UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network: Earth Day 2020 Webinar - Happiness and Sustainability Around the Earth | NAAEE
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UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network: Earth Day 2020 Webinar - Happiness and Sustainability Around the Earth

The Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) invites you to join our networks around the world, around the clock for a 24-hour webinar event, Happiness & Sustainability Around the Earth, on the 50th anniversary of Earth Day anniversary, Wednesday, April 22. During this 24-hour webinar, we will circumnavigate the globe to navigate happiness, well-being, and sustainability amongst COVID-19.

In this stressful and uncertain time, it is important to stay socially connected, while maintaining physical distancing. Happiness and well-being is something all humans share in common, and it is achieved through connecting with one another. According to the World Happiness Report, happiness is a better measure of a nation’s progress than GDP and using social well-being as a goal drives better public policy.

This 24-hour webinar will give us an opportunity to:
-Engage with experts and community leaders on how various sustainable development initiatives across the globe are creating a more just and thriving society.
-Explore how the UN sustainable development goals (SDGs) are being met across 13 regions and networks
-Discuss how happiness is still alive amidst a global pandemic.

Why Happiness and Sustainable Development?
Happiness and wellbeing is something all humans experience, and is something most societies strive to achieve on a communal scale. In an age of convenience, we are living in an increasingly isolated society, with depression, loneliness, and anxiety running rampant in both high- and low-income countries. According to the WHO, “depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide, and is a major contributor to the overall global burden of disease.” And according to the World Happiness Report, happiness is a better measure of a nation’s progress than GDP, and using social well-being as a goal drives better public policy.

An essential component of the SDGs is to “Leave No One Behind,” an ethical baseline which gives every human the right to live a fulfilling and healthy life. Essentially, the SDGs aim to create a better world for all people, and to promote stability, well-being, and happiness. However, oftentimes “sustainable development” as a concept can be interpreted as elite, abstract, and too existential to contextualize. Furthermore, there are numerous barriers to understanding the linkages between the SDGs, including education, exposure, and access to information. Happiness, on the other hand, is relevant across all cultures and intellects.

This initiative will use happiness as a lens to discuss sustainable development through the following key principles:
-Diversity: Ability to show relevance of sustainable development to all people, e.g. location, cultures, age, gender
-Accessibility: Ability for different people to consume the content, e.g. online nature, text/voice, language
-Adaptability: The ability for viewers to relate this to their day-to-day lives without needing expertise
-Practicality: How can the average person apply this knowledge? Newly learned knowledge that is not too high-level/too technical, and have clear actions for the viewer (local to their region) to take afterward.