12 Apr 2011

The Children's Society is supporting the launch of Action for Happiness, a new mass movement to create a happier society. It aims to create 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 it 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 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 (Tuesday 12 April 2011).

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 United States are no happier than they were 50 years ago.

Lord Richard Layard, co-founder of Action for Happiness and co-author of The Children's Society-commissioned A Good Childhood, 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."

Bob Reitemeier, Chief Executive of The Children's Society, said: "Children's happiness with their lives is central to their well-being, which is pivotal to our work.  We are delighted to support Action for Happiness in highlighting the importance of happiness and well-being, and in generating greater public understanding of this vital issue."