Posts Tagged ‘Shawn Achor’

UP Alumni In The News 10.19.11

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

Just 9 days stand between us and The UP Experience 2011, can you believe it? Time sure flies when you are discovering the people and achievements who are determining today what the world will look like tomorrow.

We hope we’ll see all of you on October 27th! Check out our Facebook page and Twitter feeds for live updates from UP on the 27th!

UP 09 alumni, Peter Diamandis, kicked off a week-long program for entrepreneurs at Singularity University this past week by saying that optimism is the key to business success. Check out why he says, “the world is getting better at an accelerating rate.”

rethink your workplace at UP 11! Photo Courtesy of Flickr/Michael Lokner

And as the world gets better some of us are feeling the stress of so much to do. If that sounds like you check out this post on how to be more positive at work that cites the research of UP 08 speaker Shawn Achor.

UP 10 alum Richard Florida tackled business from another angle, examining, “How Startups Have Changed the Way American Business Thinks” in The Atlantic.
Can’t wait until October 27th for your next dose of UP? Get your fix now on The UP Experience YouTube channel!

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UP Alumni In The News 8.31.2011

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

The sun is going down on summer 2011, which means UP 2011 is just around the corner! image courtesy of Flickr/paul+photos=moody

It’s already the end of August. Summer is coming to a close and fall is just around the corner. We’re looking forward to the best of fall, cooler temps and UP 2011! October 27th will be here before you know it. In case you missed it, we’ve started some great registration specials. If you’re not registered yet, now is the time!

Our UP alumni barely took a summer break, here’s what they’ve been up to this week:

UP 08 and 09 alumni, Ray Kurzweil and Peter Diamandis are also co-founders of Singularity University. This summer’s Singularity University class developed solutions to big problems related to world poverty. One solution, The Matternet, was featured in Fast Company yesterday for its potential to triumph over the issue of delivery of medication, food and other critical goods to rural areas.

UP 10 alumni David Pogue took to his blog to address this week’s stunning announcement that Steve Jobs resigned as chief executive of Apple.

Meanwhile UP 09 speaker Shawn Achor took to The Huffington Post to share “5 Ways To Turn Happiness Into An Advantage.”

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UP Alumni In The News 6.22.11

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011

Is having the next big idea the key to success? Or is "tweaking" an idea better? Image courtesy of

UP 08 speaker Malcolm Gladwell got quite a bit of press in business and marketing media this week for his presentation at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. His most talked about comments were about why it might be better for business leaders to “tweak” instead of innovate.

Fellow UP 08 speaker Ray Kurzweil has also been all of late night talk and news shows discussing his vision of The Singularity, blogger Jason Silva at The Huffington Post declared, “The Singularity is here,” this. Meanwhile 60 Minutes posted several outtakes from their interview with Kurzweil.

The UP 08 speaker news continues with Shawn Achor who was also featured in The Huffington Post discussing the connection between happiness and weight loss.

UP 09 speakers Peter Diamandis and Michio Kaku were both included in Big Think’s panel at SAP’s Sapphire Now event in Florida to present there visions of the future. Diamandis predicts an “Age of Abundance” while Michio Kaku described his version as “perfect capitalism.” Read more here.

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UP Alumni in the News 4.20.11.

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

Our UP Alumni continue to make headlines this week and we’d love your feedback on their activity. Are you reading any of our UP alumni’s new books? Have you used the Blackberry PlayBook? Thinking about raising money with ProFounder? Please share your thoughts below!

And, don’t forget we love suggestions! If you’ve come across a story we didn’t post please add it via the comment section below.

This week, UP 2010 speaker and New York Times tech critic David Pogue was on top of some of the week’s hottest news stories, logging comments on both Cisco’s decision to kill the Flip camera and the launch of Blackberry’s PlayBook

Also at UP 2010, Kiva founder Jessica Jackley gave us a preview of her new venture ProFounder. This past week she was interviewed on the details of Profounder on Benzinga and Daily Br!nk.

If you’ve had it on your list to get UP 2009 speaker Peter Sheahan’s new book, Making It Happen, wait no more! He’s a launched an enhanced version that includes seven in-depth videos feature Peter sharing his words of wisdom.

David Eagleman continued to conquer the media with a profile in The New Yorker and Houston Modern Luxury (check out page 79 of the digital edition from that link)

And, Shawn Achor, continued work on his latest book The Happiness Advantage, launching a preview of The Happiness Advantage DVD from his Facebook page.

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UP Alumni In The News 4.6.11

Wednesday, April 6th, 2011

It’s Wednesday again! We took a brief hiatus last week, but are back this week with a double installment of our weekly blog feature, UP Alumni In The News.

Here are the biggest stories from past UP speakers. As always, please use the comment section below to add your thoughts and share any stories we may have missed.

And, don’t forget about our first Mini UP of the year this coming Tuesday. We can’t wait to see you there!

Just yesterday Peter Sheahan, one of the most engaging speakers to have taken The UP Experience stage, released his latest book, “Making It Happen: Turning your Good Ideas into Great Results.” We’ve got a copy and will be sharing some thoughts and juicy tidbits next week. Let us know if you pick up a copy so we can trade notes.

Esteemed UP speaker and MC David Eagleman has been on a speaking tour in London to promote his upcoming book, Incognito, which will explore the relationship between our minds and our legal system. As part of his travels Eagleman authored a great piece for The Telegraph outlining some of the main arguments of his book.

Shawn Achor launched a new app for Android and iPhone/iPad devices. The app, I Journal, follows the advice of Shawn’s latest book, The Happiness Advantage, and helps users maintain a regular journaling habit, which, you guessed it, has been shown to increase happiness. The app makes it easy to record your thoughts via voice recording, photos and writing updates. Let us know if you try it out!

UP 2008 speaker and Esquire food writer John Mariani spoke to NPR about his book, How Italian Food Conquered the World. The book examines the cuisine’s journey from one time “poor mans food” to plates hitting tables in kitchens and restaurants all over the U.S. nightly. Check out the interview and read an excerpt here.

Last but not least, UP 2010 speaker Richard Florida used his regular column at The Atlantic to examine the question, “Why Are Some Cities Happier Than Others?”

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UP Alumni In The News 3.23.11

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

Happy Wednesday! Time for more UP alumni in the news.

This week, The New York Times announced a timeline for long-rumored plans to establish a paywall on its site and the internet was flooded with opinions on the decision. Fast Company analyzed The Psychology Behind The New York Times Paywall and cited a video from UP 09 speaker Dan Ariely.

Another UP 09 speaker, Shawn Achor, put pen to paper (or fingers to a keyboard) in an article for the Harvard Business Review taking on the stigma, “Are Happy People Dumb?”

Also, this week it was UP 2010 speaker Bill Nye’s turn to serve as an expert to explain the situation at the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan.

Meanwhile, Michio Kaku continued to be active in the media, but not on earthquake recovery. He has released a new book, Physics of The Future: How Science Will Shape Human Destiny and Our Daily Lives by the Year 2100.  Interested in learning his predictions? Is a Jetsons-style life in our future? Read an interview with Dr. Kaku and an excerpt on NPR here.

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UP Alumni In the News 2.23.11

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

Good morning and happy Wednesday to all!

One of our favorite things about The UP Experience is that it allows us to uncover new fields of study, new practices and new passions that stick with us long after the speakers have left the stage. It has also introduced us to a community of people in Houston and around the world who are constantly innovating and announcing new ideas that generate recognition in places around the world.

We do our best to keep up with past speakers to stay on top of their new research, business ventures and publications. Starting today, we’ll be posting weekly updates of notable UP Alumni in the news. Check back each Wednesday to see the latest.

And don’t forget, The UP Experience is about discussion and we love to hear your feedback. If you find a news story you’d like to share please post it as a comment, and let us know what your thoughts are on the stories posted here.

UP Alumni in the news this week:

UP 2009 speaker Brené Brown was interviewed by Martha Rosenberg at The Huffington Post about the findings in her latest book The Gifts of Imperfection

The victory of IBM’s Watson computer on Jeopardy last week has prompted lots of comments on the development of artificial intelligence. Watch here as UP 2009 speakers Michio Kaku and Peter Diamandis discuss AI and Web 4.0

UP 2008 speaker Shawn Achor’s book The Happiness Advantage continues to get recognition around the world for rewriting the long held truth that success brings happiness. Read Shawn’s Harvard Business Review article here on how to make stress work for you.

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Keep It UP!

Sunday, November 14th, 2010

Thank you to everyone who joined us at UP 2010. Every year we are truly amazed at the discoveries shared on our stage and the connections made both within the audience and between attendees and speakers. And, without a doubt our favorite part is hearing about the ideas sparked over the course of the day.

Now it is up to all of us to keep it UP! It is our goal to make The UP Experience a year round inspiration, a community where exploration, innovation and entrepreneurship are happening every day.

Please post comments here and contact us at to share how you are staying UP, and let us know how we can help! We’ll be using this blog and a few other means to keep things going in the coming months. Check back for more news on how to stay connected and involved.

Follow your favorite speakers on Facebook, Twitter, Linked In and visit their websites and blogs to get the latest news on their work. And, don’t forget about us at UP!

The UP Experience:

On the web:

Twitter: @theupexperience



Linked In:

Michael Eisner:

On the web:

Dan Buettner:

On the web: (check out the bottom right-hand side of the site to sign up for Dan’s newsletter)

Twitter: @BlueZones



David Pogue:

On the web:

Twitter: @Pogue




Luis Von Ahn:

On the web:

Twitter: @LuisvonAhn



Adora Svitak:

On the web:

Twitter: @adorasv



Gracie Cavnar:

On the web:

Twitter: @r4shouston




Steve Thomas:

On the web:

Kevin Kelly:

On the web:

Twitter: @kevin2kelly




Wendy Schiller:

On the web:

Richard Florida:

On the web:

Twitter: @Richard_Florida


David Eagleman:

On the web:

Twitter: @davideagleman


Jessica Jackley:

On the web:

Twitter: @jessicajackley @kiva @teamprofounder



James Maas:

On the web:

Bill Nye:

On the web:

Twitter: @TheScienceGuy



Dennis Littky:

On the web: – check out “stay informed” to sign up for the newsletter

Twitter: @Dennis_Littky @bigpiclearning



Shawn Achor:

On the web: – newsletter sign up on the left



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Mini-UP: Catch UP, Listen UP, Talk it UP!

Thursday, August 13th, 2009
The Rice shield
Image via Wikipedia

Wow!  I’m just back from the latest Mini-UP, held at the Shell  Auditorium in the Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business at  Rice University.  I think there must have been about 400 people there — and they were  UP! especially after the  two  featured speakers surprised, informed, and inspired  us.

Louise Parsley writes about family life, and spoke on “Family Side UP:” how laughter is a natural buoy when you’re drowning in your own gene pool.  Her deadpan delivery and universally recognizable revelations had the crowd roaring with self-recognition.  She proved the old adage, related by her father, that “Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.”

Louise described feeling intimidated this evening as she thought of  being the “opening act” for  Shawn Achor of Harvard University, whom she described as “Einstein, Oprah, and George Clooney, rolled into one.”  Shawn thanked her for providing the most gracious introduction he had ever received, and then said, “I do look a lot like Oprah.”  We were primed with more laughter to hear his presentation about “The Science of the Ripple Effect.”

Shawn Achor,  one of the favorites from  UP ’08,  teaches the most popular course at Harvard:  “Positive  Psychology.”  What makes people happy?   Does it matter?  He demonstrated the effect of  “mirror neurons,” and described how the most expressive person in any group — whether positive or negative — will have an effect on the emotional tone of  the entire group.  He challenged  us to start a big “ripple” by performing Random Acts of Kindness, and to monitor the effects. You can see the slides from Shawn’s presentation here.

We’d like to hear from you!  What crazy family story did you remember after hearing Louise?  And, what Random Acts of Kindness did you perpetrate upon Greater Houston within 24 hours of hearing Shawn?

posted by MaryBeth Smith

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