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What this episode is about and why you should care

This week’s guest on the Future of Work Podcast is William Davies.  William Davies is the author of a book called The Happiness Industry: How the Government and Big Business Sold Us Well-Being.  He is also the Senior Lecturer at Goldsmiths, University of London. This is a very interesting topic, as engagement, health, happiness, and wellness are all topics that many companies are discussing and investing millions of dollars in. In William Davies’ book, he argues that we should be cautious when putting all of our investments in happiness and engagement.  His point of view will make you question if we are a bit carried away with this movement and focus on happiness.

William Davies works on combining the history of ideas and a critical sociology of political and economic institutions. He is very interested in the way our economy is governed, and is shaped by theories of markets, individuals, and in the case of his book, theories of the mind. The ideas and methodologies used by experts, are used to correlate how we think and how it effects the economy, also how we run our organizations.  His book is a critique of the way our vision of happiness is becoming more and more powerful in how we transform the workplace and govern our private lives.

What you will learn in this episode

  • What is Happiness?
  • How is it Measured?
  • What is the Different between Engagement and Happiness?
  • Commoditization of Happiness
  • What Impact Happiness Should Have on How We Work?
  • Paradox of Happiness
  • The Rise of Stress in the Workplace
  • Effects of Manipulation in the Workplace

Links from the episode

The Happiness Industry on Amazon

William Davies’ Blog 

Political Economy Research Centre