Students for Happiness ( is a non-profit organisation, which looks to draw on the latest research in the fields of psychology, philosophy, politics, the arts, science and economics, approaching the idea of happiness from a myriad of perspectives. Although we are educated on an infinite array of subjects, we are rarely taught anything about happiness and well being. In response to this educational deficit, Students for Happiness looks to provide invigorating and thought-provoking intellectual discussions surrounding this crucial topic. Our vision is to create a movement for positive social change with no commercial, religious or political affiliations in order to reduce the stigma of mental health issues and readdress our attitude towards happiness and well being.Students for Happiness aims to encourage young people to prioritise well being and focus less on the individualist and materialistic behaviour that our economically driven society is angled towards. We are looking to place greater emphasis on collaborative ways of living, which value positive relationships, fulfillment and altruism, all of which have been proven to create greater long-term happiness. Our events take a wide range of formats, from talks and film screenings to workshops, interviews and debates. We have garnered the support of various influential figures and organisations, including Dr. Rowan Williams, Alain de Botton, Professor AC Grayling, Noam Chomsky, Stephen Fry, Action for Happiness (, Mental Wealth UK (, The Oxford Mindfulness Centre, The Empathy and Compassion in Society Conference and the debating forum Intelligence Squared ( In the past we have welcomed guest speakers including Lord Richard Layard, John Lloyd, Sir Anthony Seldon, Dr Mark Williamson, John Paul Flintoff and Dr Geoff Mulgan. Our first event in Oxford has the working title of ‘What does it mean to be happy?’ We have invited three prolific speakers to join our discussion panel, each of whom will give a short presentation weighing in on what they believe are the most important issues surrounding mindfulness, subjective well being and happiness. This will be followed by a panel discussion, led by the Chair, Dr Sophie Bostock, with time for an audience Q&A at the end. We try and make our events open to as many people as possible so admission for this event is free but if possible please donate something so that we can maintain sustainability. NIC MARKS is perhaps most renowned for his work in formulating the Happy Planet Index, National Accounts of Well-being and the Five Ways to Well-being, which is used within health and education institutions as well as within governmental policy. He is founder of Happiness Works, an organisation that changes the world of work for the better, is a fellow of the new economics foundation and a board member for Action for Happiness. PROF. MARK WILLIAMS is Emeritus Professor of Clinical Psychology and Honorary Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Psychiatry and was Director of the Oxford Mindfulness Centre until recently. His research is focused on Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy for prevention of relapse and recurrence in major depression. MIRIAM AKHTAR is a positive psychologist and a leading practitioner of the science in the UK. Miriam is a noted author on positive psychology tools. Her bestseller ‘Positive Psychology for Overcoming Depression demonstrates how to use the science of happiness to recover well-being. She has created a number of well-being programmes and is a founder member of the International Positive Psychology Association (IPPA) and the Centre for Applied Positive Psychology (CAPP). DR. SOPHIE BOSTOCK, our Chair, is a prolific behavioural health scientist who works for Big Health, which uses tracked data to create personalised behavioural medicine programs. Big Helath’s first product ‘Sleepio’ teaches Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) techniques in order to help users’ sleep patterns in order to boost their daytime energy and concentration, which has a major impact on mental well being. For details, link here:

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