About me

Hi there and welcome to my website. My name is Ilona, which means joy in Finnish, my native language. I’d like to think that I was doomed into this happiness business. Nomen est omen, as my father says.

Feel free to contact me, if you have ideas of publications, collaboration, conferences or anything happiness-related.

I am passionate about happiness. So much that since 2012 I have devoted my time to study the topic, and to be honest, the end is nowhere near the sight. The more I study, the more I understand how little I know. Happiness is a fascinating, but also a very messy and complicated topic – that is why I love it. I believe it is very subjective experience and therefore successful recipe for happiness cannot be copy-pasted from one individual to another. We all need to live our own lives, question our own values and find our own happiness. No-one else can do it for us. But those, who are lucky to have time, resources and energy to study happiness, also carry the responsibility to share their findings with others. This website is answering to that call. I also enjoy greatly giving lectures and talks on happiness and attending conferences and seminars, both in the academic and the normal world. I also believe that my calling is to come up with important questions, find answers to those questions and then share the answers with wider audience.

Other than a happyologist and a researcher with PhD, I am also a journalist, educator, photographer and a storyteller. Prior to my career in research, I have earned professional experience in a variety of positions within education, journalism, marketing, sales and communications. I am currently based in the Netherlands, and have lived in Australia, England, France, Germany, Laos, New Zealand and Scotland.

Other than happiness, I am fascinated by nature, literature, ballet and all forms of arts. I wish I had more time to spend with my three godchildren and friends, read happy books, hike in the Scottish Highlands or the Alps and explore my surroundings with camera. I love islands and people who make my belly laugh. My favourite smell is fresh basil and my least favourite colour is loska (slush in Finnish).