Achieving Impact: Socio-economic Sciences and Humanities (SSH) in Horizon 2020 EU Project – Athens Meeting, February 26-27, 2014

Project idea: Positive Psychology, Personal & Social Resilience Projects in Education or in the Organizational & Business Environment

Contact details:
Prof. Oren Kaplan, The College of Management, Israel
+972-548181849; email:

Main areas of expertise
1. Positive Psychology, Interventions, Positive Organizational Behavior, Positive Leadership & Management
2. Resilience, Trauma, PTSD, Stress, Self-Help, Engagement, Community-Cohesion
3. Sustainability, CSR, Social Entrepreneurship
4. Consumer Behavior, Marketing, Innovation, Marketing Research

Target partner: Universities, researchers, corporates, consulting firms in Europe

Some potential Horizon2020 calls:

Early job insecurity, Lifelong-learning for young adults, Encouraging girls to study science: H2020-YOUNG-SOCIETY-2014; YOUNG-3-2015; H2020-GERI-2014-1

Disaster-resilience: safeguarding, securing society; Fight against crime and Terrorism; Urban security topic; Innovative solutions etc. H2020-DRS-2014; H2020-FCT-2014

An idea about our research (Accepted to the Journal of Traumatic Stress): High positive emotions shortly after missile attacks and the heightened risk of PTSD symptoms among Israeli adolescents.

An example for a project in Positive Psychology and social impact

Research and Projects that would enhance the resilience and strengths of individuals, communities, and organizations in order to build resilience & sustainability for confronting crisis and to foster wellbeing and performance in changing environments.

Suggested project: From fighting the trauma of terror to organizational resilience and flourishing: A sustainable-preventative approach for education, business, and society

Background: At the Positive Psychology & Resilience Center in the College of Management in Israel, we have developed research and intervention protocols for confronting the challenges Israeli civilians face living in a society which is under constant security threats. The problem of how to deal with trauma in the aftermath of terror has become a global issue. One need only consider that as a result of 9/11, an estimated 422,000 New Yorkers alone suffer from PTSD to realize the widespread repercussions of terrorism on the functioning of a community.

The suggested project seeks to create interventions and programming that would provide a sustainable-preventative approach to buffer against the psychological effects of terror, crime and disasters. Over the past three years, our center has led a program working with teachers from a larges school networks. Our findings, as well as those of other institutes, suggest that the decline in quality of life and in cognitive resources due to PTSD and other anxiety and depression disorders could be reduced significantly by relatively simple interventions based on principles of Positive Psychology and CBT. Unique to our approach is its reliance on trauma prevention, rather than post trauma treatment, and its ability to reach out to large populations in the most vulnerable regions. The program would assist in reducing the debilitating and costly effects of wide spread post-traumatic stress.

Proposal idea: We believe that the above Positive Psychology & Resilience project could have a broaden impact beyond trauma prevention and beyond school settings. Organizational and managerial life today is filled with stress and anxieties and implementing stress reduction interventions in these settings before the onset of crisis, may help individuals both deal with their day to day stress as well as enlisting them to be part of the wider network of preventative action in the face of threats to the community. The goal of the program would be to create “ambassadors of resilience” in various settings.

An illustration for the process:

Teams of employees from a vast number and types of organizations could be trained in methods fostering resilience in their corporations and organizations.

  1. Corporations and organizations have more resources to invest in such projects, relatively to public sector bodies and NGOs.
  2. Corporations and organizations "host" the citizens of their societies, and therefore by strengthening the employees within the organization, they also generate byproducts strengthening the society and the community (while gain CSR reputation).
  3. Resilient employees and management can cope better with stress, communicate more and express more generosity to each other and to different stakeholders. They have more tolerance to diversity, and remain with more resources not only to fight against stress but also to receive better decisions and invest in activities that foster development and flourish.

We expect, therefore, that developing "ambassadors of resilience" within organizations could be "good business". It would create resilient workers, resilient community, and resilient-sustainable business.