UAE selects 60 Chief Happiness Officers

The Minister of State signed an agreement with the Oxford Mindfulness Centre at Oxford University to train the candidates. (EAY)

Ohood Bint Khalfan Al Roumi, Minister of State for Happiness, has announced the selection of 60 Chief Happiness and Positivity Officers representing federal and local government entities.

The candidates will undergo a practical, comprehensive, and intense training programme, the first of its kind on a global level, as of September, to become the first generation of Chief Happiness and Positivity Officers in the UAE Government.

Al Roumi explained that selecting these talented young nationals to the newly created role mirrors the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, who called for the creation of happy and positive work environments in all government entities.

All ministries need to be ministries of happiness when it comes to their policies, programmes, and services, Sheikh Mohammed noted, and to contribute to the establishment of a happy and positive society.

The Minister of State for Happiness went on to assert that training the Chief Happiness and Positivity Officers reflects the future-oriented thinking of the UAE Government, which firmly believes that building the future requires foresight and knowledge, and anticipates its challenges by launching initiatives, policies, and programmes, as well as training generations of specialists in various fields.

As part of the preparations to launch the Happiness and Positivity Training Programme, Al Roumi signed a memorandum of cooperation with the Greater Good Science Centre at the University of California - Berkeley, to train the Chief Happiness and Positivity Officers to understand the “science of happiness” and implement it.

The Minister of State also signed an agreement with the Oxford Mindfulness Centre at Oxford University, to train the candidates on how to employ mindfulness principles to spread happiness and positivity.

The programme was designed to equip a new generation of national leaders with world-class knowledge and practical skills in the field of happiness, allowing them to implement initiatives that promote happiness and positivity as a culture and an approach to government work. It mixes cognitive and practical aspects to equip the Chief Happiness and Positivity Officers with the necessary skills to turn abstract ideas into tangible projects, and to coordinate efforts within their respective departments in order to turn happiness and positivity into a daily practice and launch initiatives that can change people’s lives.

The programme consists of five pillars (top-tier international partners were chosen to implement each of them): the science of happiness and positivity, mindfulness, leading a happy team, happiness and policies in government work, and measuring happiness. The programme will be implemented in a timespan of five months starting in September this year, and concluding in January 2017.

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