What is happiness and what factors are most important in order for us to feel happy in our lives? This has been questioned by philosophers and scientists throughout history, and an important finding, backed up by research findings published this summer, is that helping others is a key. And even the smallest things, like bringing your colleague a cup of coffee, and the planning of it matters.
By using functional MRI and a public pledge for future generosity, researchers from the University of Zurich in Switzerland have found that there is a neural link between generosity and happiness (Nature Communications). Other studies have also shown that older people who help others tend to have better health. So, win-win! Or more frankly, as Warren Buffett puts it “If you’re the luckiest one percent of humanity, you owe it to the rest of humanity to think about the other 99 per cent.”
In my own mini-survey – consisting of the experience of meeting and speaking to successful life science inventors, scientists, but also business builders – the benefit of doing good for humanity and helping others is what gives them that sparkle in their eye. And the field of life science is filled with opportunities to help others; developing lifesaving drugs, medical devices to improve quality of life or digital tools to predict and prevent severe diseases.
In this issue you will meet several industry profiles who have grasped this opportunity and also built successful businesses out of it. A striking feature of entrepreneurs today is social responsibility and Hans Genee and Andreas Laustsen, two of Denmark’s third-generation biotech entrepreneurs say, “When you make a discovery that could make a difference in the world, you have an obligation to bring it to society.” We have also spoken to Habib Frost, Denmark’s youngest medical doctor, who founded a medtech company based on his hopelessness when he could not help two young people from dying of cardiac arrest.
Then of course, in order to go from lab bench to a finished product and create jobs and profit you need the right business strategy and sometimes, a bit of luck. Saeid Esmaeilzadeh and Ashkan Pouya, two of Sweden’s most successful life science serial entrepreneurs, share their journey, from discoveries made through serendipity and a lot of focused and hard work. It is not always easy for a life science startup, but there are great possibilities to save the world, and live a happier life trying!
Editor In Chief