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Gross National Happiness
Start date: Mar 14, 2016, End date: Sep 13, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Statistics and research say that European youth (and the wider society) sees their prospects and future pessimistically. In the long-run this results in lost motivation and, subsequently, wasted productivity, creativity and potential of today’s individuals. Such situation is partly caused by the decision taken at both personal and community levels and the way success is measured (e.g. in short-term revenues and/or gross domestic product (GDP))The organisations behind this project believe that attention to this issue has to be raised and that youth should come up with more farsighted approaches. For instance, considering gained quality of living or society's happiness while measuring outcomes. To kick-off this process, a project “Gross National Happiness” will be hosted in Kaunas, Lithuania (September 20-26, 2015). This youth exchange is being implemented by organisations from countries where population’s happiness are low or deteriorating (Lithuania, Poland, United Kingdom, Spain, Bulgaria and Italy). There will be 36 youth participants (6 per country | aged 18-30 | with priority given to those coming from disadvantaged backgrounds).To achieve its goal, the project has set the following objectives: 1) to identify which decisions contribute the most and which are the most detrimental to the quality of life in the long-run; 2) come up with guidelines that best describe the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ choices; 3) develop an evaluation system for various plans; 4) employing the created system design certain initiatives, that would in the long-run lead to a happier individual and society; and 5) promote them further for the target groups (youth, youth workers, career advisers) and wider public across Europe. The project also aims to help the participants grow professionally and increase their chances in future careers.A range of non-formal education (NFE) methods and meetings with relevant decision makers will be carried out. Involvement, creativity and initiative of all the participants will be encouraged throughout the activities, which will include: 1) interactive workshops & simulations, 2) discussions in a non-formal environment, 3) case studies & creative tasks, 4) country presentations on the topic, 5) ‘human-sized’ survey, 6) application of art as a mean of NFE, 7) analysing relevant video material, 8) creation of more sensible assessment system for decisions, 9) pitch challenge for the best initiatives, 10) specialized group exercises, quizzes, 11) feedbacks, reflections, evaluations & more. In order to facilitate integration of the participants: 12) cultural evenings, 13) ice-breaking & socialising activities will also be organised. Since the project goal is to reach the public and to disseminate the results effectively: 14) videos & testimonials on the topic, 15) photo-wall & t-shirts with related slogans and 16) an e-booklet will be prepared by all the participants. All of this will ensure that the project would induce a positive effect on the participants, organisations and the target groups in regional, national and international levels. Through these activities the participants will improve useful competences, such as ability to assess the impact of decisions and generate new ideas and plans. They will also get a unique chance to extend their social networks. Likewise, the participating organisations would increase their knowledge on the matter and learn new non-formal education methods, all of which could then be used in their own future initiatives. At the same time, the project would help them grow internationally, increase public awareness of their actions and enhance their capacities of reaching the objectives of youth development.Wider audiences & target groups are expected to be impacted as well. Firstly, the participants will share the knowledge acquired throughout the project within their own communities. The results’ dissemination will be also facilitated through involvement of mass-media and spreading of videos and e-booklet prepared during the project. It is anticipated that people will eventually become more aware of the problems associated with blind pursuit for money.Even though, ‘Gross National Happiness’ concept will be promoted across the participating countries, the emphasis will be put on the region of Kaunas. Our belief is that given the success of the project locally, it would gain a strong impetus nationally and internationally. The ultimate goal is happier and more productive population.
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