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Pennsylvanian Named GNHUSA’s New Volunteer Activist Coordinator

Julia Palmer Knight, our new Volunteer Coordinator

GNHUSA has always been a volunteer activist organization. Lately, as the GNH concept gains more traction, we’re noticing an uptick in activity around the country. This is very exciting! From volunteers in California working to help transcribe and analyze interviews from the first half of the Happiness Walk, to a group in Wisconsin planning a GNHUSA event for spring 2019, and a team of grad students in New York helping to craft a communications plan for GNHUSA, a lot is happening!

But wait, there’s more! Here are other ways volunteer activists are getting involved: helping plan the logistics for the Happiness Walk (i.e., finding hosts and setting up events) and writing essay pieces for our “Serious About Happiness” column.

As we grow — both organizationally and as a movement — there will undoubtedly be many more opportunities for volunteer activists to plug in with your own particular skills and interest areas. You can get started with that process right now, by filling out our Volunteer Form.

To welcome all of you on board, provide the training to be part of the team, and make sure all volunteer activists know how much their efforts are appreciated, the GNHUSA board decided to appoint a new Volunteer/Activist Coordinator, Julia Palmer Knight of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

We are thrilled to have Julia, herself a volunteer activist, step up to the plate in this way. This is such a key role for GNHUSA at this point in time!  Julia’s own main area of GNHUSA interest is organizing events around the International Day of Happiness (March 20, 2018). Here’s what else she has to share about her desire to be involved:

“I am not sure exactly when I learned about GNH, but I have an article I saved from 2011 titled, “Is the Decades-Old Trend of Gross National Happiness Finally Catching On?,” written for by Eric Goldschein and Robert Johnson. I recently found it and smiled … the idea of GNH has been rattling around in my brain for a few years now. I’m sure I saved the article because it resonated with me. A Gross National Happiness measurement provides the big picture of a society that I appreciate, one that includes the economic but also the social and quality of life factors. The big and important picture!

“I have taught the science of climate change and have followed the dialogue on the challenges of policy-making. My optimism for the current and increasing need for societal resilience to a changing planet is slightly forced; however, as a future-minded person I have come to embrace the GNH measurement as a positive approach our society must take seriously. The measurement provides a path to successful and sustainable well-being, and the solutions are ready and available. The work is to share the information with as many people as possible, and increase the momentum of empowered GNHUSA enthusiasts (activists) to make positive impacts. Since one of GNHUSA’s goals is finding appropriate ways to intervene and increase happiness and well-being, ‘I’m in!’ ”

“Taking on the role of Volunteer Activist Coordinator is exciting and encouraging because so many people have been stepping forward to work with GNHUSA, and to help spread the word. My role will be to find ways for everyone to use their strengths and experiences, and to support an increasing amount of participation in the Happiness Walk, Happiness Dinners, International Day of Happiness events, or what I expect will be other creative ideas about building momentum for GNHUSA.

“On a side note, my interest in personal well-being feels mostly innate! My early career as a geologist working in a reactive way (water and soil contamination clean-up) led me to seek work as a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEEDTM ) certification reviewer, with a focus on healthy indoor air, and later as an Adjunct Instructor in Environmental Science, and finally as the Sustainability Director at a community college. My participation in GNHUSA is an extension of all the work I have done over the last 30 years. The measurement provides the snapshot of the success, progress, AND health of a society.

“Thank you for the opportunity to contribute to your organization!”

Julia, we thank you! It’s YOUR organization, too! The same holds true for all the GNHUSA volunteer activists — now, and well into a happier future.

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