New manifesto from Wall’s suggests happiness lies in social connections and communities whilst also calling for happiness to become a recognised marker of social progress

According to a new manifesto from global ice cream brand Wall’s, people across the world are calling for happiness to be recognised as a marker for social progress. Launched at Goals House, the telling insight has been revealed as part of the findings from a global survey exploring the effects of lockdowns on people’s perceptions of happiness.

Titled “Wall’s Manifesto for a Happier World”, the manifesto includes research from Wall’s conducted in 12 different countries across the globe, surveying 12,500 people, which reveals that:

65% say interactions with people during lockdown changed their outlook on happiness; 78% now feel strongly that happiness and wellbeing should be prioritised over money; 63% want their government to take action to put happiness before economic recovery; 58% found human connection is what really makes them happy; 76% admitted they knew more about celebrities’ lives than their own neighbours’ (but this has changed during lockdown) and; 62% said that lockdown has made them feel more part of their community.

The Wall’s manifesto reflects on last year and argues that global lockdowns drove people to re-evaluate life’s priorities. For too long people have been looking for happiness in the wrong places and the isolation from family and friends has given us a renewed appreciation for the importance of human connections and community support in our lives.

Speaking about the manifesto, Happiness Expert, LSE Professor and co-author of the World Happiness Report, Lord Richard Layard said: “What we see in the data in this manifesto is an indication of a wider societal shift; for too long people have linked material possessions, financial prosperity and success to happiness. And whilst these are undoubtedly important, people are coming to the realisation that it is human relationships and connections that bring true meaning and happiness to one’s life. This is a topic I have dedicated many decades to, and it’s promising to see this realisation gathering momentum.”

Society’s clear desire to rethink how national development is measured presents an opportunity to change the current system, which overlooks happiness and wellbeing. As official partners of the UN SDSN World Happiness Report, Wall’s is committed to boosting the happiness movement so that governments prioritise the happiness of their citizens.

World-renowned economics professor and senior UN advisor Jeffrey Sachs said: “People in every culture and society share common hopes and aspirations for a better world. Increased global connectedness depends on a strong home base of family and community. That’s the beauty of an interconnected world: meaning starts at home and reaches the entire planet.”

Wall’s will be working throughout 2021 and beyond to bring academics, policymakers, businesses, communities and activists together to consider how the people can develop a blueprint for a future where happiness is considered a measure of development.

By doing this, and celebrating community togetherness and social connections, everyone will be able to create a better world and live a happier future.

Ian Maskell, Vice President at Wall’s, said: “Wall’s provides the world with 28 billion portions of happiness each year. Our experience of spreading happiness and bringing people together makes us determined to lead the global movement to prioritise happiness. Human beings are happiest when well connected with friends, family and community. Wall’s is in the business of creating social connections, please join us in making the world a happier place.”

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