Happy List

happylist_logoHappy Lists were born out of a need to provide an antidote to all those rich lists and celebrity lists which worship at the shrine of the wealthy, the bonus-getters, and the tax avoiders. This list honours a different set of values –naming the people who have, without any thought of personal gain or recognition, done so much to make their communities better adjusted places leading to their cities and thus countries becoming a better and happier place.


David Randall at the Independent on Sunday created the first national Happy List in 2008, teaming up with Happy City in 2013 to produce the first local version in Bristol. The Action for Happiness group in Brighton joined our intrepid band in 2015, and both cities repeated their successes in 2016. Bristol’s list is here, and Brighton’s here

This initiative is far more significant than it at first appears. Here’s how the benefits stack up:

  • Nominators feel good about nominating and can take credit for the chain of events which follow
  • Nominees get a boost from the appreciation, becoming part of a fellowship where there’s mutual support
  • The ideas, activities, people and places which nominees work with get some free PR
  • From the unsolicited profile, there often comes an injection of energy as new people begin to engage
  • A ripple effect can emerge as people inspired by what they see decide make a difference where they are

So HappyLists aren’t just a one-off ‘nice’ little story.

HappyLists are a power tool, helping change-makers in their work.

We’re currently looking for nominations for 2017 lists around the country – click on the link to land on the page with the nomination form.

We’re also looking for people in other cities who would like to coordinate this fantastically uplifting initiative.  City Lists should never be more than 50 people per year, selected from a mix of public nominations, people recognised for public spirited efforts in other lists, and research by the coordinating team.  If you would like to know more, write to mike@happycity.org.uk


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