The World Happiness Project was started by Gerry Clarke and Chris Croft who had a vision to make the world a happier place.
Their number one mission is to create a global television series and video stream about Happiness and Wellbeing. There has been nothing on television about Happiness in recent years even though everyone is interested in the subject and there is nothing more important in life than being happy. Their vision is to make a difference and they have been writing and developing a major new UK television series and creating a global video channel about Happiness and Wellbeing.
In 2020 they decided to launch the UK’s first National Happiness and Wellbeing conference. The idea behind the event is to showcase actions and interventions that can increase happiness and improve mental health and wellbeing in the home, the community and the workplace. The conference event was scheduled to take place in Bournemouth from 17th to 19th April. Sadly, due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the conference was postponed and replaced by a 90 minute video stream entitled HAPPY people, places, planet featuring presentations by the speakers. See Happiness and Wellbeing conference page for details and link to our YouTube video.
Since the start of the Coronavirus lockdown, Gerry and Chris and the World Happiness Project team have established a highly successful online Global Happy Café. Following the outbreak of the pandemic in the UK, they replaced the monthly live meetings with a virtual Zoom meeting and now meet online twice a month. It provides an opportunity to focus on important issues relating to happiness, mental health and wellbeing in society around the world and the Global Happy Cafe meetings now reach out to a wider audience with over 1000 subscribers worldwide.
The aim has been to develop a fellowship of likeminded people from around the world interested in increasing happiness and improving mental health and wellbeing, promoting the Action for Happiness Ten Keys to Happier Living, and discussing the future of society following the Corona virus pandemic. Online meetings take place monthly, usually around 1st of the month.
To login to our Zoom meetings, go to: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88302360790?pwd=eWdYd01kSHB4bktZNzN3T1BzZnIrUT09
Or register for the series at Eventbrite :- https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/global-happy-cafe-tickets-134388029213
The World Happiness Project is a not for profit organisation run by volunteers. Any surplus income is donated to charity.
Gerry loves bringing people together and making things happen. His personal philosophy is “We make a living by what we earn, we make a life by what we give!”
He started out writing and producing films to teach farmers in the developing world how to grow more food. “Give a man a fish and he will feed his family for a week, teach him to fish and he will feed his family for a lifetime!” is a favourite saying. Over a career spanning 50+ years he created a number of successful media communications companies, harnessing the power of films, television and radio, including more recently webTV and social media to introduce and promote new technology to people around the world.
Being essentially a creative person, Gerry works a freelance writer and photo journalist and has worked for Time Magazine and the Riviera Times; he is also an accomplished artist and sculptor; a creator of sculpture parks and gardens, an experienced producer of Arts and Music festivals, including the Bournemouth Jazz Festival, Music by the Sea Festival and the World Jazz Jamboree. He has been working to create a new Arts based Platinum Jubilee project to enhance the beauty and appearance of his local village in Dorset.
His personal motto: “Let every man follow the sun, for there in the distance he will find his reward.“
For further details see: www.gerryclarke.co.uk or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Chris is a management trainer and author, his first book ‘Time Management‘ was published in 1996 and has since been followed by fourteen others. His tip of the month email goes out regularly to over 18,000 people. Recently he has also been making videos – there are more than 80 on his youtube channel which has 9000 subscribers and over a million views, and he has 28 courses featured on www.lynda.com / Linkedin Learning, including his Daily Happiness Tips which was in the top ten worldwide viewed courses on Linkedin Learning in 2018.
It was his interest in Time Management which led him to Happiness – what is better use of your time than the things that make you happy? Trying to understand happiness, and then to promote it in others, has become an increasing passion.
For further details see: www.chriscroft.com or email: email@example.com
Julia is an experienced and qualified coach that offers practical ways of getting more of what we want in life. Her approach is based on the unique person-centred NLP and Integrative Hypnotherapy by Salus Academy which Peggy Guglielmino established. With her Happiness Life Coaching you receive bespoke experiences, tailored to your individual needs and goals, as you commit to a profound journey.
She strongly believes we are the drivers of our own lives and not the victims of life’s circumstances. We all have 24 hours in a day. It is up to every one of us to make the most of it. She loves seeing people happy, bursting with confidence and making decisions consciously.
Kerry works as a qualified life coach and NLP trainer currently working for the NHS “Here for each other” Staff Wellbeing Programme. She is also a Hypnobirthing Teacher (http://calmbirths.co.uk/)
Kerry is passionate about supporting people through times of change, helping them to learn new tools to manage change in their lives and to think about and create the future they want. She contributes a regular book review for our Global Happy Cafe meetings
Lesley Lyle was one of the first cohort of the MSc Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP), Bucks New University. She is now an associate lecturer on the MAPP course at Bucks and a Director of Positive Psychology Learning, the only UK company that offers positive psychology courses run is association with a university.
Her dissertation was research into positive aging, a subject that she is hoping to learn more about from the inside out! She is a qualified Clinical Hypnotherapist and runs a wellbeing practice in the New Forest where she lives and also shares a practice in Harley Street, London.
A keen advocate of facilitating positive emotions for herself and others, she is a laughter teacher and trainer and runs a free laughter club in her community. In 2012 her book ‘Laugh Your Way to Happiness’ was published (Watkins). After a long career in the aviation world she still works part time for British Airways, as cabin crew, trainer and wellbeing & inclusion advisor.
Our Global Happiness Ambassadors
Adisha Kariyawasam – Ambassador for Sri Lanka
Adisha is originally from Sri Lanka and has been living in UK for nearly 50 years. He is currently a lecturer in project management, science and information technology at a University in Essex. He is also an artist, musician and composer and a keen gardener.
Donneth Casillan – Ambassador for The Philippines
Vibha Sri – based in India
Vibha is a global Gratitude Champion, Happiness Motivator and International Facilitator and Samaritan. She is pursuing her twin purpose of a) spreading the joy of gratitude to promote human and planet’s well-being and b) helping organizations to be in health and balance, by applying life-nurturing methods of facilitation. She worked in social development sector for more than 15 years in the areas of public health and social-emotional education, at program leadership positions with the UN, Johns Hopkins University and other international organizations. In addition to working extensively in India, she has undertaken assignments in USA, Russia, Netherlands, Thailand, Myanmar, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka. When not working, she goes on pan India road trips to offer gratitude joyshops, undertake random acts of kindness and make people happy.
Toshiko Omonishi – based in Paris and representing France and Japan
Toshiko is an IT Project Manager, working for global companies in the U.S, Germany and France. She is taking courses envisioning a life coach for a career change. Last 2 years she has been serving as a volunteer listener for an emotional support organization in France. Her happy moments are when she spends time with her friends and family, travels the world, and sings in choir. She is excited to take the role of ambassador for France as well as for Japan, her home country, to learn more about Happiness and make the world a happier place.
Desiree Vanshagen – based in Italy and representing Italy and The Netherlands
Désirée is a freelance event planner building up her coaching career path at the same time. Originally from the Netherlands, she worked for many years as a marketing and event manager in the automotive industry (in Germany, Belgium and the US) she now lives in Italy. In her spare time, Désirée volunteers at InterNations (a global expat organization) and with VolTo (a local organization helping students with their career choices). Having recently finished the Science of Well-Being and Happiness Life Coach training, she is excited to be part of the World Happiness Project as Ambassador for Italy and the Netherlands.
Jeannie An and Sandra Rakovac – Ambassadors based in Canada
Jeannie is at McMaster University and is currently research services librarian. She holds a B.A. and a Master of Library and Information Studies degree from the University of Toronto. She started her second degree later in life and enjoys being a life-long learner. Jeannie has working experience in the government and academia, and is passionate about learning and her family.
Sandra studied human genetics and molecular biology at McGill University and then completed her Master of Library and Information Studies. She has more than 30 years of professional librarian experience in a variety of industries. Currently she volunteers with Healthy Workplace Committee.
Tahani Mohammed – Ambassador for the Middle East and North Africa
Dr Tahani Mohammed is a Lecturer in Accounting, Finance and Taxation at Bournemouth University and is fascinated by the psychology of human behaviour and enjoys helping others in starting a new life as she has done, having arrived from Libya in 2013. She considers her journey as a life purpose and her message for women all around the world is that if she can do so, you can too.
Sir Anthony Seldon – Well known author, educator and historian
Sir Anthony Seldon was the original co-founder of the Action for Happiness movement with Lord Layard. He is currently Vice Chancellor of the University of Buckingham and has become one of Britain’s leading contemporary historians, educationalists, commentators and political authors. He will be talking about Finding Happiness. For further details see:- http://www.anthonyseldon.co.uk/
Lord Richard Layard – Professor, London School of Economics
Lord Richard Layard is co-founder of Action for Happiness and former director of the Centre for Economic Performance at the London School of Economics. He is the author of the ground-breaking book, Happiness: Lessons from a New Science and will be talking about his latest book entitled “Can we Be Happier”. He is co-editor of the annual World Happiness Report and has been instrumental in the development of improving access to psychological therapies in the UK.
Lord Gus O’Donnell – Former Cabinet Secretary and Head of UK Civil Service
Lord Gus O’Donnell has served several UK Prime Ministers, including Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and David Cameron as Cabinet Secretary and was Head of Civil Service from 2005 to 2011. He is an economist and a keen supporter of the wellbeing and happiness movements, chairing the development group of founding partners setting up the What Works Centre for Wellbeing in London. He is also a keen supporter of Action for Happiness movement and in 2012 joined Frontier Economics as a Senior Advisor.
Suzie and James Pawelski – American Authors, Happy Together
Suzie Pawelski has a Master of Applied Positive Psychology degree from the University of Pennsylvania. She is a freelance writer, well-being consultant, and international speaker on the science of happiness and its effects on relationships and health. Her Scientific American Mind cover story, “The Happy Couple,” was the catalyst for Happy Together: Using the Science of Positive Psychology to Build Love That Lasts. Previously, Suzie directed award-winning media relations campaigns for Fortune 500 clients, worked in publicity at Radio City Music Hall and was associate producer for HBO Downtown Productions and The Joan Rivers Show.
James Pawelski is Professor of Practice and Director of Education in the Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania where he co-founded the Master of Applied Positive Psychology Program with Martin Seligman in 2005. The Founding Executive Director of IPPA, he is currently leading a three-year, multi-million-dollar grant investigating connections between the science of well-being and arts and humanities. He and Suzie will be talking about their book “Happy Together”
Professor John Helliwell – Co-Editor, UN World Happiness Report
John F. Helliwell is a Professor at the University of British Columbia and co-editor of the World Happiness Report, the annual publication of the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network. The report contains articles and rankings of national happiness based on respondent ratings of peoples own lives, which the report also correlates with various life factors. This year the report focusses on how lives have changed during Covid.
Helen Russell – Best Selling Author and Journalist
Helen Russell is a bestselling author, journalist and speaker. Her first book, The Year of Living Danishly, became an international bestseller. She is the author of four other critically acclaimed books, translated into 21 languages and will be talking about the Secrets of happiness around the world – uncovering the unique cultural concepts, habits and attitudes keeping people afloat. We talk to her about her latest book How to be Sad.
Sian Williams – BBC News presenter and journalist
Sian Williams will be speaking about her work and interest in Positive Psychology. She has recently accepted a new role with the NHS and is currently finishing a doctoral course in psychology at the University of London. She will also be talking about her personal experiences with Resilience.
Sylvia Ramirez – International speaker based in Colombia and representing South America
Sylvia Ramirez is a Professor and distinguished Lawyer with a Masters degree in administrative law and specialises in happiness, leadership, emotional intelligence, teamwork, branding and consumer psychology. She was recently voted one of the 12 most influential voices in Latin America. She will be talking about her latest book, The Happiness Manifesto. See further details at: www.sylviaramirez.com.co
Dr Isaac Prilleltensky – University of Miami, USA
Professor Isaac Prilleltenski is former dean of the School of Education and Human Development at the University of Miami and currently serves as vice provost for institutional culture. He was born in Argentina and has lived and worked in Israel, Canada, Australia, and the United States. He will be giving a talk entitled: Mattering is no laughing matter: Using humor and science to become happier and healthier.
Dr Julia Kim – Programme Director, Gross National Happiness Centre, Bhutan
Dr. Julia Kim is a leading expert in global health and wellbeing and the Program Director of the Gross National Happiness Centre Bhutan. Through local and international partnerships, the GNH Centre promotes a more flourishing, equitable, and sustainable world. Prior to living in Bhutan, Julia worked as a physician and HIV researcher in Africa and Asia, before serving with UNDP and UNICEF in New York. Julia holds degrees from Cornell University, the University of Manitoba, Tufts University, and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She will be talking about How can we balance the outer and inner conditions for happiness.
Vanessa King – Author of the Action for Happiness: Ten Keys to Happier Living
Vanessa King is a board member at Action for Happiness and author of our Ten Keys to Happier Living book. She plays an active role, speaking nationally and internationally and translating the latest psychological research into practical action to help individuals, organisations and communities enhance their wellbeing and resilience. She is talking about her role in developing the GREAT DREAM -ten keys to happier living
Mark Williamson – CEO Action for Happiness
Dr Mark Williamson is co-founder and Director of Action for Happiness. He has taken the organisation from a concept on paper to a mass participation movement with hundreds of thousands of members and a wide range of activities. Mark has a long-standing interest in happiness and well-being and is passionate about creating a more balanced, collaborative society that focuses less on consumption and material wealth and more on helping people and communities thrive. Mark is talking about Action for Happiness and the growing world happiness movement.
Rachel More – Professional Singer and Voice Coach
Rachel More has been a professional singer and vocal coach in the music industry for many years, performing and teaching a variety of musical genres, including musical theatre, pop and jazz. Her varied experience and love of performing combined with her passion for teaching provides Rachel with a unique blend of skills. She believes that singing is one of the most natural ways of communicating and is really just an extension of speaking. She will be talking about the Power of Singing. Why? because it actually is really good for you.
Dr Sonam Tobgye – Speaker on Happiness in Bhutan
Dr Sonam Tobgye obtained his PhD from Queensland University of Technology (QUT) in Australia on the thesis Digital Transformation in Bhutan: Culture, Workforce and Training. His research investigates the changes and challenges for Bhutanese society of information and communication technologies for which there is little scholarly research. His area of interest is Gross National Happiness ( GNH), a concept that was born out of our Fourth King Jigme Singye Wangchuck.
Robert Biswas Diener – Speaker on Positive Pyschology
Dr. Robert Biswas-Diener is known as the “Indiana Jones of Positive Psychology” because he has researched happiness and other positive topics with groups such as the Amish, the Inuit, and the Maasai. As a result, he brings a unique perspective to his presentation: part anthropology, part psychology. Robert loves to create fresh presentations that meet the specific needs and match the culture of his clients.
Amy Blankson – Co-Founder of the Digital Wellness Institute
Amy Blankson is the CEO Of Fearless Positivity, Co-Founder of the Digital Wellness Institute, and bestselling author of The Future of Happiness. A graduate of Harvard and the Yale School of Management, she’s the only person to receive a Point of Light award from two US Presidents. She is also a member of the UN Global Happiness Council, a Fellow of the World Innovation Organization, a featured professor in Oprah’s happiness e-course, and a regular contributor to Forbes. Her current work focuses on how to cultivate happiness and well-being in the digital era.
Ian Maskell – Visionary CEO of Wall’s Ice cream
Ian Maskell is Vice President Global Brand Development at Unilever and talks about the Wall’s Happiness Manifesto for a Happier World
Mandy Seligman – Founder of Seeing Happy
Mandy Seligman is a social development psychologist and founder of Seeing Happy, a non profit organisation dedicated to promoting photography as a path to finding happiness and wellbeing.
Dr Emilia Bunea – International leadership scholar and educator
Dr. Emilia Bunea holds a PhD in Management from VU Amsterdam. Her research on leadership development through serious leisure was published in Frontiers of Psychology, Harvard Business Review, London Business School Review and the Academy of Management Proceedings. Dr. Bunea has extensive senior executive career experience, most recently as CEO of an organization with 2 million customers, as well as nonexecutive experience, currently as board member of an asset management company. She has been lecturing on leadership in over ten countries at business schools and corporate events. Her TED talk “Why leaders should take their leisure seriously” has been viewed over a million times. Dr. Bunea has recently authored and produced “Crossroads Life” the first cinematic leadership case, that will be used in leadership courses and workshops around the world.
Ruth Davey – Founder of Look Again
Ruth Davey is a leader in the world of mindful photography. She founded Look Again in 2012 to bring together her love of photography, mindfulness and nature, and to use her skills to support the health and wellbeing of people and planet. Ruth is an experienced facilitator, trainer, business advisor and project manager, with 30 years experience of working with NGOs, artists, inner city businesses, and community organisations in London, West Africa, Bristol and Stroud. She is also a professional photographer in her own right, a Fellow of the RSA and the author of the book The Art of Applewood. She’s an activist, loves road trips, and enjoys times of solitude in nature.
Look Again works with organisations of all types and sizes, including charities, corporates, the public sector and self-employed practitioners. Since the beginning of the pandemic, thousands of people from all over the world have benefited from our online mindful photography courses, community partnerships, wellbeing in the workplace, and facilitator training programmes.
Andree-Anne LeBlanc – Adventure MAP
Andrée-Anne is a global citizen, a world explorer and a passionate advocate of using adventure to grow. She is Canadian and lived and visited more than 65 countries in which she had experimented countless adventures ranging from snowboarding, scuba diving, hiking, fishing and hunting. Her talk will be about these adventures and why they are so important for our personal growth and professional fulfillment. Eternally optimistic, and believer that happiness is in the journey. Andrée-Anne hopes to inspire you to get out of your comfort zone and find purpose in discovering. The world have so much to offer for those who dare look!
Jon Sloper – Help and Kindness in Dorset
Jon helped set up HelpAndKindness which is a Community Interest Company in Dorset that helps people find local support when they need it, and find places where they can offer help when they’re able. It brings together the voluntary and charity sector with public and private sector support providers and lists and maps them at a local level so people can find services that are available in their village or town.
Emily Coxhead – Editor The Happy Newspaper
Emily launched The Happy Newspaper back in 2015 to celebrate all that’s good in the world; it’s a platform to share positive news and stories about wonderful people. It is read by over 20,000 subscribers in 33 different countries each quarter. Emily’s mission is to ‘sprinkle a tiny bit of happiness all over the planet’ and we look forward to working with her publication over the coming year.
Victor Perton – Centre for Optimism
Victor is the Chief Optimism Officer for The Centre for Optimism. His purpose? To help everyone and anyone become more optimistic and to foster “realistic and infectiously optimistic leaders in the world.” He is the author of “Optimism: The How and Why” and “The Case for Optimism: The Optimist’s Voices” and the Founder and Editor of “The Australian Leadership Project”.
Hazel Farrer – Life Coach and founder of Mindful-Nature Connection
Hazel previously worked in the U.K. in senior management positions for various charity, government and private organisations. She gained an MA in Mindfulness based approaches and her dissertation on ‘nature-based mindfulness’ built on her passion for health and wellbeing in nature. She has now set up Mindful-nature connection and now runs integrative programmes on mindful-nature connection, life management and climate coaching courses for individuals, groups and in schools. She lives between Portugal and the UK and is setting up wellbeing and nature retreats in Algarve, Portugal.
Martyn Underhill – Former Police and Crime Commissioner Dorset
Martyn was elected Police and Crime Commissioner for Dorset after serving as a police officer for 30 years. He currently works to promote mental health issues in the local community.
Peggy Callaghan – Hollywood Film Producer
Peggy has spent decades as a reporter, producer, director, and TV executive. Her powerful, award-winning storytelling has helped change laws and lives.
Along the way she cofounded two international anti-slavery organizations that have helped free tens of thousands of people from slavery, consulted with governments around the world and helped get laws passed against slavery in the US and abroad. Peggy’s latest production is Mission: JOY a documentary film about The Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
Belinda O’Neill – Author and Inspirational Speaker
Belinda is an experienced speaker and Business and Community Ambassador from Northern Ireland. She is an Author and Founder of “Be Inspired To Be’ with over 170,000 global followers across social media. A former Chamber of Commerce President and Mentor for Women in Business NI. She has also recently been appointed as a part-time Lecturer in Southern Regional College within the Leadership and Management faculty.