Curricular reference speakers

Stefano Bartolini

Researcher mainly focused on income and well-being. He has published: “Manifesto for happiness: Shifting society from money to well-being” (2010); “Money, trust and happiness in Transition Countries: Evidence from Time series”; “Did the decline in social connections depress Americans´ happiness?” among other publications.

Leo Bormans

Global Ambassador of Happiness & Quality of Life. He is the author of the international bestsellers “The World Book of Happiness”: the knowledge and wisdom of one hundred happiness professors from all around world.

Paul Dolan*

United Kingdom
Professor at the Department of Social Policy at the London School of Economics (LSE). Part of his research focuses on developing happiness indicators regarding subjective well-being that can be applied in policy making. *Teleconference

Bruno Frey

Professor of Economics at the Zeppelin University Friedrichshafen, Germany. Research Director at Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA), Switzerland. Distinguished Professor of Behavioral Science at the Warwick Business School at the University of Warwick, UK from 2010-2013. He is Managing Editor of Kyklos.

Carol Graham*

Peru-United States
Carol Graham’s research focuses on poverty, inequality, public health, and innovative well-being measurement. Her projects have included a focus on the developing countries and Latin America. She has also served as a Special Advisor to the Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund and also to the Vice-President of Inter-American Development Bank. *Teleconference

John Helliwell

Senior Fellow and Co-Director of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR) Program on Social Interactions, Identity, and Well-Being. Professor Emeritus of Economics, University of British Columnia. Expert on themes such as: well-being, social capital and economy. He is co-author of the World Happiness Report 2013 and several books on well-being.

Eduardo Lora*

Research professor at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He received his Master´s degree in Economics by the London School of Economics where he was acknowledged for being a distinguished student. He is the elected Vice-President of the Latin American and the Caribbean Economic Association. He has written several books concerning well-being. *Teleconference

Marco Mira d´Ercole

Master in Philosophy by the Oxford University. He is the Director of the Statistics and progress assessment of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development - OECD. He is co-author of the book: Alternative measurements of well-being.

Mariano Rojas

Costa Rica
Research professor in Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences in Mexico and in the Popular Autonomous University of Puebla (UPAEP). His research themes are: Subjective well-being, quality of life, economic development, poverty and well-being among others.

Jeffrey Sachs*

United States
PhD in Economics from Harvard. He is Director of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network and Special Adviser to United Nations Secretary-General on the Millennium Development Goals. He has worked as a special advisor in countries of Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America. *Teleconference

Carmelo Vázquez

Research professor at the Complutense University of Madrid and Chairman of the International Positive Psychology Association. He is author of the book: The science of Wellbeing: Basics of Positive Psychology. He collaborates with Martin Seligman in a project to validate the instruments of evaluation of psychological well-being and happiness.

Francisco Abundis Luna

Associate Director of Parametría S.A. of C.V. His research is mainly focused on social psychology, public opinion and electoral behavior. He has been a research professor at the Economic Research and Teaching Institute (CIDE), invited professor at the ITAM and professor at the Iberoamerican University. He holds a PhD in Political Science by the University of Connecticut.

Alejandro Adler Braun

United States
One of the 60 experts that gathered in Bhutan on January 2013 to discuss the world development issues. He collaborates with the governments of Australia, Bhutan and China to infuse Positive Psychology in the curricula and measure the impact of these interventions on the youth well-being.

Mercedes Aráoz Fernandez

She is the representative of the Inter-American Development Bank in Mexico. She has held several positions as Minister of the Republic of Peru in Commerce, Tourism, Production, Economy and Finance. She has worked in several international organizations as the World Bank, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the Organization of American States (OAS) and the Development Bank of Latin America (CAF).

Jesús Arroyo Alejandre

Head of the Economy and Society division and researcher professor of the regional studies center-INESER of the University of Guadalajara (UdeG). He is specialist in economy, urbanism and migration. His multiple publications and researches are focused mainly on social phenomena related to migration and urbanism.

Jasper Bergink

He is an EU public affairs consultant and independent happiness researcher. He delivered a TEDx talk with the title ‘For A State of Happiness’. He edits a blog with the same name (, dedicated to the discovery of intuitive and scientific knowledge about happiness and well-being.

Robert Biswas-Diener

United States
Researcher and practitioner on positive psychology. He sits on the editorial boards of the Journal of Happiness Studies and Journal of Positive Psychology a part-time instructor at Portland State University and Certified Mentor Coach (CMC). Robert is author of The Courage Quotient (2012), Practicing Positive Psychology Coaching (2010), Happiness: Unlocking the mysteries of psychological wealth (2008) coauthored with his father Ed Diener.

Esteban Calvo

Associate Professor of Public Policy and Director of the Master in Public Policy Program at Universidad Diego Portales, Chile. He is an expert on well-being policies and quantitative methods. He participated on the Chilean UNDP Human Development Report 2012 and he is consultant for Harvard, UNDP and the Chilean government.

Enrique Cárdenas Sánchez

Head of the Espinosa Yglesias Research Center A.C., an independent institute dedicated to research of analysis, design and public policy implementation as well as to social actions focused to social mobility and socio-economic well-being. He is an economist from the ITAM holding a master´s degree and a PhD by the Yale University. He received the Banamex Economic Award for his PhD dissertation.

Roberto Castellanos

Doctoral Candidate in Political and Social Sciences at UNAM. He is Secretary of the Directive Council of the citizen organization “Alternativas y Capacidades”. He has published articles and essays about the topics of well-being, social policy, childhood rights, childhood labor and other social development topics.

Rolando Cordera Campos

He holds a PhD in Public Policy from the University of Bristol where he is a Senior Research Fellow in the School for Geographical Sciences. He has focused his research on the measurement of living standards, and on understanding the social determinants, inequalities and comparative foundations of social well-being.

Carlos Leonardo Córdoba Martínez

Observer Delegate of Efficiency in Bogota. He has been Deputy Director of the National Council of Planning in Colombia, advisor in the regional realm and Head of participation at the Mayor´s Office of Bogota. He is the former Executive Director of Bogota Como Vamos and former Manager of Plan Contracts of the National Planning Department of Colombia. He is a public administrator, specialist in Economy and holds a PhD in Philosophy.

Gerardo Corrochano

World Bank Director for Colombia and Mexico. Corrochano has held several management positions at the World Bank in the regions of Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa, Europe and Central Asia, as well as in the Finance and Development Sector for the Private Sector. He was also part of the team who supported Poland’s transitional efforts. Corrochano holds a Master’s Degree in Finance from George Washington University.

Christopher Deeming

United Kingdom
He holds a PhD from the University of Bristol. He has focused his research on the measurement of living standards. He received the 2009 Social Policy & Administration Early Stage Career Researcher prize for an article based on his PhD research entitled “Determining Semi-Normative Poverty Lines Using Social Survey Data”.

Pablo Diego-Rosell

He is a senior consultant at Gallup, with more than 10 years of international research experience. He is one of the project leaders of Gallup´s Global Well-being Index. Diego has led qualitative and quantitative media research projects in multiple countries, with a focus on Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa. He holds a PhD in Social Psychology from the University of Deusto (Bilbao/Spain).

Rodolfo de la Torre

Head of the Research in Human Development in Mexico Bureau from the UNDP. He is an expert in human development, economy and social policy. He has lectured on development at CIDE, ITAM and UNAM. He has worked on development projects with the World Bank, the IDB and the ECLAC.

Freddy Ehlers

Minister of the Well-being in Ecuador. He is responsible for the Presidential Initiative for the Construction of the Well-being Society. He was Member of the Andean Parliament and was designated Secretary General of the Andean Nations. He received the Global 500 Prize of the United Nations for the environment protection.

Juan Manuel Galán Pachón

Reelected Senator for the Republic of Colombia in 2010. Currently he is president of the Liberal Directory of Bogota. Deputy Minister of Youth. Director of the presidential program “Colombia Joven”. He has represented the Liberal Party.

José de Jesús García Vega

Head of the Center for Studies on Well-Being of the University of Monterrey. He is member of the steering committees of the International Society of Quality of Life Studies and of the Community Indicators Consortium. Also, he is part of a research group that participated on the World Happiness book.

Victoria Giarrizzo

She holds a PhD in Economy from the University of Buenos Aires. She is an expert in economic well-being, experimental economics, and poverty perception, among other subjects. She has taught the courses of Epistemology of Economy, Social Sciences Methodology and the Integration and Application Seminar at the Institute of Interdisciplinary Economy of Buenos Aires.

Daniel M. Haybron

United States
Associate Professor of Philosophy at Saint Louis University. PhD in philosophy at Rutgers University. His research focuses on ethics and the philosophy of psychology, with an emphasis on well-being and its psychology. He is the author of The Pursuit of Unhappiness: The Elusive Psychology of Well-Being (Oxford University Press) and, most recently, Happiness: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press).

Gonzalo Hernández Licona

Nowadays, he is Executive Secretary of Mexico’s National Evaluation Council (CONEVAL). He holds a PhD from the Oxford University and a Master´s Degree from the Essex University in England. He earlier served as Director General for Evaluation and Monitoring in the Ministry of Social Development in 2002. He was previously Professor and Director of the School of Economics at the Autonomous Technological Institute of Mexico (ITAM).

Dasho Karma Tshiteem

Since 2007, he is Secretary of Gross National Happiness, an agency in the Royal Government of Bhutan responsible for formulating the five-year development plans that guide the country's development in line with the philosophy and vision of Gross National Happiness.

Gerardo Leyva

Research Deputy Director at INEGI, he holds a PhD in Economics from the Cornell University. He is responsible of developing experimental indicators for progress and social well-being assessment. He has leaded the efforts to include subjective well-being indicators.

Maria Ana Lugo

She works at the office of the Chief Economist for Latin America and the Caribbean, the World Bank on issues of economic mobility, inequality of opportunities and inequality and poverty measurement. She is also working on poverty dynamics in Brazil, and economic mobility in Russia and low-income Eastern European and Central Asian countries. She holds a PhD in Economics from Oxford University.

Daniel Martínez Aldunate

Head of the Institute of Well-Being and of the Sharing Happiness Network. He is organizer of the dialogues for happiness: “What can we do today to be happier in Chile” and member of the “Happiness Group” a work-table from the Aconcagua Summit Foundation.

Iván Martínez Bravo

He is the research director of the happiness research lab of Imagina Mexico. He is co-author of several books including “Measurement, research and incorporation of Subjective Well-being into the Public Policy: Latin America; Happiness ranking in Mexico 2012. He is an Economist graduated from the University of the Americas in Puebla and holds a master´s degree in Political Science by the Colegio de Mexico.

Gordon Mathews

Hong Kong
Professor of Anthropology at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. He has written “What Makes Life Worth Living? How Japanese and Americans make Sense of Their Worlds”, and co-edited “Pursuits of Happiness: Well-Being in Anthropological Perspective”.

Luis Mella Gajardo

He has been Major of Quillota in the Republic of Chile since 1992. The social character of his local administration inspired the national government of Chile to foster the Chile Solidario welfare program, which promotes a series of public policies to help people in poverty overcome the social and economic difficulties. He has received several awards recognizing his work at a national level.

René Millán Valenzuela

Research professor at the Social Research Institute of the National Autonomous University of Mexico - IIS-UNAM. He has dedicated 15 years to social research, related to the assessment of progress and well-being.

Víctor Armando Ortiz Ortega

Public administrator specialized in urban studies, social policy, planning and quality of life. He is the former headof research of Jalisco Como Vamos, the citizen observatory of quality of life. He is currently head of the institutional planning at the Undersecretary of Planning and Evaluation of the Government of the State of Jalisco.

Jan Ott

Social researcher at the Erasmus University the Erasmus Happiness Economics Research Organization (EHERO) of the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE). The importance of the quality of government for the quality of life is a central issue in his research. He graduated on his dissertation “An Eye on Happiness; happiness as an additional goal for citizens and governments”.

Joaquina Palomar

She received her PhD in Psychology from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). She was acknowledged for her master´s degree thesis and received the Gabino Barreda medal. Her research is related with subjective well-being and quality of life. Professor at Iberoamerican University.

Pablo Parás García

Founder associate of the polling organization called Data Public Opinion and Markets. He is an associate researcher in Mexico for the Americas Barometer and the Latin-American Public Opinion Project (LAPOP). He holds a PhD in Political Science by the University of Connecticut and a master´s degree of Latin American Studies by Georgetown University.

Moira Paz Estenssoro

Has a bachelor degree in sociology and economics from the American University - Washington DC and has MBA in Applied Economics with emphasis on Economic Development also from American University, Washington DC. In 2002, she was elected Senator of the Republic and Leader of the Government in Bolivia. Between 2002 and 2005, she was Minister for Sustainable Development in Bolivia. She is currently the CAF Representative in México.

Ana Cristina Reinoso González y
Mary Paz Herrera Domínguez

Founding members of “Soy Emprendedora A.C.”. They both are partners of H&R, Agency for the social and Economic Transformation, association focused in the development of educational models for entrepreneurship, family-based enterprises and micro, medium and small enterprises. They are co-authors of the first entrepreneurship model in Mexico based on the Happiness Sciences and the Subjective Well-being in Puebla, Oaxaca and Jalisco.

Luz Aída Rendón Berrío

Undersecretary of Population Groups at the Secretariat of Social Inclusion and Family of the city of Medellin. She holds a degree in psychology from the Cooperativa University of Colombia. She leaded the “Medellin Solidaria” program which aims to eradicate extreme poverty in the city of Medellin that currently includes 50.000 families living in extreme poverty.

Rosario Robles Berlanga

Secretary of Social Development in Mexico. She has been a local and federal legislator, as well as Head of Government of Mexico City. She is author and co-author of several publications both books and articles regarding gender issues, poverty and the Mexican countryside. She is member of Sosten, a think-tank whose aim is to empower women; as well as a member of the Women in Plural Network.

Herberto Rodríguez

He holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the Autonomous University of Barcelona. He used to be the National Vice-president at Coparmex and Academic Vice-Chancellor at the UPAEP. Currently he is Vice-Chancellor of Postgraduate Studies and research.

Rodrigo Rojas Foncillas

He is responsible for the happiness management of the State Bank Microenterprises S.A. in Chile. He is in charge of the management, care, happiness and development of 1,000 workers of the State Bank. Previously, he was assistant director of the Human Resources of LAN Airlines

Olegario Sáenz Batalla

Costa Rica
Economist and Head of the National Analysis Unit of the National Planning and Economic Policy Ministry of Costa Rica. He has collaborated on the elaboration of the National Development Plan since 1994, as well as several research projects and diagnosis, focusing on the indicators related to development.

Héctor Salazar

Was appointed Manager of the Social Sector (SCL) of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) in September 2013. He has extensive operational and technical experience in the fields of social sectors and urban development. He holds Ph.D. and M.A. degrees in Regional Science from the University of Pennsylvania, and an M.A. degree in Urban Development from El Colegio de México.

Charles Seaford

United Kingdom
Head of the Well-being Centre at the New Economics Foundation (NEF) in the United Kingdom. He promotes innovative social progress measurements to stimulate new approaches on economic policies. Publications: “Well-being evidence for policy: A review”, “The practical politics of Well-being”, “Human Well-being and priorities for economic policy makers”.

Eduardo Sojo Garza Aldape

During the 2000-2006 Federal Administration, he headed the Presidential Office for Public Policy and was the Coordinator of the Economic Cabinet, as well as Secretary of Economy from December 2006 to July 2008. Since 2008, he is Board President of the National Institute of Geography and Statistics (INEGI).

Margarita Tarragona Saez

Head of the Institute of Science of Happiness at the TecMilenio, she is a board member of the Positive Psychology Association. She holds a PhD on Psychology from the Chicago University. She is founder and professor of the Elysian Fields Group, the Training in Psychotherapy Centre and Positive Psychology. She is also a post-graduate teacher at the Iberoamerican University.

Graciela Teruel Belismelis

She received the World Bank Award for Innovation in Statistics in 2008. She is an academic member of the National Council for the Evaluation of Social Development Policy (CONEVAL). She is an economist by the ITAM. She holds a master´s degree and a PhD by the University of California in Los Angeles. Her research is mainly focused on well-being assessment, poverty and social welfare programs evaluation.

Martín Tetaz

Centre for Distributive, Labor and Social studies of the Faculty of Economic Science of the National University of La Plata, Argentina. His most relevant work is the book "Psychonomics: The economy is in your mind". This is the first work on behavior economy and happiness in Argentina.

Graciela H. Tonon

Research professor, head of the Research Program on Quality of Life (UNICOM) of the National University Lomas de Zamora and the Research Centre of Social Sciences of the Palermo University, Argentina. Her research focuses mainly on quality of life, qualitative method, community, childhood and youth.

Sergio Torres Cross

Sergio is a Senior Partner and Market Leader for Mercer in Mexico, Central America and the Andean countries. He has been working on a variety of human resource consulting assignments, including general HR consulting for complex organizations. He has been part of integration processes of merging by acquisition of large Mexican and multinational companies based in the Americas. He also has experience in the Latin American realm.

Wenceslao Unanue

Chile - Uk
Member of the Well-being Institute and Action for Happiness. Researcher and professor at the Sussex University. Member of the International Expert Working Group (IEWG) which collaborates with Bhutan and the UNO implementing a New Development Paradigm based on Happiness and Well-being. Professor at the Adolfo Ibáñez University, Chile.

Erik Vittrup

He has been Training Coordinator for the UNDP and UN-Habitat in Kosovo. Since 2002, he is Senior Officer for Human Settlements for the UN-Habitat regional agency for Latin America and the Caribbean. He has also been UN-Habitat Mission Representative in Damascus, Syria. Nowadays, he is UN-Habitat Resident Representative in Mexico.

Meik Wiking

Director of the Happiness Reseach Institute. Meik Wiking holds a degree in Public Administration and Business Studies from the University of Roskilde. Previously he has worked for the Royal Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and as the director for the Scandinavian think tank, Monday Morning. He regularly serves as a public speaker, and blogs about happiness research in one of Denmark’s biggest newspapers.

Beatriz Yasuko Arita

She is researcher of the Autonomous University of Sinaloa. Her research is mainly focused on the quality of life in Mexico, subjective well-being and sustainable development. She is the author of numerous publications regarding capacities and subjective well-being as study dimensions of the quality of life.

Marcelo Zaiduni Salazar

Advisor and consultant specialized in the Well-Being and the traditional knowledge of the pluri-national Government of Bolivia. He is also consultant for the Foreign Affairs Ministry and the Indigenous Fund of America in the Itinerant Indigenous Chair of the Indigenous Intercultural University. He is responsible for the creation of the Well-Being measurement. (Suma Qamaña – Aillin Qawsay).

Tshoki Zangmo

She is researcher at the Centre for Bhutan Studies and GNH Research. In order to assess the happiness in the population, CBS generated an index with 72 indicators. The aim is to measure the quality of life and social progress in Bhutan. These new indicators are part of the basis for policy decisions in the country.

Juan Javier Zárate Rivas

He is currently Head of Planning of the Foreign Ministry of his country. He has a longstanding career in the Foreign Service; during which he was Ambassador of Bolivia in the Republic of Ecuador for five years.