World Happiness Agora - Transformative Technologies

Join us on March 22nd, 2019 at the World Happiness Agora to discuss transformative technologies and how it can be applied to mental health problems and the future requirement for social-emotional skills at work.

On the 5th day of the Agora, we will invite worldwide founders and entrepreneurs working on Transformative Technology to join in the discussion and share their progress. We are partnering with the Transformative Technology Academy (TTA) and focus on building the future of human possibility by leveraging tech for mental health, well-being, and joy.

The TTA is a one-month online program to support entrepreneurs and innovators using TransTech to expand human possibility. At the academy, entrepreneurs will be immersed in the latest studies and technologies. They will be surrounded by a community of like-minded entrepreneurs where they can thrive and a build a network. The academy promotes interaction between industry leaders who are passionate about supporting human possibility through Transformative Tech.

What is Transformative Technology?

Transformative Technology or TransTech is the use of exponential technology to help humans by supporting mental health, well-being, and joy. It aims to help people reduce stress, anxiety, and depression by developing resilience, and social skills. Its goal is to expand mental and emotional intelligence to help humans experience a deeper connection, transformation, emotional wellness and a sense of happiness.

Therefore, if you are an engineer, behavioral scientist, or neuroscientist with a tech product that aims to do all that and help people self-regulate their emotions and deepen self-awareness, your product fits the criteria of Transformative Tech.

From breathing apps to meditation apps to stress wearables, many of us have encountered TransTech before without realizing that’s what it’s called. Other examples of Transformative Tech include sensor tech wearables, AI, neurotech, and perception techs such as VR and AR. The tech that monitors and improves sleep and social apps that will enhance behavior are also Transformative technologies.

If you are using exponential tech in the following ways, you are creating Transformative Tech:

●      AI & Robotics

●      AR & VR

●      Biotechnology & Bioinformatics

●      Blockchain

●      Energy & Environmental Systems

●      Medicine and Neuroscience

●      Nanotechnology & Digital Fabrication

●      Networks & Computing Systems

The conversation on Transformative Tech is a vital one to have because the technologies have the power to shape human psychology and elevate the quality of the human mind. TransTech aims to unlock optimized levels of mental health and emotional skills to promote human flourishing.

We need to design tech that puts humanity in the center, allowing us to amplify the characteristics that we want to enhance. Through TransTech and exponential tech, we have the opportunity to diagnose and expand our capacity to create abundance and improve mental and emotional health and well-being.

Don’t miss the discussion on the 5th day of the World Happiness Agora as we immerse ourselves in #TransformativeTechnologies to solve the challenging demands of elevating the quality of the human mind.

World Happiness Agora - Future of Work

On March 21st, 2019, join us at World Happiness Agora to learn how to create working environments where we can maximize potential.

We spend a significant amount of time at work. Full-time employee report working an average of 47 hours per week. If you’re getting your recommended 8 hours of sleep a day, this means you’re spending more than half the time you’re awake engaged in work. On March 21st, we will discuss the importance of employment, the effects of unemployment, and why improving work environments can significantly increase well-being and happiness.

The Role Employment Plays to Achieve Happiness

Whether you work full-time or part-time, employment provides you with a sense of purpose. It makes you feel structured. The thought of belonging occurs regardless of whether you enjoy your job or not. Therefore, the security and stability of employment in itself is enough to make people feel valuable.

Being unemployed also dramatically affects people; it lowers their morale and confidence. They feel sad, angry, and embarrassed. They think they’re not contributing to society. Their self-esteem and self-confidence suffer.

Improving the Quality of Work and Well-Being

Where we work and how we work influence our well-being, making the time we spend at work and workplace quality crucial drivers for our happiness. However, the unfortunate reality is that despite how important work is in the lives of people, most fail to see how happy it can make us. Many don’t realize that by changing our perception or taking action, we can make the work experience more enjoyable and improve our level of well-being.

Employers also need to do their part to ensure their employees are satisfied. When employees are happy with their jobs, they are more loyal and engaged. They are less likely to accept a competing offer. And they contribute to a positive work environment that promotes productivity.

There are many factors involved in attaining job satisfaction, and it differs for each. As expected, pay is a crucial determinant. However, it is more than just a matter of high wages, but fair compensation for the work performed. Other elements contributing to job satisfaction are working hours, skills match, opportunities for advancement, interpersonal relationships, and job security.

Most people seek work-life balance; however, it remains elusive because of working hours mismatch. People have different preferences for how much they want to work and the total number of working hours. And because not all employees can easily meet individual choices on the number of labor hours and leisure hours, operating hours mismatch remains a cause for job dissatisfaction.

At the World Happiness Agora, we'll go deeper into the discussion on the #FutureofWork and what organizations can do to cultivate company cultures that promote job satisfaction and the importance of work and workplace quality for well-being. We also know how vital employment is and how it impacts welfare and morale, therefore, job creation should be a priority for policymakers.

World Happiness Agora – The Future of Education

Join us on March 19th, 2019 at the World Happiness Agora to discuss why Positive Education and socio-emotional strategies are vital to human flourishing.

Young people learn the values of culture primarily from school because of the significant amount of time they spend there with their peers and educators. On average, the youth spend 30 hours a week in school. And while teachers may not do it intentionally or consciously, their pessimism and level of distrust have a way of affecting their students. However, should the teacher instill positivity, they can cultivate optimism, confidence, and a hopeful sense of the future.

Therefore, Positive Education can influence a student’s perception of the world, dramatically improving their outlook on life. To understand what it takes for students to flourish, Positive Education measures happiness, unhappiness, and academic success.

Positive Education aims to deliver all the traditional academic learning concepts but blend it with well-being and character, preparing students with life skills that are fortified with optimism, engagement, resilience, growth mindset, tenacity, and mindfulness.

Hope, Trust, and Happiness in Schools Around the World

The widespread dissemination of Positive Education across the globe has been impressive and inspiring.

In India, non-profit organization CorStone is on a mission to provide evidence-based resilience programs to improve physical and mental health while increasing academic achievement. In Beijing, the Bureau of Education is combining positive psychology with traditional Chinese philosophy to remodel the school culture with trained teachers and newly-designed courses.

Thanks to the UAE’s agenda to position itself as one of the happiest countries in the world, the government plans to harmonize their policies, plans, and programs around a happier society. This initiative includes improving the well-being of students. And in 2017, the UAE government launched their Positive Education initiative by training teachers and leaders on a national level.

In Australia in 2014, the Geelong Grammar School became the first school in the world to launch on-campus training, research, and development program dedicated to Positive Education. The Institute of Positive Education has since delivered more than 200 training courses to educators in Australia and internationally, benefiting more than 10,000 teachers from over 1,000 schools around the world.

However, it was in the small Himalayan country, Bhutan, where the first evidence of the effects of Positive Education was recorded to have significantly increased both well-being and academic performance. Bhutan organized its education system around the Gross National Happiness (GNH) principles. In a collaboration between the Bhutanese Ministry of Education and the Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania, the GNH Curriculum was developed.

Through the GNH Curriculum, teachers learned how to give verbal and written feedback that was empowering, motivating their students to think critically and creatively. With improved decision-making and problem-solving skills, the students enhanced the quality of their work. More importantly, the kids were happy.

Don’t miss the discussion on the #FutureOfEducation at the World Happiness Agora where the goal is to spread positivity by focusing on the power that education has on the future generation’s happiness.

World Happiness Agora – Future of Health

On March 18th, 2019, join the most influential thought provokers on Health & Happiness at the World Happiness Agora in a discussion on how to co-create the future of health.

With more than 500 million people in the world suffering from common mental disorders, mental illness is one of the primary causes of unhappiness in the world. The disease leads to depression, substance abuse, anxiety disorders, and in the worst cases, suicide. In fact, mental disorders result in almost as much of the misery that poverty does, and more than the unhappiness that physical illness creates. It exists everywhere, affecting people in every country, regardless of social class.

The Cost of Mental Illness

Treating mental illness could save companies billions by lowering absenteeism and increasing productivity. By focusing on treatment and prevention, organizations would avoid the damaging effects of the disease, and the cost of extra physical healthcare.

When companies create a culture that promotes positivity in the workplace, mental health is cultivated. All employees regardless of department and position should be trained to recognize the signs to ensure that colleagues in distress get the attention and help they need to not only continue their work but improve their health and well-being.

The irony is that while mental illness forces governments and companies to spend billions, there are cost-effective treatments to prevent the damaging effects of disorders. In fact, prevention programs cost very little in comparison. Mental illness should be tackled early on; the natural place to first address psychological health is at schools. In most countries, 10% of people under the age of 19 have some level of mental illness. Unfortunately, many of these children go undiagnosed unless that have some form of behavioral problem. Ultimately, it’s these young people who have disorders that make them more likely to take drugs, attempt suicide, commit a crime, drop out of school, and depend on welfare – costing governments billions.

Creating a Culture of Caring, Mental Health, and Happiness

A good place to start cultivating a culture that promotes the importance of mental health and well-being would be to provide training for parents. They will learn not only to recognize the signs of mental illness but prevent them from developing in their children. The key is to encourage honesty, gratitude, and happiness. They will learn how by merely playing with their child and praising them can dramatically affect their kids’ behavior and outlook on life. Parents will also recognize the value of setting boundaries and how to appropriately punish kids for not following rules without breaking their spirit.

Each government in the world should prioritize the promotion of happiness and well-being and ensure they have a mental health plan in place. Treatment and prevention should be at the center of their illness policies. There should be a conversation focused on the procedures offered, adequate training for the people who will deliver them, and identifying the services where these treatments will be offered.

When governments talk openly about mental illness, the stigma around it is lifted. It allows society to feel more comfortable and honest about their conditions, allowing them to receive treatment sooner. It’s vital that the public is made aware that mental illness is treatable and that those who suffer from it should not lose hope.

World Happiness Agora – Self-Mastery and Social Impact

On March 20th, 2019, join us at the World Happiness Agora as we discuss social well-being, self-mastery, and how to make a conscious social impact.

Many factors influence emotional and psychological well-being. And time and time again, social relationships that are filled with trust and support have emerged as being critical components of happiness.

Research shows that the happiest people are those who enjoy healthy relationships, while those who are lonely or have estranged relationships have lower levels of well-being. In fact, social connectedness is so beneficial to one’s well-being that it exceeds the benefits of exercise, not smoking, and avoiding obesity.

However, despite the proven benefits of social relations, policymakers feel that personal relationships don’t fall within the policy domain. Fortunately, they are doing what they can within their scope, including initiatives that collectively contribute to social well-being. These involve urban design that promotes social inclusion and happier neighborhoods and policies focused on the reduction of public and private corruption. And by having systems in place to prevent and treat family-related violence, healthy family relationships are supported and promoted.

Self-Mastery and Conscious Leadership

These policies are a good start; however, we believe that social well-being should be a concern by members of the government at all levels. Social relationships are critical drivers of well-being and social connectedness. Close ties are one of the secrets to happiness, the changing of your life, and improving well-being. 

The key to happiness is self-mastery or the ability to take control of your internal thought processes to guide your behaviors, feelings, and habits. These include your personal choices such as the people you let into your life. Because social connectedness and self-mastery are interlinked, it’s vital to understand them to unlock their powers.

But how does society move towards self-mastery? It all circles back to social impact and the influence of conscious leaders. When policymakers are aware leaders, they realize that there’s more that we can do as a society to increase our levels of happiness. First, we need to measure who is flourishing and who is suffering. We should have a government unit dedicated entirely to well-being. And we should have more programs and campaigns aimed at promoting prosocial behavior.

On May 20th, 2019, we want to ignite the conversation on #selfmastery, conscious leadership and how it aligns one’s whole self with total awareness and authenticity to be who you are. Aware leaders don’t focus on the “me;” they focus on the “we” to create a culture of trust and influence.

What do you think the government should do to encourage stronger relationships within families, neighbors, and communities? Should there be policies and programs put into place that teach and guide each member of society to become masters of their happiness? Don’t miss the discussion at the World Happiness Agora.

Luis Gallardo