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Every year, International Happiness Day falls on the 20th of March, inviting the world to gather and celebrate things that evoke personal and collective happiness. This year, SDSN is inviting our Global Network of practitioners, experts, and sustainable development enthusiasts to take action throughout March.

Over the past several years, the World Happiness Report (WHR) has continually demonstrated just how linked happiness is to sustainable development. All six of the key indicators used to calculate the country ranking in the report can be directly linked to one of the 230 indicators in the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Thanks to reports such as the WHR, highlighting the often overlooked components of global prosperity, a shift in attitudes in underway. Today, the international community is more aware than ever of the importance and benefit of factoring in personal and communal well-being as part of international development and good governance. You can read more about the national policies that are currently being employed and developed to increase social well-being, alongside economic growth in the Global Happiness Council’s first Global Happiness Policy Report (2018).

We can all understand and prescribe to the desire for a happier and more cooperative world in which communities thrive in a sustainable way. One thing the report has shown is that people find happiness when they work together to achieve a common goal.  By inviting discussions about social well-being into the policy work around SDGs, we reconnect with the initial intention behind the Goals which is to cultivate inclusive and equitable societies, for all.

To build on this linkage and continue to spread awareness for and support of the SDGs, SDSN is inviting our networks and followers to highlight the importance of ‘Happiness Work’ in the pursuit of long-lasting sustainable development.

“Happiness is only real when shared!“

-Into the wild (film)

We hope that you will join us celebrating happiness this March by participating in any of the activities outlined below. Be sure to share your happy posts with us on Twitter and Facebook by using the hashtag #HappySDSN or by tagging us @UNSDSN, and we will be thrilled to spread your happiness further! Our social media kit can be found here.

  • Use the SDG Pyramid to mobilize your members or online community to foster discussions and take action around the SDGs
  • Pledge HERE to create more happiness in the world
  • Video interview your friends and colleagues: Ask them “what makes you happy?” and then share how this connects to the SDGs
  • Host a roundtable discussion: Bring your peers together to discuss the intersection between happiness and sustainable development, and explore how to enhance social well-being in your country, city or community and take steps towards creating an action plan. Please share your best ideas with us on social media!
  • Share the Global Happiness Council Policy Report with your local or national decisions makers.
  • Post some of these social media Ideas:
    • #HappinessSoundsLike – Share music that makes you happy (2015 UN Social Media Campaign)
    • #HappyActs – Encourage colleagues, friends and family to share positive messages or moments of gratitude on social media
    • #HappyHeros – Highlight a person who brings happiness to you and others
    • #HappyQuotes – Line up positive quotations to be shared throughout the month of march
    • #HappyTimes – Video a short gif of doing something that makes you happy
    • Other Happy Hashtags – #InternationalDayOfHappiness, #March4Happiness, #HappinessDay, #MakeItHappy, #HappyPlanet #SDGPyramid

If you have questions, please feel free to reach out to and