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Seven Things to Know About ABC Keynote Speaker Shawn Achor and His Research on Happiness

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Get to know Shawn Achor, the world's foremeost expert on positive psychology.
Get to know Shawn Achor, the world's foremeost expert on positive psychology.

The Athletic Business Conference & Expo is proud to welcome New York Times best selling author, Harvard researcher and positive psychology expert Shawn Achor as our 2015 keynote speaker.

Shawn AchorShawn AchorAchor’s research on positivity and happiness is redefining the way people approach their careers — and life in general. According to Achor, 75 percent of our job success is predicated not by intelligence, but by our optimism, social support network and the ability to manage energy and stress in a positive way.

“If we can get somebody to raise their levels of optimism or deepen their social connection or raise happiness, it turns out every single business and educational outcome we know how to test for improves dramatically," Achor says.

Join Achor for his keynote address, The Happiness Advantage: Linking Positive Brains to Performance, as he shares the recent scientific breakthroughs in the study of happiness and inspires you to become a lightning rod for change. But first, learn more about him below.

1. Shawn Achor’s TED Talk is one of the most-viewed ever


With more than 10.7 million views, Achor’s fast-moving and entertaining talk is one of the 20 most-viewed TED Talks of all-time. Watch for yourself as he explains how happiness inspires productivity, rather than the other way around.

2. Achor has worked with more than a third of Fortune 100 companies

As the world’s foremost expert on positive psychology, Achor has worked with companies, universities and organizations such as Microsoft, Intel, Stanford, Yale, Harvard and the NBA.

Achor's book, The Happiness Advantage, is a New York Times best seller.Achor's book, The Happiness Advantage, is a New York Times best seller.

3. Achor is the author of two New York Times best sellers

Achor is the author of New York Times best-selling books The Happiness Advantage (2010) and Before Happiness (2013), as well as Ripple’s Effect and The Orange Frog. Achor has also been published in the top psychology journal for work he did at UBS in partnership with Yale University to create a more effective stress training.

4. Achor gave regular lectures in the most popular class at Harvard

Achor spent 12 years at Harvard (four as a student and eight as a researcher) where, according to his biography on the his company's website, he delivered lectures on positive psychology in the most popular class at Harvard.

5. Achor has been featured on CNN, Oprah, Huffington Post, Fast Company and TIME Magazine among others

Get a feel for Shawn’s work in this 2014 story from TIME Magazine: Harvard Research Reveals a Fun Way to Be More Successful.

From the article: “MET Life saw such great results among happy salespeople that they tried an experiment: they started hiring people based on optimism."

6. Happiness pays off

“If you can raise somebody’s level of positivity in the present, then their brain experiences what we call the happiness advantage,” Achor says. “Your brain at positive performs significantly better than your brain at negative, neutral or stressed.” According to his research, your brain in a positive mindset is 31 percent more productive than your brain at negative, neutral or stressed.

7. You can follow him on Twitter, @ShawnAchor

Get to know Achor in advance of his keynote at ABC. Join the 29,300 people already following him on Twitter.

Achor’s keynote address will be Friday, November 20th at 11:30 a.m. at the Athletic Business Conference & Expo in New Orleans.

Register before July 17 and take advantage of early-bird savings.

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