Eric Weiner

Bestselling Author, "Ben & Me" and "The Geography of Bliss"
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Eric Weiner is an award-winning journalist, bestselling author, and a self-described philosophical traveler. As is evident in his books, Eric is fascinated by the intersection of places and ideas. When he has questions, he travels. The product of his voyages are immersive accounts that are equal parts travelogue, cultural commentary, and personal reflection, offering insights into the diverse ways in which location and culture shape the human experience. On stage, Eric delivers these insightful revelations with humor and sincerity, ensuring you'll leave his talks smiling from ear to ear—and a little wiser, too.
Weiner’s first and perhaps most enduring book is The Geography of Bliss: One Grump’s Search for the Happiest Places in the World, which documents his travels to investigate not what happiness is but rather where it is. Bliss was given new life in 2023 with the premiere of Rainn Wilson and the Geography of Bliss on Peacock. The docuseries follows actor Rainn Wilson as he travels the world in search of the happiest and least happiest places on earth. Weiner served as co-executive producer of the show.
Next from Weiner is Ben & Me: In Search of a Founder’s Formula for a Long and Useful Life, available June 2024. Eric travels the globe following in the footsteps of Benjamin Franklin, mining the founding father’s experiences for inspiring lessons on living well, emphasizing curiosity, diligence, and the pursuit of self-improvement. Part biography, part travelogue, part personal development guide, Ben & Me offers grounded, practical wisdom from the past for living and thinking well in the present.
Eric’s books have been translated into over 20 languages. His other titles include Man Seeks God: My Flirtations with the Divine, The Geography of Genius: Lessons from the World’s Most Creative Places, and The Socrates Express: In Search of Life Lessons from Dead Philosophers—each tackling one of life’s big questions from many points across the globe. Man Seeks God follows his experiences as an atheist exploring different world religions after a close brush with death. The Geography of Genius investigates how creative genius flourishes in specific places at specific times, exploring historical clusters of innovation such as ancient Athens and Renaissance Florence to modern day Silicon Valley. In The Socrates Express, Eric embarks on a journey to the places where history’s greatest thinkers once lived, seeking ancient answers to modern day problems.
Eric is a former foreign correspondent for NPR and reporter for New York Times. He is a regular contributor to Washington Post, BBC Travel, and AFAR, among other publications. He has spoken at dozens of corporate, academic and other events, including at Google, Microsoft, Hewlett Packard, Oticon, TEDx, University of California-Davis, The Library of Congress, the Association of International Education Administrators, and the World Government Summit.

Topics

Business Lessons from the World's Most Creative Places (And a Few of the Happiest Ones Too)

When attempting to manage disruption, corporate leaders typically turn to management journals and similar such sources for guidance. These are fine, but there is a better resource: the world. In his research and writing, Eric views the world, historically and today, as a laboratory of good ideas. In particular, he has spent the past several years investigating golden ages, from ancient Athens to today’s Silicon Valley. These extraordinary places produced a mother lode of good ideas and bright minds — and they have much to teach us. So does the emerging “science of creativity.” Here are a few of the lessons Eric will explore in this talk: Why the Italian Renaissance is a Better Model for Innovation than Silicon Valley

The Hidden Upside of Disruption / The Importance of Mentors / The Benefits of “Friendly Competition” Lessons from Ancient Greece

The Benefits of Messiness / Why Borrowing Ideas Should be Encouraged Lessons from Freud’s Vienna

The Power of “Third Places” / Openness to Experience: the Single Most Important Trait for Innovation / How to Find Inspiration in Difficult, Even Painful, Circumstances / Why Walking Leads to Good Ideas Lessons from China’s Golden Age

Innovating By Building on Tradition / Trickle-down Leadership During Hard Times Thailand and the Power of Not Thinking (too much)

Plus: Why Relationships are More Important than Problems Lessons from Bhutan, the land of “Gross National Happiness”

How to Ask Better Questions / How to Convert Liabilities (like isolation) into Advantages Iceland: a Case Study In Reliance

How this Small Nation Survived a Financial Crisis — and Why It is (Still) one of the happiest, and wealthiest, in the world.

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Videos

Rainn Wilson and the Geography of Bliss Official Trailer
Eric Weiner
One Man's Search for "His" God | TEDx
Eric Weiner

Articles

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Being Benjamin Franklin
Next Avenue
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Ben Franklin: The US Founding Father who travelled the globe
BBC
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Why do countries change their name?
BBC Travel

Podcasts

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Happiness
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Inspirational and Motivational
Philosophy & Ethics
Faith & Spirituality
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