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Was macht uns glücklich?
Wie möchten wir das Leben gestalten?

Wie sieht die Gesellschaft aus?
Und in welcher möchten wir leben?

Was zählt wirklich?
Welche Werte sind uns wichtig?

Was können wir verändern?
Wie können wir das Bruttonationalglück steigern?

Was macht Lebensqualität aus?
Und was bedeutet gutes Leben?

Ist weniger das neue mehr?
Was brauchen wir wirklich, um gut zu leben?

Bewusstsein.
Reduktion.
Zufriedenheit.

Eine Initiative für bewusstes
Leben und Glücksbesinnung.

WHAT IS THIS MINISTRY ALL ABOUT?

What defines society? In which society do we want to live in?

The „Ministry of Happiness and Wellbeing“ is an interactive art project and the inspiring metaphor of a multimedia campaign with the aim to raise awareness and run creative actions highlighting the important role of happiness and wellbeing in our lives and in wider society. The topic of personal happiness, discussed in a playful and creative way, motivates rethinking and participation across all parts of society. This campaign asks questions in a very positive and playful way: „What makes us happy?“, „What is a good life?“ and „What can we do to realize it?“.

The task of the Ministry of Happiness and Wellbeing is to change perspective, to give positive impulses, to initiate a change of social values and to actively accompany and create. The long-term aim is a positive movement in which the actions of the Ministry of happiness and well-being significantly participate: question common attitudes and acting and redefine future values. A wide public demand to care for the important things in life: Our personal happiness and well-being already exists – where does it come from, how is it possible to influence, increase or measure it?

This Ministry of Happiness and Wellbeing appears to be official. It is an interactive art project which inspires people.

This initiative wants to be a role model with ease and happiness and with a focus on concepts that work easily in the everyday life. With unusual, creative and wonderful alternatives and ideas, forward looking, provoking impulses and inspirations, without dogmas or forefingers – we will define what a good life is for ourselves.

The Ministry of Happiness and Wellbeing is as a campaign the medial converter and wants to provoke in a positive way – experts, scientists, organizations, like-minded people, politics and the media itself are involved. We give them the opportunity to cooperate on a joined platform as the future happiness generation.
With playful examples from everyday life we want to establish ideas and concepts to rise medial awareness for these important topics and get the people – online and offline – to realize that a rethinking of personal goals can actually be a lot of fun. Everyone is invited to participate!

Creative street art inspire people in everyday life.

Gross National Happiness for all!

The aim is to show as many people as possible how sustainable science about happiness and positive thinking is and how it can affect lives in general. The overwhelming medial echo and public excitement on this topic shows that there is a huge demand in this debate and the definition of what a good life is.
This initiative meats this demand and with its power we will establish our Gross National Happiness!

Be part of this movement and help the Ministry of happiness and well-being to make the world a better place in small steps!

The fascination of the metaphor „Ministry of Happiness and Wellbeing“ is that people immediately start to smile and think – what would change if there would be something like this? What is happiness?

They immediately get curious, want to know more, take part, share opinions and ideas, help and do something for the happiness of us all! The innovative idea behind is to connect the wishes and needs of society with art and politics. It is the clue to integrate important issues and big questions in our life again – not too serious or reproachful, but playful and suitable for our everyday life.

Happiness is a wide field, everyone has its own idea about it. It was a challenge to show that this project neither wants to define happiness nor to declare that everybody has to be happy. It’s not about smiling all day nor about ignoring problems of life. It’s about focussing on the important things, realizing what matters most and to get in action to change something!

The best moments of the first months of the campaign were compiled in this video.

THE GERMAN MINISTER OF HAPPINESS AND WELLBEING

Gina Schöler, Minister of Happiness and Wellbeing

My name is Gina and I am the german Minister of Happiness and Wellbeing. You may ask yourself now: Seriously, is there a Ministry of happiness and well-being in Germany?! Yes, this interactive project increases the awareness of personal happiness.

What do I do as a minister? I go to schools, universities or companies to show with interactive workshops how to reorganize life towards personal happiness. In most cases this can be achieved by focusing on small things. In other cases people change something fundamentally like their jobs. I also organize film events, speeches and small and creative actions like street art. All this starts a discussion about this important subject of happiness, wellbeing and mental health. People are motivated to participate and create their own ideas about happiness. The Ministry of Happiness gets more attention and many people do love it. I get many mails from people who tell me how this campaign influenced and changed their life. This is the reason why I do this with all my heart. Contributing to society in such a meaningful way makes me very happy myself.

As a communication designer I am able to work in this field from another angle. With creativity, humor and playful interactions I challenge people to start to think about this important topic.

During the time as a Minister of Happiness and Wellbeing I talked to many people. Once somebody told me: „Gina, you have to invent your very own job. You can’t do what everybody else does.“ Sounds easy, but realization seemed very hard! A job that hasn’t been there before? What is needed out there? How could this work out? Then I realized that I actually already was doing my very own, innovative job: Minister of Happiness and Wellbeing! This was the moment I realized that I had found my profession and my mission.


As a communication designer, I am able to approach the field of happiness and wellbeing from a fresh angle. I love to do creative actions which confront people in their everyday lives, to make them think about the importance of happiness, and then get them motivated to do take action! I approach my work with creativity, humour and playful interactions. I organise film showings, public talks, flashmobs, and street art, in addition to running interactive workshops at schools, universities and companies. All of these activities aim to inspire discussion and action on the important subjects of happiness, well-being and mental health.

Gina explains this project and its actions and offers.

Actions

Pickmob

In collaboration with various organizations an activity day in form of a picnic flashmob on Alexanderplatz was organised in Berlin, in order to draw attention to the final report of the Enquete Commission „Growth, prosperity, quality of life“.

Movie Events

Many filmevents are organised by the Ministry of Happiness and Wellbeing with inspiring movies around the wide field of happiness and sustainable (work)life. Gina gives an introduction and positive impulses and many other experts are around to give insights. The get-together and the discussions with the audience is always a big success.

People interviews

We travel through Germany in order to survey and resume the statements in small videos and to get in touch with people to get to know more about the German understanding of happiness.

Happiness game

Gambling can be addictive: 222 different tasks that should make oneself and one‘s environment happy.

Book release

Gina released her first book with 222 short stories about happy moments in every day life. The fine art of finding and enjoying small pleasures, appreciating them and passing them forward to others.

Drawing contest

A drawing contest at kindergartens and primary schools: A series of postcards emerged where all income is donated to the Foundation „Humor hilft heilen“ by Dr. Eckart von Hirschhausen.

Merchandising

Our handcrafted Merchandising: Buttons, Flyer, coins of happiness, stickers and stubs sent as a „happiness-package“ through Europe.

Streetart

To reach people in their everyday life, we launche various streetart-actions and ideas how people can get active themselves to work on our Gross National Happiness.

Speeches

We are happy to speak at countless events and workshops to report about our campaign, the ideas behind and to spread the word for more wellbeing in our society.

Offers

In my

  • Interactive speeches
  • Creative Workshops
  • Events

you get a creative view over on the field of happiness and wellbeing. I involve the audience by playfully visualizing insights and facts from happiness research and positive psychology with gadgets from my happiness suitcase.

That’s how happiness comes alive and the audience quickly learns in an interactive way and with a lot of fun how to integrate happiness in everyday-life. So everyone becomes a happiness embassador themselves!

If you are interested in further information, please feel free to contact me: Gina@MinisteriumFuerGlueck.de

References

Many companies and organization are interested in happiness workshops and talks, for example: City of Mannheim, Goethe Institut, Deutsche Bahn, Coca Cola Happiness Institute Germany, Federal Ministry of Justice Germany, Universities in Germany and Switzerland, Mental Health Network Switzerland, BSA Steiermark/party SPÖ Austria, BTC Europe, Saint Gobain Building Distribution GmbH, Roche Diagnostics etc.

Friends and Partners

Network

Many people work on the science of happiness.
Burn out and mental health are very important subjects nowadays. And also politicians get more and more interested in this field, they are curious what „Gross National Happiness“ is about and what makes people happy.
During the last few years the network of the „Ministry of Happiness and Wellbeing“ grew and there are many people from very different fields I am in contact with, I collaborate and work together.
Here are just a few, have a look:

Christian Felber

Entwickler des alternativen Wirtschaftssystems Gemeinwohl-Ökonomie uvm.

Prof. Gerald Hüther

Neurobiologische Präventionsforschung und Vorstand der Akademie für Potentialentfaltung

International Meeting, Gross National Happiness Centre Bhutan

Network Meeting Positive Psychology

Panel discussion Schoemberg

Visit of a delegation from Thailand: Crown Property Bureau

Press

You can find an english brochure here

Download: MfG_Brochure_english

You can find pictures, logos etc. in the download-section „Presse“ of the website.


Media Response

Media is very interested in this project. There are many articles on newspaper all over Germany, many interviews on the radio, even invitation by TV to talk about happiness and all the actions of this „Ministry“. For example these media already reported about this campaign:


„Thank you from our class, which had a great day with your ingenious workshop!“

– Students on facebook

„Thus you already prepared the topic graphically, it simplifies the access.“

– In conversation with a student

„We didn’t know what was awaiting us, but are impressed how you realized the topic and turned into a fantastic workshop.“

– In conversation with students

„Her federal eagles laughs. And certainly not about its creator, but with you about his impact.“

 – Rheinpfalz am Sonntag, Newspaper

„Great project, madam secretary of state.“

 – Claudia Roth, Federal Chairwoman 2004 – 13 Bündnis 90/Die Grünen

„The idea behind your project is powerful and one which time has come. I think it is a wonderful initiative for many reasons but mainly because it brings the focus on what people really and ultimately want from their lives.“

– Karma Tshiteem, State secretary of the Happiness Commission Bhutan

„Stay with your utopias, we need them!“

– Bernd Wagner, Lecturer for philosophy, expert on Corporate Social Responsibility


„For the future, I wish for the MoH that still more people join, who not only dare to imagine how happy things could be, but also simply try it. New ways only arise, if you take them.“

– Boris Woynowski, Chairman of Wachstumswende e.V. and strategic advisor in the sinnwerkstatt GmbH

„Design is also the draft of a different, better world – and the work on realizing such a world.“

– Prof. Axel Kolaschnik, Professor for Corporate Identity, Corporate Design, Branding and Brand Communication in Mannheim

Contact

Gina Schöler

Minister of Happiness and Wellbeing
Communication designer M.A.

Gina@MinisteriumFuerGlueck.de

Origin and development of the idea

In November 2012 the idea for the campaign was developed as part of a semester project at the design department at the University of Applied Science in Mannheim, Germany. A small team of students established the campaign during the lesson „Integrated transmedial communcations” given by Professor Axel Kolaschnik.

The aim was to create a campaign which changes values in society. During research the decision was made to learn a lesson from the small country of Bhutan: We need a Ministry of Happiness and Wellbeing in Germany to start a movement and raise awareness for the important question: What is a good life and how can we determine our own lives? With the help of this provoking metaphor we were curious how Germany would react on these questions.

Me and Daniel Clarens as part of this team decided to further establish the campaign as part of our Master thesis, which was finished successfully in October 2013. Realizing the huge potential, meaningfulness and influence the campaign has, I decided to work as a freelancer as Minister of Happiness and Wellbeing ever since. I travel through Europe to give speeches, workshops and to meet for example politicians to talk about people‘s happiness.