Sophie Thomas: The power of the uplift
As part of her day job as the founder of BornGloryUs, Sophie Thomas uses emotional connection to make brands feel more purposeful and valuable because she believes humanity and business are not separate – something we’ve probably all come to understand more clearly in the past year. Having coined the terms ‘uplifter brands’ and ‘lateral brand stance’, she combines her deep knowledge of self-worth, ecology, social impact and gender to call on individuals and businesses to discover a genuine purpose that serves the world in a positive way.
Dan Gilbert: The surprising science of happiness
Over the last 12 months, it’s easy to feel like you’ve been robbed of something and, at the very least, like you haven’t got what you’ve wanted. In this highly scientific TED Talk, Dan Gilbert, author of Stumbling on Happiness challenges the idea that we'll be miserable if we don't get exactly what we set our heart on – a useful skill when everything appears largely out of your control. He explains how our ‘psychological immune system’ is what lets us feel truly happy, even when things don't go as planned. Originally filmed in 2004, this one feels hugely prophetic.
Sophie Scott: Why we laugh
You might think there’s been much to laugh about in the past year, but did you know you're 30 times more likely to laugh if you're with somebody else than if you're alone? Cognitive neuroscientist Sophie Scott shares this and other surprising facts about laughter in this fast-paced, action-packed and, yes, hilarious dash through the science of cracking up – proof that as humans, it’s being around others which helps lift our mood more than anything else.
Emily Esfahani Smith: There's more to life than being happy
It’s safe to say our culture is obsessed with happiness, but what if there's a more fulfilling path that could help you feel content even during the darkest of times? Happiness comes and goes, says writer Emily Esfahani Smith in this TED Talk, but having a meaningful life – that is, serving something beyond yourself and developing the best within you – gives you something to hold onto when it feels like everything else is falling down around you.
Chip Conley: What makes life worthwhile
Although this TED Talk was published close to a decade after the fact, it was the bursting of the dotcom bubble which prompted hotelier Chip Conley to go off in search of a business model based on happiness. While businesses tend to measure success via the metrics of tangible elements, Conley makes a strong case for them to measure the intangibles – such as customer feedback or whether the employees find their work meaningful (the latter has arguably been thrown into sharp relief by the global pandemic and rise of a working from home culture). Plus, Conley is proof this approach works – by following this set of principles, his own hotel business boomed to become the second largest group of boutique hotels in the world.