Fundamental Human Needs – Max Neef

Max-Neef and his colleagues have developed a taxonomy of human needs and a process by which communities can identify their “wealths” and “poverties” according to how these needs are satisfied.

Fundamental Human Needs Being (qualities) Having(things) Doing (actions) Interacting (settings)
subsistence physical and mental health food, shelter work feed, clothe, rest, work living environment, social setting
protection care, adaptability autonomy social security, health systems, work co-operate, plan, take care of, help social environment, dwelling
affection respect, sense of humour, generosity, sensuality friendships, family, relationships with nature share, take care of, make love, expressemotions privacy, intimate spaces of togetherness
understanding critical capacity, curiosity, intuition literature, teachers, policies educational analyse, study,meditate investigate, schools, families universities, communities,
participation receptiveness, dedication, sense of humour responsibilities, duties, work, rights cooperate, dissent, express opinions associations, parties, churches, neighbourhoods
leisure imagination,tranquility spontaneity games, parties, peace of mind day-dream, remember,relax, have fun landscapes, intimate spaces, places to be alone
creation imagination, boldness, inventiveness, curiosity abilities, skills, work,techniques invent, build, design, work, compose, interpret spaces forexpression, workshops, audiences
identity sense ofbelonging,
self- esteem, consistency
language, religions, work, customs,values, norms get to know oneself, grow, commit oneself places one belongs to,everyday settings
freedom autonomy, passion, self-esteem,open-mindedness equal rights dissent, choose, run risks, develop awareness anywhere