Palais des congrès de Montréal
1001 Place Jean-Paul-Riopelle
Montréal, QC H2Z 1H5, Canada

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Full Congress Program

Special 10th Anniversary Fundraiser:  Help Our Students “Rock On!”

Artwork reproduced with permission from Live Happy magazine October 2013 issue, illustrated by Bill Cahalan

Artwork reproduced with permission from Live Happy magazine October 2013 issue, illustrated by Bill Cahalan 

Depicted from Top, L to R:  Martin Seligman, Sonja Lyubomirsky, Ed Diener, and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. Bottom: Barbara Fredrickson.

IPPA turns 10 this year!  To celebrate, we are hosting a fundraiser to support our students’ professional development: the future of Positive Psychology will be chiseled by their ideas and efforts.

The raffle tickets you buy provide funds to support IPPA’s continuing efforts to make the World Congress accessible to students worldwide.  Each $10 raffle ticket gives you one chance, in a random drawing, to be treated to a “foodie” dinner hosted by one of these promontory thinkers. Each of the five dinners will have three winners chosen, and all dinners will be held during the World Congress in Montreal on Friday evening, July 14th, 2017.

Ed Diener sends his regrets for missing the 2017 World Congress.  We are blessed, though, to have David Cooperrider as a stand-in “rock climber,” joining Marty Seligman, Sonja Lyubomirsky, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, and Barbara Fredrickson in supporting our students.


Please join the fun knowing that 100% of funds raised will support low and waived student registration fees for the Congress.


Purchase Tickets


Plenary Session 2

The Fifth World Congress on Positive Psychology will begin with the Opening Plenary Session on Thursday, July 13th at 6:00 PM EST and end with the Closing Plenary Session on Sunday, July 16th at 12:00 PM EST. The program is still being finalized, but a preliminary schedule is listed below. Please check back as times may change slightly.


Thursday, July 13

9:00 AM-5:00 PM  Pre-Congress Sessions (separate registration required)
6:00 PM-8:00 PM  Welcome and Opening Plenary Session
8:00 PM-9:30 PM  Opening Dessert Reception in Exhibit Hall

Friday, July 14

8:00 AM  Plenary Session 2
9:45 AM-12:00 PM  Breakout Sessions
12:00 PM-1:30 PM  Interest Group Lunch in Exhibit Hall (box lunch provided)
1:30 PM-2:30 PM  Breakout Sessions
2:30 PM-3:30 PM  Poster Session I
3:30 PM-4:30 PM  Breakout Sessions
4:30 PM-6:45 PM  Awards Ceremony and Plenary Session 3

Saturday, July 15

8:00 AM  Plenary Session 4
9:30 AM-12:00 PM  Breakout Sessions
12:00 PM-1:30 PM  Lunch in Exhibit Hall (box lunch provided)
1:30 PM-2:30 PM  Breakout Sessions
2:30 PM-3:30 PM  Poster Session II
3:30 PM-4:30 PM  Breakout Sessions
4:30 PM-6:30 PM  Plenary Session 5
6:30 PM-8:00 PM  Closing Reception featuring Cirque Eloize

Sunday, July 16

8:00 AM  Plenary Session 6
9:30 AM-12:00 PM  Breakouts
12:00 PM  Closing Plenary Session


Founders Symposia

New for the Fifth World Congress is a Presidential Symposium along with a series of Founder’s Symposia curated by the most eminent scholars in our field – Martin Seligman, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, David Cooperrider, and Barbara Fredrickson. Each influential researcher shares the big stage with a hand-picked set of early-career scientists whose voices and work they feel should be known by all. Don’t miss the chance to witness the future of our field unfold!

Barbara Fredrickson

Barbara Fredrickson, Ph.D.

Positive emotions produce nonconscious and increasing motives for wellness behaviors

This presentation draws on and integrates the research conducted by Drs. Catalino, Rice, Van Cappellen and others to make an empirical case for the Upward Spiral Theory of Lifestyle Change.
Barbara L. Fredrickson, Ph.D. has been advancing the science of positive emotions for more than 20 years. She is currently Kenan Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she directs the PEP Lab ( She has published more than 100 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters. Her books, Positivity (2009, Crown) and Love 2.0 (2013, Penguin) have been translated into more than 20 languages. Barb’s research, funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NCI, NIA, NCCAM, NIMH, NINR), reveals how your positive emotions were sculpted by the discerning chisel of Darwinian natural selection to serve as life-giving nutrients for growth. Her innovative contributions have been recognized with numerous honors, including the inaugural Templeton Prize in Positive Psychology from the American Psychological Association, the Career Trajectory Award from the Society of Experimental Social Psychology, and the inaugural Christopher Peterson Gold Medal from the International Positive Psychology Association.

Barb’s scientific work has influenced scholars and practitioners worldwide, in disciplines ranging from education and business to healthcare, the military, and beyond. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, CNN, NPR, PBS, The Atlantic, The Economist, Oprah Magazine and elsewhere. She has been invited to present her research at the White House and for the Dalai Lama and she is the current President of the International Positive Psychology Association.

Martin Seligman

Martin Seligman, Ph.D.

Positive Psychology: Past, Present, Future

A personal walk through the history of the discipline.

Martin E.P. Seligman is the Zellerbach Family Professor of Psychology and Director of the Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania, where he focuses on positive psychology, learned helplessness, depression, and optimism. He is a best-selling author of several books, including Flourish. He received the American Psychological Society’s William James Fellow Award for basic science and Cattell Award for the application of science, and two Distinguished Scientific Contribution awards from the American Psychological Association. In 1996, Seligman was elected President of the American Psychological Association by the largest vote in modern history. His current mission is the attempt to transform social science to work on the best things in life – strengths, positive emotion, good relationships, meaning, and human flourishing.

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Ph.D.

Towards a Planetary Consciousness

What is the contribution Positive Psychology can make to the global society evolving on this planet -which could result either in an unprecedented flowering of life, or in its total extinction?
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi is the C.S. and D.J. Davidson Professor of Psychology in the Division of Behavioral and Organizational Sciences and the Peter F. Drucker Graduate School of Management, Claremont Graduate University; and co-Director of the Quality of Life Research Center. He is a Fellow of several scientific societies, The National Academy of Education, and a member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. In addition to Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, he is the author of thirteen other books translated into 23 different languages, and some 245 research articles on optimal development, creativity, and well-being. He is considered the co-founder of positive psychology.

David Cooperrider

David Cooperrider, Ph.D.

Appreciative Inquiry and the Macro Promise of Positive Psychology

This symposium presents new empirical research pointing to the promise of the positive psychology field at the levels of enterprise teams, entire organizations, whole industries and cities, and even UN World Summits. Appreciative Inquiry is increasingly a bridge for progressing from the micro and macro. Whether we are talking about persons, positive institutions, or megacommunities there is mounting evidence that there may be similar P/N ratios that are well-documented as well as a “new change equation” that can help us better understand positive change not as an evolutionary dynamic based on chance, but a co-elevationary dynamic based on choice.
David L. Cooperrider, Ph.D., is Distinguished University Professor at Case Western Reserve University and holds the Fairmount Santrol – David L. Cooperrider Professorship in Appreciative Inquiry. He is the faculty founder of the Fowler Center for Business as an Agent of World Benefit. David is also the Honorary Chairman of The David L. Cooperrider Center for Appreciative Inquiry at the Champlain College Robert P. Stiller School of Business.   

David is best known for his original theoretical articulation of “AI” or Appreciative Inquiry with his mentor Suresh Srivastva. He has published 25 books and authored over 100 articles and book chapters. David has also served as advisor to prominent leaders in business and society, including projects with five Presidents and/or Nobel Laureates such as William Jefferson Clinton, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Kofi Annan, and Jimmy Carter. David advises a wide variety of corporations including Apple, Johnson & Johnson, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Hunter Douglas, Cleveland Clinic, National Grid, as well as the U.S. Navy and United Nations. Jane Nelson, at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Leadership recently wrote, “David Cooperrider is one of the outstanding scholar-practitioners of our generation.”

Presidential Symposium

Lahnna Catalino, Ph.D.

Prioritizing Positivity

People differ in the extent to which they arrange their daily lives to include pleasant experiences, an individual difference I label prioritizing positivity.  I will discuss the measurement of prioritizing positivity, its connection to emotional well-being, and the effects of inducing prioritizing positivity.
Lahnna Catalino is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Scripps College. She earned PhD in Social Psychology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Broadly speaking, her research interests are in the study of emotions, emotion regulation, well being, and health. Through surveys, experience-sampling methods, and laboratory studies, she seeks to understand effective ways people deliberately pursue happiness (i.e., positive emotions). Catalino shows that people who proactively seek out pleasant events when organizing daily life report more positive emotions and fewer depressive symptoms than people who do not. To measure this individual difference, prioritizing positivity, she developed a six-item scale. This research contributes to the current debate in affective science about whether or not the pursuit of happiness backfires.

Elise Rice, Ph.D.

Do positive spontaneous thoughts function as incentive salience?

This presentation explores how positive spontaneous thoughts – pleasant thoughts that arise without the experience of intention – may be related to approach motivation with implications for sustainable behavior change.
Dr. Elise Rice is a Cancer Research Training Award Postdoctoral Fellow in the Behavioral Research Program at the National Cancer Institute. In her work, Dr. Rice aims to clarify how positive emotions and automatic processes shape health behaviors with the ultimate goal of improving health and well-being. One representative line of her research explores the role of positive spontaneous thoughts in motivation; findings from that work may have implications for promoting sustainable behavior change that does not depend in large part on effortful self-control. Dr. Rice earned her Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Patty Van Cappellen, Ph.D.

Spirituality as a path from and toward positivity

Summarize empirical research showing that positive experiences build a sense of spirituality and that in turn spirituality can be a path toward flourishing.
Patty Van Cappellen is the Associate Director of the Interdisciplinary and Behavioral Research Center at Duke University. Patty earned her Ph.D. in Social Psychology in 2012 from the Univeristé catholique de Louvain, Belgium. She then moved to do a postdoc with Barbara Fredrickson at UNC-Chapel Hill where 3 years later she became Research Assistant Professor. She also earned a Master in Biblical Studies in 2014 from the Faculty of Theology in Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium. She leads the Morality, Spirituality, and Health Laboratory.
She is an experimental social psychologist investigating such questions as “Why do people turn to religion or spirituality?” and “What are the psychological, contextual, and biological underpinnings of religion’s best and worst outcomes?” Currently, she is particularly interested in the study of self-transcendent emotions (e.g., awe, elevation), their relation to meaning in life and well-being, and their biological underpinnings. She is also investigating the mechanisms explaining religion’s link to prejudice and real antisocial behaviors. She uses experimental designs and quantitative analyses.

Pre-Congress, Plenary, & Invited Speakers

Pre-Congress Speakers Plenary Speakers Invited Speakers


Improv HQ

This year, we have a particular treat in store for our attendees.  Zoe & Betsy of Improv HQ will be leading transitional improvisational moments between speakers, bringing a new style of levity and entertainment to the celebration that is the Fifth World Congress on Positive Psychology!

About Improv HQ

Zoe Galvez and Betsy Crouch, Co-Founders of ImprovHQ, help leaders and organizations develop effective communication, exceptional collaboration and engaged cultures through the principles of improvisation. They deliver workshops, keynotes, and executive coaching programs in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond. From physician leadership at Kaiser Permanente, to team building at Google, their leading edge programs create lasting impact.

Zoe Galvez

ZOE GALVEZ, Co-Founder of ImprovHQ, is one of the most beloved instructors of improvisation in the Bay Area and beyond. She has introduced thousands of clients to the magic of improv. With over a dozen years of coaching and performance experience, she is a long time member of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG), the American Federation of Radio and Television Artists (AFTRA) as well as a Main Stage company member of the nationally-acclaimed BATS Improv in San Francisco where she performs regularly. She is a pioneer in bringing improvisational theater to the world of business.

Betsy Crouch

BETSY CROUCH, Co-Founder of ImprovHQ, is an experienced coach, consultant, and improviser. She has been inspiring peak performance through sales management, coaching and consulting for over 10 years. Betsy is a Life and Business Coach and holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Economics from the University of Michigan. She has conducted approximately 5,000 one on one coaching sessions. Betsy’s purpose is to help people identify what makes them come alive and thrive.

Networking & Social Events

In addition to a full-line up of educational programming, the Fifth World Congress on Positive Psychology offers opportunities to network and socialize with other registrants from around the world.  Full Congress registration includes admission to:

  • Opening Dessert Reception on Thursday, July 13th
  • Lunch on Friday, July 14th and Saturday, July 15th in the Exhibit Hall
  • Closing Reception featuring Cirque Eloize on Saturday, July 15th

Friday evening is an open night so that attendees can gather on their own.

Don’t miss Saturday night’s closing reception featuring Cirque Éloize!


A driving force in the circus art reinvention movement, Cirque Éloize has been creating award-winning entertainment content for nearly 25 years and ranks among the world’s leading contemporary circuses. Its productions are crafted for a wide range of audiences and have been embraced by over 50 cultures. In the last 23 years, Cirque Éloize’s 11 shows have proudly boasted more than 4,000 times in over 500 cities and have been seen by over 3 million spectators. In addition to its touring shows, more than 1,400 private events have taken place worldwide. To date, Cirque Éloize has taken part in numerous prestigious international festivals and has seduced both New York’s Broadway and London’s West End.

Thank You to Our Reviewers

IPPA Leadership and the World Congress Planning Team would like to extend its sincere gratitude to the following individuals for donating their time and expertise to assist the Program Committee in reviewing proposals.  As a growing organization, IPPA relies on the generosity of its members and volunteers.  We would like to thank the following individuals for helping us make this World Congress program the strongest yet!

All program inquiries should be directed to

Practice Review Committee

Co-Chairs:  Leona Brandwene and Lisa Sansom

Martin Benny, PhD
Kathryn Britton
Andreas Cabezas Corcione, PhD
Dan Collinson, MS
Jennifer Cory
Jordana Cole, MAPP
Saraid Doherty, MA
Rotem Elinav, MA
Sonya Lucia Flessati, PhD
Andrea  Goeglein, PhD
Diana Goliss, MA
Erin Hearn
Maria Hennessy, PhD
Stacie Hoffmeister
Lucy Hone, PhD
Claudio Ibanez, MA
Garrison Kitchen, MAPP
Len Kling, MA
Lisa LeGrow, JD, MAPP
Judith Lissing
Tracy Litchfield
Lesley Lyle, MS
Michelle Nemec, PhD
Ruth Pearce
Streit Philip, PhD
Tayyab   Rashid, PhD
Denise Riebman, MA
Lori Rothstein, MA
Chiara Ruini, PhD
Angus Skinner, MA
Kunal Sood, MA
Margarita Tarragona, PhD
Dan Tomasulo, PhD
Emily van Sonnenberg
Angela Weaver,  PhD
Nina Lee Webster, PhD
Mathew White, PhD
Kimberly Wimmer-Totty, MAPP
Darrah Wolfe, MA

Research Review Committee

Chair:  Acacia Parks, PhD

Tajudeen Abiola
Carrie Adair, PhD
Miki Akiyama, PhD
Sara Algoe
Debora R. Baldwin, PhD
Rosalinda Ballesteros, PhD
Jennifer Barenz, MS
Bart Baselmans
Naomi EstherBlake, PhD
Ernst Bohlmeijer, PhD
Kate Brookie, BA
Frederick Brown, PhD
Lahnna  Catalino, PhD
Yen-Ping Chang
Rajneesh Choubisa, PhD
Jennifer Coons, MA
Mike Corcoran, MA
Marie Crothers   PhD
Jesus Alfonso D. Datu
Orin Davis, PhD
Lunthita M. Duthely, PsyD
Jane Dutton
Yuna Ferguson, Ph.D
Orhan Ferhat Yarar, PhD
Matthew Gallagher, PhD
Fabian Gander, PhD
Kirsty Gardiner
Anne-Sophie Gousse-Lessard, PhD
Frederick Grouzet, PhD
Kevin A. Harmon, MA
Intan Hashim, PhD
Afton Hassett, PsyD
David Emmanuel Hatier, PhD
Maria Hennessy, PhD
Rocio Hernandez-Pozo, PhD
Jerri Lynn Hogg, PhD
Nick Holton, PhD
Ryan Howard, PhD
Ryan Howell
Lauren Howell
Zan Isgett
Sophie Janicke, PhD
Santhosh K R, PhD
Scott Barry Kaufman
Karl Kelley, PhD
Peggy Kern, PhD
Kristin Koetting O’Byrne, PhD
Marlena Kossakowska, PhD
Sylvia Kwok, PhD
Shiri Lavy, PhD
Kari Leibowitz
Alex Leung, BA
Mark Liston, PhD
Jessica Londei-Shortall, PhD
Dan Loton, PhD
Paula Loveday
Brett Major, MA
Judith Mangelsdorf, MA
Denise  Martins Dametto
Brae Anne McArthur, PhD
Joel Mikels
Joel Milam, PhD
Travis Miller, MA
Christopher Myers, PhD
Maeve O’Donnell, MS
Rhea Owens, PhD
Louiza Paraskevopoulou, MS
Corinna Peifer, PhD
Maria Luisa Plasencia, PhD
Yanick Provost Savard, BS
Cynthia Pury, PhD
Julia Revord, BA
Elise Rice, PhD
Catherine Riordan, PhD
Paula, Robinson, PhD
Marei Salama-Younes, PhD
Mary-Ann Saltstone, PhD
Chris Sanders
Marijke Schotanus-Dijkstra, PhD
Moji Shahvali, MA
Yerin Shim, PhD
Kim Sibille, PhD
Kamlesh Singh, PhD
Gavin Slemp
Amy Szarkowski , PhD
Naghmeh Taghva, PhD
Milla Titova, MA
Hester Trompetter, PhD
Eli Tsukayama, PhD
Michele Tugade
Patty Van Cappellen, PhD
Ruut Veenhoven, PhD
Lisa Wagner, MS
Dana Wanzer, MA
Christian Waugh, PhD
Shelly Welker, PhD
Mieke Witsel, PhD
Monica Worline, PhD
Bob Xie, MA
Shari Young Kuchenbecker, PhD