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Action for Happiness: our highlights of 2011

22 Dec 2011 | Action for Happiness

Wow, what a year 2011 has been. So many happy memories!

This is just the beginning of the journey towards a happier society - and we still need huge changes right across our society - but there has been a lot of encouraging progress during the year. Here are some of the highlights...

January: we ran a fantastic 5-day Happiness Challenge series with BBC Breakfast and also had a great reaction to our Sunday Sermon at the School of Life.


February: we finalised and started sharing our new Ten Keys to Happier Living framework and developed a series of posters to accompany each of the keys.

Great Dream 200 Giving 200 Resilience 200 Emotion 200

March: we completed development of our new website www.actionforhappiness.org (and our Director Mark's third child - Harry - was born too!).

Website 1 Website 2

April: our official launch of Action for Happiness with a very memorable Launch Event and huge media coverage (which led our website to temporarily crash from high volumes!).

Launch BBC News

May: reached our first major milestone of 10,000 members, saw local groups starting to spring up around the country and took our call for action out to various festivals.

Guerilla Hay Talk

June: lots of our members took part in A Good Week, doing good things for others around them at home, at work and in their local communities.

Good Week Hastings

July: good progress politically, with a new UN resolution calling for greater focus on happiness and the UK government laying out plans to use wellbeing data to inform policy making.

UN Assembly Cameron

August: great response to our proposals for a new Happiness in Schools initiative; we also gave the happiness & wellbeing perspective on the riots which rocked the UK.

School Riots

September: 450 people turned out for our inaugural evening seminar with the wonderful Matthieu Ricard; we also hit a big social media milestone with 10,000 followers on Facebook.

Matthieu Ricard Facebook Zoomed

October: we screened the wonderful film 'Happy' and our members started arranging local screenings; our co-founder Richard Layard became chair of the new WEF council on wellbeing.

Happy Wef Updated

November: held a Happiness at Work event to launch Henry Stewart's great new book and encouraged more members and organisations to join our Happier Workplaces initiative.

Henry Happy Team

December: the EU president wrote to all world leaders calling for happiness to be a priority in 2012 and giving his support to Action for Happiness; we also screened the film I AM.

Herman Book I Am

Our year in numbers

  • 20 million people estimated to have heard or read about our movement (in the UK alone)
  • 350,000 unique visitors to our website
  • 21,000 social media followers
  • 18,500 members signed up to the cause
  • 7,000 people we've spoken with at events
  • 1,600 people attended events we put on
  • 120 countries represented by our members


Huge thanks to everyone who has joined and supported Action for Happiness this year and especially to all our volunteers, interns and advisors for their amazing enthusiasm, hard work and generosity! Without you none of this would have been possible.


Action for Happiness


  • Train your mind to see the good in everything https://t.co/HUg9UzDC6K

    today 10:53am

  • We can decide to respond kindly, rather than antagonistically, to one another. We can choose to value people rather… https://t.co/5FI1C3TDiG

    today 1:35am

  • @JoMarchant: I'll be speaking at on Feb 8: Conway Hall, 7pm, do come! https://t.co/d1j7klGebb

    today 1:34am

  • @NetwrkWellbeing: Happier self, happier world: Register for our free #webinar on 30th Jan exploring topics of self #compassion, #mindful…

    today 9:46am

  • January Happiness - Day 23: Take a small step towards an important goal https://t.co/wH7ULLd7BJ https://t.co/OuyWjJsoQD

    today 9:46am

  • @betterussell: Focusing on what is good about ppl you know, strangers you encounter & the world in general will help in every way: this…

    today 9:25am

  • Have courage and be kind https://t.co/ea6mKHdMoG

    yesterday 8:38am

  • @un_gusanito: #MondayMotivation https://t.co/5qhHqcaPbj

    yesterday 5:10am

  • Kindness is the simplest and greatest gift we can give. It costs nothing but can have a powerful social impact https://t.co/ZBJnduxvoN

    yesterday 4:33am

  • Kindness is the simplest and greatest gift we can give. It costs nothing but can have a powerful social impact https://t.co/TXziM5PXnS

    yesterday 4:32am

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