The first international day of Happiness and the importance of Wellbeing

Wednesday 20th March 2013 was a historic day for global wellbeing, because the United Nations declared it the first ever International Day of Happiness.

This signifies recognition of the relevance of happiness and wellbeing as universal goals in people's lives around the world, and acknowledgement of the importance of these goals in public policy objectives.

In April last year the UN held a High-level Meeting titled 'Happiness and Well-Being: Defining a New Economic Paradigm' at the initiative of Bhutan, which has prioritised national happiness over national income since the early 1970s and famously adopted the goal of Gross National Happiness over Gross National Product (GDP).

Gross Domestic Problem Book Launch

In early February NOW hosted a launch for an excellent new book entitled Gross Domestic Problem: The Politics Behind the World’s Most Powerful Number. The author of this book, Lorenzo Fioramonti, came to Totnes Book Shop to speak about the key themes of his book; namely the political background of Gross Domestic Product as a measurement of economic growth, the weaknesses of using GDP as a measure and the grassroots alternatives now beginning to take root.

Totnes does the Big Dig

The Big Dig was a national campaign to get people digging in community gardens across the UK 16 to 23 March. There were 6 locations participating in this celebration of gardening in/around Totnes during that week, as outlined below. The NOW team was involved in supporting with organising some of the gardens.