The thread that runs through Rich Fernandez’s life—unifying his undergraduate degree in literature; his pursuit of mindfulness practices and martial arts; his master’s in organizational psychology, and doctoral work in counseling psychology; his years with corporate giants like JPMorgan Chase, eBay, and Google; and his eventual shift to the nonprofit sector—is a simple question: What makes us thrive? How, Fernandez, asks, can humans flourish at work and extend that flourishing to other realms of their lives?
To that end, in 2013, he cofounded Wisdom Labs, whose mission is to provide workplace wellness and mindfulness via digital platforms. In 2017, Fernandez took the helm of the Google-born Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute (SIYLI), a nonprofit global initiative whose face-to-face programs include mindfulness and emotional intelligence training for individuals and organizations. He lives in San Francisco with his wife and their teenage son.
Victoria Dawson: It’s interesting that your life’s work—career and calling—has revolved around the subject of work.
Rich Fernandez: Most of our productive…