From the Guatemalan town painting itself in bright colours to Norway’s 10-year plan to banish belching exhaust fumes, the London Design Biennale is celebrating ideas that put a smile on everyone’s face
This week saw the publication of the 2017 Global Emotions Report, an ambitious survey of the global mood. To compile it, Gallup conducted in-depth interviews with nearly 150,000 people in 142 countries. The report seeks to measure positive and negative daily experiences by asking people to rate their previous day. “Did you feel well rested yesterday? Were you treated with respect all day? Did you smile or laugh a lot? Did you experience enjoyment? Did you learn or do something interesting?” (In response to the latter, 64% of the UK survey said that they did.) And conversely, interviewers asked them if they felt pain, anger, worry or stress.
Politicians have been increasingly paying attention to emotions as indicators of well-being with surveys aimed at measuring citizens’ moods, intangible feelings that escape economic indicators such as GDP and unemployment rates. In 2012 the UN launched its first World Happiness Report, using data also collected by Gallup, and called on member states to place more emphasis on happiness as a measure of social progress and to guide public policy.