Below please find the programme from our most recent conference, held in Oslo, Norway in 2016.

The upcoming conference has not yet been announced. Check back soon for details!


Day 1 - Friday 14

 Transform your Mind: The Psychology and Science of Compassion



08.00-10.00:  Registration

10.00-10.15:  Opening by Master of Ceremonies

10.15-11.00:  "Cultivating Healthy Minds" Dr Richard Davidson

11.00-11.30:  "An Overview of the Science of Compassion" Dr James Doty

Dr Doty will discuss how the latest understanding of the neuroscience of compassion is giving us tools to change our lives and those around us.

11.30-12.00:   Break

12.00-12.30: "Sustainable Compassion Training for those who Serve" - Dr Brooke D. Lavelle

This talk will focus on methods for fostering sustainable compassion training to help those in all areas of social service and health professionals to avoid empathy fatigue and burnout.

12.30-13.00:  "The Fears of Compassion" Prof Paul Gilbert

Different people have different views of compassion and kindness. While some people believe that it is important to show compassion and kindness in all situations and contexts, others believe we should be more cautious and can worry about showing it too much to ourselves and to others.

13.00-14.00:   Lunch

14.00-15.30:   Parallel Workshops A1, A2, A3, A4, See below

15.30-16.00:   Break

16.00-16.45:  "Deepening Mindfulness with Heartfulness" Frits Koster & Erik van den Brink

Introducing "Mindfulness-Based Compassionate Living" in health care, a trans-diagnostic training programme in compassion and self-compassion, building further on already established mindfulness skills.

16.45-17.30:  Dialogue with Guest of Honour Dr Richard Davidson: Can Taming the Mind Actually Make a Difference in Society?

17.30-18.00:  Conclusions of the Day

19.00:            Conference Dinner


A1: A Neurosurgeon's Quest

Dr James Doty - Workshop in English

Recent research suggests that evolution has pushed us toward a trait that binds communities and helps them prosper, and that altruistic acts promote individual well-being in biologically measurable ways. James Doty emerged from a disadvantaged background in the United States to become a neurosurgeon, an entrepreneur and a philanthropist--only to let his fortune go and dedicate his professional life to the scientific study of compassion and altruism. In this workshop, he will share the practical tools that helped him on his journey to relax his body, tame his mind, open his heart and clarify his intent.


A2: The Compassionate Mind

Prof Paul Gilbert - Workshop in English

Not only does compassion help us to cope and work with distressing emotions and situations, it also increases feelings of contentment and well-being. Professor Gilbert will outline the latest findings of the Compassionate Mind Foundation about the value of compassion and how it works, and introduce basic mind training exercises to enhance the capacity for, and use of, compassion. Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT)--a process of developing compassion for the self and others to increase well-being and aid recovery--integrates techniques from cognitive behavioral therapy with evolutionary psychology, social psychology, developmental psychology, Buddhist psychology and neuroscience.


A3: Foundations of Sustainable Compassion

Dr Brooke D. Lavelle - Workshop in English

Sustainable Compassion Training (SCT) cultivates three interrelated modes of care as a basis for compassionate action. These three modes are: (1) receiving care, (2) extending care to others, and (3) deep self-care. In this workshop, we will briefly present the basic science of care and compassion in relation to these modes, practice methods for receiving care, extending care, and enhancing care, and explore ways of strengthening our compassion practices in personal and professional lives.


A4: Call to Care in Norwegian Schools

Anne Sælebakke, Anne Grethe Brandtzæg, Hilde Selmer-Anderssen,

Gry Stubberud, Anette Weberg-Aurdal - Workshop in Norwegian

The foundation for learning and development is based on teachers' ability to create caring and sustainable relationships with their students. Mindfulness, empathy, and care are of significant importance to relational skills and classroom management, and are qualities that can be trained. These are also keys to strengthening the students' emotional and social competence.

The Call to Care pilot project at Kongsgardmoen Elementary School in Kongsberg is exploring how these qualities can be trained in schools. In addition, teachers from Bogstad Elementary School in Oslo will share their experience.


Day 2 - Saturday 15

 Towards an Altruistic Society: Education, Training and Leadership


08.30-08.45:  Morning Mindfulness Practice - Dr Michael de Vibe

08.45-09.00:  Guests of Honour/Introduction

09:00-09:30:  "Pioneering the Possible: Awakened Leadership for a World that Works" - Dr Scilla Elworthy

We are living in a time of great challenges for humanity. We need to enable leaders to make wiser decisions by developing skills to combine inner power with outer action.

09.30-10.00:  "How to Cultivate the Heart and Mind of the Leader" Prof Jeremy Hunter

Drawing on over a decade of experience working with executives, the talk will explore the practical methodology created to help leaders develop themselves, illustrated with actual cases.

10.00-10.30:  Break

10.30-11.00:  "Empathy in Education" Mary Gordon

Have you ever been moved by the presence of a baby? Mary Gordon's hugely successful programme teaches young children empathy by bringing babies into the classrooms.

11.00-11.30:  "The Child is the Father of the Man" Dr Arild Bjørndal

This talk will focus on the need to cultivate and protect children's natural resources, and how important it will be when kindergarten and school become arenas for strengthening compassion towards self and others.

11.30-12.00: "It All Depends on the Relationship!" - Dr Michael de Vibe

The talk will focus on the importance of the relationship between the care-giver and the care-receiver for health and well-being of both. We will explore how mindfulness and empathy are the core elements in creating a health-generating relationship.

12.00-13.00:  Lunch

13.00-14:30:  Parallel Workshops B1, B2, B3, B4See below

14.30-15.00:  Break

15.00-15.45:  "The Power of Dialogue in Times of Insecurity" with Dr Scilla Elworthy

15.45-16.00:  Concluding Session 


B1: "Mindfulness-Based Compassionate Living"

Frits Koster & Erik van den Brink - Workshop in English

MBCL is an advanced training programme developed in the health care setting for those who already have acquired basic mindfulness skills through MBSR, MBCT or equivalent course. Complementary to conventional methods aimed at cure, MBCL cultivates an attitude of care in order to alleviate suffering and promote well-being. In eight sessions it offers explicit practice in compassion toward oneself and others in a secular, science-based way. MBCL integrates insights from contemplative traditions with modern mindfulness-based compassion focused work. The aim of this workshop is to offer participants a taste of some of the key elements and practices of the programme.


B2: "Roots of Empathy"

Mary Gordon - Workshop in English

Fifteen years of research on the Roots of Empathy programme shows significant changes in the children's well-being, compared with the control group, and especially in the following areas: increased knowledge of emotions; increased social understanding; increased prosocial behaviours with peers; and decreased aggression towards peers. The increase in prosocial behaviours and decrease in aggression is also shown to last for years to come.


B3: "Cultivating the Mind and Heart of the Leader"

Prof Jeremy Hunter - Workshop in English

We have arrived at a moment where the world's circumstances can no longer afford the luxury of ignoring the inner life of the leader. Forward-thinking leaders have recognized the need to intentionally grow their internal capacities and competencies. Contemplative practices, especially those that emphasize awareness in action, can play an essential role in helping leaders to act in generative ways. Drawing on over a decade of experience working with executives, Prof Hunter will explore the practical methodology created to help leaders develop themselves illustrated with actual cases. The tools are rooted in the work of management and social philosopher Peter F. Drucker and psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi among others.


B4: "Mindfulness and Care in Kindergarten"

Hanne Lund-Kristensen, Hilde Vrangsagen, Mona Teresa Vandrer - Workshop in Norwegian

In this workshop we will explore the potential of mindfulness in kindergarten, mainly focused on the teacher as professional leader of developmental processes. Our interconnected key questions are: How can mindfulness be a guide to the personal-professional myself as a teacher? How can a mindful approach guide the teacher in the pedagogical leadership? How can a mindful leadership guide the teacher towards an education filled with care and compassion? In the workshop these questions will be explored and reflected on from three perspectives: teacher training, kindergarten-management and kindergarten-teaching. The practical examples are based on experiences from the sensory work with children in Lia Kindergarten, Norway.

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