Written by : Paula Felps 

Summit Merges Meditation and Motivation

The inaugural World Happiness Summit (WOHASU) in Miami, March 17–19, was a crossroads of science and spirituality, with a lineup of philosophers, researchers and motivational speakers all focusing on one thing: generating greater happiness. Live Happy was proud to add its stamp as media partner of the conference and co-host in celebrating the 5th annual International Day of Happiness. The bright-orange signature Happiness Wall, where people from all over the world shared hope and joy became one of the centerpieces of the conference.

From daily meditation and yoga practices to an indoor park (complete with AstroTurf, swings and park benches), the environment was designed to help attendees relax and recharge. Speakers including positive psychology heavy hitters such as Sonja Lyubomirsky, Ph.D., Lord Richard Layard, Tal Ben-Shahar, Ph.D., Shawn Achor, Michelle Gielan and Sri Sri Ravi Shankar presented a wide range of information on happiness and how to achieve it. Business leaders such as lululemon CEO Laurent Potdevin, Woohoo inc’s Alexander Kjerulf and Google’s Mo Gawdat and Gopi Kallayil looked at the role of happiness in enterprise companies.

Here’s a look at some of the weekend’s events and speakers.

Africa Yoga Project co-founder Paige Elenson (above) and AYP graduate Patrick Kiragu lead attendees in a morning Baptiste Yoga Vinyasa flow. Each day began with an opening meditation and yoga practice.

Alexander Kjerult, chief happiness officer at Denmark’s Woohoo, inc. (above) talks about the essence of “Leading With Happiness.”

Live Happy columnist and author Michelle Gielan (above) leads the panel, “Broadcasting Happiness: How We Perceive the World.” Communications experts on the panel are (left to right) Live Happy co-founder and CEO Deborah Heisz; motivational speaker and journalist Ismael Cala; and Tonic associate publisher John Duncan. The conversation looks at the role of the media in spreading positivity while still covering the news.

Best-selling author and happiness researcher Shawn Achor (above) discusses how leaders can increase happiness and meaning for their employees, while at the same time improve the success of their companies.

Knitters participate in the “InterKnit,” (above) a “real-life worldwide web” developed by textile artist Karelle Levy that encourages people to contribute as many stitches as they’d like. She says knitting and crocheting have been shown to lower heart rates and blood pressure, while this low-tech hands-on activity also encourages one-on-one interaction.

Paula Felps is the Science Editor for Live Happy magazine.
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