How the apps on your phone could measure worldwide happiness, quality of life, and community interconnectedness.
What is the everyday item that can help create a Gross National Happiness Measurement? The answer: the apps on your phone. We all know that there are apps for your smartphones that measure the number of steps you’ve taken in a day, nutritional intake, apps to take your places, to show you availability and prices of local establishments, etc.
What if we could take those measurements and put open them on a global scale? We could measure humanity in a way that the GDP has never allowed us to. The technology that we use every day on a wide scale could bring us all sorts of new data and insight from our world and help read the pulse of the planet. This is what the H(app)athon movement is about.
From the H(app)athon website:
The goal of our Project is to globally crowdsource the definition of well-being in the digital age and build a tool that reflects a more holistic portrait of value than the GDP. Join our Global Initiative and survey to help change the history of H(app)iness.
But don’t take my word for it. Take Robert F. Kennedy’s word for it! He said:
Too much and for too long, we seem to have surrendered personal excellence and community value in the mere accumulation of material things. Our Gross National Product, now, is over eight hundred billion dollars a year, but that GNP — if we judge the United States of America by that — that GNP counts air pollution and cigarette advertising and ambulances to clear our highways of carnage. It counts special locks for our doors and the jails for the people who break them. It counts the destruction of the redwoods and the loss of our natural wonder in chaotic sprawl. It counts napalm and it counts nuclear warheads, and armored cars for the police to fight riots in our cities. It counts Whitman’s rifle and Speck’s knife, and the television programs which glorify violence in order to sell toys to our children.
Yet the Gross National Product does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education, or the joy of their play. It does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages, the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of our public officials. It measures neither our wit nor our courage, neither our wisdom nor our learning, neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country; it measures everything, in short, except that which makes life worthwhile. And it can tell us everything about America except why we are proud that we are Americans.
Read more from the founder of H(app)athon: The Measure of a Man in the Digital Age