On Feb 22, 2017 something brilliant happened

Last Wednesday, The Sackville Happy Community Project took another step forward to increasing its capacity for happiness. Our Next meeting is March 15, 6:30-8:00 at 97.5FM Community Radio.

Here is what happened Feb 22nd

The sense of wellbeing of a community can best be measured by how strong the social connections are within the community. Our goal is that every citizen feels strongly connected within the community.

In our meetings, there is a consistent theme of how strong the community spirit already is within Sackville. There is a real sense of pride of being in Sackville. There is also a strong sense of wanting to reach out beyond Sackville’s boundaries to make stronger connections with the other communities of HRM (Halifax Regional Municipality).

How can we build with intention?

How can we intentionally build a community where every citizen is strongly connected to every other citizen with minimum degrees of separation. We explored how the three great ideas that had been developed in the previous meeting could be used to accomplish this:

  • Community Garden,
  • Discover Sackville’s Hidden Treasures,
  • Share Sackville’s Best Recipes

We explored how this could be done?

Social physics form MIT provides a systematic process for putting large numbers of people into action for a specific goal. This is exactly what the Happy Community project is doing.(Here are the details of how social physics works.)

Here is what we discovered:

  • We need a clear measurable result that captures how many social connections the Happy Community Project facilitates.
  • We need a well-defined social incentive for people to do things together which creates these social connections.

This resulted in two very stimulating conversations looking at the three projects through the lens of measurable results and social incentives.

And we found some brilliant conclusions.

  • Let’s use the colors of yellow and green to symbolize the Sackville Happy Community Project. Sackville has a lot of pride, and it has the colors of yellow and green as its flag colors.

o   Does anyone have the capacity of turning the Sackville Happy Community Project into a yellow and green logo?

  • There are already lots of community initiatives in Sackville- how can we leverage them to increase their impact on social connections?
  • Story telling is a powerful tool for making social connections. How can we integrate story telling into all our projects? Community Garden?, Recipes?, Sackville’s Hidden Treasures?, Other events and activities?

o   Animate the history of Sackville through vignettes- such as the B52 restaurant, farming or lumbering history.

o   Include Middle and Upper Sackville with their unique histories and stories


And the most brilliant idea of all.

  • Create a white table event where people are only invited if they participated in other social connecting initiatives in Sackville.

o   These initiatives can be projects like the Community Garden, Sharing Sackville’s Best Recipes and Discovering Sackville’s Treasures.

o   They can also be other initiatives like those created by the Sackville Business association or other community groups

  • This provides a way of measuring how much social connection are we creating  (how many invitations)
  • This also provides social incentive to do things together within the community

o  People are only be invited if you have previously participated in another social connecting event.

  • Other possible thoughts around this idea

o    the white table event could use the food of the community garden?

o   Designed to be highly inclusionary

o   Designed to be an event you wouldn’t want to be left out of


WOW – it is starting to come together.

Our next meetings are March 15 and April 5 at 97.5FM Community Radio Station 6:30 to 8:00 where we will put more substance to making the Sackville Happy Community Project real.

Share this with your friends and invite them along.

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