The 1st edition of the University of Happiness at Work (UBAT) organized by the Spinoza Factory took place on October 29th, 30th and 31st in the premises of the INSEEC Group. Mathilde Moch, in charge of the organization of the event answered our questions:
How was UBAT born?
The University of Happiness at Work project was initiated by the Spinoza Factory, a multi-partisan economic and political think-tank whose mission is to restore happiness to its rightful place at the heart of our society.
We conduct reflections and actions in several areas, including happiness within organizations. Last February, we organized the “Happiness at Work Days” on the occasion of the broadcast on ARTE of the documentary directed by Martin Meissonnier “Happiness at Work”. These days having been a great success, we decided to go further by organizing this university.
Our objective is to bring together the actors of the business world who wish to take up this subject and to become themselves the transmitters of happiness within their organization in order to contribute to a global, sustainable and positive change in organizations. We want to equip them from an academic point of view by allowing them to meet experts in happiness at work, but also to let them experience practices that are known to promote employee well-being. It is also an opportunity for participants to meet and exchange about their practices and to leave with a new enthusiasm and a desire to continue the path of happiness at work.
We have a varied audience, including managers, HRDs, quality of life at work managers, trade unionists, etc. from all types of organizations (public, private, large CAC40 companies, SMEs, etc.) with a common desire to put people back at the heart of the organization.
How was the theme of “I, you, we” chosen?
Our participants experience a three-day journey organized around the themes of “I”, “you” and “we”. For the “I”, the idea is to start from oneself, to explore one’s capacity to generate one’s own happiness, independently of the working conditions and environment. The theme of “you” aims to develop a trusting and benevolent relationship with others, whether you are a manager or an employee. Finally, “we” corresponds to the desire to work together differently, to experiment with new ways of acting collectively.
Each day is an opportunity for participants to experience plenary sessions during which they have the opportunity to meet and exchange with experts such as Jacques Fradin, a neuroscience researcher, or Jacques Lecompte, a doctor in psychology, but also with actors from the business world already committed to the path of happiness at work (Stéphane Saba, HR Director of Pepsico France, Olivier Lajous, former HR Director of the French Navy, Bénédicte Lepers of Sodexo…).Among the activities proposed, they will participate in workshops on positive management, “happy conflict” or the quest for meaning at work…
What is the ambition for UBAT in the future?
Our first ambition is to succeed in creating a “promo” spirit for this first edition. We want our participants to join a larger community of workplace happiness brokers and continue to share, inspire, and support each other well beyond the university, and of course, we want to organize future editions. The success of this first UBAT was such that the number of participants far exceeded our expectations and we feel a real need for our current organizations to be trained in this sense.
When will happiness workshops be offered in higher education?
Happiness is already being taught at the highest level in many universities as interest in the subject in higher education is growing. The most prestigious establishments, conscious of developing the concept of happiness at work, are now designing dedicated programs.
In the United States, Tal Ben-Shahar’s positive psychology course is one of the most popular among Harvard students. The science of happiness is also taught at Berkeley. By hosting the first University of Happiness at Work, INSEEC is now among the institutions that have understood the importance of integrating the teaching of happiness into their management curriculum. We hope that this initiative will pave the way for other higher education projects that encourage positive change in our organizations.Updated 24 February 2022