What does it really take to bring out the best in kids, adults and the institutions that surround us? Does moralism and capitalism play a role? And just what do you really need to do to make change last? These questions and more were answered in June 2015 in Orlando, Florida when the world’s leading positive psychology researchers gathered at the World Congress.   Whether you were at the event or observing from afar, wouldn’t you love a behind the podium conversation with these researchers to discover not just the well-rehearsed presentation of their findings but what they really recommend when it comes to practically applying these ideas? Hear first hand what Tal Ben Shahar, Jonathan Haidt, Richie Davidson, Lea Waters and David Cooperrider have to say when it comes to their latest thoughts on just how positive psychology can help people to consistently flourish in life and at work.   We hope you enjoy their insights!   Warmest wishes   Michelle & Seph

Day 1

What are the fundamental constituents of well-being, their neural bases and bio-behavioral correlates, and how they can be cultivated through mental training? And if well-being is best conceptualized as a skill that can be enhanced through training, what are the practices we should prioritize?  
Richard Davidson is the William James and Vilas Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry and the Director of the Waisman Laboratory for Brain Imaging and Behavior – both at the UW-Madison. He is a renowned neuroscientist and one of the world’s leading experts on the impact of contemplative practices, such as meditation, on the brain.  


Day 2

Do you have a strengths-based approach to parenting? New research suggests children whose parents deliberately identify and cultivate positive states, processes and qualities in their children to more effectively cope with stress. But exactly what do are these parents doing differently?  
Lea Waters holds the Gerry Higgins Chair in Positive Psychology and is the Director of the Centre for Positive Psychology, University of Melbourne. Her work is internationally recognized and has published and presented in the United Kingdom, Canada, U.S.A., Asia and Europe. She has implemented positive education approaches in more than 100 schools in Australia and Asia and her newest research focuses on strength based parenting.  


Day 3

Why do most personal and organizational change efforts fail? While initial excitement may be high following a workshop or program, more often than not people go back to where they were prior to the intervention. To enjoy change that lasts, that goes beyond the “honeymoon period,” insights must be followed up with actual behaviors and concrete rituals. Find out what Tal recommends.  
Tal Ben Shahar is an author and lecturer. He taught two of the largest classes in Harvard University’s history, Positive Psychology and The Psychology of Leadership. Today, Tal consults and lectures around the world to executives in multi-national corporations, the general public, and at-risk populations.  


Day 4

Could the quest for a flourishing earth be the most significant positive psychology and organization development opportunity of the 21st century? And when people in organizations work toward building a sustainable and flourishing world they too are poised to flourish in ways that elevate innovation, personal excellence, and work¬place well being? Discover how an organization’s quest for sustainable value can bring out the best not just on the outside—helping to advance a better society or world—but also bring out the best on the “inside” – in the flourishing of people, the quality of their relationships, their health and well-being, their motivation and performance, and their capacity for growth, resilience, and positive change.  
David Cooperrider is the Fairmount Minerals Professor of Social Entrepreneurship at the Weatherhead School of Management, Case Western Reserve University. He is best known as the co-creator and creative thought leader of Appreciative Inquiry and his founding work in this field has created a positive revolution in the leadership of change around the world.  


Day 5

The 2015 World Happiness Report shows that almost all of the happiest countries are free-market societies, and almost all of the least happy countries are not. So how can positive psychology help countries find their own ways to balance the sometimes competing needs for dynamism and decency?  
Jonathan Haidt is the Professor of Ethical Leadership at New York University – Stern School of Business and Author of New York Times Best Seller The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion. Widely considered to be one of the world’s leading experts on the psychology of morality. His TED talks have been viewed more than 3 million times and was named a “Top 100 Global Thinker” by Foreign Policy magazine in 2012, and one of the 65 “World Thinkers of 2013” by Prospect magazine.  



Are you fully charged when it comes to your work and your life? New research suggests only 11% of people report feeling energized each day so what are the three simple approaches you should prioritize when it comes to consistently flourishing?  
TomRathTom Rath is an author and researcher who studies the role of human behavior in business, health, and well-being. He has been described by business leaders and media as one of the greatest thinkers and nonfiction writers of his generation. With six New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestsellers over the past decade, Tom also serves as a senior scientist for and advisor to Gallup, where he previously spent thirteen years leading the organization’s work on employee engagement, strengths, leadership, and well-being.