The Sunday Times rich list is published today (27-04-08); The Independent on Sunday has its own The Happy List which is divided into 10 classifications philanthropy, charity, mental well-being, physical health, pleasure (i.e. those in the media and culture who make us feel better), environment, innovation, volunteers and time-givers, community activity, and entertainment..
I thought I would extract the text for the "Happy "Innovators here:
Trevor Baylis; Inventor of the wind-up radio
His inventions are born from a desire to help the disabled and the dispossessed. Orange Aids promote function in those with lost motor skills, his electric shoes can charge a mobile phone battery for those without an electricity supply, and his wind-up radio, integral to the spread of Aids awareness in Africa, has saved innumerable lives.
Tim Berners-Lee; Inventor of worldwide web
Sir Tim's invention 19 years ago has revolutionised the way people communicate. The British scientist, who was working at a particle physics institute in Geneva at the time, originally conceived of his new hypertext program as a tool to aid scientific research. There are now thought to be more than 100 billion websites.
James Dyson; Inventor, Dyson cleaner
One of the UK's most successful inventors, who stumbled across the idea for a bagless vacuum cleaner while renovating his house. The first model went on sale in 2003 and became the fastest-selling vacuum cleaner in this country. He has since become an active champion of design that puts function ahead of appearance.
Polly Gowers; Co-founder of Everyclick
The chief executive of Everyclick is a web expert with a difference. Every click on search engine everyclick.com raises money for charity. Revenue is generated by advertising on the site, and half of monthly revenue goes to charity. If everyone who used Google swapped over to everyclick.com, the charity world would be transformed.
Alec Jeffries; Inventor of DNA testing
Justice and personal security rank above luxury and convenience, according to an "Innovation by the Nation" poll. Sir Alec, for his creation of the first DNA fingerprint, came out as top Briton in the poll, which asked people to name the most important innovation in the past 50 years. Sir Alec is a professor of genetics at the University of Leicester.
Neil Papworth; Inventor of texting
In 1992 he was a young engineer eager to help improve the way businesses and institutions communicate. A short message service between cellphones seemed like it might be useful. In December of that year, he sent the first text message to the director of Vodafone. It read "Merry Christmas"; 15 years on, billions of txt msg r snt.
Dave Pitchford; Creator, IntelligentGiving.com
The former high-flying e-business consultant packed it all in to channel his expertise into improving the way we give. Conscious that many potential donors were put off by the bewildering number of charities, his website is a guide to aspiring benefactors and provides interactive advice as to which charities they are most suited.
John Shepherd-Barron; Inventor of the ATM
Mr Shepherd-Barron may not see himself as the founder of a 24-hour global party culture (and his latest device, which plays whale noises, is yet to take off), but the 83-year-old's most famous invention, the ATM – Automated Teller Machine – marked the birth of the night-time economy and plastic money.
Francis Stott; Founder of 'Hear-Abouts'
Harrow resident who launched an acclaimed talking magazine for the visually impaired in 1995. 'Hear-Abouts', the winner of national awards, combines interviews, poetry, stories and local notices, and is sent out free. Mr Stott, a 77-year-old former sound engineer for EMI, spent his younger years producing classical albums at Abbey Road.
Tom Steinberg; Promoting democracy
A former think-tank wonk who created MySociety.org, Mr Steinberg is responsible for a range of politely subversive websites: TheyWorkForYou lays bare every MP's parliamentary productivity, FixMyStreet enables residents to report and discuss local problems easily, and e-petitions has seen 2.5m names sent directly to Downing Street.
Some thoughts come to mind: It would be logical to drop some people in other classifications into 'innovation', but that would make for an unbalanced result. It also shows there are exemplars that are the antithesis of Sir George Cox's "
How do you measure 'happy'?
Picture uploaded by sparklefish. Used with thanks under CC.
"Happiness happens when expectation meets or exceeds reality.
Sustained happiness happens when you have the degree of choice you need to support your values.
Just a thought.... "
Also I noticed that I was thinking "Yes, but...for happiness - shouldn't reality exceed expectation?"
Looking at the list I could also see potential downsides to some of the innovations... which brought to mind
...My interpretation is that we should not reject a tool or technology on the basis of what it is but we need to consider what it may become. It is fascinating to track the enabling technologies leading to each innovative outcome, and the way that knowledge is acquired.
So the invention of the WWW by Tim Berners-Lee to solve a problem enabled Polly Gowers and David Pitchford to solve their problems, and spread some happiness on their journey....like Trevor Baylis did with his wind-up radio, which was produced in South Africa... happiness for the workers and the users? Then there is the impact of DNA fingerprinting and txtg.. acting as platforms/inspirations for other activities ... Twitter, Family Trees, etc. But there is one thing in common... there is an Insight about the consumer/customer/end-user that energises these people to imagine a different, better future and find ways to deliver it.