Today marks an important day – after a decade spent as Happy City we’re thrilled to present our new name: Centre for Thriving Places.
Whilst much has changed since we took our first steps ten years ago, our vision, and commitment to it, hasn’t. We’re driven by the same goal: an economic system that works to support human and planetary wellbeing instead of pursuing growth at all costs. And we are as clear as ever that a place-based approach to that change has the greatest chance of success.
But since we started our reach and influence have changed in ways that mean we have outgrown our original name.
Firstly we no longer have an exclusively urban focus and increasingly work in all sorts of places – from towns, cities and regions to pioneering organisations and communities wanting to play their part in a wellbeing economy.
Secondly, the world has woken up to the importance of wellbeing. What seemed like a radical idea ten years ago is now increasingly making headlines and impacting government policy. We like to think we have had a hand in that shift, advising and influencing people, policy and programmes around the UK and as far afield as the US, India, New Zealand and Europe.
Over the last decade, we’re proud to have collaborated with many diverse communities and the sector’s top experts to develop two world leading wellbeing economics measurement tools: the Thriving Places Index (TPI) and the Happiness Pulse.
In March we’ll be launching the fourth annual release of TPI data for all local authorities in England and Wales – making it possible to take action for wellbeing at a local level. And more and more organisations are using the Happiness Pulse to build a picture of wellbeing in organisations, teams or projects. In combination these tools offer a powerful base for understanding wellbeing.
‘Wellbeing economics’ is now backed by a growing body of research and is being hailed as the future by prime ministers and radical thinkers alike. Centre for Thriving Places will build on Happy City’s global reputation for a place-based approach to putting wellbeing economics into practice.
- Continue to develop and deliver leading-edge tools to help measure the conditions for people and places to thrive and the social impact of work on the ground.
- Co-produce rigorous and accessible research and resources to help decision makers and communities across all sectors better understand their role in building an economy and society fit for the challenges of the 21st century.
- Bring together multi disciplinary teams to support pioneering places to embed a new way of thinking and doing across departments, sectors and social divides.
- Provide a space for leaders and communities to come together and share learning, best practice and innovations from wherever they are emerging.
- Continue to challenge those in power and empower those who are marginalised, to move to a more equitable and sustainable economic model starting today.
We are immensely grateful to the many thousands of people and partners who have helped Happy City achieve so much since 2010, and we look forward to working with them and many more as the Centre for Thriving Places in the coming decade and beyond.