The Happiness Initiative Programs
According to our research there are no community-based organizations in Seattle, or elsewhere in the United States that measure Happiness subjectively (individual perspectives) and objectively (metrics such as violent crime rates or high school graduation rates). Our project is unique because it empowers citizens, organizations and policy makers to take action to improve the quality of life.
The Happiness Initiative is unique in 4 distinct ways:
- Our survey is customized to the circumstance of North American wellbeing and covers the 10 key domains of happiness. The survey reveals where people are hurting and flourishing and has been constructed so results can yield causation of “unhappiness.” The survey links results to demographic categories and zip codes to provide policymakers with deeper insights into their constituents’ perspective.
- Survey results are complemented by objective metrics. The objective indicators were developed through a methodology that encompasses two indicators for each domain for a total of 21 indicators (environmental quality is measured with three indicators). This is important because in situations where the survey results and data differ, there may be very different implications for policy makers, organizations and individuals.
- Our project has a strong social media component. The integration of social media resonates with a growing population of individuals that use social media as a way of learning, sharing and influencing decisions.
- Our project emphasizes outreach to vulnerable populations and youth. We are working with campuses and youth organizations. Outreach to vulnerable populations is a core part of this project.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
Over 40,000 individuals have taken the Gross National Happiness Index and over 200 campuses, cities, cities and communities have used the Gross National Happiness Index to measure the wellbeing of their population. We issue happiness report cards for our nation an a quarterly basis.
In November, 2011, we issued the first comprehensive Seattle Area Happiness Report Card to the Seattle City Council. The report provided policymakers with meaningful data unattainable through any other source. City council president, Richard Conlin, has gone on record saying our survey results cannot only be used to create good public policy, but also a healthy community.
Officials and community activists in Olympia, Tacoma, Duvall, Carnation, Bellingham, Twisp and other townships have expressed interest in conducting a happiness initiative. Happiness Initiatives are spreading across the nation.