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August 2010
International Youth Internships Available
Apply now!

GPI Atlantic is pleased to announce the opening of two new youth internship positions! If you are interested in community wellbeing, community resilience and want to work overseas, this could be the position for you! Please see the job posting and application guidelines here.

The application deadline is August 27th, 2010!!

August 2010
International Youth Internship Workshops Open to Interested Youth
Commencing in the Fall

GPI Youth is currently seeking applications for two international internships for young researchers to Bhutan (see application guidelines above). The interns will receive intensive training in the areas of: Research Ethics; GPI Indicators Research; Mixed-method research; Visual methods; Intercultural and travel preparation; and Communications and research dissemination through creative methods. Workshops on the above topics will begin in early fall, and are open to youth interested in exploring, understanding and designing methods for fostering youth and community wellbeing. As workshops become available, they will be advertised on the GPI Youth Facebook Page and here.

If you would like to learn more about the Stories of Amazing Resilience: Youth Leaders for Community Wellbeing Program, or any of the upcoming workshops, please contact:

Nora Didkowsky
Youth Leaders for Community Wellbeing Program Coordinator
GPIAtlantic Youth Program
Phone: (902) 489.2524

June 2010
As if Youth Counted:
Developing Indicators that Make a Difference (June 29th)

GPI Youth was proud to host an afternoon workshop led by Dr. Ronald Colman, GPI Atlantic Executive Director, on June 29th 2010 regarding how to develop and apply youth wellbeing indicators at the community level. The workshop focused on the ways in which young people and those who exist in their social spheres can be catalysts that create positive social change through influencing of policy changes through the use of social, environmental and economic wellbeing indicators. The workshop introduced participants to the concept of the GPI (Genuine Progress Index) a system of accounting for and properly valuing social, economic and environmental assets in our communities. Attendees were also taught about how using indicator research can take into account what matters specifically to youth wellbeing. The workshop was attended by representatives of GPI Atlantic community partners, youth advocates, service providers, mental health workers, and others working with young people, as well as youth themselves.

June 2010
The Stories of Resilience:
Youth Leaders for Community Wellbeing Research and Leadership Camp

From June 1st to June 6th, approximately 25 youth participants and facilitators alike attended a research and leadership camp held on Micou’s Island, which launched the Stories of Resilience: Youth Leaders for Community Wellbeing Program. The camp was a five-day event that brought together youth from diverse backgrounds to share stories of overcoming adversity to make positive change in their communities. The camp emphasized youth involvement in subjects such as environmentalism, political activism, community wellbeing, and ethical business through workshops and talks with various people who were professionally immersed in such issues. Participants had the opportunity to actively take part in over thirty interactive presentations and workshops, including those focused on: Using poetry, music, storytelling and art to explore, understand and tell stories of resilience; Youth social entrepreneurship; Local wisdom and climate change; Leadership training; Outdoor survival techniques; Mental health and wellbeing; Physical health and protection, and much more. Youth also experienced a warm Mi’kmaq welcoming ceremony, film screenings, and participated as Stewards of Micou’s Island. Finally, the youth also took on the role of facilitators, getting the chance to lead the rest of the group in workshops of their expertise. The camp was an opportunity to engage in dialogue with like-minded youth, and leave with a little more perspective on what changes they can make in their own communities.

The Pathways to Resilience Conference (June 7- 11th , 2010):

The camp was a pre-cursor to The Pathways to Resilience Conference, hosted by GPI Atlantic Youth partner, The Resilience Research Centre at Dalhousie University, which brought together presenters from six continents to explore aspects of resilience such as identifying mental-health issues, designing clinical interventions, nurturing family and community wellbeing, and social policies that are child and youth-friendly. Some of the young people from the Youth Leaders for Community Wellbeing program played a role in the conference, as volunteers and as engaged participants during a presentation about the Stories of Amazing Resilience: Youth Leaders for Community Wellbeing program. Facilitators and members of the program led a facilitated discussion about using visual methods to engage youth in research and leadership activities, and there was dynamic dialogue between over 50 speakers, delegates, and youth attendees. The speakers presented to a packed room, where even floor space became limited due to the immense interest in the topic.

May 2010
Stories of Resilience: Youth Leaders for Community Wellbeing
International Youth Camp June 1-6, 2010

What is it?

A 5-day event that brings together youth from around the world to share stories of overcoming adversity to make positive change in their communities. Youth will have an opportunity to participate in exciting and interactive workshops about understanding and building youth and community wellbeing.

Activities include inspiring presentation and workshops about:

  • Investigating, understanding and creating community wellbeing in alternative ways
  • Using the arts to tell stories of resilience including: visual arts, film, slam poetry, performance theatre, music and storytelling
  • Youth social entrepreneurship
  • Local wisdom and climate change
  • Leadership training
Youth can also experience:
  • A local wisdom medicine walk
  • Drumming
  • Film Screenings
  • Stewardship of Mi’kmaq sacred site
And much more!

There will also be a series of events at the Pathways to Resilience 2 Conference from June.7th to 11th. For more information on this conference, please visit their website.

Who can participate?

Youth aged 15-25

What are the dates?

Young Leaders: June.1st to 4th, 2010
Teen Focus: June.5th to 6th, 2010

Where will it be held?

Micou's Island, St. Margaret's Bay


If you are interested in attending, please download the registration form. As well, be sure to check the packing list to ensure that you have everything you may need (Please note: each participant is requested to bring an item of significance that they would be comfortable giving to another participant. As well, those participating in Kim Munson's Thursday morning workshop are advised to bring old shirts that can be cut). If you are really excited about being involved, please feel free to share the event poster with your friends to help spread the word!

For further information, please contact:

Nora Didkowsky
Youth Leaders for Community Wellbeing Program Coordinator
GPIAtlantic Youth Program
Phone: (902) 489.2524

May 2009
First Annual GPI Atlantic Online Art Auction

A special fundraiser for GPI Atlantic

Leya Evelyn, well-known abstract artist and GPI Atlantic Board member, is generously launching what will be an annual event: the GPI Atlantic Online Art Auction.

We need to be creative in our fundraising as many traditional avenues of covering operating costs and smaller programs no longer exist in these turbulent times. Leya has been leading the way with development of philanthropic donors who can help fund innovative programs that more traditional grants do not always cover. The sale of Leya’s work will fund the GPI Atlantic office at 3008 Oxford Street and various youth programs around sustainable development and cultural promotion, such as zero waste education, climate change research, and the celebration of coastal resources.

Bidding has closed. Thank you to those who participated.

Visit the links below for detailed pictures of the three vibrant paintings being auctioned. You may also see Leya's the pieces in person at the GPI Atlantic office at 3008 Oxford Street, Suite 203, Halifax, Nova Scotia (902-489-7117).

  It, No.3 Opening Bid: $2,900 (currently received)
  Necessarily So Opening Bid: $2,600
  It, No.4 Opening Bid: $2,900

December, 16th, 2008
Recent Activities
GPI youth now have an official podcast which you can subscribe to through iTunes or directly through this site. Here is the feed.

You can now watch the new documentary film produced by GPI Atlantic and Bhutan's Youth Development Fund with funding from Democracy 250.
Contrasting Cultures of Democracy: Bhutanese and Canadian Youth Speak

Also GPI Youth's own Sam Little-Fair Wallace was recently interviewed on Halifax's CKDU 88.1fm
You can listen to the interview here.

July.6th, 2008
New media produced by GPI youth.
Please check out some of the work we did over the winter, including two great pieces from our time in Thailand. As well, we have posted a podcast that contains numerous interviews with participants of the Third International Conference on Gross National Happiness.

Podcast - Produced by Brennan Vogel (5.4MB mp3)

December 19, 2007
Photos from Bangkok now posted
Today we have over 200 photos by Stephan Hederich posted starting with Hong Or Village, through Ratchatani Asoka, Nong Khai, and Bangkok, to the last day of GNH3. In addition, have also posted photos of the conference and these pages are linked to day-by-day from those on this site. Special thanks to Stephan for providing such a wonderful collection. It is a really great tour from start to finish.

Send friends to if they are curious about Thailand and GNH3!

Kuensel Online, Bhutan
Wednesday, November 28, 2007 ~ Kuensel Online, Bhutan
The world needs Gross National Happiness
About 300 scholars, politicians, monks, journalists, youth, bureaucrats, and economists from around the world are gathered in Bangkok this week to discuss and give new depth to Gross National Happiness, a concept that is being increasingly sought as an answer to some of the negative global trends today.

The conference theme is that the worldview will make a difference in global transformation. Dozens of papers are being presented on topics ranging from philosophy and spiritual thought to folk tales to statistics and indicators to measure GNH.

Bhutan is represented by 20 participants and 18 youth, who visited northern Thailand for a cultural exchange programme of songs, dances, and prayers with people from the countries of the Mekong region. At the opening of the conference on November 26, the Bhutanese prime minister, Lyonpo Kinzang Dorji, talked to the gathering about the democratization process in Bhutan and the development of indicators to assess the progress of GNH policy.

“It is important to note that a considerable space exists between the inspirational ideal of GNH and the every day decisions of policymakers,” he said, adding that good democratic governance remains dependent on the quality of those in power and their ability to meet the needs of citizens.”

Lyonpo Kinzang Dorji said that Bhutan was working on the indicators that would help develop GNH policies in political economy, physical health, human resources, and living patterns.

Thailand’s prime minister, General Surayud Chulanont, welcomed the participants who, he said, were “gathered in concern for the physical, mental and spiritual well being of people”. Accepting that well being could not be measured by GDP alone, he said it was important to “dig deeper into ourselves to really understand GNH,” which was close to the King of Thailand’s policy of sufficiency economy.

The conference, he said, must find new standards and indicators for development. As the intellectual momentum of the conference picked up, a unanimous view was that Gross National Happiness had become more vital than ever in today’s changing world.

By Kinley Dorji

Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Photos from Hong Or Village, Thailand
Photos by Stephan Hederich

Youth Program and Forum, Pre-Conference Activities (
“The first phase, prior to the Conference, will involve a Core Group of young delegates from Bhutan, Canada and the Mekong region, and will be dedicated to the construction of a mutual understanding among the young participants and the creation of a harmonious environment for their work.

Ubon_Ratchathani_province on “After arriving in Thailand on the 16th of November, the young delegates will reach the Hong Or village in Ubon Ratchatani province, where they will share their experiences during a two-day Youth Forum on GNH, on 17-18 November. Hosted by the villagers in home-stay accommodation and using a traditional floating house for their meetings, the youth representatives will develop together new approaches to a number of common issues, that were also identified in the national and regional preparatory meetings and will be presented all over the main Conference activities”

Photos from Ratchatani Asoka, Thailand
“On the 19th and 20th of November, the Core Group will then leave Hong Or village and have the possibility to take part in exposure trips to local communities and projects in Pakmon and Nhong Phum villages, where they will learn about a number of local and global issues. They will arrive in Ratchatani Asoka community on the evening of the 19th and discover their activities and peculiar approach, dedicating the day of the 20th to integrating the local perspective experienced during the exposure trips to their preparation work.”

Nong_Khai_Province on “After a night trip by bus from Ubon Ratchatani to Nong Khai, where the first part of the Conference takes place, the group will use the day of the 21st to start setting objectives and sharing the tasks for both the practical aspects of the Conference – preparing together presentations and workshops materials on shared issues and country-based topics - and the monitoring of the content and outcomes of its different activities, working on specific questions and guidelines to provide continuous feedback and take a lead to include the youth perspective in all GNH future developments.”
Photos from Nong Khai, Thailand
22-25 November 2007
3rd International Conference on GNH – Youth Participation and Perspectives
“The second phase will see the start on the 22nd of the official Conference activities, and the youth group will be strongly involved in the implementation of the different plenary meetings and workshops – with several specific occasions where the Youth role and perspectives in GNH will constitute the core of the discussions – and take active responsibility in linking the work of the 100 young participants expected with that of the different groups and individuals present: the creation by the Core Group of a permanent Youth Focal Point will insure a space for both orienting new participants and facilitate their active participation and contribution to the Conference. As the first part of the conference will focus on the spiritual and local wisdom and knowledge, the Youth delegates will provide important inputs on these topics and learn from the experiences of GNH as promoted and understood by religious and community leaders, local governments and institutions. The video-project will also focus on the local aspects of GNH, with interviews with local youth both in the rural and urban areas of Nongkhai region.”

Photos from Bangkok, Thailand
Bangkok on 26-28 November 2007
“In the third phase, the young delegates will continue monitoring the Conference process, taking part in all the workshops and discussions and developing the activities of the Youth Focal Point, promoting participative daily feedback meetings with the up to 100 young participants coming from all around the world. The outcomes of such a reunion of diverse youth perspectives on GNH policies will then constitute the core of two key-moments that the young delegates are asked to prepare: the workshops on GNH Indicators, with the presentation of a Child and Youth Well-being Index, and the final 20 minutes speech to address the 600 participants attending the plenary meeting of the last day. As the days in Bangkok will be focusing on the national and international impact of GNH and other important visions of sustainable living, the young participants will contribute at this stage with decisive theoretic inputs on the priorities and perspectives as seen from the Youth, including reflections on intergenerational and cultural approaches to development. Through the video-project interviews, the young delegates will also question the key actors of the Conference, from academics to political leaders and business organisations, about their understanding and activities with and for the Youth.”

Sunday, November 25, 2007 ~ The New York Times – Andrew C. Revkin
Growing Pains in the Pursuit of Happiness
“Beyond the “buy nothing” campaigns and the YouTube videos chiding green shoppers, a serious international discussion on these matters is building. A weeklong conference on the Bhutan-born concept of Gross National Happiness concludes on Thursday in Bangkok. It’s the third such international meeting.”

Saturday, November 24, 2007
Check the Thailand Blog for Updates
Here is a simple clip of a beautiful moment between the GPI Youth, a Thai youth and his grandmother (she is teaching us yoga in the middle of the road near a monastery).

28 seconds Video 2.2MB

Friday, November 23, 2007 10:00 pm
Sawatdeeka- greetings from the Mekong River
As you know the group has safely arrived in Nongkhai from adventures in rice fields and rural villages. After days of sleeping on bamboo mats, simple Thai "showers" and very full days, it was appreciated by all to finally have a few days to catch up on much needed rest in "luxurious" hotel beds. Since our arrival in Nongkhai the groups have been joined by an additional 100 youth from all over including new countries such as Serbia, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Korea... it is very exciting to be surrounded by such high caliber young people all motivated to change the current directions of development. I believe, just the opportunity to meet with all these youth, is an inspiration on how much one can do no matter what the age. An interesting fact shared with us yesterday: 80% of the protests in the Myanmar/Burma against their military "government" came from the youth. Another point of inspiration is that at least a 1/3 of the conference participants are youth. It really indicates the level of interest and involvement of the young people in Asia on the topic of GNH.

The youth have joined working groups to discuss issues that they identified relevant. These groups include: Unemployment, Environment, Local Wisdom, Peace, Health, Volunteerism, the Rural-Urban Gap and Education. Each group has several countries represented and together are identifying resources, recommendations and solutions. At the very end of the conference, in Bangkok on Nov 28th, the youth have been granted the opportunity to formulate a 20 min speech/presentation that will voice the opinions of the all these diverse worldviews.

Aside from a general feeling of exhaustion from all the travel, early mornings and cultural adjustments- all spirits are up and positive. I have personally been impressed by the level of respect, positive attitudes and responsibility that the youth have demonstrated through-out our time here in Thailand. I trust them to continue this level of leadership.

Warm salutations from the Mother Kong!
Myriam Hammami

Friday, November 23, 2007 3:00 pm
Latest images from Thailand
Lastest from GNH3

Tuesday, November 20, 2007 ~ Facebook Note
Amazing Day
I don't even know how to start describing Asoka. I'll give it to you the way that i experienced it. We were driving in, through the forest (which is so amazing here), and we get to this clearing which is all dirt, and looks like they're going to develope it soon, or something. and we turn, and i get a view of what's in the middle of the clearing; this massive stone buddha. and then that dissapears behind some trees, and as we round that patch of trees i get another view, out the same side of the truck. It was this big building, about four or five stories, with beautiful architecture, all of these plants growing off the sides, definitely a modern building, but really well done....(excerpt from Sam's facebook note)

Sam Littlefair-Wallace

Friday, November 16, 2007 3:00 pm
GPI Youth Second Group arrives in Bangkok
It's 2am and Group 2 is here looking perky and bushy-tailed. We have just had a group meeting, everyone is cheerful and happy to be here, we've reviewed various logistical things and health and safety factoids, swapped phone numbers, and reviewed tomorrow's arrangements.

Ron Colman

Friday, November 16, 2007 11:45 am
GPI Youth Second Group
By my calculations, the plane should be landing in Bangkok at this very moment. They are being met at the airport by our wonderful Thai hosts, who are attending to every detail with much love and care. I plan to wait up for the second group to arrive here at the guest house (probably around midnight) and will let you know when they arrive here (and how they look!)

The first group - Sam, Dahlia, Michael, Natalie, and her cameraman whose name I forget (Steve?) left a short while ago with their Thai host - a delightful lady named Rin, who is accompanying them by overnight bus to Udon. She says they show movies on the long-distance buses and will stop for dinner en route around 1am, arriving in Udon in the AM where they can get some sleep catch-up with their host families before their first meetings in a nearby village. This group, along with Evan, went exploring in downtown Bangkok today. Second group and I head for Udon tomorrow by plane (an easier ride, but then we're not as tough as Group One.)

The Burmese youth group arrived today. Given all that has happened in Burma recently, the interactions with these young folk will be most interesting. The youth from Burma, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, etc. apparently speak good English, but the Thai youth have limited English and those from Indonesia and East Timor hardly any (so will rely on translators). By the way, our Canadians are the only western nation youth here - all the rest are Asian. Interesting......!

Ron Colman

Thursday, November 15, 2007 1:30 pm
Greetings from Bangkok ~ GPI Youth First Group
Just welcomed Sam, Evan and Michael here at the guest house where we are all staying. They look grand and excited - they even got some sleep on the plane so they don't look too frayed. Dahlia screamed with excitement to see Sam and woke up all Bangkok. Natalie the film-maker is here too and filmed Sam et al on arival at the airport.

The 18 youth from Bhutan all arrived this afternoon and Linn got here yesterday. Everyone looks happy and the Bhutanese youth are a fantastic group (I briefed them in Bhutan 2 weeks ago and was really impressed with them). Tomorrow - off to Ubon. There will be 220 youth from all southeast Asian countries here and other parts of the region. This will be a really rich experience!

Ron Colman

Thursday, November 15, 2007 ~ Facebook Note
The Far Side of the World
After thirty hours of travel i have arrived in the year 2550. This place is so beautiful, in such a surreal bizzarre way. it's like they designed it to be based on the same system and technology as the western world, but make the culture as intensely different as possible. I mean, for one it's 10 in the morning, and people i'm talking to on msn are going to sleep now. The language is of course radically different, they drive on the other side of the street, and it's november but it feels like i'm in the rainforest...(continues on Sam's facebook note)

Sam Littlefair-Wallace

Monday, October 22, 2007
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Towards Global Transformation
The Third International Conference on Gross National Happiness
Nongkhai / Bangkok, Thailand November 2007


ReThinking Development
The Second International Conference on Gross National Happiness Antigonish, June, 2005Conference Proceedings
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