Who is Frank?


Frank Martela is a philosopher and researcher specialized in meaning in life, well-being and happiness, prosocial behavior and compassion, self-determination theory, and how to organize in order to unleash human potential and flourishing. He is currently a post-doctoral researcher at Aalto University, Finland. He explores his topics both through psychological methods and through conceptual work, and both within the context of personality psychology and philosophy. He has published in academic journals such as Journal of Personality, Journal of Positive Psychology, Journal of Happiness Studies, Motivation & Emotion, Metaphilosophy, Southern Journal of Philosophy, and Organization Studies.

He received his Ph.D. in Applied Philosophy and Organizational Research from Aalto University, Finland in 2012, after which he spent 1.5 years as a visiting scholar at the Human Motivation Research Group of University of Rochester, working together with professor Richard Ryan and looking at what makes human beings intrinsically motivated to help other people. After that he was part of the interdisciplinary research project ‘CoPassion – The Revolutionary Power of Compassion’, at University of Helsinki from 2015 to 2017, before joining Aalto University.

Frank is a popular speaker and writer, who has delivered speeches in universities on four continents including Harvard University and Stanford University. He has written for Scientific American Mind and Salon, his work has been featured in Quartz, and BBC, and he has been interviewed by New York Times, Vice News, and Monocle Observer among others. He has written three books for the general audience in Finnish, Draivi – Voiko sisäistä motivaatiota johtaa (Talentum 2015, together with Karoliina Jarenkon), Valonöörit – Sisäisen motivaation käsikirja (Gummerus 2015) and Tahdonvoiman käyttöohje (Tammi 2013). His first English-language book, The Willpower Manual, was self-published in 2013. He has appeared several times on the main Finnish tv channels, YLE and MTV3, as well as several radio stations in addition to being interviewed by several major newspapers in Finland. He currently writes a monthly column for Helsingin Sanomat, the largest newspaper in Finland.

He is also one of the founders and current chairman of the board of Filosofian Akatemia Oy, a company with 12 employees that is specialized in measuring engagement and motivation at work, and consulting organizations on how to improve them. Frank is a popular speaker who has lectured about intrinsic motivation, meaningfulness and well-being in over 100 different organizations ranging from multi-national companies to ministries.

Outside of work, Frank is a father to three lovely children, who loves to play soccer and floorball, with an occasional skiing trip in the winters.

Contact: frank.martela@gmail.com

Mjelkefellet, Narvik, Norway 2011. Photo: Emma Autio

Mjelkefellet, Narvik, Norway 2011. Photo: Emma Autio