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This is a description of the H(app)athon Movement - a three part project to help determine how emerging media can dovetail with the metrics of Gross National Happiness.

Published in: Technology, Education


  1. H(app)athonA Direction for Big Data
  2. We seem to have surrendered communityexcellence and community values in the mereaccumulation of material things. Our grossnational product counts air pollution and thedestruction of our redwoods and the loss ofour natural wonder in chaotic sprawl.Yet the gross national product does not allowfor the health of our children, the quality oftheir education, or the joy of their play; itmeasures everything, in short, except thatwhich makes life worthwhile.Robert F. KennedyAddress on the nature of the GDPUniversity of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas,March 18, 1968
  3. Introduction
  4. H(app)athon is a movementconsisting of three components:The H(app)athon Committee.A series of experts determine the parameters fora two-month research experiment to collect datafocused on Gross National Happiness (GNH).The H(app)athon Experiment.A series of global volunteers use a mobile app (orseries of apps) to track their GNH focused data.The H(app)athon Conference.Results of the H(app)athon Experiment alongwith top research in the science of happinesstakes place in the Spring of 2013 in NYC.Results from the conference will also be featured inthe book H(app)y, to be released from PenguinPublishers in the Fall of 2013.
  5. Guiding Principles for H(app)athon:Live an Examined Life.We’re living in an era with unprecedented opportunityto measure our behavior in an effort to make positivetransformation in our lives. The Quantified Self (QS)movement is leading this charge in the mobile arena,amplified by data collected via the framework of theInternet of Things (IOT). We feel people should utilizethis technology to improve their health, lives, andcommunities.Big Data Needs Direction.However data is collected, we currently lack a cohesivemetric to bring knowledge to these numbers. We feelGross National Happiness (GNH) provides a guidingframework where metrics of subjective well-being canbe measured by QS and IOT.
  6. Trends
  7. Trend Number One:Gross National Happiness (GNH)
  8. Gross National Happiness hasbecome a global focus for politicians,economists, and business leaders.The United Nations created aresolution (Happiness: Towards aHolistic Approach to Development) inthe Summer of 2012 resulting in arecent Happiness Summit at the UNon the subject and a reportcommissioned from ColumbiaUniversity by Jeffrey Sachs, the firstWorld Happiness Report to inspireglobal governments to utilize metricsof well being for their citizens.
  9. Measuring well-being is based on both quantitative and qualitativemeasures. While no global standards have been finalized, metrics like theones below created by the Happiness Initiative for a survey distributed tothousands of US citizens shows the range of issues measured via GNH:•Community Vitality•Cultural Vitality•Education and Learning•Environmental Quality•Governance•Material well-being•Physical Health•Psychological well-being•Time balance•Workplace Experience
  10. Trend Number Two:Quantified Self (QS)
  11. The Quantified Self (QS), created by Kevin Kelly and Gary Wolf ofWIRED magazine, is a movement and a methodology where peopletrack multiple elements of their behavior, largely via mobile apps.
  12. This map, created by Rachelle DiGregorio and featured in a recent CNN article, showshow QS apps can track different areas of a person’s life. Nobody has aggregated apps inthis way for GNH data, which is the goal of the H(app)athon Committee/Experiment.
  13. Trend Number Three:The Internet of Things (IOT)
  14. The Internet of Things, loosely defined, is anetworked community of objects outfitted withsensors that can collect and transmit data.We’re coming to a time when your fridge can‘talk’ to smart-shelves at your local grocerystore, or your local mailbox can communicatedirectly with the post office.Companies like Cisco, HP, and IBM are investingbillions of dollars into the IOT industry to betterdetermine how objects interact with people inregards to behavior and preference.When combining QS (self focused) apps withIOT (object focused) data, there is a powerfulopportunity to aggregate insights about humanbehavior. How that data is viewed and used,however, has no existing standard.
  15. The Movement
  16. The H(app)athon CommitteeThe Committee is being finalized but currently features representatives from the WorldEconomic Forum, MIT, The Happiness Initiative, Ashoka Changemakers, Quantified Self (theorganization) frog design, and Salesforce.The Committee will determine parameters for the H(app)athon Experiment by December 2012.
  17. The H(app)athon Experiment.The parameters for the Experiment as created by the Committee will be announced innumerous online venues as well as the H(app)athon website ( will be recruited globally and asked to download apps to measure their well-beingto gather data that reflects Gross National Happiness. An open contest/call to create aH(app)athon app will also be announced, encouraging technology companies to offer mobilesolutions to collect data via an app they create.
  18. The H(app)athon Conference.Results of the H(app)athon Experiment along with top research in the science of happinesswill take place in the Spring of 2013 in NYC at The Paley Center. Experts from the QS, IOT,and GNH communities, along with app developers will gather to share how consumers andthe business community can benefit by incorporating metrics of well being into their lives andwork.Results from the conference will also be featured in the book H(app)y, to be released from PenguinPublishers in the Fall of 2013.
  19. SponsoringWe are currently seeking sponsors to fund coordination and implementation of theH(app)athon Experiment and Conference. Full details are TBD, but the CommitteeMembers, Speakers and Audience targeted for H(app)athon include:• Corporate/business leaders, largely marketing-focused• Emerging technology business/thought leaders• Social Media technology business/thought leaders• Quantified Self business/thought leaders• Human Resources business/thought leaders• CSR/Sustainability business/thought leaders Speaking (Full list TBD) Interested in speaking at the Conference? See contact information on the following page. • Tim Leberecht, CMO of Frog Design • Thanassis Rikakis, Carnegie Mellon University • William Hoffman, World Economic Forum
  20. More 597-3323@johnchavens