My work and research is driven by curiosity and a playful experimental approach. 

As a licensed clinical psychologist I specialized in cognitive behavioral therapy and treated depression, anxieties, relationship problems etc. I later became obsessed with the psychology of happiness, in particular happiness related to work and the complex relationship between happiness and affluence. Mid-career I decided to take a break from consulting and spend 5 years at Lund University teaching and doing research. I taught courses on positive psychology, creativity, organizational science, and various clinical courses. My PhD in organizational psychology focused on how workplace playfulness boosts innovation. I’m American-Icelandic, and after many years in Sweden, I am now based in Spain.

(Not to be confused with the fantastic British actor Samuel West)

Keynote speaker

Experienced global keynote speaker. Since founding the Museum of Failure, Samuel has become the leading expert on helping teams and organizations understand the role of failure for innovation and progress, improve the acceptance of failure, and appreciate the benefits of psychological safety. He educates and inspires with the fascinating stories of the artifacts at the Museum of Failure.






Decathlon, Takeda Pharmaceuticals, Aker BP, Novo Nordisk,, Mars, Inc, Peter Schmidt Group, BDO, City of Vienna, Deloitte, Johnson & Johnson, SEE Entertainment, Innovation Roundtable Summit, Global Innovation Forum, WeWork Shanghai, Uludag Economy Summit, ZEB, NHS UK, NEW Conference, Volvo, IKEA, SS&C Technologies, The University of Melbourne, Hermès International, Red Cross International, Gothenburg Opera, Jobs and Society Foundation, Semcon Design Days, NeXT Conference Hamburg, GST XIII:The Big Bang of Sales Professionalism, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Better Business Conference, EPDA-deisign, Endemol Shine Group, Innovation Festival Norway, Kavli Group, Architecture & Design Museum Los Angeles, OpenUp South Africa, Perstorp AB, Week Van Het Ontwerpen, Vinnova Innovation, Swedish Chamber of Commerce and Industry, MMR Research Worldwide…



New York Times, Quartz,  NBC News, Financial Times, The Guardian, The Washington Post, Tech World, El Pais, The Verge, BBC Impact Interview, and many more..