What makes a happy community?
On April 21, 2015, the Museum of Vancouver (MOV) hosted a CIFAR Change Makers Symposium on ideas around happier communities. Some eminent speakers enlightened the crowd about social policy perspectives on happiness and MOV shared its space for some joyous networking and charming sneak peeks of the new exhibit, The Happy Show. Here are some of the delightful highlights of the event:
Meik Wiking, CEO from the Happiness Research Institute, Denmark, shared how having a space to “make” in the community is vital to happiness. Whether it be building in a community garden, visiting a community centre or fostering a neighbourhood celebration day, Meik reminded us being public and purposeful is an inordinate source of happiness.
Grant Schellenberg from Statistics Canada brought along data on life satisfaction across Canadian Communities that had participants ruminate on what might negatively affect a citizen’s happiness. The data provided some key indicators of “happiness at risk” – stress, lack of control, lack of purpose and social isolation. So, can joy even be accessible on a daily basis? Grant showed us that, yes, happiness is accessible daily! Because as a community we are happier and “to make” is good for you!
Senior CIFAR Fellow and UBC Professor, John Helliwell, led Change Makers in a round of “if you’re happy and you KNOW it,” to remind us of important routes to happiness: 1) Put your hands together and ACT, 2) be happy, and 3) know it. John shared the true secret to happiness: Take collaboration + generosity + trust and citizens can feel a strong sense of a happy life.
As VMF moves forth into our 5th year of Vancouver Mini Maker Faire on June 6-7, 2015, we do so with happiness of the FAIRE in mind. We thank the amazing individuals who exhibit, perform, speak at and produce the two-day extravaganza for being exemplar community happiness makers. We think everyone is entitled to this sort of event experience!
We, at the Vancouver Maker Foundation. would like to thank our great friend, the Museum of Vancouver, for inviting us to join the Change Makers Symposium. As a network supporting artists, hackers, innovators and educators, busily working away, we feel we are on track for making Vancouver happier! What a great dialogue the Museum of Vancouver offers groups and individual around Vancouver. We appreciate it.
All photos by Theresa Liao. Blog post by Maryann Kempthorne and Theresa Liao.