A Direction for Big Data
There’s a growing trend for countries to measure how they’re doing
using Happiness Indexes/Indicators, or metrics of well
reflect multiple aspects of citizen’s lives. These Indicators are an
evolution of GDP, which has been a common global metric to
measure a form of value for decades. But GDP isn’t a sufficient
measure to fully understand what comprises the value of a country in
the same way that knowing someone’s net worth won’t tell you if
It’s Time to Hack Happiness.
Our mobile phones and other sensors allow us to track our behavior,
health, location, and well
being in ways that didn’t exist even a year
ago. Our words, actions, and interactions are being quantified and
broadcast as a portrait of who we are as revealed in Data.
is being created in ways we don’t fully understand,
and this lack of ethical clarity calls for immediate attention.
It’s in this context we want to provide a Direction for Big Data.
feel the Measure of a human should come within the framework of
serving a greater purpose: understand your data, and use it for good.
Why not help people measure their actions while
improving their own lives, their social circles, and the world at large?
If Happiness Indicators are being used to analyze well
Geek it Up a notch and utilize the tools already tracking our behavior
(GPS, NFC, Sensors) to discover the positive patterns we can amplify
to bring positive change to the world.
Project Toolkit, v1
We Invite you to Join Us.
On March 20
, 2013 (“World Happiness Day” as created by the United Nations) we’ll
app)athons in London and New York City. We want to show people the
synergies we see between well
being, emerging media, and Happiness Indicators.
created this simple
so you can
run your own event to teach people
about these ideas. We’ll be collecting
and publishing them via our
site, a future conference, and a book to help prove how viewing Well
help us change the world.
The H(app)athon Event Format:
to register your event.
We’ll try to have a
Committee Member available as a resource for your event (virtually or live) and to
help you broadcast your answers as part of our overall Project). We’ll also send
you our official
Project web badge as a thank you for your
Identify Experts to talk about the following areas:
How people are tracking their behavior via mobile phones/sensors
How Big Data works and why it’s become so important
Being Means (Science of Happiness, Subjective Well
Why Happiness Indicators are Important (how to measure Data to affect
links to videos on these subjects HERE
Run the H(app)etizer Workshop
This is a gamified way to teach people about these concepts
We’ve created an imaginary country (Eudaimonia) and Indicators as a
backdrop/setting for the Workshop.
if you’re prefer using actual an actual Index for the exercise, you can
use this page on Wikipedia
and plug in your own statistics.
Teams at your event break into groups and envision Solutions for Happiness
that can measure and improve the citizens of Eudaimonia’s well
Teams present their ideas live at their event; vote on a winner!
Send any/all results to
to feature on our site
Tout your ideas (create short videos via
with the #happathon
Tweet with #happathon hashtag and share copiously.
you get the picture).
Check out Site.
We’ll post people’s responses on our blog
(available by end of January, 2013) to feature your winners, thoughts, and ideas.
Project Toolkit, v1
The country of Eudaimonia is in trouble. While household incomes are steady,
employment is dropping and housing costs are increasing. People generally are
unhappy at work, and not overly satisfied with their lives. However, their health is
higher than average, they have strong civic engagement, and have a good availability
of green space for citizens (being outdoors increases happiness).
Time for some H(app)etizers!
90 minutes to brainstorm short, sweet (but meaty) ideas on how
Eudaimonites can attain higher levels of well
being for their citizens. Here are
some tools/samples to get your ideas flowing:
(Surveys for subjective data, Sensors to measure heart
rate/health, RFID to measure machine
data, Smartphones to measure GPS, voice recognition, Accelerometer data, Blue
Tooth for NFC)
sensor clothing for employees to analyze when they’re happiest at
work (raised heart rate, increased positive tweets, voice recognition registers
positive via mobile phone mic). Have them finish out their days outdoors in skype
enabled treehouse pods.
Income: (Average Annual) $38,500 USD (equiv)
Employment Rate: 65% (
since previous year)
Housing: (35% of average income)
Work Satisfaction: (59% happy at work)
Health: (self reported) 80% satisfaction
Educational Attainment: (goals/level) 65%
Community: (social network penetration) 85%
Civic Engagement: (voting) 76%
Environment: (prox to green space) 65%
Life Satisfaction: 59%
Project Toolkit, v1
Once you’ve created your H(app)etizers, please do the following:
Sign up for our
and to take our
Mobile Happiness Indicator Survey
Email us your thoughts/ideas
Comment via a blog post on our site
(Full site live by end of
Tweet your idea (it may take a few) using #happathon
Use tout.com to record your ideas using #happathon
We’ll be featuring H(app)etizer ideas on our site in an ongoing effort to show the world
how articulated whimsy can provide inspiration to change how we view data/behavior.
Other steps on our end:
We’re planning a large
scale conference in NYC on 3/20/2014
We’ll show (with your permission) your ideas/H(app)etizers at the event
We’ll feature H(app)etizers in the book we’re writing for Tarcher/Penguin
We’ll list your H(app)etizers on the
Wiki we’ve created
you can visit now.
Where can I read more about how The H(app)
You can see our
slideshare presentation HERE
and read our Founder’s Mashable
The Value of a Happiness Economy
that inspired the idea.
What’s with Eudaimonia? Why not use a real country or Indicator?
Eudaimonia is a Greek word reflecting Aristotelian ethics (heady, we know) that
roughly translates to a concept of well being, flourishing and wisdom. We used it for a
fake country along with an Indicator so people wouldn’t get caught up in an existing
methodology as much as focus on how they can be used. But as mentioned above, if
you want to use an existing Indicator, great.
If I participate, how will you use my ideas?
We’ll share them as we’ve listed above (online/publicly). If you’re uncomfortable
sharing your ideas, we recommend you keep your event private.
Project Toolkit, v1