Ahead of our next thefuturestory event - The Power of One, at RADA studios on October 15th, we've asked our speakers three questions to give you some insight into their talks on the day. Next up is Rens Ter Weijde, founder of The Energy Strategy in the Netherlands. Rens will be talking about the scientific underpinnings of happiness. Is happiness something you can change in organisations? We'll have to wait and see! Why did you agree to speak at thefuturestory?
For me, impact is everything. We have managed to train 3,000 people in the first year in the science of living a fulfilling life, and we're hoping to reach even more people this year (5,000-7,000). This is strongly needed since - although welfare has increased rapidly in the last decennia - happiness levels have not, and there are even indicators that are quite saddening (more people depressed, earlier onset of first depressed period). I believe the audience present could play a role in driving initiatives in this direction.
How did you get into your current profession?
First of all, I don't perceive this as a profession really. Talking to people all around the globe about the nature of happiness is something I would have loved to do anyways - even with no money involved. Most clients tell me 'I must have the best job ever', and I fully agree - if you even consider it a job at all that is.
That said - there is a path towards the current stage of existence of course. I started my career working with athletes, training them in mental resilience. A few years later I delivered similar content to corporate clients as a consultant for McKinsey&Company, working primarily through the lens of leadership development. Now, I have chosen the path of 'translating the science of happiness to normal life, for all people on the planet' as my path, simply because I don't see a better way to spend my time. At the moment just 17% of our global population considers themselves to be flourishing - which for me is a figure I simply won't accept as a 'status quo'. I strongly feel a real science of the key elements of a fulfilling life is needed; and should be available to everybody.
What do you hope the audience will get out of your talk?
First of all, a believe that you can actually have a very positive impact on people if you choose to. Not much is needed, just a lot of commitment. Secondly, I would love them to understand their own happiness levels a bit better - seeing certain strengths and weaknesses in their profiles. Thirdly, I would love them to have a practical and tangible view of the concept - so they feel ready to use it in life, and their working environments.
If thefuturestory - The Power of One, sounds interesting and you'd like to know more - don't miss out - you can book your free place here!