Nic Marks Profile

Nic Marks’ work in happiness and wellbeing research methodology is world-renowned. His love of using applied statistics to ground well-being and happiness in hard evidence has led to international acclaim and the realization that “happiness is a serious business.”

Nic is perhaps best known for his trailblazing work on the Happy Planet Index, National Accounts of Well-being, and the Five Ways to Well-being, which is used extensively within health and education institutions as well as within governmental policy. He is the founder of Happiness Works, an organization that changes the world of work for the better through online tools and services. Additionally, Nic is a fellow of nef (new new economics foundation) and serves on the board for Action for Happiness.

Having written over 20 publications and authored one of the three original TEDbooks, A Happiness Manifesto, Nic’s accolades include Director Magazine’s Top 10 Original Thinker and Forbes’ 7 Most Powerful Ideas 2011. Nic has also been featured in publications including the Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, The Independent, WIRED, and The Huffington Post.

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    Nic threads the business case for taking happiness and well-being seriously while enlightening organizations as diverse as the World Development Movement, Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development and Coca-Cola.

    His accolades include Director magazine’s Top 10 Original Thinker and Forbes’ 7 Most Powerful Ideas 2011, alongside features in The Wall Street Journal, Wired and The Huffington Post.

    In 2001, Nic founded the Centre for Well-Being at the New Economics Foundation (NEF) and went on to produce groundbreaking work, including the Happy Planet Index (2006, 2009, 2012), which led to his prestigious 2010 TEDGlobal talk in Oxford.

    He has written over 20 publications and authored one of the three original TED Books— The Happiness Manifesto. He is founding director of Happiness Works, working closely alongside Delivering Happiness (a social business set up by Tony Hsieh, CEO of

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Nic Marks's Speech Descriptions

Nic Marks proves that “happiness is a serious business.” His optimistic presentations point out that in the effort to improve our companies and communities, we often overlook an emotion that is so fundamental to human nature. Nic shows that by promoting happiness and wellbeing, organizations can unleash creativity and progress towards solving our most daunting challenges. See how you can harness the most powerful yet underused tool at your disposal!

A Happier Way of Life

Happiness is a common human aspiration—what can the new emerging science of well-being teach us about how to live happier lives both now and in the future? Nic Marks shows how by understanding the dynamic nature of human well-being it allows us to think about what interventions we can make as individuals, organizations and institutions to create happier lives.

Happiness is a Serious Business

Understanding employees’ well-being and happiness can have serious benefits for organizations. Based upon work carried out for the UK Government Office for Science, Nic Marks presents a dynamic model of organizational well-being that managers can easily understand. Evidence is cited from the latest research into positive psychology and systems theory about how enhancing well-being at work can improve not only the bottom line but also create a more resilient organization

Measuring Progress from Quantity to Quality

How should we understand progress when there are so many global challenges? The economic and political orthodoxy is that if economic growth is increasing, life must be getting better—but is this still true? Today, economic inequalities stubbornly persist both within nations and globally, and climate change looms over our tomorrows. How can we reimagine the progress of nations and the success of organizations? Nic Marks will suggest that we need to not only consider how we can create good lives that don’t cost the earth but also how we can measure progress towards that target.

Happiness Doesn’t Have to Cost the Earth

Does thinking about promoting happiness make sense in an unjust unsustainable world? Are there not more serious issues to concentrate on? Nic Marks will argue that it is only by thinking about human well-being and happiness that we will unlock the solutions to the persistent problems we face. Positive emotions, including happiness, have evolved to help human beings grasp opportunities and are directly linked to creativity, innovation and resilience.

Five Ways to Happiness

Nic Marks will present the five ways to well-being and happiness. The five ways were created for the UK Government Office of Science as the mental health equivalent of five-a-day. Simply messaged as an invitation for individuals to take positive actions, they have the potential to positively impact people’s lives whatever their circumstances. The five ways are Connect, Be Active, Take Notice, Keep Learning and Give. What would be the implications for your life if you did these more? What are the implications for organizations and even policymaking? The five ways open a new way of thinking about how to positively intervene in people’s lives.

What People are Saying about Seeing Nic Speak

Rating Entries

“Marks urged politicians to pay more attention to life satisfaction over GDP. ‘The big message of [the HPI] rankings is that we have to produce a system that makes people happier without costing the Earth,’ he said.”
Louise Gray, Telegraph

“Nic Marks’ voice, deeply based in research and endowed with unusual creativity, is a rare beacon of hard-earned common sense much needed for the intensifying discussions. Nic is an unusually charming and accessible speaker who manages to truly engage the audience, not least because he is himself unusually credible with his subject.”
Director of the open source think tank: and organizer of the Club of Amsterdam, 2010, The Netherlands

“Nic Marks is an inspirational speaker, who imparts his extensive knowledge of well-being in an entertaining and engaging style. We have used his services on a number of occasions and have been extremely pleased with the results.”
Head of Mental Health Promotion, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust

“Nic Marks has an idea worth spreading – that promoting sustainable happiness and well-being should be the aim of nations and people alike. We were very happy at TED to give him a platform to share his worldview which he did with eloquence, passion and charm.”
TED Curator

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