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Sessions at SXSW Interactive 2012 about Happiness

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Friday 9th March 2012

  • How to Be Acquired & Stay Happy

    by Marcy Swenson and James Home

    Congratulations: you've been acquired! First comes an initial high from the money and the attention.

    Often company acquisitions that seem like a great idea result in disappointment, a mass exodus, the technology being tossed aside, and hard feelings on both sides. But every once in a while, an acquisition results in the team feeling like they got a big win, not just financially, but that it moved their product & careers forward in a way that would have taken them much longer otherwise.

    During this core conversation, we'll share stories of acquisition successes (yes, they exist!), and draw out what worked well. The goal is to provide those that are looking to be acquired with some guidelines for what to watch out for, and how to pull it off as successfully as possible.

    At 3:30pm to 4:30pm, Friday 9th March

    In Rio Grande Ballroom, Marriott Courtyard Austin Downtown/Convention Center

  • Why Happiness Is the New Currency

    by Ade Olonoh, Brian Wong and Dave Morin

    Moments of joy... moments of happiness... moments of gratitude. These are all moments that describe our lives. It is very easy to mistake these as only moments that happen in real life. One fundamental key part of how the web has evolved has involved emotion. Emotion has become more explicit in our actions online. Companies are faster becoming aware that, as obvious as it may seem, humans are at the receiving end of the UI and design theme that you have just created. We no longer simply engage in actions; we "like". We contribute content and are immediately validated through social interactions. What is obvious is that there's another person we're interacting with. What's even more obvious is what we're supposed to feel. In this digital era, there's a field of science that has been largely underutilized until now: affective science. In our work at Kiip, we have realized just how core the "happiness moment" is to our business model. Just how raw emotion can be directly tied to an achievement in a game - we have designed not only a UI but a "emotive" experience around harnessing the elements of the happiness that surrounds a simple interaction. Do you want to share? Do you want to gift? Do you want to save it? Is it fleeting? How can you control it? How do you have more of it later? In this session we'll hear, for the first time, from companies in the mobile and web space that have harnessed not only emotional power - but pressure - to drive their business models all using the currency of happiness. Not only have some of them accidentally created models that capture this emotion beautifully, but some of them have now learned how to sustain it. Happiness is the missing resource in your company. Learn how to capture it.

    At 5:00pm to 6:00pm, Friday 9th March

    In Ballroom EF, Austin Convention Center

    Coverage sketch note

Saturday 10th March 2012

  • P-Cubed: Building a Happy, Positive Startup

    by Ron Gutman

    Smiling is more than just the result of happiness – it can actually help create happiness. And creating happiness at work is essential to building a highly successful company.

    Ron Gutman, author of one of the most “Liked” TED talks of all time (the Hidden Powers of Smiling) and founder and CEO of HealthTap, discusses current research about how smiling and happiness can change lives and social situations, and are at the core of effective companies where employees love to work, and reveals methods (including creating and honoring a company Vision and Credo and shared values) for building a highly-successful, smile-filled company through a culture centered on Three-Ps: Positivity, Purpose and Priorities. These form the building blocks of innovative entrepreneurship.

    By promoting, respecting, embodying and hiring for these qualities, companies are better equipped to overcome the challenges inherent in innovation (positivity), attract the right talent, supporters, and partners (strong purpose), and move faster and accomplish more (priorities) – all with happier employees.

    At 11:30am to 11:45am, Saturday 10th March

    In Texas Ballroom 4-7, Hyatt Regency Austin

Tuesday 13th March 2012

  • IRL: Improving Communities with Social Media

    by Matthew Edwards, Kelly Weiss, Shelly Brisbin and Gretchen Rubin

    A recent survey of 17,000 people found that 60% of Americans believe that neighbors are worse today than they were 15 years ago. What role does social media play in this perception of decline? We’ll have perspectives from State Farm, which commissioned the large scale survey across all 50 states; Kelly Weiss, Executive Director of Austin Habitat for Humanity; and Gretchen Rubin, an author whose research has focused on the question of how connectedness affects our happiness – including how ties with neighbors and communities have an impact on our overall wellbeing.

    At 9:30am to 10:30am, Tuesday 13th March

    In Longhorn, Omni Downtown

    Coverage audio clip

  • Gretchen Rubin Book Signing

    Gretchen Rubin signs her book ‘The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun’ at the SXSW bookstore.

    At 11:15am to 11:30am, Tuesday 13th March

    In Ballroom G Foyer, Austin Convention Center