THURSDAY: 11:00 - 12:30

Living Happiness - WORKSHOPS

A Course in Happiness: Planting Seeds for the Next GenerationKim Nolan


This workshop is user-friendly and provides the opportunity to have fun while learning accessible techniques that address theory and implementation of happiness – perhaps as an antidote to the inevitable stress of our fast-paced lives. The teaching style is based on presentation, group discussion, experiential learning, and reflective writing. This workshop is relevant whether designing your own course or wanting to know more about the contents that would comprise a course on happiness. Upon completion of this workshop, you will have learned: the concept of happiness from the model of positive psychology, research findings and measurable outcomes of happiness to our physical body and our emotional well-being, the relevance of happiness to an individual as well as a society, the history of Gross National Happiness, personal reflective practices related to happiness, the possibility of incorporating service learning and connecting student with the larger community through volunteerism.

Cultivating Your Creative Flow: Where Creativity and Happiness ConvergeMarianne Mullen


Can you remember a time when you were completely lost in an activity, focused and fully present, and later wondered where all the time went? This type of experience is what Hungarian psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi calls “flow.” Growing research indicates that a “flow state” is essential to creativity and is highly correlated with increased happiness and personal fulfillment.In this interactive program, discover how you can cultivate your creative flow. Explore your personal relationship with creativity and discover tools and strategies that will support increased flow and being creatively energized. Even if you don’t paint, sing, dance, sculpt, draw, or design...come prepared to actively engage in the creative process and learn how you can merge creativity and happiness. Get creative and get happy. That's a win-win! 

Gross Personal HappinessMary Judd


Are YOU in shape to build a happier world?  Building a movement toward greater happiness and wellbeing takes happy people. It takes inspired, well-informed, and motivated people. It takes people with heart, resilience, and stamina. In this 90-minute workshop, we will strengthen these critical “job skills” by:· defining what it means to be “happy”; using research-based and custom-made applications to mine for own signature strengths; learning ways to engage and apply our strengths more frequently in our personal and work lives; and learning ways to recognize strengths in others and collaborate more effectively; celebrating our efforts.


Presenter, Mary Judd, has worked extensively in the field of Positive Psychology, and signature strengths in particular. Research shows that when we recognize and deliberately use our signature strengths such as creativity, leadership, humility, courage, appreciation of beauty, prudence, etc. in our lives we experience greater well-being, life satisfaction and sense of purpose. In other words, we discover and replenish the fuel we need to work and inspire others toward positive change. The workshop includes: optional pre-workshop strengths survey (online); brief multi-media presentation; personal reflection, goal setting and action steps; group discussion / Q & A.


NOTE: It is highly recommended that participants take the signature strengths survey found and write down or print out the results to use during the workshop. Please email any questions to

Happiness and Spiritual Practice - Rev. Ken Kitatani, Dr. Ed Bastian, Dr. Kurt Johnson, Rev. Mac Legerton, Rabbi Larry Troster,Swami Shraddhananda


The GNH paradigm proposes 4 fundamental tenets: a global ethical consciousness, new economics, environmental sustainability, and social justice. This global ethical consciousness needs to be inclusive, something that all humankind can resonate with regardless of their religious or secular background. Cultivating ethical consciousness can be achieved through concrete practices such as positive psychology, mindfulness based practices and various spiritual practices, to name a few. Interspirituality presents a spiritual but not religious view, with the understanding that all religious and spiritual traditions come from the same source.


This workshop will bring together spiritual leaders from across the nation to present the “Interspiritual Circle: Best Practices that Cultivate Happiness and Well-Being”. Participants will get a preview of the 2 day weekend workshop that features eight spiritual traditions and practices that cultivate happiness and well-being. This will be followed by a Q and A and dialogue with the spiritual leaders.  Click here to learn more about the two-day workshop.

Happy on Purpose: The Art & The ScienceLeslie Villelli


We know the benefits. We are committed. Now HOW do we do it? How do we be the beacon? How do we deliberately set the vibrational tone? Interactive, fun, mind blowing and transformative, we will leave this workshop with an entirely new and powerful opening TO INTEGRATE dozens of simple, practical tools to cause and sustain happiness daily. In addition, we will realize our ability to inspire others to do the same; forming a network of habitually happy humans!


Happiness is not an emotion. It is not a smiley face nor is it positive thinking. Happiness is a state of being, a context, in which all events, emotions, people, and possibilities are welcomed. It is a deep sense of wellbeing, full of energy and action. Happiness, like walking, is a skill, a habit, and a natural expression of who we are. Innate. And because it’s natural to us, because we are built to thrive, it’s soooooo much easier to create and expand our happiness skills than we may have believed. Adopting the habit of being Happy On Purpose, again like walking, takes some art, some science, and some practice. Voila! It becomes integral, irreversible and irrevocable.


Gain insights into the practice, the science, and the art of happiness and learn about making it real in the world!

Mindfulness at Work-A Personal, Social and Business Perspective - Dianna Dunbar


This dynamic workshop will demonstrate how mindfulness can create meaningful change in our work and home lives, as well it will experientially demonstrate how to present a compelling case for bringing mindfulness into the workplace. We will discuss specific work place stress reduction applications relevant to both employees and employers, including the utilization of practical tools. We will also show how the unique qualities of mindfulness stress reduction combined with cognitive behavioral techniques and positive psychology can produce measurable results that are distinct from traditional stress management programs. The workshop is from the perspective of 20 years of clinical and organizational practice of mindfulness based stress reduction, cognitive behavioral therapy and positive psychology supplemented by insights gained from research application in these work environments. While enjoying an experientially fun and engaging animated experience, both quantitative and qualitative evidence of the benefits will be offered. The specific results of utilizing these methods at work will be discussed in terms of improved quality of life for employees and cost effectiveness to employers as well as transformational change in moment- to -moment awareness at home and in the community! 

The Spiritual Art of Happiness: Cultivating Compassion - Rev. M'ellen Kennedy


The world's religions teach us that it is indeed possible to live a life anchored in abiding joy, that this is not just a theory, but our birthright as humans. There is much wisdom and practical guidance in the world's religions in how to actually do this. One of the keys to learning to live a life of deep happiness is cultivating compassion. In this interactive workshop we'll explore lessons and practices from the world's religions on bringing this into actuality in our own lives. We'll engage in practices including mantra, meditation, prayer and laughter. We'll explore common stumbling blocks and also sources of encouragement and inspiration as we move into out authentic happy selves. We'll close the workshop with a "taking it home" reflection.

The How and Why of Laughter YogaRobin Cornell


“I have not seen anyone ‘dying of laughter’, but I know millions who are dying because they are not laughing.” Dr. Madan Kataria, founder & creator of Laughter Yoga. What if laughter IS the best medicine? Opening ourselves to an attitude of childlike play, we will engage in gentle, aerobic laughter exercises combined with yogic breathing exercises to initiate powerful, positive changes in our body, mind and emotions. Laughter Yoga is proven & specifically designed to: Boost your immune system Increase cardio circulation & oxygen intake Improve social connections; Decrease the negative effects of stress; Release emotional and energy blocks. How does it get any better or more FUN that this? No Yoga Experience or sense of humor required.

The Re-enchantment of Nature - Kathy Kinter


Through individual and interactive group activities we will explore how to re-inhabit the world from a place of wonder. How can one broaden and deepen a sense of self in relation to the natural world? How can we as humans reclaim the everyday sacred and the awe it inspires? How do we support ourselves and one another, especially our kids, on this journey that enhances our sense of belonging and fulfillment?The answers to these questions have the power to inform our daily choices and therefore determine the outcome of our lives and the lives of those with whom we share this planet home. Our 90 mins. together will serve as an invitation to begin to live into these questions while providing fun and inspiring ways to engage with the natural world and one another.

THURSDAY: 3:00 - 4:30

Measuring Happiness & the Power of Data - WORKSHOPS

Collecting and Managing Data for Small Organizations - Michael Moser


This workshop will discuss options for accessing, selecting, managing and reporting relevant population and program level data to track progress and communicate outcomes. Emphasis will be placed on internal data collection and utilization strategies including: identifying relevant data points; ensuring consistent collection; safeguards; analysis basics; and reporting strategies.

Gross National Happiness Index: Measuring Subjective Happiness and Wellbeing in Communities - Laura Musikanski, Tom Barefoot and Mika Kim


Learn how the GNH Index is being used in cities, states and communities across the US. We start with a short overview of happiness indicators being used around the world and focus in on The Happiness Initiatives Gross National Happiness Index, delving into how it is being used by communities and to measure impacts of projects. We will focus on two areas: Vermont and Los Angeles and explain the process, outcome and status of measuring and using happiness data in these two areas. Participants will gain a hands-on understanding of how to use the GNH Index and data. This session is for those interested in using the GNH Index and furthering the use of happiness data by government and communities

H(app)athon: How to Leverage Information as a Path to Happiness - John C. Havens


Attendees at this interactive workshop, after learning the basic status of Eudaimonia, will split into groups of 6-8 people to brainstorm a campaign or app (a mobile phone or other technological tool to be made available to all citizens) that will leverage a metric with a higher number to provide assistance to an area that needs optimization. Groups then present their 2-3 minute ideas on how to help the Eudaimonians achieve a state of flourishing without the need for money to the entire group as a way to demonstrate how our existing resources can increase wellbeing while supporting others in our community, city, and world.  A high-energy, interactive and engaging workshop focused on imagining how our futures could look in a positive yet realistic world, this workshop will provide multiple visions we'll record via video from attendees to share with the world. By creating pragmatic, implementable ideas focused on the "Happiness Economy," others can witness how our world could evolve if focused on worth versus wealth to move Beyond GDP and bring flourishing to all.

The Genuine Progress Indicator: Coming of Age as a Policy Tool - Eric Zencey and Marta Ceroni


What is GPI, what are the GPI Indicators and what use does the State of Vermont want to make of GPI? What tweaks to GPI are now under consideration by the National GPI advisory group to make it a better policy tool? We will have an interactive exercise that puts data into the hands of participants and lets them work their way through a problem. 

The Joy of Elders: What the GNH Index Says and How to Apply It - Nick Jackson


While the fields of successful aging and positive psychology have focused on a combination of personal and environmental factors that support well-being in older adulthood, the Happiness Initiative focuses on the environmental conditions that are most compatible with happiness throughout adulthood, such as personal relationships, meaning in one’s work, leisure and recreation, a crime free community, and access to arts and culture in one’s community. The data from the Happiness Initiative Survey suggest that older adults are generally a happier group of people in comparison to the entire sample of adults who have responded to the survey. This workshop will compare the responses of older adults to the responses of younger adults on the survey and will also explore the personal characteristics of older adults that make them more likely to be happy regardless of environmental circumstances or ability level. Participants in the workshop will identify their own environmental conditions and personal characteristics that support feelings of joy and contentment. Adults of all ages are encouraged to participate.

The Skewed Language of Economics is Greek to Me - Rickey Gard Diamond


Using images, male-dominated economic thinking and blind spots will be address, especially one big omission—biology—ours and the earth’s. Rickey does this with humor and without a whiff of “expertise,” except in the realm of language and its uses for obfuscation. She loves to deconstruct economics, and have fun unlocking the subject with unexpected keys. The statistics of Gross National Product (GNP), developed by Keynesian economists in the 1940s, left invisible the work of nature and human reproduction and care. While the Gaia theory is now recognized and we have “green economists,” Rickey (along with Waring and Rollo May and Audre Lourde) argue that Eros must not be forgotten as Gaia’s counterpart. Eros is defined in the dictionary as sexual and creative drive, but also as “the sum of all instincts for self-preservation.” What might Eros mean to Gaia and our monetary economy? How might we reshape conversations about this economic realm? Is the economy really a war, or more a self-regulating organism engaged in many sexy exchanges—our actual lives the real bottom line? 

Using Data to Inform Policy for the Wellbeing of Our Children - Kathleen Paterson, Dave Lapointe, Kelly Myles, and Sarah Teel


This session is for data enthusiasts from all backgrounds and levels to explore and learn data literacy skills using Building Bright Futures's (BBF) Early Childhood Data Reporting System. Together we will: dig into a variety of data sources; examine everyday statistics (including confidence intervals); explore data visualizations for accuracy and data summaries for plain language; review how you can use data to help tell your story, and consider responsible practices of using data. The data literacy framework includes capacity-building for both producers, intermediaries and consumers of data so that end-users (policymakers to practitioners to public) can access, interpret, act on, and communicate multiple types of data to promote happiness and well-being.

Visualize It! - Lauren-Glenn Davitian


As we become more interested making data informed decisions, we'll want to present our findings in easy to comprehend visuals. Using examples from some of the field’s leading lights and boiling down the basics of effective data visualization we learn how to communicate complex information with simple, effective charts, graphs and infographics. Lauren-Glenn Davitian, Executive Director of CCTV Center for Media & Democracy has been telling stories with images since 1984. Like many nonprofit leaders, data visualization is the newest tool in her toolbox.

FRIDAY: 10:30 - 12:00

Application: Policy & Community Development - WORKSHOPS

Applying GNH Policy Tools -  John de Graaf


Learn how the Government of Bhutan uses its GNH Policy screening tool to analyzelegislative proposals for happiness impact. This workshop is a hands-on exercise in applying a GNH Policy tool to a particular policy idea. After a short introduction to the concept, participants will use an abbreviated policy tool, with ten categories instead of the 23 used in Bhutan (due to limited time), and work in small groups to score a policy idea for improving time balance, the lowest score for Americans in the Happiness Initiative survey. You will see how tools like this deepen and broaden the conversation around policy ideas and allow policy makers to see where both substantive and subtle differences occur, allowing for improvements in various aspects of policy ideas to ensure that they will improve the overall wellbeing and happiness impact of the policies. They will also discuss ways to apply similar tools in business, academic and non-profit decision making and in journalism and public conversations. Come expecting to express your ideas and be engaged in dialogue. This is not a lecture. Participants will leave with experience using GNH policy tools and an understanding of how they can be used for communication and policy purposes.

Environment and Wellbeing: The Sustainability Link - Beth Allgood and Tony Cortese


Humanity is at crossroads without historical precedent. Because of the extraordinary and exponential growth of population and the expansive dynamic of industrial capitalism, humans have become pervasive and dominant forces in the health and well being of the earth and its inhabitants. We constitute a planetary force comparable in disruptive power to the Ice Ages and the asteroid collisions that have previously redirected Earth’s history. How has this happened? In western society we have deep beliefs that humans are separate from and destined to dominate nature, that economic growth can continue ad infinitum on a planet whose ability to provide resources and assimilate waste is finite and precarious and that technology will allows us to ignore these limits. And we we view increasing material consumption as the principal measure of individual and group success, despite increasing negative health, social and environmental effects. We need a cultural transformation in order to ensure that all current and future humans will be healthy, live in strong, secure, thriving communities and have economic opportunity in a world that will have 9 Billion people and that plans to increase economic output 4-5 times by 2050. We will explore ways we can all contribute to this change in mindset through educational and policy initiatives.

Happiness in Business and the Workplace - Gerald Wagner

Business as a Movement, How We Practice What Matters at Eileen Fisher, Inc. - Yvette Jarreau, Amy Hall, Leslie Ritter, &

Patty Heilman 


Business data has existed for 25 years showing the value of strategic attention to culture. But, not much changed, until recently. Now, a new culture movement is underway in corporations. This presentation will give examples of how several companies have created humanistic cultures. These companies have emotional connection with all of their stakeholders – customers, employees, suppliers, business partners, society, and investors. When they describe their culture they use words like affection, love, joy, authenticity, empathy, compassion, and soulfulness. Surely such words are still absent in most companies but that is changing. The leaders at Eileen Fisher Inc., will “share stories of our history and the evolution of our values as we continue to move toward joyfulness, well-being, and wholeness for individuals, groups, communities, and the planet.

HIPinthe253 (The Happiness Initiative Project in area code 253) Meets the GNH to Redefine What Matters - Chiara Wood and Kate Stirling


How do we rally our local communities around this global movement to create an economy grounded in measuring what really matters? Our workshop offers three vignettes to engage us in role-playing different presentations we can then modify for use in our own communities. These vignettes are designed to enlighten, educate, entertain and enlist local support for our various projects. The vignettes are built around these key ideas and research findings: 1) What contributes to our happiness and well-being?, 2) How does GDP deviate from measuring happiness and well-being?, 3) How does the US happiness and well-being rank against other countries? We offer strategies geared to different audiences (from youth to the local Chamber of Commerce) and a variety of methods (from data to movie clips). If you are already familiar with this material, our workshop will help you refresh and encapsulate it to work with your community. If this is new material, we trust you’ll come away inspired by what it offers. We will also include a segment on the challenges of building a local coalition, so thatworkshop participants can share their own experiences and concerns. 

Measuring What Matters: Vermont's Progress with a Culture of Accountability - Moderator: Lauren Glenn Davitian, Common Good Vermont


As a small state, Vermont is able to make progress on major initiatives that can impact the well-being ofits people. To this end, an ad hoc coalition of nonprofits, educators/ researchers, state government and Legislative leaders are laying the groundwork for a revolution in how Vermont measures what matters and improves its outcomes on meaningful measures of wellbeing. Two important efforts are underway: Results-Based Accountability and the Genuine Progress Indicator. Both have broad support within the social sector and have gained support from Vermont’s Legislature and Administration. How is this movement sweeping the state to the upper reaches of decision making? How can other communities learn from Vermont’s example?


Guests: Anne Lezak, Director, Benchmarks for a Better Vermont; Senator Diane Snelling, Vermont Legislature; Senator Anthony Pollina; Susan Zeller, Chief Performance Officer, Vermont Agency of Administration; Susan Bartlett, Special Projects, Agency of Human Services

New Economics and Wellbeing - Mark Anielski and Merle Lefkoff


New Economy has appeared in the last few years offering many different approaches or leverage points to change how our economic systems function and what they provide to people and the planet. Could our banks, credit unions and investment choices be oriented towards well-being instead of only financial profitability? Could we actually build communities with well-being 'in mind and by design?' How can we expect the business community, elected officials and citizens to take the 'science of well-being and happiness' seriously as a legitimate basis for decision making and governance? Do we need a complete reboot of the economy as Bretton Woods 3.0 advocate Merle Lefkoff recommends? What might that look like? Happiness is an emergent property of systems and new metrics or new systems like public banking may create feedback loops that could enhance wellbeing. Could Well-Being become a new 'bottom line' supplementing financial profitability for business and GDP for municipal and state economies?

Results-Based Accountability: Turning the Curve on GNH Indicators - Hillary Boone


How happy are we, and can we get happier? Measurement practices don’t just track data; done well, metrics can be a powerful tool to catalyze and guide the collective action we need to create positive change. In this dynamic out-of-your-chair workshop, we will begin with an introduction to Results Based Accountability (RBA) as a powerful, user-friendly tool for both measuring and building the well- being of communities. In this interactive workshop, the group will learn how to translate the nine domains of wellbeing into RBA “results,” and how to use a simple RBA framework to “turn the curve” in each domain. Participants will then be broken into small groups and guided through a “turn the curve” exercise focusing on indicators measuring progress in one domain. Each group will have the opportunity to report their thoughts and experiences and receive feedback on their work. We will conclude by providing additional RBA resources and considering the potential to use RBA in the Gross National Happiness movement.

Youth Leaders for Community Wellbeing - Gwen Colman and Young Friends from GPI Atlantic


Drawing from our work with youth over the last nine years in Bhutan and Canada bringing GNH vision to fruition with youth-adult partnerships in communities, we will have a lively and interactive workshop. We will look at the power of research, the power of youth, and the power of community to create sustainable youth volunteer projectsthat make a lasting change and influence public policy.The Gakidh (Happiness) Village Project in Bhutan.


Young people in Canada and Bhutan were trained and supported in conducting multi-method participatory-action research within their communities. Youth assessed community assets and needs, collaboratively devised strategies to contribute to community wellbeing, and then put their ideas to action. Gwen has worked in Bhutan for the last 8 years creating GNH Youth camps, training programs, and the Gakidh Village project, and has also done mirror work in Canada. She will bring two youth who have been working with GPI Youth for several years and can talk directly about their experiences with the approach of youth-community partnership. We will also lead the workshop participants in mind-shifting experiences of opening to youth perspectives.

See TRAININGS for more opportunities

on Saturday and Sunday to learn, connect and act.