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Conference 2017

Mindfulness in Health and Higher Education

2-day conference
June 16th and17th 2017
University of Warwick


Dr Craig Hassed | Prof. Ronald Epstein


Conference information

Call for abstracts

Booking information


Notes on some of the conference speakers

Conference information

In association with Leicester Medical School and the University of Buckingham Medical School, we are pleased to announce a 2-day conference to be held at Scarman Conference Centre here at the University of Warwick. This conference aims to explore methods of embedding and teaching mindfulness in higher and professional education settings, with a particular (but not sole) focus upon medical education. Keynote presentations and accompanying speeches, workshops and posters will cover a wide range of programmes, disciplines and experiences.

The conference is particularly focussed upon research and experience of designing, implementing and evaluating mindfulness courses and interventions. As such, there will be many opportunities to engage with the practical issues relating to these via the workshops and panel discussions. The conference is therefore suitable for a wide range of audiences and interested parties from the higher education and professional education fields. It may be of particular interest to:

  • Teachers of mindfulness in Higher Education
  • Teachers, lecturers and leaders of programmes, courses and/or modules in which mindfulness may feature
  • Those who work in the areas of teacher-training, social work training, management, law and lifelong learning
  • Healthcare professionals who are interested in applying mindfulness to their setting
  • Trainers of healthcare professionals
  • Wellbeing, couselling and student experience professionals
  • Those who provide staff, student or professional-focussed services (e.g. library services, doctoral training, etc.)
  • Researchers of mindfulness (particularly pedagogical aspects)

For more information about the conference please email

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Call for abstracts

If you would like to present your research or experiences of embedding or teaching mindfulness please download and complete the form below and forward it to by 21st April 2017.

(Word Document) Abstract Form

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Booking information

There will be a variety of booking options for the conference, including packages for 1 or 2 days and options for accommodation and an evening meal.

Please note: There are a limited number of student concessionary places available.

To book your place on the conference please click the link below.


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Conference programme

Friday 16th June 2017

Saturday 17th June 2017

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Notes on some of the conference speakers


Dr Craig Hassed is a GP and an Assistant Professor at Monash University in Melbourne Australia, who has been teaching mindfulness to GPs for over 20 years and to medical students for approximately 14 years. Monash University has adopted his mindfulness-based ‘Health Enhancement Program’ across its campus faculties, and almost all schools (primary to secondary) in the Melbourne region now introduce their students to mindfulness. Dr Hassed has advised Medical Schools across the world, including N. America (Harvard, McGill and Toronto) and the UK (Leicester) on the introduction of mindfulness to their curricula, and has also advised schools and a variety of community groups. Craig discovered mindfulness intuitively as a questioning first year medical student, but came to understand its extensive, long-standing roots in the world’s wisdom traditions in his subsequent reading. He is well versed in the scientific evidence base for the efficacy of mindfulness and speaks about this in a straightforward and arresting way. He is widely read and believes that mindfulness could be taught using Shakespeare quotes alone! We look forward to a production of his play, ‘The Mindful Bard’ on the Friday evening. One of his major skills is his modelling of mindfulness teaching and post-mindfulness inquiry/debrief; this is rooted in his own mindfulness practice, his decades of teaching experience, and results in his insightful, respectful, gentle, non-directive, approach.


Professor Ron Epstein is a family physician, teacher, researcher and writer who has devoted his career to understanding and improving patient-physician communication, quality of care and clinician resilience. He has done groundbreaking research, funded by the NIH, AHRQ, PCORI and several major foundations, into how to improve communication in medical settings when it matters the most – when facing serious or terminal illness and when uncertainty prevails – to promote patient involvement in care, improve communication with patients whose symptoms defy explanation, help patients understand prognosis in serious illness and achieve shared mind when faced with difficult decisions. Through innovative programs that promote mindfulness, communication and self-awareness, he has helped a generation of physicians to practice more attentively, develop stronger relationships with patients, approach difficult decisions more mindfully and develop inner strength and resilience to combat burnout and be more present when patients need it the most. Ron directs the Center for Communication and Disparities Research and co-directs the Deans Teaching Fellowship program and Mindful Practice Programs at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry where he is Professor of Family Medicine, Psychiatry, Oncology and Medicine (Palliative Care). A graduate of Wesleyan University and Harvard Medical School, Prof Epstein is recipient of numerous lifetime achievement awards relating to communication and humanism, a Fulbright scholarship at the Institute for Health Studies in Barcelona and visiting fellowships at the University of Sydney and the Brocher Institute in Geneva. He has published over 250 articles and book chapters. He enjoys bicycling, cross-country skiing, cooking and playing the harpsichord. His first book, Attending: Medicine, Mindfulness and Humanity, was released in January 2017.


Professor Katherine Weare, Emeritus Professor at the University of Southampton, Honorary Professor at the University of Exeter and freelance consultant with international networks, is a dedicated mindfulness practitioner and trained in mindfulness teaching at Exeter. She is known internationally for expertise in evidence-based practice and for a lifetime’s experience of developing work on wellbeing, social and emotional learning, mindfulness and compassion in young people’s educational arenas. She first became aware of the power of mindfulness when directed to the Breathworks programme to cope with the debilitating effects of complex regional pain syndrome. The acceptance of the condition and the profound reduction in pain she experienced led her to make the connection between the mindfulness she had learnt and her research on wellbeing and social and emotional learning. She has published widely, lead influential research projects, reviewed the evidence base on ‘what works’, advised policy makers and programmes, appeared on the media and developed practical strategies for schools, universities, the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service, and parenting. She has said that “mindfulness is the WD40 of education – it unsticks things”. She recently contributed key evidence to ‘the Mindful Nation UK’ report and was listed as one of ‘the world’s top 40 teachers of mindfulness and meditation’ by the online Mindfulness Summit. Her most recent book, ‘Happy Teachers Change the World: a guide to cultivating mindfulness in education’, co-written with Thich Nhat Hanh, is a guide to the teaching and core practices of the Plum Village tradition, with examples from practising teachers in schools and universities, which stresses the undergirding, primary importance of the educator’s own mindfulness practice and the ability of mindfulness to transform our relationship with ourselves, our students, and our work. Amidst much else, Katherine teaches mindfulness to parents of adoptive children, and has three adopted children of her own. Interestingly she advises parents of teenages (adopted or otherwise) not to try to teach them mindfulness themselves!


Professor Alvaro Guerra, is Chancellor of the Albert Einstein University, Mexico, a university that was created with a humanistic approach, and whose main objective is to assist in the education of society towards a Peace Culture. Its educational model works towards peace through the teaching of values and human development. The Albert Einstein University is one of the leading Latin American universities for mindfulness in higher education. In 2015 a pilot programme for medical consultants in patient centred care was undertaken. At present the university is developing mindfulness across the whole university as an ongoing project.

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