Ilona Boniwell

Dr Ilona Boniwell is one of the European leaders in positive psychology, having founded and headed the first Masters Degree in Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) in Europe at the University of East London. Nowadays, she heads the International MSc in Applied Positive Psychology (I-MAPP) at Anglia Ruskin University (that includes a dedicated positive psychology coaching pathway), teaches Positive Management at l’Ecole Centrale Paris and HEC, and consults around the world as a director of Positran and ScholaVie. Her main teaching expertise lies in the areas of positive psychology and positive psychology coaching, with research interests around: subjective time use, time perspective, eudaimonic well-being and applications of positive psychology to business, executive coaching and education.

Ilona founded and was the first Chair of the European Network of Positive Psychology (ENPP), and was subsequently the member of its Steering Committee for many years. She organised the first European Congress of Positive Psychology in June 2002 (Winchester), starting a successful tradition of bi-annual events. She was the first Vice-Chair of the International Positive Psychology Association (IPPA) and has been continuingly the member of its Board of Directors since 2007. She is now the Vice-President for the Francophone Association of Positive Psychology, serves on the Board of Directors of the International Positive Education Network (IPEN) and is a co-editor of the Applied Positive Psychology Journal.

Ilona is the author of Positive Psychology in a Nutshell (2006/8, PWBC; 2012, Open University Press), co-author of The Happiness Equation (2008, Adams Media), Positive Psychology: Theory, Research and Applications (2011, Open University Press), Well-Being Lessons for Secondary Schools (2012, Open University Press), co-editor of The Oxford Handbook of Happiness (2013, Oxford University Press) and co-author of Motivated Adolescents (2015, Odile Jacob). She is currently working on a new book, Positive Psychology at Work in a Nutshell (forthcoming in 2017).

She acted as the main consultant for and appeared in the BBC2 series The Happiness Formula (2006). Her other media work included Guardian, Times, Top Sante and Cosmopolitan articles and interviews, columnist for the Psychologies magazine (UK, France and Russia), for the Positive Psychology magazine (France), as well as radio and TV interviews for BBC 24, BBC London and other channels. She frequently addresses psychology and professional audiences at national and international conferences, having delivered hundreds of presentations and workshops.

Ilona is passionate about practical applications of positive psychology to coaching, business and education. Having trained as a coach in 2005 and upon completion of her PhD in 2006, she worked as a Senior Lecturer in Coaching on the Masters and Professional Doctorate in Coaching and Mentoring at Oxford Brookes University, UK. Her own individual and group coaching clients have included executives from L’Oreal, Microsoft, Sanofi, Bull, Mars, Alpro Soya, MindGym, as well as internal coaches in Orange and Johnson & Johnson. Nowadays, as a director of Positran, a boutique consultancy specialising in the applications of evidence-based methodologies to achieve lasting positive transformation, Ilona delivers advanced coach training, having developed her own approach to positive psychology coaching and having trained thousands of coaches around the world (in Japan, Singapore, South Africa, Portugal, France and the UK).

Ilona is also a co-director of ScholaVie, a positive education lab that offers multiple well-being, resilience and teacher-as-coach programmes for educational institutions. She further worked for the Government of Bhutan to develop a framework for happiness-based public policy at the request of the UN, as a member of the International Expert Working Group for the New Development Paradigm.