The Vision of The H(app)athon Project is to Give Big Data a Direction and help people leverage the mobile sensors in their smartphones to identify what brings them meaning in their lives. We’ve created a survey that will be complemented by tools that track action and behavior in a private data environment. By analyzing a person’s answers and data, we’ll identify their Personal Happiness Indicator Score (PHI), a representation of their core strength much like a Myers-Briggs personality description.
After taking our survey, a person can then be matched to an activity that will optimize their well being or to an organization that reflects their PHI Score in a form of data-driven micro-volunteerism. There’s a great deal of science documenting that action and altruism increase happiness. So we’re simply identifying where people already find meaning in their lives to help connect them to ways to get happier while helping others. At scale, we feel this is the way we save the world, move BeyondGDP, and create a future based on transparency and metrics that focus on worth over wealth.
At the moment, we’re just beginning our work. Our survey can be taken online and on iPhones, and we’re seeking funding to build out the sensor portion of our data collection. We’ve partnered with the City of Somerville, MA to pilot our proof-of-concept model beginning in the Summer of 2013 for the next six to eight months. Somerville is the only American city to implement Happiness Indicator metrics with a sitting government. Our hope is that by adding sensor data into the mix we can gain critical insights to help with transparent city planning that improves citizens’ well-being.
The first phase of the H(app)athon Project’s work will culminate in a large-scale conference on March 20, 2014 with the release of the H(app)athon App where we’ll also feature videos and survey results from the duration of the Project along with multiple talks and panels from people involved in our work. More info soon.
The H(app)athon Project was inspired by the Founder’s Mashable article, The Value of a Happiness Economy that compares the trends of Quantified Self, Big Data, and Happiness Indicators and suggests the potential solution of a global hackathon for happiness to create a new view of value beyond the GDP. The first presentation about our work on Slideshare has received over 18,000 views since it was posted in September of 2013. We have now done more than a dozen H(app)athon Workshops teaching people about these issues and helping them to imagine how a new world could look in cities around the world including New York, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, San Francisco, London, Oslo, Bogota, Tokyo, Bhutan, and Lisbon. A workshop is also scheduled for the Sibos Conference in September, 2013 in Dubai.
The H(app)athon Project Advisory Committee guiding the overall Project includes over thirty representatives from organizations including The United Nations, World Economic Forum, MIT, salesforce.com, Microsoft, the University of Cambridge, The World Well-Being Project, The Happiness Initiative, HAPPY the Movie, The Happy Post Project, Hub Culture, ilumivu, and over a dozen emerging media experts in the fields of quantified self, data science, and mobile technology.
The Happiness Economy
We feel the Happiness Economy already exists. Happiness Indicators like Bhutan’s Gross National Happiness, the OECD’s Better Life Index, and the UK’s Happy Planet Index are already helping the world define well-being beyond wealth. Thought leaders in economics, public policy, development, well-being, positive psychology, the physiological study of happiness, and more are also already building the Happiness Economy. We applaud and hope to honor their efforts with our work.