Because Happiness Matters for People and the Planet
The Happiness Walk
On August 25, 2012, Paula Francis and Linda Wheatley left Stowe, Vermont on a 44-day, 720-mile walk to convey the importance of fulfilling the central tenet of our Declaration of Independence: the right of all Americans to "...Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness." They arrived at the Jefferson Memorial in Washington DC on October 7th.
This fall, the journey continues cross-country as Paula and Linda head south and west from Washington, DC...to Raleigh, then to New Orleans, on to Dallas and, eventually, to San Francisco by the summer of 2015.
Paula and Linda are founding members of Gross National Happiness USA, a non-profit, non-partisan organization working to increase happiness and well-being by measuring what matters. We engage people along The Walk route in conversation about happiness and what is truly important in life. We've posted some of our findings at our blog.
You Get What You Measure, so let's Measure What Matters.
The Happiness Walk draws attention to the need for an expanded set of progress indicators - one that views economic and material well-being as part of a broader definition of happiness. Extensive research shows that indicators drive behavior. We believe that our society can identify a common set of values that drive a NEW economy, and unleash the incredible creativity of our people, toward greater well-being for all. Defining the right indicators is an on-going process and deserves a deep, meaningful dialogue.
Many efforts to measure what matters and to implement policy guided by those values are underway, for example Maryland and Vermont have implemented a 'Genuine Progress Indicator'; Canada has developed the Canadian Index of Well-Being, the new economics foundation offers the Happy Planet Index, and the Organisation for Economic and Cooperation Development recently unveiled the Better Life Index.
We are collecting and sharing declarations of what matters.
We are devoting two years to this project.
Your stories will change the national conversation.
We humbly invite your financial support.
You get what you measure.
Let's measure what matters:
The vitality of our communities, our physical and mental health,
our education, our relationship with the environment, our work and family-lives, our spirituality and culture, honest and transparent governance, how we use our time and the security that comes
from a comfortable standard of living.
We walk because the policies and practices of our systems and institutions, and especially of our government, must
support and uphold, not undermine or detract from,
our basic right to the pursuit of happiness, and the right of future generations to that pursuit, as well.