What Makes a Happy Community
The biggest indicator of a happy and resilient community is how strong are the social connections within a community. These are personal connections involving face to face contact. In most communities, you can’t know everyone, but you can know about 100 people really well and recognize several hundred others as being part of the community. When the whole community is connected by at least 2 degrees of separation, the community has the basics of hat it needs for happiness and resiliency.
What are the Happy Community Criteria
In the Happy Community project we create projects that are designed to both benefit the community and build strong social connections.
To accomplish this, the project needs to meet 7 criteria. When all 7 criteria can be checked off, the community has a happy making social connecting project
Project Check List – 7 Criteria
Do a large number of citizens feel strongly about this?
Does this project reflect the values and vision of the community citizens?
Will this project engage people with different kinds of thinking, cultural backgrounds and skill sets?
Will it get people of different backgrounds talking with each other?
Does this project have clear objectives that can be transferred to other parts of the community?
Does this project have a simple enough process that leads to desired outcomes that leaders in other parts of the community can follow?
Are there things that people can do that involves little effort or expense that they can feel makes a meaningful difference?
Is there a variety of things people can do that captures the interest and skill of a wide variety of people?
Is this an event, a project with a limited time frame or involves the citizens forever?
Is there a process for recognizing individual actions?
Is there a process involved that celebrates successes and lets people know the progress?
Is there a process that makes it socially acceptable to encourage others to encourage others to be part of the project?
Is there a social recognition for belonging?