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H(app)y the book Description


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This is a description of the book I'm writing for Tarcher Penguin to come out in early 2014.

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H(app)y the book Description

  1. 1. H(app)y - Claiming Your Value in a Connected World (Coming from Tarcher/Penguin Publishers in early 2014)IntroductionYou may not realize it, but your Klout score, or lack thereof, is affecting how youre perceived by theworld. Your digital influence has become a calling card that allows others to decide if theyd like tohire, date, or even know you all at the click of a button. And via emerging technologies poised tobecome standard on smartphones and the world around us, it wont make a difference if you arent anavid user of social media channels. People will quantify, rate, and judge you virtually before theyeven say hello.In H(app)y, John C. Havens (contributing writer for Mashable and author of the popular, TacticalTransparency, a book published in 2008 predicting the rise of and need for strategic openness inSocial Media and business) explores the future of online influence and its effects on culture,business, and technology. Based on his Mashable article, The Value of a Happiness Economy, hepredicts how the rise of virtual identity will become of massive importance when the general publicrealizes how closely their money,prestige, and relationships are tied to the digital and sociallandscape.From John:My hypothesis is that (at least in the US) we have become so consumed with our digital lives that wedont understand the following: How our "Filter Bubbles" (as Eli Parser calls the narrower viewpoints we begin to have when algorithms guide our choices) are beginning to govern our choices more then ever before. That the explosion of inexpensive hardware and sensors means the data produced about a person has grown exponentially in the past two years alone. We need a new, ethically based view on the context for when to allow our data to be used and by whom. The focus on consuming above all else has led us to a critical point in history, not just regarding the environment, but for the sustainability of our well-being: people need to see themselves in a broader, more holistic way than simply their fiscal worth.This is why I feel Happiness Indicators, like Bhutans Gross National Happiness, or the great workbeing done in the UK (Happy Planet Index, etc) provide a solution to a lot of the issues I describedabove and heres how: The Quantified Self movement provides hardware and a mindset to help people "take back their time" to analyze areas of their lives the can optimize to improve health and relationships. 1
  2. 2. QS apps and tech surrounding the Internet of Things can also reveal information about a person never available before. People can now see, from the objective eye of data (when they allow it to only be used in this context) how they are spending their time, and how they can shift their actions for greater optimization and happiness. All these tools can be used to measure meaning as well as mood. GPS and biometric data combined with government data can provide a holistic view of well-being for individuals as well as groups of citizens as analyzed by Happiness.Im a contributing writer for, so my expertise lies in technology and I see how occludeddata collection practices combined with an over emphasis on online influence versus action is leadingthe world in a scary direction. But by pointing to Happiness Indicators versus a wealth focused GDPand teaching people they are worth more than money, I think (and my hope is) we can shift how wesee value in a connected world.***********JCH BIOJohn C. Havens is Founder of the H(app)athon Project, a contributing writer for Mashable, andauthor of, H(app)y – Claiming Your Value in a Connected World. (Tarcher/Penguin, 2014).The H(app)athon Project (, is a twelve-month initiative comprised of awareness-building events, surveys and hackathons with the goal of “Crowdsourcing a Vision for the HappinessEconomy." Guided by a Committee of thirty experts from organizations including the United Nations,World Economic Forum,, Microsoft, and MIT, the Project wants to “hack happiness”by shifting how the world primarily looks at value or wealth via the lens of the Gross Domestic Product(GDP). By utilizing emerging technology and the growing body of happiness indicators around theworld, the Project seeks to empower individuals, businesses, and governmental organizations toimagine, define and build a more holistic view of well-being that’s not based just on money.Havens was EVP of Social Media at Porter Novelli, and has advised clients on social/emerging medialike Gillette, Merck, HP, Monster, and P&G. He is a former professional actor and current bluesmusician.For more information: The H(app)athon Project, John on Linked In, John on Twitter,John’sSpeaking Website. 2