Is There A Best Way To Measure For Happiness In Cities?

Since Bhutan launched the groundbreaking Gross National Happiness indicators in the 1970s, every year we see more countries, regions and cities around the world seeking the Holy Grail of happiness indicators. 

I would argue that the better path is not trying to emulate, but rather be inspired by others and invent our own. It's not that we lack great models and examples. It's just that there is unique power in engaging the very communities where happiness will be measured.  People take personally the metrics they create personally because they are metrics that come from their own narratives and dreams. They will not relate as well to outsourced metrics imported or imposed. 

Home growing happiness indicators involves a series of new conversations that engage people in dreaming at least one generation out into the future. It means exploring metrics on what is shareable and actionable in the community that adds to happiness.  It means defining for different networks and segments of the community exactly what brings about happiness. This often focuses on social connections and opportunities for new discoveries and learning.

What's equally important is that we test metrics and improve them over time as we learn how our metrics drive new initiatives and key success indicators.