with broad expertise in migration and refugee services, child protection, social services, human rights, HIV/AIDS and global health.

Session 1

  • Home as Integral Part of Displaced People Interventions and Policy Design

Myria Georgiou, Professor in the Department of Media and Communications at LSE, where she also serves as Research Director. Professor Georgiou researches and teaches on migration and urbanisation in the context of intensified mediation.

Kelly Ryan, Coordinator for the Inter-Governmental Consultations on Migration Asylum and Refugees (IGC), Geneva.

Heather Salfrank Joseph, Senior Advisor, Office of the Director Senior Advisor, Office of the Director USCIS. She has carried out extended field work with migrants and refugees, both domestically and internationally.

Session 2

  • The Transition from a Stable to a Disruptive Home Experience for displaced people

Magaly Sánchez, Senior Researcher and Scholar at the Office of Population Research at Princeton University, after being Professor at the Instituto de Urbanismo in the Universidad Central de Venezuela. Professor Sanchez-R has studied International Migration to the United States, with special interest in the construction of Latino Identities.

Robert Destro, Professor of Law at The Catholic University of America’s Columbus School of Law in Washington, D.C. He has been a member of the CUA Law faculty since 1982, served as Interim Dean from 1999-2001, and as Director of the University’s Institute for Policy Research and Catholic Studies from 2017-2019.

Suzan Ilcan, Professor of Sociology in the Department of Sociology and Legal Studies, and Program Director of the University of Waterloo’s MA in Global Governance program at the University of Waterloo and the Balsillie School of International Affairs.

Session 3

  • Assimilation and Integration of Migrants and Displaced People

Christine Mahoney, Professor of Public Policy and Politics at the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy and Director of Social Entrepreneurship at the University of Virginia.

John Kluge, Founder of the Refugee Investment Network, the first impact investing and blended finance collaborative dedicated to long-term solutions to forced migration. John also co-founded the Alight Fund, a for-profit investment fund for refugee entrepreneurs, and Toilet Hackers, a social enterprise dedicated to scaling access to dignified sanitation for the 2.5 billion people without a toilet. 

Rochelle Davis, Associate Professor of Cultural Anthropology in the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies at Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service. Dr. Davis’ research focuses on refugees and conflict, specifically, Palestinian, Syrian, and Iraqi refugees.

Sandra Barrueco, Professor of Psychology and Fellow of the Institute for Policy Research & Catholic Studies at The Catholic University of America. Dr. Barrueco specializes in the prevention and early intervention of developmental difficulties, particularly among language-minority, immigrant, and migrant children.

John Paul Ryan, Research Clinical Coordinator at the Geneva Foundation and is currently completing his Ph.D. in Psychology at the Catholic University of America.

Pictures Gallery

Caring at Home for those with extra Needs

At Home Renaissance Foundation we have talked many times about the importance of home care. But we present a new perspective – that if in itself care is vital in the development of the person, then it is even more so with those facing difficulties.

We present you with our latest Communication Project: Caring at Home for those with extra needs
We are proud of what we have achieved. It has not been easy because these people are so humble that the last thing they want is to be the protagonists of anything. But they deserve it. Them, their families, their environments. For their attitude, for their courage, for their way of looking at life, for their determination, their effort and their example. Because there is nothing impossible for them and they are a constant lesson in self-improvement.

Thanks for agreeing to participate in this project. Society needs you more than ever.
We would be very grateful if you would share this document. Let others enjoy reading it too.

English Version ‘Caring at Home for those with extra Needs’

Versión Española “El Cuidado en el Hogar de Personas con Discapacidad”

Covid Family Study | Impact of the Pandemic on Family Life across Cultures

The Covid-19 Family Life Study is led by Dr. Anis Ben Brik, associate professor at Hamad Bin Khalifa University College of Public Policy in Qatar. The research team consists of an international team of academics and experts representing civil society organizations across the globe.

Why Participate?

Your Inputs will help us:

  • Track patterns of symptoms, causes, and risk factors of mental health in parents during the COVID-19 crisis
  • Understand the experiences of parents during the coronavirus pandemic
  • Identify parents’ needs for support services during the coronavirus pandemic
  • Understand coping skills and mechanisms among parents
  • The results will inform the design of policy and programs and the delivery of support services for families
  • We will share the results with key decision-makers



Home in the Time of Coronavirus

At Home Renaissance Foundation, we have responded to the pandemic with articles related to the renewed centrality of the home during lockdown, and with our Communication Report Home in the Time of Coronavirus, which has been very welcomely received and widely downloaded.

This has encouraged us to produce Spanish and Polish language versions. See below what you wish.

English Version 

Spanish Version

Polish Version

V International Conference: Happy Homes, Happy Society?

About the conference

This Conference explores the contribution of the home to the wellbeing/content/happiness of individuals at all stages of life and by implication and evidence to wider society. And it was a great opportunity to demonstrate the vital role of the home in connecting and nurturing individuals through shared values, work, and purpose.

This conference builds upon HRF’s proven expertise in gathering world-class academics and professionals to present multidisciplinary research and experience relating to the life and work of the home. It specifically builds upon the Experts’ Meeting held in 2019 on The Home in the Digital Age. It also allows us to revisit the contribution of architecture (2nd Conference 2008) and to develop one of the aspects of health and wellbeing covered at our 4th Conference (A Home: A Place of Growth, Care and Well-being, 2017).

There is a clear public as well as academic and professional engagement with this topic. The 5th Conference has generated new material suitable for publication as a part of a growing series on topics relating to the home, but has been also a point of reconnection with and refreshment of earlier themes and concerns. This is promoting future evidence-based discourse and policy-making.

The conference was organised into two strands (Happiness linked to activities of the home, and Housing, connecting and social interaction) with a keynote and contributing academics; and in 2021 with paper givers in dialogue and workshops.

November 12-13, 2020 | Online due to Covid-19 Measures |  London



Video of the event


Lord Layard | London School of Economics

A happy society is the fruit of happy and caring relationships at home

As a part of his contribution, Lord Layard highlights the need for policies to support parents and children as these are the key relationships in promoting happiness and well-being in the home for individuals, families and wider society.


Contributing Academics

Prof. Maria Pia Chirinos | University of Piura, Peru

Care, Flourishing, Happiness: the Challenge at Home in Everyday Life

The central place of work during the twentieth century, and maybe also the nineteenth, has marked our era as the “civilization of work” or as a “work-centric culture”. The thesis that I would like to propose here is that the value of care should be recognized as a property of all human work, and as the key to humanizing a civilization that has made technology and environment into its gods. Only a civilization focused on care can promote human flourishing and, consequently, happiness, and care should be the most significant thing learnt at home. Therefore home, care and happiness are essentially related, and all these three notions have our innate human vulnerability as their connecting thread. To humanize our civilization means to tackle one of the most dangerous taboos: our fragility.


Dr. Stephen Davies | Institute for Economic Affairs

Happiness and the Structure of the Home

There is much evidence that happy homes make for a happy society. Many factors contribute to either supporting happy and functional homes or undermine them. One of these, which is often overlooked, is the physical layout and design of houses and of the built environment in general (Coleman, 1987. Mehrabian, 1976). The way these are done is shaped by economic pressures of consumer demand and supply constraints but it also has a clear ideological component because things like house design derive from social ideals as to how people should live and the nature of family and the home.


Prof. Maria Bakardjieva | University of Calgary, Canada

Home Implosion: Digital Media and the Reinvention of the Private Sphere

What happens to our homes once digital media become deeply and intimately inscribed into their spaces and rhythms? Do activities, relationships and roles in the household remain fundamentally the same, or do significant changes take hold?  Sociological theory has considered the private sphere to be represented by home life and family relationships as well as the notions of the private that members of a culture share. Communication research, for its part, has shown how different media have punctured and eroded the already porous boundary delineating the so defined private sphere: from the startling ring of the telephone to the intricate reconfiguration of domestic routines and relationships with the outside world that television brought about. Digital media have carried that erosion further than anyone would have imagined.


Prof. Bridgette Wessels | University of Glasgow

Creating meaningful connected homes: the relationships and dynamics of household-digital technology interactions in fostering wellbeing

Changes in household composition and household life (ONS 2019) and the pervasive use of data-driven services is impacting on the characteristics and quality of home life. Remote working, online learning, platform-based consumption, telehealth, streamed entertainment and digitally mediated relationships are increasingly part of home life. These services are accessed via the web, mobile apps, smart devices and sensors, which are all part of, what is termed here, the ‘connected home’. Connected homes are the backbone of a connected UK (BEIS 2019), central to its economy, society and culture. However, connected homes are ad hoc in their configuration and in what they ‘socially shape’: they exert an influence on households and are experienced very differently depending on household culture and practice, housing design and quality, geodemographic factors, life stages, wellbeing and -more recently – public health crises.


Prof. Agnieszka Nogal | University of Warsaw

The impact of domestic happiness on public space

The thesis of the text is that in liberal political philosophy there are no tools to conceptualize the relation between homes and society. In order to analyze the impact of the home on the public sphere, one must depart from the liberal model of the public sphere and turn towards classical thought and virtue concept. Such a turn will be examined in the text using arguments formulated by  Martha Nussbaum and Sibyl Schwarzenbach, allowing one to supplement the specific “lack” of liberalism with the space of the home treated as a space of civic education.


Dr. David Thunder | University of Navarra

The “Neighbourhood” as a Pivotal Element of the Infrastructure of a Flourishing Society

The central theme of this conference is the contribution of home and family life to a healthy society. In reality, of course, the relation between the home and the society that hosts it, is not merely a one-way relation, but a complex, dialectical relation. The life of the home obviously conditions the character of members of the home, and their fitness to participate responsibly in social life. But it is also true that the customs, institutions, and mores of small, medium, and large communities condition the life of the home and shape the capacity of parents to make a responsible contribution to society and to prepare their children to do the same.


Selected Paper Givers & Workshops

See selected Paper Givers  |  Agenda  |   Workshops Report



HRF in the Day of the Family | Spanish Parliament

The Day of the Family was celebrated worldwide on May 15, a date established by the UN 26 years ago in recognition of its value as a basic pillar of society.

This year the focus was on ‘Families and Climate Action’, an issue that undoubtedly affects the planet as a whole and has a negative impact, not only on the economy but also on the lives of people.

The Family Studies Institute, The Family Watch, held a roundtable on May 14 at the Spanish Parliament in Madrid, to discuss the role of the home in relation to climate change and to explain to those who legislate what practices can be carried out to mitigate this threat. Our Project and Media Manager, Angela de Miguel, participated in the debate, which drew many of the conclusions that we already reached at our International Conference on Home and Sustainability, held in London in 2011.

Without sustainable homes, there is no sustainable planet. It is essential to teach our children the importance of caring for the environment and to act as an example to them. If we do not learn to take care of our home, we will hardly take care of everything else. This planet is not just ours, it will be inherited by future generations. If we give it the value it deserves, we will take better care of it.

If one thing is clear to us at the Home Renaissance Foundation, it is the importance of a social and cultural transformation in terms of sustainability. We wish to promote change and to be catalysts through research, as we urgently need to apply sustainable practices so as not to deplete the resources offered by nature. If you want real advice or good practices to follow in your home, you can follow us on Instagram @smarthomemanagement There you will find many helpful ideas on management and home care.

Press Contact: 
Ángela de Miguel
Email: press@homerenaissancefoundation.org
Telephone: + 44 020 7490 3296