PROGRAMME SYNOPSES

Keynote 1

dr Shun Wang

Editor
World Happiness Report

Professor
KDI School of Public Policy and Management

An Introduction to the World Happiness Report and Happiness Research

Ever wondered how does Singapore rank in terms of happiness?

In this three parts keynote, Dr Shun Wang, one of the editors of the World Happiness Report will be sharing his insights from World Happiness Report and what accounts for the differences between countries.

In the first part, Dr Wang will introduce the origin and background of the World Happiness Report as well as the editorial team. In the second part, he will cover the history and current status of happiness studies. Last but not least, he will highlight the main contents of World Happiness Report 2020, focusing on happiness distributions across countries and major cities, as well as social determinants of happiness.

Keynote 2

Dr William Wan

General Secretary
Singapore Kindness Movement

The Forgotten Road to Happiness

If there is one thing most of us agree to is that happiness is a good thing to pursue and possess. Google “How to be happy”, and you will find topics like “23 Ways to Be Happier”; “10 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Incredibly Happy”; 10 Keys to Happier Living”; “20 Ways To Be Happier Today”; “5 Simple Ways to Be Happy”; “15 habits of incredibly happy people”; “23 Psychology-Backed Ways to Find Your Happiness”… and the list goes on and on.

But there is a set of studies that verifies the simple truth – The road to happiness is paved with kindness. That is the forgotten road to happiness. The evidence is conclusive: there is a positive feedback loop between kindness and happiness.

Dr Wan will show us how easy it is to find ways to get on to this forgotten road to find sustainable happiness that wells up from within us.

Fireside Chat 1: How do we create happy workplaces for employees to thrive?

20 Mar, 10.15 AM – 11.15AM Lee Foundation Theatre

Ms Nikki Muller

Artiste
FLY Entertainment

Ms Lyn Lee

Chief Inclusivity & Diversity Officer
Royal Dutch Shell

Mr Samuel Tan

Singapore Health Consulting Leader
Mercer

Ms Viivi Avellan

Chief Operating Officer
Innovation House Singapore

Forbes reported that mental health conditions cost US businesses between $80 and $100 billion annually. In the same article, they cited mental health training in the workplace can see a return of up to 10 times the money invested. What are some of the best practices at the workplace that cultivate employee happiness and well-being?

Fireside Chat 2: How is happiness and well-being in school important for the future of workforce?

20 Mar, 11.30 AM – 12.30PM Lee Foundation Theatre

Ms Yeo Sha-En

Founder
Happiness Scientists

Ms Veronica Chua

Founder
Happiness Scientists

Ms Anna Korpi

Education and Science Counsellor
Embassy of Finland in Singapore

Dr Jennifer Sparrow

Deputy Superintendent
Singapore American School

Dr Mark Charles Baildon

Associate Professor
National Institute of Education

It is the nation’s aspiration to develop passionate life-long learners. Learning in school is just the start of a life of learning. Much of the mindsets and attitudes of workers are shaped by their experiences in school. How will cultivating happiness and well-being in school help our next generation thrive in the workforce?

This brings us to a very important question – are we happy because we are successful or are we successful because we are happy?

Fireside Chat 3: What are the new values or aspirations for a greater Singapore?

21 Mar, 10.15 AM – 11.15AM Lee Foundation Theatre

Mr Russ Neu Wee Teck

CEO & Founder
Social Collider

Mr Ng Yeow Ling

Educator

Ms Koo Hui Ying

Head of Marketing & Communications
Ground-Up Initiative

Mr Jack Sim

Founder
World Toilet Organisation

Ms Inch Chua

Artist

Many of us may have remembered the 5Cs that described the Singapore Dream – Cash, Car, Condominium, Credit Card, and Country Club membership. Singapore has since gained much economic success. For Singapore to move from good to great, what are the new 5Cs or aspirations that are relevant to us?

Fireside Chat 4: How are the Nordic countries happiest in the world?

21 Mar, 11.30 AM – 12.30PM Lee Foundation Theatre

Dr Siok Kuan Tambyah

Associate Professor
National University of Singapore

Ms Dorte Bech Vizard

Ambassador
Embassy of Denmark

Ms Anita Nergaard

Ambassador
Royal Norwegian Embassy

Mr Antti Vänskä

Ambassadore
Embassy of Finland

Mr Niclas Kvarnström

Ambassador
Embassy of Sweden

According to the World Happiest Report 2019, Finland (1st), Denmark (2nd), Norway (3rd), Sweden (7th) are amongst the happiest countries in the world. What is so unique in their culture that makes their citizens happier than most people in the world? Are these social practices applicable for Singapore?

Fireside Chat 5: Happiness – Perspectives from Religion

21 Mar, 03.30 PM – 04.30PM Lee Foundation Theatre

Mr Don Basil Kannangara

Interfaith facilitator
Founder
If Then How

Mr Mike Arents

Senior Parish Pastoral Executive
Church of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

Imam Muslim bin Amad

Community Engagement Executive
Masjid Al-Muttaqin

Ms Yohana

Educator

To many people, religion is a source of happiness. Religion can offer many things including but not limited to refuge, hope, meaning, purpose, and transcendence.

What insights on happiness can we draw from religion?

Breakout 1.1

Ms Ng Siew Yen

Account Manager, Creative Solutions Asia
Shell

Be Happy at Work

American writer Annie Dillard once famously said, “How we spend our days is how we spend our lives.” On that note, most of us will spend almost a third of our lives at work. Therefore, it would be hard to be happy in life if we are not happy at work.

This talk is focused on how we can become happier and more resilient which can lead to greater success. Research has shown that happier people have a competitive advantage and are more optimistic and productive which enables them to achieve their goals faster.

This talk will elaborate on key concepts that can facilitate our happiness and resilience at work. Siew Yen will also facilitate a simple resilience module that is focused on the art of gratitude. This is a module used in Shell which is as an example of how we can be happier at work.

Breakout 1.2

Ms Jacqueline Wong

Managing Director
Sequoia Group

Towards a Model of Engaging Leadership & Its Impact on Employee Wellbeing

An evidence-based approach to leadership that truly moves the needle on employee engagement, growth and flourishing at the workplace.

Breakout 1.3

Ms Maureen Huang

Director
Leadership Lab by Pawsibility

Ms Evania Tan

Director
Leadership Lab by Pawsibility

Happiness Pawtential

Most people think that getting the dream job would make them happy… but that, as most of you already know, is not the end of the story. Common derailers of happiness include:
– Job requirements vs Natural strengths
– Organisational Culture vs Individual Values
– Interpersonal differences amongst colleagues
– Mind over Matter

Learn about organisational solutions that lead to a happier and more effective workforce. Experience Singapore’s first and only Canine Facilitated Executive Education, where fun and laughter is used as a platform for mining actionable insights that drive happiness which fuels sustainable organisational performance. Consider novel pawsibilities through activities with Telly (Labrador Retriever) and Hope (Golden Retriever) from Leadership Lab.

Telly

Chief Therapy Dog
Leadership Lab by Pawsibility

Hope

Chief Cuddly Dog
Leadership Lab by Pawsibility

Breakout 1.4

Ms Erin Lee

Founder & Mindfulness Coach
Mindful Moments

Beating Burnout with Mindfulness

Erin was once a routine burnout sufferer, running away from exhaustion only to find herself diving right back in, over and over again. In this workshop she shares how mindfulness has helped her turn her attention inwards to recognize the early signs of burnout, and to break the habitual patterns of physical and emotional fatigue.

Breakout 1.5

Dr Anne Wenstrom

Employee Wellness Coordinator
Singapore American School

Nurturing Wellness in Organizations and Schools

How do we foster wellness within our organizations and schools? How do we cultivate well-being within ourselves and each other? Anne will not only share the components of a comprehensive wellness program, but how to put it into action. Participants will leave this session with examples of effective wellness programs, and how goal-setting is a crucial part to your success in improving your wellness and the wellness of others.

Breakout 1.6

Khedrup Rinpoche

President
Khedrup Foundation

Helping Entrepreneuers Find Happiness

In a fast changing and dynamic world, the pursuit of economic prosperity can take a toll on the physical and mental health of entrepreneurs. One of the easiest ways to take care of one’s mental health is to pay attention and be present, otherwise known as being mindful. Khedrup Rinpoche will be sharing how one can cultivate mindfulness and compassion to find lasting happiness.

Mindfulness is a simple tool that brings your mind to the present moment and generates focus while maintaining a positive attitude. It is the way in which you connect within yourself– being fully aware of what you are doing and why you are doing it. Being mindful creates a calm and positive environment where you discover the answer to most problems– that they lie within our emotions during difficult situations.

Practicing genuine compassion helps you to see that all beings interconnected through the ways we feel joy or even more so, suffering. When we truly realise this and make it a part of our motivation in everything we do, we will generate more contentment from our work that will contribute to inner peace.

Lunch time activity

Ms Stasha Wong

Healing Paws Coordinator and Management Committee Representative for Education and Outreach
SOSD, Healing Paws

Experience Animal-Assisted Activities with SOSD’s Healing Paws (12.30pm – 2pm)

Come experience Animal-Assisted Activities (AAA) with SOSD’s Healing Paws. AAA are activities that involve our dogs visiting people in a casual setting and enhancing their quality of life through the motivational, educational, recreational benefits of animal-human interaction. Experience (first-hand!) the therapeutic effects of petting, feeding, or playing fetch with a therapy dog. Or learn about how Healing Paws sparks social interaction and reduces loneliness amongst our beneficiaries by trying your luck in doggy bingo––Healing Paws’ innovation on the classic game of chance––only this time, the odds may be in your favour if you cheer on each dog loudly enough! Learn about how AAA is gaining momentum in Singapore, and how you can help SOSD with its goal to make Singapore a happier and more compassionate society, through dogs.

Vera

Did you say ‘ball’? Vera never says no to a game of fetch. Vera is a Singapore Special with a huge heart (and lungs, because she runs a lot and is very fit) and lots of love to spare.

Chuck

They say Chuck’s tail never stops wagging. With a longish body and short legs, don’t sell him short! Chuck’s personality is a blast of sunshine, and he will retrieve any ball for you, no matter the distance or obstacles in between.

Gracie

The only thing bigger than Gracie’s heart is perhaps her love for treats––and who are we resist those puppy eyes? She loves to meet new people and will sit patiently by their side in hopes of a snack, don’t keep her waiting!

Breakout 2.1A

Dr Denise Dillon

Associate Dean, Research and Research Education
James Cook University, Singapore

A Boost from Biophilic Design: Nature Nurtures Knowing

Decades of research on human-environment interactions make it clear that urban dwellers benefit from regular exposure to either natural environments or built environments that replicate or mimic nature. Benefits include better learning outcomes by easing demands on directed attention, thereby allowing renewed resources for focused attention. This can apply to both students in learning environments and to workers in office environments. Simply gazing at nature seems to be restorative, with improvements in mood as well as concentration. More commonly, buildings are being designed to feature components to help connect people with environments through the integration of organic or naturalistic features (e.g., plants, animals, water, natural light), and place-based features that reflect the culture and ecology of the locality. The goal of such biophilic designs is to foster wellbeing through connection with and immersion in built environments that feel lifelike and sustain life.

Breakout 2.1B

Mr Tan Wei Jie

Associate Psychologist
The Lion Mind

There is Nothing Selfish with Self Care

Sometimes we forget that life is not about counting time, but it is also the moments that make it worthwhile. In fast-paced Singapore, we are constantly occupied, racing to fulfill obligations. Even when we take a break we fill it by being distracted on our phones.
In the long run, we may start to feel constantly stressed and fall sick frequently. When that happens, it is time to take a step back and evaluate whether we are truly taking care of ourselves.
When we first schedule some time to prioritize ourselves, you may feel uncomfortable or even guilty. However, we need to recognize that self-care is an act of responsibility that leads to a healthier life, mentally, emotionally and physically.
Come join us as we explore the activities we can take towards self-care!

Breakout 2.2

Ms Kavita Satwalekar

Wellness Expert, Founder & Life Coach
Inner Sense Coaching

Wheel of Balance

“Balance is personal and unique to each individual, and what may be satisfying for some may be stressful or boring for others. In this workshop I will define balance, explain the need for balance in our lives and finally drive the concept home by having you complete a Wheel Of Balance (WOB) activity. By the end of this hands-on workshop, you will walk away with a completed, personalized WOB and an action plan of how to move forward. This will raise your awareness on what balance means for you, highlight your obstacles and enable you to purposefully move in the direction of a life that is more satisfying and balanced.

The results of this exercise help clarify priorities for goal setting, which if you choose to explore further, can then be worked on through a series of personal, one-on-one life coaching sessions with Kavita. “

Breakout 2.3

Ms Sheetal Somaiya

Founder
The HealthSuttra

360 Degree Holistic Approach To Wellness

A workshop designed to empower you with self-care strategies to help you manage personal and professional stress with scientific, evidence-based techniques. Identify techniques to achieve your very own work-life balance to be the Healthiest you inside out.

Breakout 2.4

Dr Siok Kuan Tambyah

Associate Professor
National University of Singapore

Dr Ilona Suojanen

Academic visitor
National University of Singapore

Happiness at Work

Happiness at work creates many benefits, not only for employees but also for organisations. Research has shown that happiness has a positive impact on creativity, motivation and productivity. Since a large part of our lives is spent at work, the benefits of happiness do not only influence our work, but our personal lives and health as well.

This interactive workshop invites participants to reflect on their own happiness at work and how much influence they have on this aspect of their lives. Guiding questions include: What are the main drivers influencing happiness at work? Who is responsible for workplace happiness? How can workplace happiness be increased – and does it need to grow?

The key takeaways will be research-based insights and tools for a better understanding on workplace happiness.

Breakout 2.5

Ms Yeo Sha-En

Founder
Happiness Scientists

Ms Veronica Chua

Founder
Happiness Scientists

Building a Strength-Based Culture in Schools

Research found that focusing on strengths is more beneficial than focusing on weaknesses. The former helps learners succeed in their academics and well-being. Participants will learn why schools should build a strengths-based culture and practical tips for implementation.

Breakout 2.6

Ms Maija Eriika Ruokanen

International Educator
University of Oulu, Finland

Well-being and Happiness in Finnish Schools

Not only is Finland’s education system ranked one of the most successful in the world, but recently Finland has also been listed as the happiest nation on the planet. Would there be any link between these two outcomes? How does the Finnish educational system foster well-being and happiness? What are some of the values that are embedded in the Finnish curriculum and how does the daily schooling incorporate them?

Come and attend this session that attempts to “simulate” the Finnish School and go through a daily experience of learners anywhere in Finland, focusing on the well-being and belonging in the curriculum and daily practice of the teachers. You will gain a deeper understanding of our ‘play-based’ approach to learning, no testing and minimal homework policies and our shorter school days that are making our learners happiest in the world!

Breakout 3.1

Dasho Kinley Dorji

Editor
Druk Journal

Bhutan’s Gross National Happiness (GNH) – A Higher Vision for Human Development

In a world that continues to be driven by Gross National Product (GDP), Bhutan is a small country that dares to be different. It offers the world a vision for humanity – happiness.

Gross National happiness is a pun on Gross National Product, now measured as GDP. It is a strong message that GDP-driven growth, leading to unrestrained consumption, is depleting the plant of its natural resources. This message is beginning to spread as the alarm over ecological imbalance, leading to climate change, is a growing concern. Thus the need to go beyond GDP.

As more people become interested in this concept, and more countries claim to be adopting GNH, what is the essence of this philosophy? Is it a relevant goal for industrialised countries or is it an esoteric dream? What can countries like Singapore learn from Bhutan’s approach to change? Where do the trends like the rapid technological development place human happiness?

Kinley Dorji will share Bhutan’s experience with GNH as the vision for development.

Breakout 3.2

Mr James Chong

Clinical Director
The Lion Mind

Re-shaping Your Life with Positive Communication

In our daily communications, we can come into conflict with other people due to different words, behaviours and perspectives. But did you know that these conflicts can be avoided in the first place?

We can begin by applying active listening, one of the skills that every counsellor uses to derive more information during communication. Active listening is the art of paying attention to tone, phrasing, facial and bodily cues to understand each other better.

These non-verbal indicators can provide us with a deeper understanding of each other’s needs and intents to avoid misunderstandings. Additionally, we can use these cues to provide dynamic feedback to others, achieving positive and effective communication.

Come learn this valuable skill and practice with our experienced facilitators. Cultivate positive connections today!

This workshop is facilitated by the team from The Lion Mind consisting of Tan Wei Jie (Associate Psychologist), Yap Weiren (Operations Director), Vivien Lai (Associate Psychotherapist) and Dhivyaasrree Krishnamoorthy(Associate Psychotherapist).

Breakout 3.3

Dr Miina Öhman

Senior Research Fellow
Duke-NUS Medical School

Physical and Mental Health Benefits of Interaction with Nature

The biggest health problems in the world – obesity, heart disease and depression – are all related to modern urban lifestyle, which is characterized by disconnection from nature. Most alarmingly, these health risks are upon ever younger generations. In my talk, I will tell how spending time in nature and green environments can improve mental and physical health in all age groups, especially benefiting child and adolescent mental health. Easy access and engagement with nature and natural environments can reduce stress and anxiety, and alleviate anger and negative feelings. Nature experience can increase relaxation and improve resilience and social skills, which contribute to mental wellbeing. Exposure to nature lowers blood pressure, heart rate and stress hormone levels, which can reduce the risk of heart disease. Nature immersion can also improve immune system, i.e. body’s ability to fight against diseases.

Breakout 3.4

Ms Dalia Feldheim

Founder
FlowLeadership Consultancy

Can Happiness be Taught?

Can we teach ourselves to be happier? Can we teach organizations to be happier?
What is the role of the leader in promoting happiness at the workplace?
What is the link between success and Happiness?

Dalia builds on her extensive corporate career of over 20 years, her leadership coaching practice, her master’s degree in Organizational psychology at INSEAD (EMC), her teaching diploma at ‘Happiness Studies Academy’ as well as her experience as an adjunct professor for Happiness and suffering at Singapore Management university

She is on a mission to share her insights, and scientific research on the holistic components that make us happier through Purpose, Perseverance, People and Positivity and how as leaders we can help ourselves and our teams avoid the grind and be more fulfilled, joyful and productive at the workplace and at home for an upwards spiral of societal impact.

Breakout 3.5

Ms Shirley Ho

Singer/Songwriter

Generating Positive Emotions from Music Inspired by Nature

Research and studies have shown that both nature and music can generate positive emotions and bring about great joy and well-being. Why not combine these two powerful elements for a greater well-being? This workshop is a self-discovery about how journaling your thoughts and feelings could be translated into song lyrics with the help of nature. Learning simple songwriting techniques by self-taught singer and songwriter, Shirley Ho and experience the joy and fulfilment in song composition inspired by nature.

Breakout 3.6

Ms Leong Jia Min

Counsellor
AMKFSC Community Services Ltd, MindCare

Mental Wellness: A Key Ingredient for Happiness!

What is health without mental health? Good mental health is related to mental and psychological well-being and serves as a basic groundwork to build happiness. Good mental health and happiness are more than the absence of mental illness, just as being physically healthy is more than the absence of illness. However, what about those inflicted with illnesses? Ever wondered what does happiness mean to the mental health population? Is it possible to have happiness and still lead meaningful lives with mental illness? This workshop will provide you a glimpse of the meaning of happiness among a community that struggles with chronic mental illness. There have been many stereotypes of mental illness and we hope to shed a different light to some of the stigmatizing myths and inaccuracies through this workshop. We also hope to encourage conversations of mental health and help each other to feel comfortable and safe to converse on mental health topics.

Breakout 4.1: Happiness – Perspectives from Religion (Fireside Chat)

21 Mar, 03.30 PM – 04.30PM Lee Foundation Theatre

Mr Don Basil Kannangara

Interfaith facilitator
Founder
If Then How

Mr Mike Arents

Senior Parish Pastoral Executive
Church of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

Imam Muslim bin Amad

Community Engagement Executive
Masjid Al-Muttaqin

Ms Yohana

Educator

To many people, religion is a source of happiness. Religion can offer many things including but not limited to refuge, hope, meaning, purpose, and transcendence.

What insights on happiness can we draw from religion?

Breakout 4.2

Mr Vincent Ng

Community Curator
A Good Space

Community: The Secret to Finding Our Resilience

Technological advances in our society seem to have driven us further apart, instead of bringing us closer together. It’s now possible to go about our lives without having to cultivate a meaningful relationship with anyone. We can have our food delivered to our doorstep with GRAB, receive our parcels via Ninja Van and even get driven around town by a complete stranger with Gojek! Yet deep down, we all know that no man is an island and we crave for authentic relationships.

Through 3 interactive activities, we invite you to come discover the richness of a community in providing us with resources, relationships and support in finding our resilience to navigate through life’s challenges. Come take a step back in time to experience the ‘gotong royong’ spirit our parents and grandparents practiced when they were living in the kampongs and experience a deeper connection with your fellow participants.

*This workshop will be from 3.30pm – 5pm.

Breakout 4.3

Dr Peter Mack

Senior Consultant

Happiness – Learning from Living and Dying

Human life has gone through ages of experience, growing and insight. As we reflect on our existence and live our life in gratitude and happiness, we enhance our self-awareness. However, our existence embraces both living and dying. Therefore, death is a way to understand the meaning of life. When we come close to the end of life, what is really important makes itself known. Unlike what is commonly believed, people who are dying are far more positive about it than what is generally expected. In this talk, the speaker will illustrate how living could be understood as a pilgrimage, and death as an arrival and celebration. To the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure. People who are living profoundly have no fear of death. Their goal is not to live forever, but to create something that will.

Breakout 4.4

Ms Yap Youmin

Founder
Xiu Nature Connections

Experiencing a Joy in Aliveness: An Introductory Nature and Forest Bathing Workshop

What is nature and forest bathing? Do we have nature and forests in our city state? I walk everyday – so what? In this introductory workshop, you will get these questions answered and learn about the basics of nature and forest bathing. The Science-backed practice is proven to benefit our physiological health, including reducing stress levels and increasing body immune. Taking a short immersive experience in the courtyard, we will experience how the practice may also improve our mental and emotional wellbeing, and support us in experiencing a joy in being alive. Come fully clothed!

Breakout 4.5

Ms Chen Yuanhui

Intuitive Art Healer
Intuitive Art Healing with Yuanhui

Ms Weeze Goh

Intuitive Energy Healer
Weeze’s Reiki

Mindful Conversations with Art & Scent

Come join us in this mindful garden, as we allow our emotions, thoughts, our worries and drudgery of the day to settle, settle, settle. Allowing ourselves to sink deeper into gentle relaxation and stillness, to reconnect with ourselves, through watercolour and scent.

In this workshop, Intuitive Art Healer Yuanhui gently leads you to revisit the unseen, whether it is deeply-held subconscious beliefs that might be stopping you from making progress in areas of your life that you care about, or to revisit and reignite dreams and hopes that were quietly stashed away amidst the hum-drum of everyday living.

Intuitive Energy Healer Weeze will support the entire process, using scent to help you relax and reach your deep consciousness.

In our full acceptance of ourselves, whatever emerges in this mindful garden of watercolour, is embraced and is fine.

So join us, if you resonate and feel drawn to, as we mindfully visit our inner mandala with watercolour and scent, in meditation and silent introspection.

Breakout 4.6

Ms Breanna Baildon

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

Food and Mood: Can you eat your way to happiness?

We are becoming increasingly aware that what we eat affects our physical health. However, food might also be just as important for our mental health. In this workshop, we’ll examine the link between the foods we eat and how they may impact mood and mental health. You’ll leave empowered with strategies to make informed food choices that can positively impact wellbeing.

The interactive workshop will cover:
• Link between diet and mental health
• Role of the gut microbiome
• Action steps to improve mood through diet