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New mass movement for a happier society launches with rallying call to action

12 Apr 2011 | Action for Happiness

* Change-makers pledge to create more happiness through daily actions

* Potential to lift millions out of misery

A new mass movement to create a happier society launches today (Tuesday 12 April 2011). Action for Happiness aims at a fundamentally different culture, where people care more for the happiness of others. The initiative is calling for people to pledge to create more happiness in the world and take positive action to promote happiness in whatever way they can - at home, at work or in the community. Groups will be formed throughout the country, and later worldwide.

Action for Happiness was founded by three of the most influential thinkers in the worlds of economics, education, politics and social innovation - Lord Layard, Geoff Mulgan and Anthony Seldon. It has already gathered more than 4,500 individual members from 68 countries and a network of supporting partner organisations ahead of its launch today.

The movement is based on the new science of happiness and the evidence that we can affect our happiness. Despite massive material progress, people in Britain and the U.S. are no happier than they were fifty years ago.

There are many societies in which people are much happier than in Britain.  For example, if we could increase our levels of happiness to those in Denmark, Britain would have 2.5 million fewer people suffering from unhappiness and 5 million more people who are very happy.

Lord Richard Layard, co-founder of Action for Happiness, said: "Our movement is based on a simple idea - if we want a happier society, individuals have got to create more happiness in the world around them. We want millions of people around the world to form Action for Happiness groups to do just that - using the tools which we are able to provide. This is a movement for radical cultural change which can provide the basis for a better culture in the 21st century."

Mark Williamson, Director of Action for Happiness, said: "With families and communities across the UK facing uncertain economic times, and big global challenges to tackle as a society, it may seem counterintuitive to talk about happiness.  But on the contrary, now more than ever we need to help people build their personal resilience and create a culture where we are less preoccupied with material wealth and more focused on each other's happiness and well-being."

Individual happiness can change a lot between different periods in a person's life. The main external factor affecting a person's happiness is the quality of their relationships, at home, at work and in the community. And the main internal factor is their underlying mental health.

There is a wide range of proven actions people can take to boost happiness, both for themselves and others. Although partly determined by factors outside our control - such as our genes and circumstances - our happiness is significantly affected by the conscious choices we make and the way we choose to react to what happens to us. Happiness is also contagious, so when we feel good we help make others around us happier too.

To help people take positive action, the movement's new, interactive website, www.actionforhappiness.org, gives people access to the best tools, ancient and modern, for creating more happiness for themselves and for others. It includes 10 keys to happier living and 50 practical actions to take.

For more information see

To join the movement and pledge your support, visit: www.actionforhappiness.org

[ENDS]

 

For media enquiries, please contact:

Amy MacLaren or Nazneen Nawaz at Colman Getty

T: 020 7631 2666 │M: 07980 843 088 │ E: amy@colmangetty.co.uk

 

NOTES TO EDITORS:

  • Lord Layard, Geoff Mulgan, Anthony Seldon and Mark Williamson may be available for interviews.  Please contact Colman Getty.
  • Action for Happiness will be launched at Jerwood Hall, 161 Old St, City of London EC1V 9NG on 12 April at 12.30.  For a press pass, please contact Colman Getty.

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