Emilia Lahti








After finishing a masters degree in social psychology, and having lived in New Delhi and New York for nearly eight years while working for the Finnish diplomatic mission, Emilia performed a full career switch in order to follow her calling. Consequently, she graduated from the Master of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania, where she studied under the guidance of Dr. Martin Seligman, one of the founders of the field. Emilia wrote her master´s thesis on the Finnish construct of sisu (denoting extraordinary determination and resoluteness in the face of extreme adversity) under the mentorship of Dr. Angela Duckworth, a pioneering research psychologist in the field of grit and self-control. Emilia's aim is to unearth possible ways for the cultivation of sisu within various contexts, ranging from individual trauma recovery and empowerment, to business coaching and workshops in educational settings.


Emilia is an avid systems thinker who sees that we are all part of a larger collective entity through the social networks we belong to.Therefore, in creating a culture which enables individuals to strive for their best possible life, it is imperative to create social awareness of the significance each person has on the possible future of society, and of how sensitive the broader dynamic system is to each of our individual actions (both positive and negative). Through her current PhD work at the Aalto University in Helsinki, Emilia ultimately seeks to create practical, empowering solutions that alleviate human suffering and increase well-being on a global scale, leading to a more positive human future. On a more personal level, in the center of her existence is a deep desire for learning to be an authentic catalyst for human warmth, compassion and connection.


Emilia is the co-author of the most prominent positive psychology website in her native Finland and a lecturer both in Finland and the United States. Her research on sisu as psychological capacity (distinct from perseverance, grit and resilience) has captured the fascination of many, including writers from Business Insider, The Scientific American and Forbes. Emilia is an outspoken anti-domestic violence advocate and endurance athlete. She divides her time between Northern California and Finland with her husband.

Emilia Lahti is a positive psychology practitioner and researcher whose work revolves around understanding how individuals grow from challenges and come out of hardship with a newly discovered, profound sense of strength, purpose and adaptability. She is also passionate about the study of human flourishing and cultivation of virtues, and to determine how these can be leveraged on a systemic level to promote worldwide change.