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China campus: wellbeing at work summit


December 1, SKEMA's Suzhou campus held its first "Wellbeing at work summit". Only two months earlier a new student society called Happiness Society was founded on the Suzhou campus.

After organising meditation classes, treasure hunts and other wellbeing activities, their official “Month of Happiness” ended with a highlight - the summit. 

Nearly 100 participants, not only French and Chinese, but from 15 different nations participated. The summit attracted Suzhou and Shanghai students from seven different universities, as well as business professionals from Suzhou and Shanghai. Every participant wanted to be inspired and learn about the importance of wellbeing in work and private life, and how to incorporate the concepts, principles and activities in everyday life. 

The speakers and activity leaders were international professionals and professors with intercultural background. Their background ranges from for example Singapore, Mexico, Spain, Germany, and France to their own business in supply chain management, in textile, psychology and coaching to professors at e.g. SKEMA or Xi’an Jiaotong University. They covered diverse topics related to the science of happiness, mindfulness and conscious business like the power of holding on to your beliefs, workplace happiness via employee engagement, or how to reduce stress. 

Janine Jakob, a German student, founder and president of the Happiness Association at  SKEMA, shared statistics according to research from the science of happiness, what big impact well-balanced and happy employees can have on a company, like 37% more sales and less days of sick leave during the year. 

Keynote speaker Lars Pach, the Danish Baking Shifu from Suzhou, made people laugh, learn, be emotional, and happy at the same time. His topics covered facts like why Denmark, his country of origin, is the happiest nation in the world, although Danish people pay 50% of tax and it rains a lot. Lars Pach impressed the audience with his speech about “How to plant a seed of happiness” and his explanation of the Danish mindset (trust, the freedom to be yourself, and finding your purpose in life). 

French SKEMA professor Aurelien Millot introduced “Ten keys to being happy” to the audience with different exercises, they could implement right away, for example: doing a random act of kindness every day, mindful eating, how to implement appreciation and gratitude in your life, etc. 

Chinese life coach and motivational speaker Maggie Wu explained “How to build the life you dream of”. 

The summit also offered activities to experience non-violent communication combined with meditation, tai chi or finding your inner source of knowledge through Theory U. After the summit, participants started to network, learn from each other and even job and internship opportunities were found. 

Research shows that happy people are healthier, more efficient, and successful. Happiness is contagious and can be learned. 

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