Please click below for videos and presentations from our Conference 2022 speakers:
Richard Layard is Professor of Economics at the London School of Economics, where he founded and directed the Centre for Economic Performance and is now Director of the Centre’s Wellbeing Programme. As a member of the House of Lords he focuses on education, employment, mental health, and wellbeing policy.
In 2005 he wrote the best-selling book Happiness: Lessons from a New Science, translated into 20 languages. He has had a huge influence on making psychological therapy more widely available in the NHS, and in 2014 co-authored Thrive on how we can secure a better deal for mental health. In 2018 he co-authored The Origins of Happiness – an analysis of what determines our happiness. Richard’s latest book Can we be happier? The evidence and ethics for better lives, explores how teachers, managers, health professionals, couples, community leaders, economists, scientists, politicians, and we as individuals can create a happier world.
Richard is also co-founder of Action for Happiness, an international movement to promote a happier way of living.
Kadra Abdinasir is Associate Director for Children and Young People’s Mental Healthat Centre for Mental Health. She leads the Centre’s research and policy in this area to help improve the lives of children and young people. She is also Strategic Lead for the Children and Young People’s Mental Health Coalition, a network of nearly 250 organisations.
Kadra is also a Youth Board Member for young people’s mental health charity Beyond, a trustee for FORWARD UK and a fellow of the RSA. Kadra has nearly a decade of experience working with children and young people, specialising in youth policy, research and engagement.
Mindfulness & compassion; opportunities to respond to the challenges of climate change - Jamie Bristow
Jamie Bristow was one of the volunteers and experts who formed the Mindfulness Initiative and helped MPs and Peers in the British Parliament to establish the UK Mindfulness All-Party Parliamentary Group in 2014, conducting a 12-month policy inquiry and publishing the seminal Mindful Nation UK policy report the following year. As sole Director from 2015-2021, he established the Mindfulness Initiative as a globally recognised leader in the theory and advocacy of mindfulness and compassion training in politics and public life.
Jamie has helped politicians around the world to introduce mindfulness training to a further 10 national parliaments and make capacities of mind and heart serious considerations of public policy. He is the author of several publications including Mindfulness: Developing Agency in Urgent Times, the Fieldbook for Mindfulness Innovators and Reconnection, Meeting the Climate Change Inside Out.
Adrian Bethune is a part-time teacher at a primary school in Aylesbury, Deputy Chair of the Well Schools strategic board and the founder of Teachappy. In 2012, he was awarded a ‘Happy Hero’ medal by Lord Richard Layard at the House of Lords for his work on developing wellbeing in schools. In 2015, he was invited to speak at the Action For Happiness event, Creating A Happier World, on stage with the Dalai Lama.
Adrian is author of the award-winning Wellbeing In The Primary Classroom – A Practical Guide To Teaching Happiness (Bloomsbury, 2018), co-author with Dr Emma Kell of A Little Guide to Teacher Wellbeing and Self-care (Sage, 2020) and lead author for the Oxford International Curriculum for Wellbeing (Oxford University Press, 2021).
Faiy joined the MiSP team in 2021 as Pathways Manager; supporting staff and schools in embedding mindfulness in educational settings. Faiy is a secondary trained teacher and in the last twelve years has trained as a wellbeing specialist; teaching mindfulness, positive psychology, growth mindsets, compassion, resilience and Forest school.
She is a lead wellbeing and mindfulness trainer for MiSP, The Present for Schools and LEAP online and has delivered Wellbeing in Education training internationally. She has taught all of MiSPs curricula in schools since 2013 and worked on MiSPs training teams since 2015. As a Specialist Leader of Education for Wellbeing and InclusionFaiy supports schools in integrating meaningful whole school wellbeing practice and policy to meet DFE statutory requirements.
Uz is a long-term meditator and enjoys teaching the dots, Paws b and .b programmes in schools each week, as well as running courses for businesses, educators, the mental health charity, Mind, and for arts organisations. Her book, Mindfulness for Children was published by Kyle Books in 2018 and is available in the UK, USA and across Europe. Following publication, she has spoken at a range of conferences and festivals about mindfulness.
Uz is known for her enthusiastic approach and has enjoyed leading mindfulness sessions at the Women of the World Festival and popular walking meditations at the V&A Museum. She is particularly interested in welcoming all the intersecting aspects of people’s identities into mindfulness courses. She has led workshops on mindfulness and awareness of race and has run training on anti-racism in schools. Uz is a Trustee of the Mindfulness Network and sits on the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion board looking at ways to broaden the reach of mindfulness and make it more inclusive.
In her talk, Uz will explore the importance of trauma-informed practice for young people in these uncertain times. She will cover how we can meet ourselves with self-care while we support students through this process.
Join Alan Lee and Maggie Farrar, as they discuss the many opportunities (and some inevitable challenges) based on their first hand experiences in leading high performing schools and the role mindfulness and wellbeing plays in this.
Maggie has worked as a teacher and in senior leadership roles in education for over 40 years. She was latterly Director for Leadership Development and Research at the National College for School Leadership and Interim Chief Executive. She trained as a mindfulness teacher at the Oxford University Mindfulness Centre and has integrated this into her current work, supporting leaders to thrive and flourish in the complex and demanding role of school leadership.
Alan is the CEO of Bedfordshire Schools Trust (BEST), a National Leader of Education and a former Lead Ofsted Inspector. In 2010, Alan was awarded the University Council for Educational Administration’s (UCEA) Award for Excellence. Alan’s doctoral thesis was the BELMAS (British Educational Leadership and Educational Research Society) Runner-Up 2009.
Following teaching posts in primary and middle schools and in a residential centre, Annabel spent 30 years as Adviser for PSHE for Cambridgeshire. This included leading the team in researching, writing and providing training on the renowned Cambridgeshire Primary Personal Development Programme.
She was also involved in writing national units of work for PSHE for QCA (for both primary and secondary age groups), and led the SEAL (Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning) programme for Cambridgeshire.
She has been teaching mindfulness for 6 years to adults and children, and is currently leading a project in 5 Fenland schools which includes staff awareness sessions, an 8 week course for 15 members of staff, delivering dots sessions with children and running information sessions for parents and carers. She is also currently involved in mapping the MISP curricula against the DfE and the PSHE Association programmes for PSHE, Relationships and Sex Education and Health Education.
Susan M. Pollak, MTS, EdD, is a psychologist in private practice in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She is a longtime student of meditation who has been integrating the practices of meditation into psychotherapy since the 1980s. Dr. Pollak is co-founder and senior teacher at the Center for Mindfulness and Compassion at Harvard Medical School / Cambridge Health Alliance and was president of the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy from 2010 to 2020.
Dr. Pollak is a co-editor of The Cultural Transition; and a contributing author of Mapping the Moral Domain; Evocative Objects; and Mindfulness and Psychotherapy, 2nd Edition. She is the co-author of Sitting Together: Essential Skills for Mindfulness-Based Psychotherapy and the author of Self-Compassion for Parents: Nurture Your Child by Caring for Yourself. She writes the popular blog, The Art of Now for Psychology Today, and is a frequent contributor to the Ten Percent Happier app.
Emily joined MiSP in September 2021 from her role as CEO and co-founder of the Maternal Mental Health Alliance. Emily is responsible for all aspects of the charity on a day-to-day basis, she works closely with the Board of Trustees to develop strategy and ensure that the charity delivers maximum impact for beneficiaries.
Katherine Weare is Emeritus Professor at the University of Southampton, where she developed high impact national and international programmes and research projects and advised policy makers, agencies and educators across the world. Katherine is lead for education for the Mindfulness Initiative and is well known as a highly influential figure in the field of mindfulness, wellbeing, mental health and social and emotional education, framed by a whole school approach.
Katherine will explore how we can enable mindfulness to stay relevant and responsive to new evidence, concerns and criticisms, and to be seen as foundational to the many efforts education is making help their students and staff cultivate the core capacities to navigate in our uncertain and ‘urgent’ times.