An expert on the connection between happiness and success, positive psychology researcher Shawn Achor is The New York Times bestselling author of The Happiness Advantage, Big Potential, and The Orange Frog. Achor has worked in 50 countries with nearly half the Fortune 100, the NBA, NASA, the Pentagon, and the White House, and everywhere from Camp David and Harvard University to shantytowns in Zimbabwe and children’s cancer wards in Boston. His latest research highlights the important role social connection plays in happiness and well-being, especially in challenging times.
Character is key for Deanna Marsigliese, who has worked at Pixar Animation Studios since 2012. Specializing in storytelling through character design, her credits include Soul, Toy Story 4, Incredibles 2, Bao, Inside Out, The Good Dinosaur, and Luca. A former college professor and character design instructor, Marsigliese maintains a strong passion for teaching. “I work to know and understand the character first,” she relates. “Every detail — from the shoes on their feet to a freckle on their cheek — tells a story.”
Singer, rapper, writer, and artistic risk-taker Dessa has made a career of bucking genres and defying expectations. Whether performing in a bombed-out hospital in Warsaw, a velvet-lined theater in New York, or atop a folding chair in Johannesburg, Dessa is funny, ferocious, candid, and charismatic. This “hyper-intellectual, whiskey-drinking poet with a hopeless romantic streak and a curiosity about neuroscience” is also the host of Deeply Human, a podcast created by the BBC and American Public Media.
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