Vanessa is a Board member of Action for Happiness (AfH), the leading UK-based not-for-profit that focuses on proactively building skills for psychological wellbeing and resilience. She leads the translation of psychological research into practical action for individuals, organisations and communities as well as Action for Happiness’ consulting work with organisations.
She is the architect of the 10 Keys for Happier Living, which have engaged and inspired people around the world to take action for themselves and others and have been used in a wide variety of ways, including in school curricula, design schools, communities and workplaces.
She is one of a small group people globally to have completed a Masters degree in Applied Positive Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, studying under Martin Seligman and with many of the other leaders in this field.
Professionally Vanessa is an experienced leadership, talent and organisational development consultant, facilitator and has worked with a wide range of organisations around the world. She has led the design and implementation of a wide range of workshops and programmes focused on building wellbeing, resilience and innovation skills and developing talent. These include: The 10 Keys for Happier Living course for individuals in community, public health and education settings; the ‘Doing Well from the Inside Out’ programme for managers, leaders and teams in workplaces; the Mindful Leadership programme for executive teams and leaders; and most recently piloting a Happier Living movement at a leading technology company, as well as many bespoke programmes for leadership and talent development.
She has been featured or quoted in the Sunday Telegraph, FT, Sunday Express, Guardian Online, Huffington Post, amongst other publications and has a column in Psychologies magazine. She regularly speaks nationally and internationally and has given two TEDx talks and a Guardian Masterclass.
Prior to consulting Vanessa qualified as a chartered accountant, working at Arthur Andersen and PWC where she became a business analyst, which fuelled her interest in the potential of people and organisations and led her to move into HR with two global banks, Morgan Stanley and Bankers Trust and then to global consultancy Towers Perrin (now Willis Towers Watson). In addition to her Masters and ACA, she has a BSc (Joint Hons) in Psychology and Zoology.
She has so far written two books:
- 10 Keys to Happier Living (Headline, UK 2016, US 2018) - This is an accessible, easy to read and use guide for adult. The actions the latest scientific research shows we can take to increase how happy we feel and to build and maintain our wellbeing and resilience. Why these things matter and what we can practically do for ourselves and for others.
- 50 Ways to Feel Happy (Quarto, UK, US & Australia, March 2018) - Based on the evidence based 10 Keys, this is an engaging and colourful book for children aged 7 - 11years. Backed full of fun facts and activities to try.