Thursday, May 29, 2014

What if the Happy song and video memes came with more actual happiness in the world?

Pharrell Williams' 2014 hit Happy song and the 24 hours of Happy video have sparked a meme that's even more fun for high school kids than the Harlem Shake was in 2013. Graduating seniors at Chiang Mai International School have danced their goodbyes in a Happy montage, that keeps me grinning ear to ear (and not just at the moments my oldest son is in it!)


But Pharrell Williams isn't the only force moving us toward greater happiness these days.

Fascinating new research on happiness is now available, about what it actually is and how it actually comes to be in our lives. The "Happy" movie is well worth the $2.99 to rent it. Right after I watched it I made my kids sit down and watch it with me - the practical information in this little gem of a movie made an immediate impact on our lives.


Another inspiring must-see if you value happiness is the Economics of Happiness documentary released early this year.  I've been sensing for a long time that the economic models we're using don't actually fit the world experience we're living.  This film helped me understand some key things about how we measure "growth" today that really make ya go hmmmm... 


You can rent the full documentary for a $5 contribution to the filmmakers at vimeo on demand. There's also a free pre-release version on youtube, in case you can't come up with the 5 bucks. 

Of course, while it feels like such a universal value, not every society claims to value happiness - in Iran, young people were arrested last week after uploading their own Happy video.  But maybe some controversy around happiness isn't such a bad thing under repressive regimes. 

Will the 2014 happiness bounty leave us with more than just video memes to look back on?  Hard to say, but maybe the more we know about and think about happiness, the more open we'll be to recognizing increasing happiness when it comes.

What would the world look like if we all started learning to be a little bit better at being happy?

It's sure been fun in my family :-) Clap along if you feel that that's what you want to do!





Thursday, May 8, 2014

Co-creative learning from Piglets for Progress Phase 1

Last week a friend and I invited the Mae Sot trash dump community to share their experience and learnings with each other about raising pigs, in order to surface the practical gaps to be addressed in planning for a possible Phase 2 of the Piglets for Progress initiative.  


What they shared offers a super interesting read, with fascinating insights that I'm still chewing on. 

Read more at the Piglets Blog about the event and how we facilitated the conversations between 100+ people whose language we don't speak.