Bios

Rick Foster
Greg Hicks
Dr. Catherine O'Brien

As internationally recognized pioneers in the fields of sustainability, health and happiness, Rick, Greg and
Catherine have brought years of professional experience together to create The Sustainable Happiness
Course.

Greg Hicks and Rick Foster have dedicated the last seventeen years of their lives to studying people and
organizations that thrive. In 1995 they embarked on a unique journey to study happiness that eventually
took them to all 50 US states, over 40 countries and 7 continents. In each place they visited they asked
local residents, "who is the happiest person you know?" This led to hundreds of in-depth interviews with
extremely happy people. Their initial research culminated in a system of nine choices that has been
studied by researchers at leading institutions and proves to lead to greater joy, better health, effective
leadership, and the creation of a high-trust community. Working with such companies as GE, Wells Fargo,
Mercedes-Benz, and Walgreens, they have also trained thousands of healthcare professionals at major
medical centers, including the Mayo Clinic and NYU Medical Center.

Catherine O'Brien is a professor in the department of Education at Cape Breton University in Nova Scotia
where she created and teaches the world's first course on sustainable happiness. She established the field
of "Sustainable Happiness," and is an expert in happiness, wellbeing, education, and sustainability.
She was awarded a prestigious Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) grant for her
doctoral research at the Barefoot College in India. The Barefoot College is an award winning and
internationally acknowledged leader at the forefront of education and applied sustainability. Catherine's
work in Sustainable Happiness is internationally recognized and is featured in peer-reviewed publications.
She is currently consulting on studies of healthy community practices in the US and Canada.

Rick and Greg's books are available in 22 languages worldwide. They are authors of the bestselling book,
How We Choose to Be Happy (Putnam, 1999), and Happiness & Health (Penguin Group, 2008). Greg
is also the author of LeaderShock - And How to Triumph Over It. They are founders and co-owners of the
international consulting firm Foster, Hicks & Associates. Catherine introduced the concept of sustainable
happiness at the 2nd International conference on Gross National Happiness. Her seminal work, "Sustainable
Happiness: How Happiness Studies Can Create a More Sustainable Future
,"
laid the foundation for
merging happiness studies with sustainability.

In addition to their academic work and writing, Rick, Greg, and Catherine have been featured on numerous
TV and radio shows, and have been interviewed frequently in the popular press.

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