Entries by Braun Barry


FAQs- The Happy Community Project

What is the Happy Community Project?

Based on research and experience, we have developed process that increases a community’s wellbeing and resiliency. The Happy Community Project provides communities that want to increase their happiness and resiliency with a simple process that brings communities together around common purpose.

Why is the Happy Community Project important?

As we move deeper into the age of disruption, it is the strength and resiliency of our communities that can provide us with the capacity to roll with the punches and come up smiling. The Happy Community Project is designed to increase the capacity of the community for happiness and resiliency.

How does the Happy Community Project work?

We provide a process and the citizens of the community apply the process in whatever way think is best. The process brings out the creativity and energy of a community and focuses it on building the social connections within the community that form the foundation for wellbeing and … Read the rest


The 7 Criteria for a Happy Community Project

What Makes a  Happy Community

The biggest indicator of a happy and resilient community is how strong are the social connections within a community. These are personal connections involving face to face contact. In most communities, you can’t know everyone, but you can know about 100 people really well and recognize several hundred others as being part of the community. When the whole community is connected by at least 2 degrees of separation, the community has the basics of hat it needs for happiness and resiliency.

What are the Happy Community Criteria

In the Happy Community project we create projects that are designed to both benefit the community and build strong social connections.

To accomplish this, the project needs to meet 7 criteria. When all 7 criteria can be checked off, the community has a happy making social connecting project

Project Check List – 7 Criteria


Do a large number of citizens feel strongly about this?

Does this project … Read the rest


Something Magical is Happening in Sackville

The Sackville Happy Communities Project met again last night. (Jan 31 2017) We are now almost 40 members strong of which 12 people rolled up their sleeves and started to define what activities could bring greater happiness and resiliency to the community of Sackville. They divided up into three working groups and here is what they found.

Three Great Ideas


  • Celebrate Sackville by discovering our own unknown wonders inside our community
  • Set up geocaching to explore hidden secrets
  • Create healthy competition between neighborhoods 
  • Include multigenerational
  • Perhaps expand to other celebrations like Winter Carnival


  • We can grow our own food
  • Anybody can grow and anybody can eat
  • Include business like Sobeys to provide resources
  • Inclusive through organic networking where people make small contributions of effort
  • Independent of need for financing 
  • Grassroots and inclusive


  • Based on successful project in East Preston
  • Kids learn to cook
  • Share recipes
  • Share

Read the rest


What Happened on January 11, 2017

jan 2017 Sackville NSWe had an amazing turnout for the first Happy Community Project in Sackville NS.

We have a solid base of approximately 30 people who bring amazing experience, leadership and skills and I am truly honored. And we have the commitment from many to move this forward to its next steps. I am excited to see what comes of this.

But first – here is my take on what happened last night.

  • We affirmed that community happiness is a worthy goal in its own Jan 2017 Deputy Mayor Steve Craigright.
  • We affirmed that happiness in our communities is not to be taken for granted, that it takes deliberate action to build and sustain it.
  • We affirmed that our communities are not broken and don’t need fixing.
  • We also identified several opportunities where we can contribute to building and maintaining happiness in our community (see the attached)
  • We affirmed that building and maintaining happiness involves all citizens, NGO’s, business and governments

And the most exciting part of … Read the rest


New Year Thoughts on Happiness

I have been reading Desmond Tutu’s The Bookwheelchair-familyof Forgiving. It has got me thinking about happiness in the year ahead.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if our communities were more deeply founded on the principle of happiness? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if it was normal to remove the obstacles to happiness?

Who knows what the year ahead brings. Whatever it may be, I know that happiness is what I wish for myself, my family and all the people around me. The happier others are, the happier I will be.

I understand that real happiness always involves relationship. I know that I draw on relationships from others to fuel my sense of joy and wellbeing.  It is where I find love, meaning and validation. The corollary to this is that unhappiness also comes from relationship. This is where I experience hurt, violation and anger. What’s new is how my happiness is affected by the relationships that I don’t pay much … Read the rest


Thinking Differently

System Change examplesIn the last two months I have talked to a large number of Phds.  What I have learned is they are very good at recognizing the problems. When I say we are headed to h… in a hand basket, I get instant agreement. We do not need to spend anytime debating the truth of this statement or their underlying causes.

What I found interesting though is their instant reaction to new ideas on what to do about it.

It seems that their training has taught them that they already know everything there is to know and that if there was another good idea they would already know it. For sure they know a lot and they are experts in their field. What the world needs is new creative thinking that moves us out of our well established patterns of behavior.

We need all brains on deck to approach new ideas with curiosity and creativity It is our collective acceptance that Read the rest


Fantastical Thinking

“Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, it’s a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope, and that enables you to laugh at life’s realities.”

Dr. Seuss

I love Dr Seuss. I agree that escapism is healthy – we need it to survive and I practice escapism all the time. However – acknowledging reality can also be about survival. It is important to choose when to fantasize and when to know your going over the tipping point.

I have just read some of the work by John Casti, Phd. Casti is a systems guy who likes to look at both reality and fantasy. He looks at large systems and understands how they behave, particularly why they sometimes go over the tipping point and what we can do to prevent it.

He calls his idea the complexity gap – something that we should all know about. The basic principle is the system being managed has to … Read the rest


Why is Reshaping Our World Important?

For almost 3 years now, I have been working to bring people together to reshape our world. It started with the idea that my granddaughter’s future is at risk when she is in the prime of her life 30 or 40 years from now. I wanted to do something that makes a difference to that outcome.

We have had three conferences and countless meetings trying to figure out how to bring focus to this idea.

What I have concluded from these three years of efforts is that most people agree with me – our world is heading for trouble. I have also learned that most people want to do something about it; most people just don’t know what else we can do besides trying to be good neighbors, parents and employees. We want to make a meaningful difference; we just don’t know what it is or we don’t have the support we need to make the difference.

That is why … Read the rest