Nathalie Leiko Ishizuka

Nathalie Leiko Ishizuka enjoys thinking and writing about happy human beings, a science of health, criteria for health models, defining happiness, quantifying happiness, states of inner wellbeing, and the structure of healthy optimal human minds.  She has applied Lifetrack assumptions about healthy human beings to a variety of disciplines including to the 2009 Nobel Laureate in Economics.

Nathalie has spent over 20 years of learning and writing about the mind and how Dr. Yukio Ishizuka‘s positive mental health approach (a Harvard trained Japanese psychiatrist and her father) transforms personality (see how Lifetrack works and insights on Life Purpose).

After working several years with Dr. Yukio Ishizuka, in 1995 her desire to extend assumptions about healthy human beings to other fields including economics, organizations and international affairs lead her to complete the Master’s program on Law and Diplomacy, and an MBA.

As a graduate student, Nathalie Ishizuka applied the health concepts (called Lifetrack) to both the firm and the nation-state. A number of Harvard Business School students preferred Ishizuka’s application of Lifetrack concepts to the firm over the assigned reading of The Road Less Traveled. The Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School published her working paper dealing with Lifetrack concepts and mediation. Ishizuka’s work on psychology and the GATT (now WTO) resulted in a correspondence with Arthur Dunkel, former head of the World Trade Organization. Her work, “Lessons from Preventive Health to Preventive Diplomacy,” received the attention of former U.N. Secretary General Boutros-Boutros Ghali and that of the office of Kofi Annan, winning also the Eisaku Sato Memorial Essay Award from the U.N. University in Tokyo.

Accepted in the Ph.D. program at Berkeley in Organizational Behavior and Industrial Relations, she told her professors at Fletcher she would go there to apply an assumption on healthy human beings to Oliver Williamson’s (recipient of 2009 Nobel Prize in Economics) theory of the firm.

It is at Berkeley that she met a new mentor, Dr. Len Duhl, who at the early age of twenty-one, headed Mental Health in the United States.  In May of 1998, the School of Public Health, introducing her to work with the Menninger Foundation, proposed her name for an NIMH fellowship.  “I greatly admire the Menninger brothers, and yet it was too early for such work,” said Ishizuka.  “I came to apply a psychology based on healthy human beings to organizations and economics, but something was missing.  I needed to test models through organizational experience, to go far beyond my conceptual knowledge.”  Greatly admiring Oliver Williamson and Len Duhl, she agonized, but left academia, following the man she loved to Paris and picking up an MBA during her stay.

Enjoying work with innovative individuals, companies, entrepreneurs, engineers, and scientists, she founded a small innovative company to teach herself about promoting health through entertainment and technology.  “The idea that inspired me is far too big for me,” says Ishizuka, “but, sometimes things don’t work out for a reason.  Perhaps it will surface elsewhere.”

“I am not an expert in highly specialized fields, but when I lack the answers or the expertise, I am good at finding, meeting, and working with those who do,” says Ishizuka.

My mentors in many fields have taught me much about the human mind, about happiness and how to create innovation across disciplines.  Technology is a tool, not an ends.

By helping individuals enjoy the process of their own creation, she believes she can create far more change than on her own.

Nathalie’s inter-disiplinary approach integrating the psychology of individuals, organizations, and the nation state has lead her to work with individuals from many fields and to receive the George A.Plimpton Fellowship for the study of social, economic and political institutions.

She has created the Positive Mental Health Foundation site to promote quality information on health, happiness and reduction of human suffering.  While the focus of this site is on individual health, applications to other fields can be found in the section applications of a psychology of health.

New Focus Japan Crisis and Going Beyond Our Best

Her current focus is on the Japan crisis.  (Nathalie), also called Leiko by her Japanese friends, is working on an article with, Dr. Paul Briot, Ph.D. in philosophy and  a Belgian essayist, on using the crisis as an opportunity for positive change.

“I’ve met and worked with brilliant, talented, and profound people in all sectors, says Ishizuka, including my father.  And yet, never an individual that has moved me to put all else aside and to focus. Never an individual as inter-disciplinary, modest, knowledgable and spiritual.   Then again, the Japanese crisis may offer us one of the greatest challenges we have seen in a long time.  And one of the greatest opportunities.”

Past academic interests include applying Lifetrack assumptions about the healthy mind to organizations, nations, Japan, economics, negotiation, crisis management & diplomacy, economic integration, war/crisis/health, international affairs, econometric modeling and the mind, and political science.

Attracted to life, to learning, and to pushing an understanding of the healthy mind further, she believes innovation comes from the cross-road of disciplines.

Nathalie Leiko Ishizuka is married to a French man (who like her mother has no need of theories on happiness), has two children and finds life a most beautiful adventure.  After having spent four life changing years in Tokyo working with profound and inspiring Japanese artists as well as those involved in societal change in various fields (from mental health, suicide prevention, orphanages, business, crisis, as well as nuclear and energy) she now lives in Singapore where she continues her work with Japan and wishes to expand and work with people from two countries she knows little: India and China.

Nathalie received her M.B.A. from Hautes Etudes Commerciales (HEC), M.A.L.D. from the Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy (administered in cooperation with Harvard), and a B.A. Political Science, Phi Beta Kappa, summa cum laude, Amherst College.

Her thesis on Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution received written praise by Colonel Charles Kades, who wrote the Constitution under MacArthur, and the Doshisha Asian Studies Award.  To teach herself Japanese, Ishizuka studied at Keio University and during high school at Seishin Joshi Gakuin (all Japanese) on exchange.  Her interest in a psychology of individual, organizational and national health has lead her to pursue a variety of interests including the winter Harvard Law Negotiation Program, writing for children as a member of SCWBI, and capturing movement in watercolor.

For an excerpt on applying an assumption about healthy human beings to the Nobel Laureate in Economics (2009) read Oliver Williamson’s theory of the firm.

For a lighter read, see her book OTHER based on Health and Happiness for children and parents who dare to be different

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Individuals, Organizations and the Nation State
Nathalie Ishizuka, a Fletcher School graduate, explores an inter-disciplinary approach to integrating the psychology of individuals, organizations, and the nation state.


Beyond Our Best: Re-inventing Ourselves Body, Mind and Spirit  Facebook Nathalie Ishizuka  YouTube Nathalie Ishizuka
Nathalie Ishizuka extends the movement for health to go beyond our best began in Japan after March 11, 2011 and involves individuals across disciplines and nations eager to innovate and elevate.  This blog explores going beyond one’s best in body, mind and spirit —  recognizing that suprisingly similar mechanisms exist in all three.