Chairman’s Message

As Chairman of the WOHASU® Advisory Board, I am proud to announce the third edition of the H-20 Government Meeting, an exciting project and business endeavor for which I have a great passion and deep commitment. I’ve spent decades working on international development helping governments around the world leverage good practices in resource management. But, I must say, I am quite inspired and moved by what we have created with the H-20 and World Happiness Summit®.

My work at FreeBalance has brought new perspective to the concepts of good governance and how transparency and accountability can help build nations. We have also seen the impact of strong, meaningful relationships by building value over time and creating “customers for life.” These beliefs have helped ensure that corporate social responsibility is the foundation of our company and an important contributor to our success.

But how do we measure success? And, how do governments measure success? Let’s consider Bhutan– a tiny country nestled in the Himalayas– to help shed light on a key human development indicator that is typically undervalued and underleveraged.

In 1971, The Kingdom of Bhutan implemented and began tracking a set of guiding principles with an eye toward equitable society and national wellbeing. Such guiding principles include nurturing children to become good people, putting nature at the heart of public policy, promotion of good governance, and cultural preservation. What Bhutan created is known as the Gross National Happiness (GNH) index. It expands a county’s metrics of growth and development to encompass more than just Gross National Product (GNP) or Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Every March we gather stakeholders from the government, civic, corporate, academic, positive psychology, social and emotional intelligence, and human development sectors. WOHASU brings together the brightest thought leaders and innovators from each of these sectors. WOHASU features the invitation-only H-20, a working roundtable with country leaders, and the World Happiness Summit, three-day experiential consumer conference.

WOHASU means to anchor the practice of happiness with global gatherings to improve our communities, our cities, our world and ourselves. The findings of the World Happiness Report and Global Happiness Policy Report demonstrate that the science of happiness and national variations in the wellbeing of individuals are directly intertwined. These reports are issued in advance of the United Nations World Happiness Day on March 20th. Understanding these primary indicators can help improve policies to support better lives and foster smart prosperity.

––Manuel Schiappa Pietra