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Change lives. Change organizations. Change the world.
In this seminar, we explore the nature of human happiness. We examine recent theories and new evidence from psychological research indicating who among us is likely to achieve deep and enduring happiness—and why. We also review what we know about the conditions that determine a happy life. We discuss how happiness is created and sustained, even in the face of adversity and tragedy. We examine different cultural conceptions of happiness and variations in the distribution of happiness around the globe. We also discuss why so many people stumble in their quest for happiness. Finally, we explore how leaders can use happiness research to create more satisfying work places.
To illustrate these ideas, we examine in detail a number of fascinating individuals, including Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Oprah Winfrey, venture capitalist Tom Perkins, Steven Spielberg, Martha Stewart, and the Nobel physicist Richard Feynman. Students work either individually or in small, self-selected teams on a case study of an individual or organization they find interesting. Reflective exercises probe students' self-conceptions regarding their own happiness. Classroom time involes lively, provocative discussion of controversial ideas.
This elective course is offered to all Stanford GSB and Sloan students. Current students, please check MyGSB for more information.