The Effects of Inequality

Keith Payne is the author of the book The Broken Ladder: How Inequality Affects the Way We Think, Live, and Die. He is a professor of psychology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an international leader in the psychology of inequality and discrimination. His research has been featured in The Atlantic and The New York Times, and on NPR, and he has written for Scientific American and Psychology Today.

The Brain’s Hidden Quest for “Cool”

Steven Quartz is the author of the new book, Cool: How the Brain’s Hidden Quest for Cool Drives Our Economy and Shapes Our World. By bringing together the latest findings in brain science, economics, and evolutionary biology to form a provocative theory of consumerism, Steven explains how the brain’s “social calculator” and an instinct to rebel are the crucial missing links in understanding the motivations behind our spending habits.

The Future of Legal Marijuana in America

Bruce Barcott is the author of the new book, Weed the People: The Future of Legal Marijuana in America. The magnitude of the change in America’s relationship to marijuana can’t be measured in only economic or social terms: There are deeper shifts going on here – cultural realignments, social adjustments, and financial adjustments. The place of marijuana in our lives is being rethought, reconsidered, and recalibrated. Four decades after Richard Nixon declared a War on Drugs, that long campaign has reached a point of exhaustion and failure. The era of its winding down as arrived.

Culture and Ecology

Helena Norberg-Hodge is an author, speaker, filmmaker, and producer of an award-winning documentary entitled The Economics of Happiness. Helena is the founder and director of International Society for Ecology and Culture. She is a pioneer of the ‘new economy’ movement, and has been promoting an economics of personal, social and ecological well-being for more than thirty years. Her ground-breaking work in Ladakh, or ‘Little Tibet’, earned her the Right Livelihood Award, or ‘Alternative Nobel Prize’ and her book, Ancient Futures, along with a film of the same title, has been translated into more than 40 languages.

Local Dollars, Local Sense

Michael H. Shuman is the author of the new book, Local Dollars, Local Sense: How to Move Your Money from Wall Street to Main Street and Achieve Real Prosperity. Michael is an economist, attorney, author, and entrepreneur, and a globally recognized expert on community economics.

The End of Money

David Wolman is the author of the book, The End of Money: Counterfeiters, Preachers, Techies, Dreamers–and the Coming Cashless Society. For ages, money has meant little metal disks and rectangular slips of paper. Yet the usefulness of physical money—to say nothing of its value—is coming under fire as never before. There is a distinct possibility that cash will soon disappear.

The Economics of Happiness

Helena Norberg-Hodge is an analyst, author, speaker, filmmaker and producer of a new award-winning documentary entitled The Economics of Happiness. She is founder and director of International Society for Ecology and Culture. A pioneer of the ‘new economy’ movement, Helena has promoted an economics of personal, social and ecological well-being for more than thirty years.

The Economics of Happiness Conference is this February 27 – March 1, 2015.