It has been quiet around The HappyHap Project blog over the past two months, but behind the scenes we’ve been working hard on our core mission: pushing happiness forward on university campuses and beyond. A quick history flashback to give you the full story behind HappyHap.
The Early Days
Founded in 2008 at Yale University by Sunnie Tölle we initially set out to create HappyHap.com, a web platform on which - based on the idea that happiness is contagious - you can post a few lines, a photo, or a video of a happy moment and dedicate it to others.
Within less than a year we counted 15 student team members, so we founded The HappyHap Project and registered it as a Yale student organization. Back then, our primary objective was to build a web platform that would make young people mindful of, inspired by and empowered through happiness. After launching HappyHap.com on Yale’s campus,we continued to engage in projects with a similar mission, and published a magazine, produced three amateur short movies, coordinated multiple speaker events and study breaks, curated a photography exhibition, held a charity fundraiser for SmileTrain and launched this blog! Last year, our team members took on key volunteer positions for TEDxNewHaven, a conference on “The Art and Science of Happiness,” which was independently organized by our founder Sunnie and our advisor Mario Chamorro on April 28, 2012 at Yale University.
On May 21st of this year, Sunnie along with a host of the founding team members graduated from Yale University with a bachelor’s degree. What had started as a website and a side project among a small group of friends during freshmen year of college, is today - four years later - a student organization that engages in creative, social and academic initiatives to push happiness forward on the Yale university campus and beyond.
This summer the team under the leadership of Sunnie (left in the picture at the very top) and Christian (right in the same picture) distilled the learnings from four years of project work at Yale and decided to relaunch the HappyHap student organization as “YNSPIRE,” a non-profit organization that pushes happiness forward at universities and beyond. YNSPIRE does this through three channels: local university chapters, a research-focused think tank and an online network of creatives that engage with the subject of happiness through their artistic work. To share the insights from the past four years, we’re also currently writing up “Inspiration in a Box.” It’s a toolkit featuring practical advice on creative leadership and 15 step-by-step hands-on project proposals that inspire happiness in a university community.
Ultimately, we believe that a better world will exist if people are inspired to make their happiness a priority, embrace a more creative approach to leadership and drive positive social change. An inspired world starts with You, so we called our new organization YNSPIRE.
Currently, the main YNSPIRE chapter is based at Yale University and operates under the name InspireYale. New chapters are to open at other universities in the US in 2013. To learn more about what we do, visit our website and follow us on facebook.