Friday, October 15, 2010

SPECIAL REPORT: Global Happiness Summit Part 2

The first annual Global Happiness Summit was an interesting experience with a lot of room for improvement. Setting it on the U.S.S. Hornet was, in theory, an inspired choice, as it symbolized the repurposing of a harmful machine for more hopeful goals. In reality, however, the location may have contributed to the somewhat-low turnout. As you can see from the photos below, it also had a lot of empty space, which became somewhat oppressive over the conference's two days.

Don't get me wrong, though:  even with only around 40 attendees, I and the rest of the team enjoyed meeting each of them. The speakers also gave some fantastic presentations, and our screening of Happy was a resounding success. Even with rough sound work and a few stock images, the audience laughed, cried, and gave a standing ovation. I wish I had pictures of it, but unfortunately my camera had run out of juice, so I only have pictures of the second day.

So without further ado, here are some of my photos (wish I could post larger pics, but it screws up the formatting!):

Robert Biswas-Diener helping the team carry our stuff.
Walking through the entrance to the carrier.
A view of the conference floor.
A view of the stage area.
Aymee Coget
Roko, Omid, and Robert at our booth.
Macaiah Tillman
Roko and Omid looking positively rapturous at our booth.
A view of the flight deck upstairs.
Robert Biswas-Diener talking with Kevin and me.
Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos.
Tony gave one of my favorite talks, even with a slightly annoying intro. He and his co-workers started by playing one of those new-fangled viral videos, with kids hip-rappin' and rap-boppin' about a bus or something. The song has a catchy chorus line, but it seemed to go on and on and on. After that was over, though, Tony gave an excellent presentation about how corporations should be run to maximize happiness (and therefore profits).
Laura Delizonna
A view from our surrogate house in Tiburon.
(Fans of Genghis Blues will be interested to know that we stayed at Ralph Leighton's beautiful house for the entire five-day trip.)
Kevin and Roko apparently reenacting The Sorcerer's Apprentice on a mountain.
Everyone in Muir Woods, the redwood forest.
This trip as a whole was fantastic, even with a few now-infamous events involving a flat tire on the way up and me falling off a ledge, skinning my knee and elbow. (Roko had the brilliant idea of hiking up a foggy mountain at night with no handrails or lights of any kind.)

I have a lot more photos and possible things to talk about, but this post is already really long, so just ask if you have any questions!

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