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The H(app)athon Project - Giving Big Data A Direction

Well-Being + Emerging Technology "Hack Happiness" to evolve the GDP

Submitted by: Happathon

Categories: Business Ethics, Health & Wellness

Posted: Dec 28, 2012 – 09:00 AM EST


NEW YORK, Dec. 28 /CSRwire/ - The H(app)athon Project™, an initiative dedicated to harnessing the power of emerging technologies to help the world measure happiness in an effort to create a more complete picture of holistic well-being, is announcing the launch of their overall work today along with two events in New York and London on March 20, 2013 to correspond with the United Nations International Day of Happiness.

“It’s time to hack happiness,” says John C. Havens, Founder of the Project and author of H(app)y – The Value of Well-Being in a Digital Economy (Tarcher/Penguin, 2014). “The science of well-being is flourishing and happiness can be quantified in ways never before imagined because of the rapid evolution of emerging technologies and the popularity of people measuring and optimizing their own life experiences. Likewise, the notion of value for countries is moving beyond focusing largely on wealth with the proliferation of global Happiness Indicators as inspired by Bhutan’s Gross National Happiness Index.  The mission of The H(app)athon Project is to identify common traits between existing Indicators by crowdsourcing a global view of happiness and creating a technology platform that will increase people’s well-being by helping them see how others are improving their lives so they can do the same.” 

While the events on March 20th (at AlleyNYC and The Hub) are focused on creating awareness, the Project will feature its first 48-hour hackathon the following weekend (March 23-24) at The Hub Culture London Pavilion at Hub Westminster.  The hackathon will be organized by Data Science London, the largest data science community in Europe.Currently, people are encouraged to sign up for the Project’s Newsletter and to take part in their Mobile Happiness Indicator Survey at happathon.com. The survey is being created on the ilumivu platform and will feature questions via smartphone and feature phone over the course of two weeks to get a sense of how people view their well-being in the digital age.  Results will be posted in a creative commons environment on the Project’s website and wiki and people's anonymized, opt-in data will be used as a basis for the first Hackathon in London and to better create a roadmap for the digital app/methodology the Project is building over the following year.

Jon Hall, of the United Nations Development Program and former manager of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s Global Progress on Measuring the Progress of Societies, notes that “Heads of state, Nobel laureates and leading business people are among those now seeking to promote a vision of national progress that is based on increased well-being, not just increased GDP.  This is a vision where economic activity is seen as a means to an end, not an end in itself. But to promote that vision, citizens and governments need to understand what well-being looks like, whether we are making progress towards it, and how we can change course if we are heading off track.  This requires new conversations, new measurements and new data.  The H(app)athon Project could make a major contribution to this vision.” 

The H(app)athon events on March 20th will feature H(app)athon Project Committee Members JP Rangaswami, Chief Scientist of Salesforce, Jon Hall of the United Nations Development Program, and Mary Czerwinski, Research Manager at Microsoft Research.  The inaugural H(app)athons will feature presentations by these members and other guests about the synergies between well-being, emerging technology, and Happiness Indicators followed by an interactive workshop where attendees will brainstorm ideas for apps or platforms that could improve well-being in a digital economy.

“The economic crisis has prompted us to rethink the definition of ‘value’, says Tim Leberecht, CMO of frog, the global innovation firm and member of The H(app)athon Project Committee.  “It’s time to measure what really matters and to incorporate happiness and well-being into the GDP and make it the responsibility of every enterprise. The rise of Big Data and social technology has given companies a unique opportunity to understand their employees and customers more holistically.  I am delighted that the H(app)athon Project will further raise awareness of this transformation and combine existing indices and models into a powerful global platform.”

“The reason I'm excited about The H(app)athon Project is that it's bringing together such an amazing group of people from all walks of life,” notes Mary Czerwinski of Microsoft.  “The Project will provide opportunities to create an open source view of applications and platforms that can be used to change the world, for good." 

‘H(app)athon Toolkits’ available at happathon.com, will allow anyone to host their own event and imagine a future where well-being reflective of people’s genuine happiness dictates a new vision of global value.  Multiple H(app)athons and hackathons will be hosted throughout 2013 culminating in a large-scale conference featuring results of the Project to be held in New York City on March 20, 2014. The Project is currently seeking sponsors for the overall Initiative and will also be featuring a Podcast, “Datapocalypse” to launch in early 2013.

The H(app)athon Project Committee:

John C. Havens. (Founder). Author, Speaker, Contributing writer for Mashable.

David Richeson. Chief Digital Officer, Kaplow Communications.

Joshua Middleman. Director of Partnerships, Ashoka Changemakers.

Laura Musikanski. Co-Founder, The Happiness Initiative.

Stewart Townsend. Founder, Big Data Week.

Kat Houghton. Co-founder & Research Director at ilumivu.

Ernesto Ramirez. Community Organizer, Quantified Self.

Amber Melhouse. Director, Business Development at Rakuten LinkShare Corporation.

Stan Stalnaker. Founding Director, Hub Culture LTD.

JP Rangaswami. Chief Scientist, Salesforce.

John Clippinger. Founder, ID3, MIT Media Lab Human Dynamics Group.

Tim Leberecht. CMO, frog.

Eiji Han Shimizu. Producer, The HAPPY movie.

Jon Hall. United Nations Development Program

Scott L. David. Exec Director, Law, Technology & Arts Group at the University of Washington.

William Hoffman. Director, World Economic Forum's Telecommunications Industry Group.

Thanassis Rikakis. Vice Provost, Design, Arts and Technology at Carnegie Mellon University.

Konstantin Augemberg. Founder, MeasuredMe Blog.

Mary Czerwinski. Microsoft Research Manager of the (VIBE) Research Group.

Neal Lathia. Research Associate, Computer Laboratory at University of Cambridge.

Kim Whittemore. Baby Quest Foundation, Institute for Sexual Medicine.

Joselyn DiPetta. Gender and Social Inclusion Specialist, axialent.

Susannah Fox. Associate Director, Digital Strategy. Pew Internet and American Life Project.

Evan Selinger. Writer, Associate Professor, Philosophy and Graduate Program, RIT.

Carlos Somohano. Founder, Data Science London.

Sean W. Bohan. Co-Founder, Decahedralist Consulting.

Alexis Adair. MS candidate, researching knowledge management and happiness at work.

JaNaé Duane. Author, Professor, Founder of the Revolution Institute

Kalev H. Leetaru. University of Illinois.


More information:

www.happathon.com or email john@happathon.com

Original Project Vision Presentation (Over 10,500 views on Slideshare)

The H(app)athon Project on Twitter - https://twitter.com/happathon. (#happathon)

Subscribe to the H(app)athon Project Newsletter  

For more information, please contact:

John Havens Founder
Phone: 917.597.3323
Twitter: @johnchavens

For more from this organization:



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