Gross Global Happiness Summit 2021

Keynote Speaker & Presenters
March 12 – 14, 2021
Located at the University for Peace campus in San José, Costa Rica
Online & Onsite Options Available

Meet Our Keynote Speakers & Happiness Gurus

Loretta Breuning, PhD

Gross Global Happiness Summit Keynote Speaker

Loretta Breuning, PhD, is Founder of the Inner Mammal Institute and Professor Emerita of Management at California State University, East Bay. She is the author of many personal development books, including Habits of a Happy Brain: Retrain Your Brain to Boost Your Serotonin, Dopamine, Oxytocin and Endorphin Levels. As a teacher and a parent, she was not convinced by prevailing theories of human motivation. Then she learned about the brain chemistry we share with earlier mammals and everything made sense. She began creating resources that have helped thousands of people make peace with their inner mammal. Dr. Breuning’s work has been translated into eight languages and is cited in major media.

Before teaching, Loretta worked for United Nations Volunteers in Africa. She gives zoo tours on animal behavior, after serving as a Docent at the Oakland Zoo. Loretta is a graduate of Cornell University and Tufts. The Inner Mammal Institute offers videos, podcasts, books, blogs, multimedia, a training program, and a free five-day happy-chemical jumpstart. Get details at InnerMammalInstitute.org.

Dr. Saamdu Chetri

Gross Global Happiness Summit Keynote Speaker

Dr. Saamdu Chetri was born in a rural Bhutan and has a PhD in commerce.

After working in private and development sectors for 25 years, and Cabinet of the PM for five years, he then founded the Gross National Happiness Centre Bhutan and headed for five years. He has been teaching, consulting and speaking at various international and national occasions on mindfulness and Happiness around the world.

Saamdu believes Happiness is within. We experience the truth of this when we are totally no longer attached to greed, aversion or delusion. We experience happiness in relation to the self with self, self with others and self with nature. These are the three divides that make us suffer on this planet. We bring sufferance to the Mother Earth because of these divides. Today, we are walking with our open eyes to the cliff. We need to bring transformation within each one of us. We must connect with ourselves. We must connect with other human beings.  We must connect with nature. In truth, we are nature.

Luis Gallardo co-founded the first Gross Global Happiness Summit, and is a key leader in running this annual event. He is Founder and President of the World Happiness Foundation and World Happiness Fest, platforms that unite and amplify the impact of thousands of thought leaders and practitioners on human development, happiness and well-being around the world. Luis is the author of Happytalism and The Exponentials of Happiness and co-founder of the Gross Global Happiness program at the United Nations University for Peace. MBA from IMD in Switzerland. MA in Peace Studies from the Richardson Institute at Lancaster University and BA in Political Science and Sociology.

Luis Gallardo

WELCOME SPEAKER

Rana Badarani My journey is punctuated by challenges that lead me to redefine my goals as close to my dreams as possible.

When I fulfilled my dream in June 2011, I felt long lasting happiness and motivation. Armed with this observation, I decided to bring dreams into companies, to enable employees to identify and fulfill their dreams in order to witness long lasting happiness. So I created my French start up “Com Un Rêve / Manage Happiness” and became “The Dream Planner”. It’s time to find a true source of inspiration at work, a real sense to our daily life!

Rana Badarani

W O R K S H O P

Dreams as a Source of Long-Lasting Happiness and Inspiration – My Experience

I am an Emmy Award-winning producer and one of the original producers of CBS’s hit series, Survivor. I have received a total of eight Emmy-award nominations and one Producers Guild of America Award nod. While I am a long-standing member of the Producers Guild of America, the Directors Guild of America, the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, I am most proud of being a Fellow National Member of The Explorers Club. I have a PhD in Conscious-Centered Living and an MFA in film. I am a Certified Mindfulness, Primordial Sound Meditation, and Happiness Trainer.

Maria Baltazzi, PhD, MFA

W O R K S H O P

Bringing Happiness + Mindfulness to Conscious Travel

Dara Barlin is a shameless instigator for positive change. She has over two decades of experience facilitating trust-building conversations, conducting research to inform policy, and organizing action-driven campaigns for positive change. She is the founder of DARE Consulting and in 2012, she developed a global peace-building campaign, A Big Project, to help to build trust and develop a common blueprint for positive change across 97 countries. The mental health crisis spurred on by the COVID-19 pandemic led to Dara initiating the Quaranteam Games, which brings effective communication skills to households through games.

Dara Barlin

W O R K S H O P

The Quaranteam Games: Fun Activities that Improve Trust and Communication at Home
(& at School)

Michael De Jose Belzunce Key emotional competences to achieve happiness (the “what”) and method to develop these competencies (the “how”). The in-out emotional dimension requires developing the skills of self-esteem and self-control, without which we will not have the energy to connect with others in a healthy way. The out-in emotional dimension requires us to develop empathy and assertiveness: we are wired to be social, to grow and enrich ourselves relating with others, at the same time being social without losing our own personality and internal equilibrium.

Michael De Jose Belzunce

W O R K S H O P

The Core Emotional Circle of Happiness

Sophie Janicke-Bowles I am a Positive Media Psychologist working as Assistant Professor at Chapman University, California. My focus is interdisciplinary in nature, combining the field of positive psychology with media studies. Specifically, I am researching what type of usage and content of media can increase transcendence, well-being, connectedness, and pro-sociality across a variety of media platforms. My work has been published in leading peer-reviewed scientific journals and I am co-author on the first textbook in the field: Introduction to Positive Media Psychology.

Sophie Janicke-Bowles

W O R K S H O P

Digital Flourishing- Redefining Well-Being in the Digital Age

Amy Bliss has had a 20+ year corporate career, in mostly male-dominated industries and fields, where she felt completely comfortable and truly excelled. After leaving the corporate world, Amy spent a good deal of time studying Female Empowerment. During this time, there was always this nagging question in her mind, “Where is this for men? Men need this, too.” Hearing this question echoed by a man during a men’s session of an intensive women’s course, she knew she found her purpose. The Warrior cOre was born. Imagine the world if men were given the freedom to pursue their deepest passions without ridicule.

Amy Bliss

W O R K S H O P

The Masculinity Box: Unpacking the Conditioning of Men

Rodolfo Carrillo is a conscious leadership shaman, author, consultant and trainer. My life path has given me an interesting and unique combination of business skills, experience and inner wisdom that helps me trigger profound transformation through my work. I am motivated by a strong desire to serve others in their own development. As an MBA graduate, I have been a consultant and trainer for more than 15 years, sat as a director in more than 20 business boards, have taught in various universities and authored the book BE-ing Leadership. 

Rodolfo Carrillo

W O R K S H O P

Harnessing the power of WE: How to Achieve Profound Engagement through Conscious Leadership

I have a business background on the strategic use of technologies, with a strong use of design tools. After 10 years of learning the principles of the science of happiness, I have learned to apply some of these tools in my workshops on happiness. I believe in the use of design tools and science principles. I have worked as a consultant, project manager, and business solutions manager in Information Technology for 30 years, in 15 countries and 3 continents, for Microsoft, IBM/GBM, and Schlumberger, among others.

Franklin Castro

W O R K S H O P

How to Design Your Own Happiness

I, Kurt Davis, am a technology entrepreneur, well-being fan, and an aspiring social impact worker. The first 20-years of my career were spent between Silicon Valley and Asia, working with technology startups in finance and business development roles. During the pandemic, I launched our Ultimate Well-Being program and published a short 10,000-word e-book called The Isolation Survival Guide.

I also finished my first book called Finding Soul: From Silicon Valley to Africa.

Kurt Davis

W O R K S H O P

Achieve your Ultimate Well-Being Through Balance of 6 Variables

Dominique Heffes Doon established The Spark Child platform as a solution to mental health issues faced by children 10-12 years old. Our unique offering is one of spirituality and nature. Our aim is to bring children to a deep level of awareness within themselves and the world to alleviate emotional challenges posed by their immediate environment. Why spirituality and nature? At our most basic level, humans hold the same geometric structures as plant and animal species, and are connected to nature.

Dominique Heffes Doon

W O R K S H O P

Igniting Self-Worth and Emotional Wellbeing in Caribbean Youth

Kongit Farrell I’m a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with advanced training and certification in Couples, Sex, and Trauma counseling. I serve clients and supervise aspiring clinical counselors, social workers, and marriage and family therapists at The Inspired Journey Counseling Center, a private practice in Los Angeles that I founded in 2010. I’ve consulted at all levels of government and was the Commissioner to the Department of Public Social Services in Los Angeles County for a 2-year term. I currently study Advanced Conflict Resolution at Columbia University.

Kongit Farrell

W O R K S H O P

The New Joy of Sex: An Inclusive Perspective on Healthy & Compassionate Pleasure

Hassan Ghiassi is the Founder of Aristotle’s Cafe and has also given a speech on “How Discussions That Matter Create Empathy” on the TEDx StageFor over a decade he has worked to design a format that brings people together to have discussions that matter. He is honored to have been the Lead Facilitator for the Better Conversations Project at The Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum. He’s made a major impact with 400+ facilitators trained globally, 1,000+ facilitated discussions in person and virtually, and 10,000+ people to talk about life’s most important topics.

Hassan Ghiassi

W O R K S H O P

Weaving Community Through Facilitated Discussions That Matter

As a student of Tal Ben Shahar, the famous “Professor of Happiness” at Harvard University, Guila Clara Kessous, PhD. is a UNESCO certified teacher, coach and artist for peace. Applying positive psychology through theater techniques and role-playing, she coaches executive committees and managers in contexts of change management. Involved with victims of human rights violations in helping them to speak out through drama, she collaborates with Boris Cyrulnik on resilience and tragic optimism.

Guila Clara Kessous

W O R K S H O P

How to Become More Optimalistic

Ruqya Khan is widely known as the S.M.I.L.E. Strategist. She comes from the world of words. She is the founder of SMILETASTIC, an internationally honored change maker, an inspirational speaker, a Life Coach and mentor to many. Her journey is fascinating not due to the many places and people with whom she has shared her message but because of the intention that drives her. She believes in the power of gratitude, acceptance and a mission to give more to the world in a S.M.I.L.E. 

Ruqya Khan

W O R K S H O P

From Stuck to Unstuck with a S.M.I.L.E.

Happiness explorer, educator, and activist. In 2015, I founded the Meraki Institute for Happiness at Work, an educational and talent management consulting firm that has since collaborated with 80+ organizations and government institutions and impacted more than 9,300 people in their personal and professional growth. We are also creators of the Congreso de Felicidad y Bienestar Laboral for the Dominican Republic, the largest happiness event in our country, as well as other educational experiences.

Ivanna Lajara

W O R K S H O P

A Happiness Travelogue: Lessons from the Happiest Countries in the World

Born in Colombia, Carolina Lasso is the author of the book “Plenitud,” the creator of plenitud.net, and the Marketing Director at the Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute. After working for 14+ years at companies that include Telemundo, American Express, and Google, she decided to leave the corporate world to focus on bringing mindfulness, emotional intelligence, and compassionate leadership tools to organizations. She has an MBA from New York University and is a meditation and Search Inside Yourself certified teacher.

Carolina Lasso

W O R K S H O P

Even happier: How to thrive, with ease

Jill Liberman I am a motivational speaker and speak all over the world on the power of happiness, and love to inspire and connect with people. I am a best selling author of 5 books and Founder of Choose Happy – a lifestyle brand devoted to helping people live positive lives. I have more than twenty years of television experience including reporting for national entertainment news shows and was an active member of NATPE, the National Association of Television Program Executives and a judge for the nationally televised Cable Ace awards.

Jill Liberman

W O R K S H O P

The Power of Happiness

Dominik Ley I am German born and based in the wonderful Barcelona. I used to work as Project Manager at IBM among others. Beginning of 2019 I decided to dedicate his life to foster organizational and cultural transformation introducing the seeds of Mindfulness for a more conscious leadership in today’s workplaces. I am deeply convinced that introducing more awareness, compassion and emotional intelligence skills by means of Search-inside-yourself into our workplaces will lead to well-being, collaboration and excellent leadership. 

Dominik Ley

W O R K S H O P

Search Inside Yourself: The Unexpected Path to Achieving Success, Happiness and World Peace

Dr. Helen Maffini I am an international educator, author and consultant who has worked and lived around the world. I have worked as a school principal and teacher, a certified emotional intelligence trainer, an NLP (Neuro Linguistic Practitioner) and positivity psychology leader. I am the author of two books, Developing Children’s Emotional Intelligence and Sammy’s Next Move. My doctoral research focused on preschool mindfulness as it is my passion is to raise the mental health of both teachers and children.

Helen Maffini

W O R K S H O P

A Mindful Childhood - How Preschoolers Can Develop Skills in Mindfulness and Kindness

I am the founding Director of Centre for Executive Education. Previously, I served as Vice President of Programs for Watson University, the first incubator leading to a degree for next generation social entrepreneurs. I served as an Education Program Manager of the Earth Charter Initiative, a global movement of organizations and individuals promoting sustainable development. My Bachelor’s degree is in Industrial Engineering from Stanford University and I obtained my Master’s at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Mohit Mukherjee

W O R K S H O P

Organizational Happiness

I’m the author of Organizational Happiness (with foreword by Mohit Mukherjee), a #1 International Bestseller on Amazon. The book is now available in English, Spanish and Arabic. Lars is an international trusted advisor, HR-executive, and talent management expert working out of Copenhagen with a wide range of leaders, international organizations, and institutions. He is a keynote speaker on organizational happiness, compassionate leadership, employee engagement, and talent management at conferences and events.

Lars Kure Juul Nielsen

W O R K S H O P

Organizational Happiness

Mansi Panjwani is the founder of The Peace Collective (TPC), a global collective of peacebuilders, facilitators and coaches. We curate programs and work with leaders to create change at the individual, organizational and societal levels. We use interactive approaches that engage participants in a joyful, reflective process. My journey as a peace educator began at my alma mater – UPEACE. Now, as an international facilitator, I am passionate about fostering humanistic leadership and creating a culture of peace.

Mansi Panjwani

W O R K S H O P

Compassionate Leadership at Work

I started my engagement in the area of happiness as the owner of the first Happy Café in Austria, I continue organizing local community events and trainings in my home district in Vienna in close cooperation and with support from the local authorities and institutions. Since my post-grad diploma at the Diplomatic Academy in Vienna, I have worked on supporting public policy at a global level. With a psychological and sociological background, I am fascinated with human development frameworks.

Angelika Pohnitzer

W O R K S H O P

Be:Longing

John Puts is a certified teacher of the globally recognized Search Inside Yourself Program and a certified Integral Coach. He holds leadership programs to bring a greater sense of belonging, increase motivation, productivity and employee wellbeing. Besides that, he accompanies leaders, entrepreneurs & executives in transformative journeys to enable an authentic way of living & working. He has a background in entrepreneurship and spent a number of years working at the European HQ of Google. 

John Puts

W O R K S H O P

Search Inside Yourself: The Unexpected Path to Achieving Success, Happiness and World Peace

Kristen Palana is an Associate Professor of Digital Media who has taught at universities, international schools, and NGOs in Myanmar from 2016-2019. I co-founded and directed the Film and Digital Media Program at The American University of Rome (2006-2016).  Since 2019, I live and work in Malawi creating art and communications for UNICEF and UNFPA, and training locals in digital media. I’m passionate about sharing the power of color for more impactful living at home and work.

Kristen Palana

W O R K S H O P

Happiness Boosting with Color Psychology: A Color by Color Survival Guide

Arathi Ramappa is a spiritual coach, facilitator,  speaker, and former tech entrepreneur. My passion lies in helping individuals and organizations thrive in life and business. With emotional intelligence, self-compassion, and conflict management, I help reduce stress, increase productivity, execute strategy, develop leadership skills, lessen conflict, implement positive behaviors, or apply spirituality to daily life. I created the EASE Experience™ to Explore, Analyze, Strengthen, and Empower.

Arathi Ramappa

W O R K S H O P

How to Leverage Your EQ to Have Difficult Political Conversations

I am a trained Transplant Immunologist. As the VP and COO for Diagnostics and Research Operations at the NJ Sharing Network in New Jersey, USA, I have the high honor of leading a team of dedicated and consummate professionals devoted to saving and enhancing lives. The task of my team and I is to assess the immunological compatibility of an organ donor and the recipient to facilitate a successful transplant, and in the post-transplant period, help to sustain this life saving process.

Prakash Rao

W O R K S H O P

Finding the Organizational Sweet Spot: Our Journey to Saving 10,000 Lives Through Organ Donation and Transplantation

Ernie Ross is the innovator of the trademarked methodology Intangience which has been used by global brands and developed through his four decades of experience in the industry. His branding and advertising agency, Ross, has earned hundreds of Addy awards, among the largest number ever given to a single advertising group in the region. Ernie focuses on higher purpose in his work, and his efforts work toward communicating deep meaning and creating positive shifts in perspective.

Ernie Ross

W O R K S H O P

Intangience

I love stories, getting to know cultures through their people, food, the places you can visit and their languages. As an adult, I started fulfilling my childhood dream of traveling around the world and bringing all that internationality and multi-culturality to my life. I am currently a Talent Acquisition Program Manager at VMware, and I love that can do my job regardless of the time zone or the part of Earth in which I am located. Before this, I started my professional career in Project Management on the Information Technology world.

Víctor Rojas

W O R K S H O P

Life, Relativity and Happiness

Art Sherwood is the David Cole Professor of Entrepreneurship chair, Director of WWU’s Entrepreneurship & Innovation Programs,  Instruction team member for the Centre for Executive Education at the United Nations Established University for Peace and Executive Coach. Art teaches and researches well-being and what it takes to build grit with a focus on practices for lifelong change making. He has turned lifelong passion for well-being toward helping his students flourish. 

Art Sherwood

W O R K S H O P

The Masculinity Box: Unpacking the Conditioning of Men

Kim Strobel is for the joy-seekers and go-getters. Real, messy women who want so much MORE from their lives. As a nationally-recognized speaker and happiness coach, she empowers others to live bigger, bolder, braver lives. When she’s not rescuing dogs or downing a McDonald’s Diet Coke, Kim’s contagious, high-energy style has the unique ability to embolden her audiences. Motivational, inspirational, and approachable, her refreshing approach authentically connects hearts and humans everywhere.

Kim Strobel

W O R K S H O P

The Science of Happiness

Lorena Valera I have a Master in Applied Positive Psychology and a bachelor’s in marketing and psychology from the University of Pennsylvania. I have a specialization in cognitive & emotional development of children with special interests in epigenetics, neuroscience and interpersonal neurobiology applied to families. I have advised parents for 10+ years, and was the first instructor of the Positive Psychology Certificate of the Institute for Wellbeing and Happiness in Mexico.

Lorena Valera

W O R K S H O P

Empowering Parents and Helping Families Thrive

More Speakers

Colin Symington-Bailey | Resilience - A Fresh Perspective on Managing Your Stress Response

Maria Baltazzi | Bringing Happiness + Mindfulness to Conscious Travel

Dionne Clabaugh | Oh No! I Have to Give You Feedback? Dionne Clabaugh

Jamie Ferrer | Diversity & Inclusion, It's in the Mix

Mabel Lassall | Empowerment Through Self-Perception: A Way to Overcome Any Challenge

Donna Martire Miller | The View From Within, Pathways to unshakeable Happiness!

Dr. Valerie Schmitz | Happiness in High School: Students Stories of High School During COVID-19

Juan Cuéllar Torres | Releasing Guilt: A Priceless Feeling of Lightness

GROSS GLOBAL HAPPINESS SUMMIT SPONSOR

The World Happiness Agora and Fest  are the world’s largest, most diverse, polycentric and comprehensive forums and networks of happiness and well-being experts, thought leaders, activists, shapers, and game-changers. Founded by Luis Gallardo. With presence in more than 60 cities around the world, our higher purpose is to realize a world with a free, peaceful, conscious and happy humanity. #TenBillionHappy by 2050.

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