Forty of Oakland’s  business founders, leaders, investors, and organizers joined together for the inaugural Well-Being in Business Lab in the spring of 2015. These are leaders who are moving beyond maximizing “me” and toward business that maximizes well-being for all. And these are leaders who recognize that the evolution we need will come from putting individual transformation at the center of the shift. Or in other words, from leaders who recognize compassion is a practice – and who are practicing.

The intention behind the Lab was profound. We believe that business should be aligned with what actually makes us deeply well… and we desire to be the change. Based on large scale well-being practice (Gross National Happiness in Bhutan), and our partners in the Global Well-Being Lab, the curriculum is driven by the latest in scientific research from the Greater Good Science Center, which finds that regardless of demographic, humans feel well primarily in four scenarios:

When we feel connected to our life’s purpose
What if we knew that every single one of us had a gift to share, and cultivated that purpose? What if you could thrive by nurturing other people to be in their purpose?

When we feel connected to each other
What if we really saw each other? Imagine if we defined business success by optimizing for connection? What would be possible in elder care? Or even in finance?

When we feel connected in reverence to the larger natural world
What could it look like if we brought the awe that inspires us into center focus? Could we imagine designing our work in ways that inspire reverence? No matter the business?

When we’ve been generous
From “suspended coffees” to “pay it forward pizza” it’s about leading first with compassion, and reminding us that it is all right to care for each other.

Well-being in business lab participants at etsy's headquarters. Matthew Stinchcomb

Well-being in business lab participants at etsy’s headquarters.

The Well Being Lab was formed to be a forum for cultivating these four areas in ourselves as leaders, and for creatively exploring how our businesses can align with well-being.

BALLE will soon be launching a new Choose Connection program, based on the well-being in business lab model, that you can participate in with your staff, organization, friends or colleagues. Stay tuned for more information!

 Host Committee and Advisors: