Big Ideas kicked off Big Ideas Revive with the theme of ‘Happiness’ – inviting inspirational speakers from the Big Ideas ‘friends and family’ to join the team for a series of workshops and conversations. Each speaker brought a different perspective on the meaning of happiness, exploring the theme through self reflection, humour and music.

Jonathan Cook invited the team to explore happiness in relation to personal objects and experiences. Discussions revolved around the link between happiness and continuity, asking the question – “are we responsible for our own happiness?”. ‘To find out more about Jonathan and his work at the University of East Anglia click here.

Nelson Kumah (pictured with Stormzy) shared his experiences of mental health, providing support for colleagues at the BBC in his role as a Mental Health First Aider. The team were struck by his personal bravery to share his story and inspire others to seek the help they need. Nelson uses humour to engage people in discussions about mental health, encouraging the team to seek support when needed – “ If you can talk to someone, do”. For more information on how to become a mental health first aider, click here.

Ivor and Miriam engaged the team in a deep conversation about personal happiness, religion and the power of meditation. Having survived the Holocaust, Miriam and Ivor inspired the team with their approach to finding happiness and their advice for younger generations – “love is stronger than hate”. Find out more about Ivor and Mariam’s story.

Neil Martin spoke to the team about gamifying real life as a way of engaging with young people, highlighting how youth and community groups provide a safe space for young people to develop soft skills, acting as a dress rehearsal for ‘real life’. Neil spoke candidly about his personal motivation to make other people happy and how his moral compass is “Kermit the frog”. Find out more about Neil here.

Sam Vance-Law rounded off the Happiness theme by inspiring the team to find humour in everyday life. Sam shared how comedy influences his creative process and how he finds light moments when discussing serious topics through his music. Sam shared a moving rendition of songs from his album Homotopia. To read more about Sam click here.

The main takeaway from the sessions was that happiness takes many forms and we should strive to make ourselves happy and to support others. 

Thank you to all the speakers who gave their time, personal and professional experiences, contributing to Big Ideas Revive