Nic Marks gathers evidence about what makes us happy, and uses it to promote policy that puts the well-being of people and the planet first. He's the founder of the Centre for Well-Being at the UK think tank New Economics Foundation (NEF).
In her book "The Power of Meaning," Emily Esfahani Smith rounds up the latest research --
and the stories of fascinating people she interviewed -- to argue that the search for meaning is far more fulfilling than the pursuit of personal happiness.
Harvard psychologist Dan Gilbert says our beliefs about what will make us happy are often wrong -- a premise he supports with intriguing research, and explains in his accessible and unexpectedly funny book, Stumbling on Happiness.
Maira Kalman's wise, witty drawings have appeared on numberless New Yorker covers, in a dozen children's books, and throughout the pages of the Elements of Style. Her latest book, The Principles of Uncertainty, is the result of a year-long illustrated blog she kept for the New York Times.
After a decade-long conducting career in his native Israel, Itay Talgam has reinvented himself as a "conductor of people" -- in government, academia, business and education. He is the author of The Ignorant Maestro.
Biophysicist Luca Turin studies the science of smell. He's the author of Perfumes: The Guide, and the subject of Chandler Burr's 2003 book The Emperor of Scent. His next project: developing an artificial nose.
Benjamin Wallace is a journalist and author of The Billionaire's Vinegar, the true story of the world's most expensive bottle of (possibly phony?) wine. He's been a contributor to GQ, Details, Salon and The Washington Post.
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi has contributed pioneering work to our understanding of happiness, creativity, human fulfillment and the notion of "flow" -- a state of heightened focus and immersion in activities such as art, play and work.
Caleb Chung dreams up toys that interact with children. He's the inventor of Furby, a talking (and listening) robotic furball that sold some 50 million units in the late '90s. His newest plaything: Pleo the adorable robot dinosaur.