The second annual Happiness Festival was recently held in Indonesia under the patronage of the Indonesian Ministry of National Development Planning (BAPPENAS), SDSN, Project Semesta, and United in Diversity, or UID (the host of SDSN Southeast Asia). The Happiness Festival aims to ignite a global movement for happiness by combining social, ecological, and spiritual messaging around the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The two-day event was supported by honored leaders and members of the community, including Bambang Brodjonegoro (Minister of National Development Planning), Marzuki Usman (Formerly of the Ministry of Tourism; Board of Trustees, UID), Aristides Katoppo (Senior Journalist), I Gede Ardhika (Formerly of the Ministry of Tourism; Board of Trustees, UID); and Cherie Nursalim (Vice Chairman of GITI Group; Board of Trustees, UID). Other stakeholders from various parts of society also supported the festival and joined in the activities.­­

“The Indonesian government has shown a consistency in legitimizing the SDG agenda into the country’s national development planning and issuing Presidential regulation No.59 year of 2017. [The] support from BAPPENAS and SDSN [of the] Happiness Festival shows our government values [the notion that] the growth of a nation is linked to increased human happiness and wellbeing, not just growing the economy. The Happiness Festival brings our society closer together with the spirit of unity in diversity, serving as a collective action to join the global movement of happiness and realize the SDGs,” said Mari Elka Pangestu, President, United in Diversity.

Throughout the event, a series of workshops and dialogues were held on a variety of topics. Sustainable food consumption was one popular theme, and prompted a discussion among attendees from the food industry including Burgreens, GEMASS, Sayurbox, and Krakakao, on the adverse impacts of general public consumption patterns, and alternative lifestyle solutions so individuals can practice sustainable food consumption, inspiring more sustainable food consumption in the context of urban society. Other workshops included: Turmeric-Based Home Remedy by Rahsa Nusantara; Terrariums for Kids by Kawan Cendekia; Upcycling Fashion Waste by Threadapeutic; Natural Lipbalm by Peek.Me Naturals’ Good Deeds; Happy Volunteering by; and many more.

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“Happiness is a choice. In, we believe one of the highest forms of happiness is achieved when we help make other people happy. In line with SDG Pyramid to Happiness, which serves as the DNA of the Happiness Festival, have evidence that Indonesia is full of good and caring people. Rather, we simply need more bridges to connect and more platforms that unite us.”


The festival championed the SDG Pyramid, which demonstrates how the SDGs can be used to facilitate social wellbeing. The Pyramid rearranges the SDGs into three core components that represent issues in relation to people, ecology, and spirit. The 17 SDGs are grounded in the existing core values of other philosophies and religions such as Pancasila, Islam (hablum minallah, hablum minannas, hablum minalam), the Chinese philosophy Tian Di Ren He, and the Balinese life philosophy Tri Hita Karana, which means “Three Ways to Happiness” and guides many aspects of Balinese life.