Last Friday, Grammy Award-winning musician, entrepreneur and philanthropist, Pharrell Williams and the United Nations Foundation welcomed 1,700 school children for the annual International Day of Happiness at the UN General Assembly Hall in New York City to spread happiness by learning how to take climate action and build a better world.
Pharrell addressed the young audience with the story of how music brings him joy, saying, “I’m here to talk to you guys about the importance of happiness. Music brought my happiness. And when you find out what makes you happy… you should know that happiness is your birthright.” He continued with a message about the importance of protecting Earth, our home:
We only have one home. And I know we’re visiting neighbors like Mars, and you know we’ve been to the Moon, but we have a home. And there’s climate change. And I know you’ve seen the images and we have Sylvia Earle here tonight and we have Philippe Cousteau here to talk to you about that as well, but I’m going to give you my two cents, which is if you don’t take care of your home then you don’t have a life. So we have to now transition from climate change to climate action.
Mission Blue founder Dr. Sylvia Earle and explorer, environmentalist, and founder of EarthEcho International, Philippe Cousteau, attended as special “climate educators” to speak words of hope for a happy future with a healthy planet. “A lot of people are expressing a lot of doom and gloom about the problems with the planet and the consequences to us” said Dr. Earle. She continued:
But here’s the thing: If you think there’s no solution to the problems, you don’t even try to fix things. But if you have a vision of a better place – what do you want the world to be? – then set about making it happen. What is the future you want? Think of a happier planet, a happier world. There are things that everyone can do to make a difference.
The day’s events included a digital activation by Google, inviting people to join a Global Happy Party for #HappyDay and #HappyPlanet, and a chance for kids to have their photos selected by Pharrell to appear in the NG Kids Magazine (through April 1!).
This event is part of a yearlong network of events produced by Live Earth leading up to the COP21 climate summit in Paris in December. Pharrell is the creative director for Live Earth, which aims to collect one billion signatures for a pledge to call for action at the upcoming conference.
Watch the full video of the #InternationalDayOfHappiness with NG Kids at the UN:
(Featured image © WIREIMAGE)