Global Mindfulness in Education Summit 2021 Speaker Info

Speakers Info

Dr. Helen Maffini •



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Helen is the Director of MindBE Education and the creator of the MindBE Curriculum and the Thriving Kids Program, She is the host of the 2018 Preschool Mindfulness Summit and Co-Author of Developing Children´s Emotional Intelligence and Sammy´s Next Move.

Books: Developing Children’s Emotional Intelligence (Bloomsbury Education)

Sammy’s Next Move: Sammy the snail is a travelling snail who lives in different countries

Dr. Christopher Willard •


Dr. Christopher Willard is a co-host of the 2020 Global Mindfulness in Education Summit, he is a psychologist and educational consultant based in Boston specializing in mindfulness. He has been practicing meditation for 20 years and has led hundreds of workshops around the world, with invitations to more than two dozen countries. He has presented at TEDx conferences and his thoughts have appeared in the New York Times, The Washington Post,, and elsewhere. He is the author of Alphabreaths, Growing Up Mindful (2016) Raising Resilience (2017), and eight other books for parents, professionals, and children, available in more than ten languages. He teaches at Harvard Medical School.

Freebie: Animated Gifs and Videos

Alphabreaths: The ABCs of Mindful Breathing

 Raising Resilience: The Wisdom and Science of Happy Families and Thriving Children

Growing Up Mindful: Essential Practices to Help Children, Teens, and Families Find Balance, Calm, and Resilience


Amy Saltzman​ •


As a holistic physician, mindfulness coach, long-time athlete, devoted student of transformation, wife, mother, and occasional poet, my passion is supporting people of all ages in enhancing their health, experiencing joy, and finding flow (or perhaps more accurately letting flow find them).
My peers have recognized me as a visionary and pioneer in the domains of mindfulness for athletes, coaches, and other high performers, as well as for kids, teens, parents, teachers….
My current passion is working and playing with athletes of all ages and abilities, including youth athletes, D1 athletes (including an athlete suffering from multiple injuries who went on to become an NCAA Division 1 MVP), and multiple national champions. I have shared mindfulness with university teams and athletic departments.
In addition, I offer mindfulness coaching and holistic medical care to children, adolescents, their parents, and professionals in my office. Before moving to Santa Barbara I worked with employees and execs from Apple, Google, Stanford, Square, Genetech….

What we will learn in this presentation or interview
■ Strengthening mental focus, physical awareness, and emotional resilience
■ Providing specific ways of working with distracting or negative thoughts and feelings
■ Increasing the ability to persevere during periods of plateau, set-back, and injury
■ Learning to respond rather than react in crucial moments
■ Developing a healthy relationship with your compassionate inner coach.
■ Intensifying your natural love of your sport
■ Intentionally creating a positive, collaborative team culture
■ Improving communication
■ Making wise choices when faced with challenges, temptations, and risks
■ Practicing true self-care

Session Title: Cultivating Resilience and Finding Flow in Sports and in Life

Free Learning Resources: Practice Videos, Befriending Feelings

Book: A Still Quiet Place for Athletes: Mindfulness Skills for Achieving Peak Performance and Finding Flow in Sports and in Life

Lienhard Valentin •

Lienhard is an internationally known speaker and teacher in the field of Mindful Parenting and Integrative Mindfulness Practice. He has written 3 books in German and developed training in Mindful Parenting, Mindful Education, and Integrative Mindfulness where Mindfulness and Humanistic Psychology come together to bring the qualities of Mindfulness like Awareness, Compassion, Equanimity, Patience into daily life so they are not just a state but can become a trait.

What we will learn in this presentation or interview

In this interview, he will speak about ways how to cope with difficult parts of our personality like the inner critic, perfectionist, and similar parts. The main elements for coping come from Mindful Self-Compassion and Internal Family Systems Therapy. Another theme will be how we can grow a secure attachment in ourselves even we did not develop this in our childhood.

Session Title: Taming the Inner Dragons

Free Learning Resources: Der Innere Kompass


Louise Shanagher •


Louise Shanagher is a mindfulness teacher, children’s therapist, and author from Co. Roscommon, Ireland. Louise has a BA and MSc in Psychology and further qualifications in Mindfulness, Psychotherapy, and Play therapy. Louise originally trained as an Organisational Psychologist and went on to specialize in teaching mindfulness and mindful self-compassion. Louise is the author of Ireland’s first series of mindfulness books for children the “Mindfully Me” series, the new “Kindfully Me” series, and is the co-author of Ireland’s first mindfulness curriculum “The Mindful Heart” curriculum. She is also the creator of “Creative Mindfulness Kids” Practitioner Training.

What we will learn in this presentation or interview

I will introduce some fun, creative, and child-friendly methods of introducing creative mindfulness practices to children. I will also speak about Ireland’s first mindfulness-based curriculum for Primary schools the “Mindful Heart” curriculum.

Free Learning Resources: “Mindfully Me” and “Kindfully Me” workbook pages

Session Title: Creative Mindfulness

Book: The “Mindful Heart” curriculum

Alexandra Koster •


My name is Alex Koster, I am a mum, educator, author, ecotherapist, and founder of Roots and Wings, where we provide Training in Mindfulness Rooted Ecotherapy and Mindful Nature Pedagogy. I was a teacher for children with autism for 20 years before I decided that I needed a change. I am passionate about holistic and mindful education with a strong emphasis on nature connection. I also believe there is an urgent need to include ecotherapeutic approaches into many health and educational disciplines, which is why I developed Mindfulness Rooted Ecotherapy, an approach suitable to be integrated into a multitude of settings. What we will learn in this presentation or interview As a parent and educator I am passionate about children’s development, health, and wellbeing and I believe we need to reform our Western Education System in order to meet emerging needs both from a perspective of the child and the Climate Crisis, which we are all affected by one way or another. Terms like eco-anxiety, climate fear, or eco rage are popping up more and more, children are looking for our guidance and action to initiate positive change. Mindful Nature Pedagogy integrated into the mainstream curriculum can be an empowering and hopeful antidote to these feelings, as well as a more holistic and child-centered way of learning. We don’t need more overworked and stressed hedge fund managers or CEO’s of multinationals. We need innovators, scientists, empaths, creative thinkers, activists, and healers, and most importantly we need physically, mentally, and emotionally healthy children.

Free Learning Resources: Brochure MRE 2022, Mindful Nature Pedagogy, Nature Paterns

Session Title:  The Need for Reform in our Western Education System – Mindful Nature Pedagogy

Book: Roots and Wings – Childhood needs a Revolution

Catherine Galea •


Catherine Galea is an Empowerment Coach and a Mindfulness Trainer for Adults and in Education. She is an ICF Accredited Coach, a Master NLP Practitioner, an Accredited Mindfulness Practitioner, Accredited EFT Practitioner, and Trainer of Mindfulness. She also holds a Diploma in Training and Development from the University of Leicester. She works with adults, youth, and children and delivers mindfulness workshops to corporate organisations. She is also the Founder of ‘Unlock Your Purpose’, a coaching programme, supporting participants to transform their life so they can start living a life of meaning, purpose, and fulfillment. Mindfulness is also part of this programme. She hopes to see a better world of our children, a world where we can all be together in peace and harmony.

What we will learn in this presentation or interview

A very simple mindfulness practice that gets the children curious so they do their best to pay attention. How combining various practices including mindfulness can support the individual needs of the person we are supporting on their journey.

Free Learning Resources: Teddy Bear Breathing – A mindfulness activity with Children

Session Title: A Passion for Meditation Transforming Into a Purpose with Children

Simon Whitesman •


Dr. Simon Whitesman MBChB (Cape Town) Simon is a medical psychotherapist, practising at Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital in Cape Town. He is the programme director of the certificate training in Mindfulness-Based Interventions at Stellenbosch University’s Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences and is a director of the Institute for Mindfulness South Africa. He is currently writing a Ph.D. at Stellenbosch University.

What we will learn in this presentation or interview

I will explore some of the contextual and pedagogic issues that inform the structure, process, and content of training professionals to offer mindfulness-based approaches in Southern Africa, with particular emphasis on embodiment, being trauma-informed, and sensitivity to implicit bias.

Session Title: Training Professionals in Mindfulness-Based Interventions in Southern Africa: A context- sensitive approach

Yves Givel •


Yves is a senior HR executive in a global hospitality company and has lived and worked in over 12 countries over the past 25 years. After a number of years in various HR leadership roles on a business unit, regional and global level, he returned to his native Switzerland and is currently heading the Human Resources function for his organization’s Europe, Africa, Middle East, and Southwest Asia region. Based on his own purpose, Yves is very passionate about engaging leaders in Mindfulness and bringing Mindful Leadership to the workplace. He is a certified ‘Search Inside Yourself’ teacher, and passionate speaker in conferences and universities on Mindful Leadership, Talent Management, and Leadership Development.

What we will learn in this presentation or interview

Some of the latest neuroscience and behavioral research suggests that resilience – the ability to recover from adversity, adapt and thrive – can be systematically developed as a set of skills, especially in challenging times. Yves will talk about the building of useful behaviors, mental habits, and micro-practices that promote personal resilience and also grow a culture of resilience within teams and organizations.

Free Learning Resources: Growing through Change, Utilising Mindfulness Practices to Improve our State of Mind – with Yves Givel, Building Resilience

Session Title: Adaptive Resilience – How to build resilience to cope with the challenges in our VUCA world, and thrive with the ‘new normal’

Dr Linda Sara Kantor •

I am a founding member of the Institute for Mindfulness South Africa (IMISA), and I teach the Mindfulness Certification Training Course at Stellenbosch University in Cape Town. I also teach Mindful Leadership part-time for the Executive MBA Programme at the UCT Graduate School of Business (GSB) in Cape Town. This programme encourages attitudes of presence, compassion, non-violence, and collaboration in the workplace. My Ph.D. was based on my work at the GSB in Cape Town, looking at “Applications, Understandings and Perceived impact of mindfulness in the organisational context.”

What we will learn in this presentation or interview Some of the experiences and learnings of teaching a compulsory mindfulness training course at the Graduate Business School (GSB).

Free Learning Resources: Why on earth are we staring at Raisins? (Book Chapter No. 5)

Session Title: Why on Earth are We Staring at Raisins?; Mindfulness in a Business School

Lavinia Lucia Costantino •


I’m a professional storyteller, arts therapist, and meditation teacher (Mindfulness meditation and Shamatha Vipashyana). I work with adults, kids, and teens to help them surf their emotions safely and wisely: I am a strong believer that the heart is our compassionate brain and I’m curious to know what the world would be like if we acted accordingly.

What we will learn in this presentation or interview

– What is self-compassion and how it differs from merely patting your back
– How to contact self-compassion in everyday life
– How to grow compassionate kids and why we should all do this
– Compassion and burnout prevention for parents and caregivers
– Why pandemic is the bell that reminds us to practice compassion

Free Learning Resources: Once upon a time there was a virus

Session Title: A Compassionate Way Through and Out of Pandemic

Fiona Jensen •


Fiona Jensen, OTR/L is the Founder of Calmer Choice, a non-profit organization that provides mindfulness-based prevention programs to students and community members. Fiona started Calmer Choice in 2009, in response to the emotional devastation experienced by the community after the tragic death of several Barnstable High School students and graduates. To date, Calmer Choice has reached over 38,000 students. Calmer Choice has collaborated with researchers at Tufts, Yale, and MIT to establish precedents for the impact of mindfulness on the overall health, wellbeing, and academic performance of its participants. Fiona Jensen was featured in the April 2013 issue of Mindful Magazine, Cape Cod Life, and various other publications. In 2014, Fiona Jensen received the Courage of Conscience award on behalf of the Peace Abbey. She has been invited to present at numerous regional conferences around the country, including a Keynote Speaker at the Bridging Hearts and Minds Conference in San Diego in February 2017, and is a thought leader in the field of bringing secular mindfulness into public schools

What we will learn in this presentation or interview

Fiona Jensen will share her experiences running an organization that brings mindfulness programs into public schools. The highs and lows, the mistakes and victories as she started a nonprofit organization that has now worked with over 38,000 students, teachers, and community members. Come learn what works and what does not work in teaching secular mindfulness in public schools. No need to re-invent the wheel!

Free Learning Resource: Calmer Choice Video LibraryResearch, Programs for Adults & Educators

Session Title: Growing a Mindfulness Organization from Scratch?

Paula Ramírez Diazgranados •

Paula Ramírez is a Colombian national. Because of an illness, she became curious about the ways in which human beings can build peace from within and how healing can be inspired and guided through the body. Paula has been Co-Directing Breathe International since 2013 where through mindfulness, somatic bodywork, and anthropology she has worked with teachers in conflict-affected areas, survivors of torture, Gender-Based Violence, and landmines in Colombia and other countries.

What we will learn in this presentation or interview

In this talk, we will learn about a mindfulness program called Respira. This program has been implemented since 2013 in armed conflicted places in Colombia. It will share how mindfulness practice has been used to uncover local/cultural resources and restore dignity when connecting to the present in a place of high demand and pressure.

Free Learning Resources:

Session Title: Restoring Dignity: Mindfulness for Education in Colombia

Dr Lucy J Draper-Clarke •

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I am a facilitator and researcher-practitioner, with a Ph.D. in Mindfulness and Teacher Education, running retreats around Southern Africa. My academic work includes the supervision of postgraduate students at the University of the Witwatersrand, with a current focus on Compassionate Activism for a life-sustaining society. I aim to offer the mindfulness skills we all need to alleviate stress, increase resilience and cultivate wise, compassionate action.

What we will learn in this presentation or interview

At times of crisis, we fluctuate between hyper- and hypo-arousal states. How do we return to a state of calm where we can think clearly and creatively, and relate to each other with compassion? Contemplative practices and the healing arts can be used effectively to soothe our nervous system. Practices of stillness, silence, and solitude balanced with movement, music, and community hold the key to self-regulation and co-regulation. The Healing Arts have been used for thousands of years by indigenous communities in the global South, and offer an essential return to present-moment awareness and social connection.

Free Learning Resources: Companions on the Path: the healing arts

Session Title: The Healing Arts: Caring for Ourselves and Others at Times of Crisis

Book: The Compassionate Activist: Transforming the World from Within

Marek Vich •


I am a teacher, researcher, and dedicated practitioner of mindfulness and self-compassion. I am helping individuals, teachers, and organisations better psychologically handle challenges of the modern time. I create podcasts and videos. I have co-created an evidence-based training program called Relational Mindfulness Training (RMT), as well as organisations Mindfulness Club and Evolucio Space. In 2017, I received a doctoral degree (Ph.D.) at the department of managerial psychology and sociology of the Prague University of Economics and Business. I am also working as an assistant professor at the department of management there right now.

What we will learn in this presentation or interview

How can self-compassion and mindfulness heal an inner child among students and teachers in higher education?

Free Learning Resources: Marek Vich – Mindful Podcast (in czech only)

Session Title: Taking Care of the Inner Child in Higher Education: Healing Capacities of Self-compassion and Mindfulness

Karina Neira •

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Karina Neira is a graduate English Teacher based in Buenos Aires, Argentina with more than 20 years of experience in Education. Director of Studies at Warwick Consultancy and owner of Enraizar con Mindfulness. She is a certified mindfulness instructor for children and adolescents at The International Academy for Mindful Teaching (AMT) Method Eline Snel and she is a Mindful Educator Essentials Graduate at Mindful Schools. She has specialized in Mindfulness for Educators and Trauma-Sensitive Mindfulness. As a teacher trainer, she has delivered continuous professional development programs and workshops on Teacher Wellbeing and Social-Emotional Learning.

What we will learn in this presentation or interview

Today more than ever, we teachers need tools and strategies to remain focused and calm in the face of difficult times and uncertainty. Not just for our own benefit but because of the impact that we have on our learners. Mindfulness is a powerful tool to help us teachers develop resilience when we need it the most, and enliven our teaching by promoting presence, empathy, and compassion– the inner resources we need to support our students’ mental and emotional well-being. We will explore how mindful awareness can help us orchestrate healthy and supportive classroom dynamics, boost our enjoyment for teaching, and cope with the new challenges and demands we are all facing in Covid times.

Free Learning Resources: Guía de autocuidado para el educador

Session Title: The Mindful Teacher: The Challenge of Being Present in Difficult Times

Didde Flor Rotne •

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In addition to being a Leadership and business coach, I am a trained Purpose Guide ™ and I work as a mentor at the Purpose Guide Institute in Ca. I am also a Meditation Teacher and I support Leaders and Corporate executives to become purpose-driven, wholehearted, and courageous leaders through mindfulness and purpose work. Together with Nikolaj Flor Rotne I am the author of four books and founder of the Stillness Revolution.

What we will learn in this presentation or interview

You’ll learn how mindfulness and purpose work creates a thriving and passionate work life. A work-life where you step forward with your unique gifts and through doing so makes an important contribution to the world.

Free Learning Resources: Two guided meditations by Didde Flor Rotne 1) Morning Miracle Meditation 2) Meditation – Bring out the best in yourself and others

Session Title: Mindfulness and Purpose in Your Worklife 

Book: Everybody Present. Mindfulness in Education

Berenice Boxler •

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Berenice Boxler is a mindfulness teacher based in the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg. Ever since
her first encounter with mindfulness, she has continued to learn and grow further on the path
(MBSR, trauma-sensitive mindfulness, mindful communication, self-care, mindful schools,
integrative mindfulness). She is very active in bringing mindfulness into schools by teaching
staff and educational personnel, as well as offering courses for parents, Police, and public service

What we will learn in this presentation or interview
No matter how big a country or how great a role one has, it all comes down to showing up.
Showing up to life, to the other person, to this moment. Mindfulness and wakefulness is needed
more than ever to dare to show up as a human being, not as a perfect teacher or a flawless

Free Learning Resources: Guided meditations and Blog-articles, Blog

Session Title: Small Country, Small Impact

Smriti Sharma • 


I have worked as a Montessori guide and within the British curriculum from EYFS to KS1 and KS2. This overview gives me a holistic view of child development from ages 3 to 12. I believe that cultivating mindfulness, a growth mindset, and social-emotional learning need to take front and center stage when working with children in these VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous) times. Incorporating well-being into the curriculum and hands-on practice with children learning themselves, through play and directing their own learning are all crucial elements in quality pedagogy for me.
My experience straddles teaching and development work, which is an asset as I keep up-to-date with the latest trends, research, and innovations in the field of education. I have taught in classrooms directly face-to-face with children and worked on programs in educational development; so have both practical and theoretical knowledge. My approach is collaborative, democratic, inclusive, equitable with a focus on observing, listening, and an organic style of coming to solutions to problems. I have worked in several countries from Afghanistan to Zanzibar and I am currently based in Nairobi, Kenya.

What we will learn in this presentation or interview
How connecting with nature helps to heal us and children. Sharing experiences from our unique
pilot programme called Nurture ‘n’ Nature, held in Karura forest, Nairobi, Kenya.

Session Title: Experiments with Eco-therapy and Mindfulness for Children in a Forest Setting

Carol Kavele Kagunyi •

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Mindfulness teacher/Licensed Counsellor. Sharing mindfulness living tips to enhance your mental health

Free Learning Resource: Guided Mindfulness Meditation on ‘Dealing with unhealthy habits’

Session Title: How to Foster Self-compassion as a Mindfulness Practice in the Home and School Environment

Anne Maj Nielsen •


Anne Maj Nielsen, Ma. Psych., Ph.D., & psychotherapist, holds a position as ass. professor in
psychology and learning at the School of Education, Aarhus University, and is affiliated the research
program ‘Early childhood Education and care in everyday life.’ Her research centers on
children’s, and professionals’, lived experiences, learning, and development in daycare and
school, and potentials of contemplative practices, mindfulness, and relationship building.

What we will learn in this presentation or interview
Stressful encounters in education and care appear to have become even more difficult for the
professionals during Covid-conditions, putting mental and emotional wellbeing and supportive
relationship-building at risk. Our studies showed embodied contemplative practices of
mindfulness and compassion to be helpful for preschool teachers and teachers to become
presently aware during intersubjective encounters with children in stressful everyday conditions
and reduce stress and discomfort for the professionals and the children/students. We found
relational awareness and responsivity could become objects of reflection and education when
educational practices included deliberate work on embodied experience and mediational means
to reflect on and change experienced inter-corporeity.
The embodied practices in our studies were inspired by practices of mindfulness and
compassion, which was adjusted according to how the participants experienced their
significance. The flexibly adjusted exercises and discourses appeared to provide participants
with the mediational embodied and discoursive means to become relationally aware in difficult

Free Learning Resources: Affectivity and Relational Awareness in Pedagogy and Education – moments of hesitation in intersubjective encounters

Session Title: Mindfulness and Other Contemplative Practices Can Support Hope, Relationship-Building and Care in Education

Book: Impacting Teaching and Learning
Contemplative Practices, Pedagogy, and Reseach in
Eds: E. H. Dorman, K. Byrnes, and J. E. Dalton.
Rowman and Littlefield, 2018.

Jana Kyriakou •

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Jana Kyriakou is a certified and experienced teacher, lecturer and consultant in yoga and yoga therapy for postural and mental health, mindfulness, body-image and self-respect. She has years of experience applying these evidence-based methods to youth work, education as well as in a business environment and in working with individuals in the Czech Republic and internationally. Jana co-founded Motion Digital, a start-up organisation based in Prague, which focuses on bringing access to resources for social-emotional and mindfulness based learning and inclusion to schools and youth work according to EU needs and goals.

What we will learn in this presentation or interview 

The Covid pandemic has thrown us into an online world. While the time spent in the digital world brings many worrisome issues indeed, Jana will attempt to advocate for the opportunities technology can bring to young learners and the adults who support them. The European Union’s goal is to support children’s, youth and teachers’ well being, mental health and inclusion as well as to combat stigma around these topics. Digital learning is a key EU priority in the fast developing world and when used mindfully it can foster connection, especially in this pandemic isolation crisis, and universal accessibility to educational resources which include mindfulness and social-emotional learning.

Jana Kyriakou co-founded a start-up organisation in Czech Republic – Motion Digital, which cooperates with other professionals, NGO’s and educational institutions across Europe. They co- create and disseminate learning materials about social-emotional learning, wellbeing, inclusion and sexual education based on mindfulness, positive psychology, yoga, body-awareness and body-positivity and mindful self-compassion. These learning resources for parents, teachers, youth workers and children and youth are disseminated through trainings, conferences and interactive elearning tools. These include educational presentations, interactive quizzes, audio and video recordings, comics, infographics, digital escape rooms and are FREE for professionals and the public.
Jana will introduce two such EU funded projects:
1. Project SAFE YOUTH about sexual education, gender diversity, mental health, mindfulness and self-compassion for youth and youth workers
2. Project RESILIENT PRESCHOOLS about bringing positive psychology and mindfulness into preschool education and supporting the children’s and teachers’ wellbeing, social-emotional learning and resilience.
Jana also works with teen girls and their parents and will introduce her digital workbook for mothers of teen girls in which she offers reflective exercises and mindfulness based practices for supporting both teens and their parents in:
• working with stress and anxiety
• building a loving relationship with their bodies
• developing self-compassion and self-confidence
• nurturing blossoming and mindful relationships

Free Learning Resources: Resilient Preschools – positive psychology and mindfulness: toolkit for preschool teachers

Safe Youth – sexuality and wellbeing education for youth workers (free learning materials)

Session Title: Mindfulness & Digital learning resources for children, youth and the adults impacting their lives

Book: Blossoming Together – Digital workbook
Practical Step-by-Step Survival Guide for Loving
Mothers of Teen Daughters.

Dr. Arist von Hehn •


Dr. Arist von Hehn has been working as a consultant with a focus on strategy, organisation, and human resources since 2003. Until 2008 he has been working as a consultant and later project manager for McKinsey & Company in Berlin. Among his clients were international telecommunication and energy companies, governments, public enterprises as well as non-profit organisations.

In 2006 Arist co-founded the non-profit Teach First Deutschland GmbH, which is promoting a fair educational system ( He was CEO of the organisation from 2009 to 2012 with the responsibilities to lead negotiations with the public sector, personnel, fundraising, and communication. From 2013 to 2017 Arist was Vice President, Strategy and Governance of the global education network Teach For All ( Since 2014 Arist has been working as a consultant and coach for RETURN ON MEANING GmbH. He studied law in Germany and France, acquired a Master in International Law (LL.M.) in Sweden, and is an accredited attorney. He is a certified management coach, trainer, and mediator. He lives with his family in Berlin.

Free Learning Resource: Meditation Files

Session Title: Research Into Well-being

Dzung X. Vo,

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Dzung X. Vo, MD, is a pediatrician specializing in Adolescent Medicine, founding Director of the BC Children’s Hospital Centre for Mindfulness, and a Clinical Associate Professor and Division Head for the Division of Adolescent Health and Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, at BC Children’s Hospital and the University of British Columbia Faculty of Medicine in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. In partnership with Dr. Jake Locke, Dr. Vo co-developed MARS-A (Mindful Awareness and Resilience Skills for Adolescents), an eight-week mindfulness training program for adolescents with depressive symptoms, with or without other co-occurring chronic illness or chronic pain. Dr. Vo also developed a Mindful Healing course for health care providers, adapted from Mindful Practice (Ron Epstein and Michael Krasner) and other sources.

What we will learn in this presentation or interview 
Dzung Vo and his friend and colleague Christopher Willard will discuss how the pandemic has affected the mental health of children, parents and caregivers, and youth-serving professionals. In this context, They will explore recent developments in mindfulness for adolescents, for parents and caregivers, and for youth-serving professionals.

Free Learning Resource: Breathr app

Session Title: Mindfulness and Mental Health in the Pandemic

Book: The Mindful Teen: Powerful Skills to Help You Handle Stress One Moment at a Time

Rikke Braren Lauritzen •

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I’m a family therapist now working in the Social Administration where all families have the right to public social services in case of problems with children and adolescents as we meet them in school or in the homes. We provide family therapy, individual therapy, and consultations to a broad audience, and in some of my families, I offer mindfulness as a therapeutic tool, both with the kids and teenagers and with their parents.
As I have worked with Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction as a Certified MBSR-teacher for adults and teenagers, I have developed a lot of materials and published a book in Danish and English for kids, teenagers, teachers, and parents. I may be an inspiration for people who work with kids and adolescents or with families.

What we will learn in this presentation or interview 
Mindfulness in Family Therapy

Free Learning Resource: Mindfulness Baseret

Session Title: Mindfulness as a tool in Family Therapy

Book: Mind the Dog: Building Presence and Friendship in School and Everyday Life (Amazon, 2020)

Amy Burke •

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Amy is an educational consultant who spent 15 years as a high school teacher and guidance counsellor in Canada and The Netherlands.

She holds a Master’s Degree in Contemplative Education from Naropa University and in 2012 co-founded MindWell whose aim is to support educational communities in fostering wellbeing through mindfulness and social-emotional learning.

She is a lead teacher trainer for the Mindfulness in Schools Project (UK) and has completed curriculum training with Gina Biegel (MBSR-T) and Dr. Amy Saltzman (Still Quiet Place). Amy is also a facilitator for the CARE program (Cultivating Awareness and Resilience in Educators) from the Garrison Institute and supports the Community of Contemplative Education through Mind & Life Europe. She is also a Mentor for Inward Bound Mindfulness Education (iBme, UK) teen retreats and is currently working on a book for SAGE/Corwin with Kevin Hawkins which will be published in early 2021.

Amy works internationally in schools and universities providing workshops and retreats for educators, students, and parents with a focus on self-care and stress management.

What we will learn in this presentation or interview

In this interview, Amy and Kevin will talk about their new book which provides educators with a
range of practical activities and approaches to help sustain positive mental health for their students
and themselves. The combination of Mindful Awareness Training with Social Emotional Learning
promotes the development of Awareness-based Well-being in school communities.

Free Learning Resource: “A Little Guide to Mindfulness,” Mini-Training – 23 minute video about the work we do, Discount Code for our New Book

Session Title: The Mindful Teacher’s Toolkit

Book: The Mindful Teacher’s Toolkit: Awareness-based wellbeing in schools


Kevin Hawkins •

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Kevin has worked with adolescents and young people in various contexts for over 30 years – as a teacher, school head, and social worker in the UK, Africa, and Europe.  

He currently lives in Valencia, Spain, and was previously in the Czech Republic where for 10 years he was Middle School Principal at the International School of Prague.  Kevin trained in mindfulness in Europe and the USA and he has taught mindfulness to students, teachers, and parents since 2008.  

In 2012 he co-founded MindWell, which supports educational communities around the world in developing wellbeing through mindfulness and social-emotional learning. Kevin is a Senior Trainer for the Mindfulness in Schools Project (UK) and a facilitator of the evidence-based CARE program (Cultivating Awareness and Resilience in Educators).  

He is a regular speaker, writer, and presenter on the topics of wellbeing, leadership, mindfulness, and social and emotional learning in education.  His first book, Mindful Teacher, Mindful School: Improving wellbeing in teaching and learning, was published by SAGE in July 2017.  Kevin is currently working on a second book, also for SAGE/Corwin with Amy Burke which will be published in early 2021.

What we will learn in this presentation or interview

In this interview, Amy and Kevin will talk about their new book which provides educators with a
range of practical activities and approaches to help sustain positive mental health for their students
and themselves. The combination of Mindful Awareness Training with Social Emotional Learning
promotes the development of Awareness-based Well-being in school communities.

Free Learning Resource: “A Little Guide to Mindfulness,” Mini-Training – 23 minute video about the work we do, Discount Code for our New Book

Session Title: The Mindful Teacher’s Toolkit

Book: The Mindful Teacher’s Toolkit: Awareness-based wellbeing in schools


Lisa Baylis •

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Lisa Baylis has been sharing wellbeing strategies for the last 20 years. A natural-born connector with an innate ability to make people feel valued and heard, she is a teacher, a counsellor, a facilitator, and a mother. Lisa is a published author of Self-Compassion for Educators as well as, the creator of the AWE Method — Awakening the Wellbeing for Educators — which merges self-care, mindfulness, and self-compassion.

Session Title: Self Care and Self Compassion for Educators

Grant Rix •

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Grant is a leader in mindfulness training, delivery, and research in New Zealand. While at the Mental Health Foundation of NZ, Grant created New Zealand’s own evidence-based, curriculum-aligned mindfulness in schools program: Pause, Breathe, Smile, which is now being delivered in over 250 schools nationwide.

Grant has presented on mindfulness in New Zealand, Australia, and China and has been involved in researching the effects of the Pause, Breathe, Smile program in New Zealand schools alongside researchers from AUT University and the University of Auckland. He has co-authored four published papers and a book chapter in Mindfulness and Education: Research and Practice.

Together with Natasha Rix, Grant founded the Mindfulness Education Group in 2016 to train school teachers, counsellors, and psychologists, to deliver the Pause, Breathe, Smile program for the benefit of our children and young people.

Session Title: Self-Compassion for Educators

Richard Joannides​ •

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As a full-time father of three boys, Richard is passionate about children and education and has been working for the last five years as a teacher and Director of Social Emotional Learning. Richard is also a play therapist with young children diagnosed with cancer at the Fundeni Hospital in Bucharest. He has over 10 years of experience with Mindfulness Parenting and teaching and has traveled the world to attend many courses, retreats, and workshops in America, Europe, and Asia, led by such eminent teachers as Jack Kornfield, John Kabat-Zinn, and Susan Kaiser. His hobbies include music, guitar, and tennis.

What we will learn in this presentation or interview 
Exploring emotions, self-regulation, and reflective practices through a strength-based resilience lens to create safe spaces for students and teachers to learn and thrive during the Covid pandemic.

Free Learning Resource: Webinar: Heartful Conversations Podcast

Session Title: Practices of Self-Regulation for Students, Parents and Teachers

Lila Vasilescu​ •

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Lila is the director of Verita Foundation, an NGO whose mission is to ignite meaningful change in the lives of underprivileged children and their families by providing educators in the public system the resources needed to develop the academic and social emotional learning skills for students and themselves.
She has over 8 years of experience in non-profit work with children in Romania and over 5 years’ experience teaching Mindfulness and Social-Emotional Learning to children in Verita School and doing training for parents and educators.
She is also a mother and believes in the power of kindness, trusting people’s ability to find inner balance and joy of living and she wishes to contribute to a kinder, more compassionate world for our children and for us all.

What we will learn in this presentation or interview 
Exploring emotions, self-regulation, and reflective practices through a strength-based resilience lens to create safe spaces for students and teachers to learn and thrive during the Covid pandemic.

Free Learning Resource: Webinar: Social Emotional Learning Resources for Wellbeing

Session Title: Practices of Self-Regulation for Students, Parents and Teachers

Shelly Chutke


Shelly has over 15 years of coaching and teaching mindfulness experience. Her goal as a
counsellor is to promote her students’ learning and well-being while also equipping them with
life skills to help them attain their full social, emotional, and intellectual potential. Shelly is a
strong advocate for student well-being and aims to support her students to develop both
knowledge and skills that will enable them to become positive, joyful, and confident learners.

What we will learn in this presentation or interview
In this presentation we will share ways parents can take care of themselves and support their
children. We will also have some suggestions to assist your children deal with some of the
complex emotions that may arise as a result of school closures or returning to school.

Session Title: Supporting Your Child’s Mental Health During COVID-19: How Parents Can Help their Children Navigate their Feelings During School Closures and Re-Openings

Gift Nisanart Dharmageisirattana •

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Trained at Columbia, Yale, India, Thailand, and France on various mindfulness disciplines, Gift introduced and implemented the Mindfulness in Education program which was well-received by all stakeholders at The American School of Bangkok Green Valley since 2012. She has delivered mindfulness presentations at EARCOS Leadership Conference in Malaysia, Asia Pacific International School Conference in Hong Kong, ECIS Leadership Conferences in Luxembourg and Lisbon. In 2018, she published her new mindfulness book, “The Mindful Way” to help parents and educators implement mindfulness in schools. In 2019, she founded the Mindfulness Academy of Asia and serves The Ministry of Education of Thailand, the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand, and many international hospitals.

What we will learn in this presentation or interview 

If you are an organizational leader who wishes to implement mindfulness for well-being for your community, it is common to face resistance by some stakeholders. I will share with you my 20 years experience of how to overcome skepticism and introduce mindfulness in a secular way from an encouraging approach to avoid the idea that people feel forced to practice mindfulness.

Free Learning Resource: How Mindfulness Helps Athletes Improve Performance

Session Title: Why Mindfulness Can Be Difficult to Implement in Schools and Organizations?

Book: The Mindful Way


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Angie is a Certified Mindfulness Instructor and Mindfulness Teacher Trainer working with and
sharing the benefits of mindfulness across the community from children and adolescents to their
parents, teachers, and others working with children. With children and teens she offers the Method
Eline Snel Mindfulness Matters programs and MBSR for adults. She also conducts teacher training
in the Method Eline Snel programs through the Academy for Mindful Teaching (AMT) Asia.

What we will learn in this presentation or interview
My intention is to share insights and reflections on the range of experiences of children and their
parents and teachers and the impact of mindfulness during this unusual time in which we are
living. As I am fortunate to offer mindfulness to children in both the school and private setting
as well as teaching and working with others to bring Mindfulness Matters to the children in their
lives, I have insights into the effect of mindfulness on children across cultures and age groups in
Hong Kong. These experiences and observations as well as those shared by our AMT teachers
give me helpful insights that we try to weave into the training and teaching. Culture and
language matters!

Free Learning Resource: Research Papers

Session Title: Mindfulness In Hong Kong

Joana Leite da Cunha Sampaio de Carvalho • 

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PhD Psychology of Education; Diretora área da educação – Instituto Mindfulness

My latest research “Effects of a Mindfulness-Based Intervention for Teachers: a Study on Teacher and Student Outcomes” has just been published with SpringNature in Mindfulness. Read here:

Free Learning Resource: Effects of a Mindfulness-Based Intervention for Teachers: A Study on Teacher and Student Outcomes

Session Title: ReMind(ful) to Care for Teachers and Students

Book: Mindfulness em contexto educacional

Ragna Gudjonsdottir •


Hi. I’m Ragna (Ragnheiður Guðjónsdóttir for those fluent in Icelandic ) and I’m known as the Icelandic Queen of Calm.

I help professional woman activate their soothing system so they can relax, recharge and reconnect to themselves and find their inner peace and calm within so they can meet their Best Future Self and live the life of their dream. 

I have both an academic and other background and have been teaching for a decade now. I´ve taught everything from nutrition, biology, microbiology to meditation, yoga, mindful eating, less stress, better sleep and my favorite yoga nidra. 

I began teaching courses online in 2015, a form which I absolutely love, being a busy professional, mother and wife myself. 

Free Learning Resource: Vlogs

Session Title: How to Use Self-Compassion and Mindful Awareness to Find Calm in the Chaos

Sarabsri Kaur


Sarabsri teaches Mindfulness, Compassion, Communication, Gender, and Diversity Support training to individuals and organizations. She has a Masters in Gender, Literature, and Spirituality from the University of Liverpool(UK). She is also a Trained and affiliated Mindfulness Facilitator through the Mindful Awareness Research Center at the University of California, Los Angeles. She has more than 20 years of experience in the education and social sector working with a diverse population. She is the founder of ‘The Training Cafe’, a nonprofit venture that brings mindfulness, inclusivity, and compassion-based training for teachers and children in urban and rural education.

What we will learn in this presentation or interview 
Can Mindfulness help us reduce bias in educational systems? What does it mean to be truly inclusive and how can we find direction, coaching in Mindfulness-based practices?

Free Learning Resource: Free Mindful Inclusion Practice Session

Session Title: Mindful Inclusion: Initiating Compassionate Interventional Dialogue on Bias in Educational Systems

Anh-Le Ho-Gia

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I am a senior advisor, curriculum developer, and teacher trainer for Happiness-Based Education schools in Central Vietnam. With two preschools and one primary school in operation, we have cultivated joy and happiness for over 1,000 students by integrating mindfulness as a whole-school approach. I have also trained over 600 teachers in both public and private schools in Vietnam in cultivating happiness and wellbeing in education through mindfulness practices.

What we will learn in this presentation or interview 
In this presentation, Anh-Le will share about her experiences sharing mindfulness in university settings in both Vietnam and Singapore. Her work inspires compassion, empathy and a new outlook for students. Of special interest is her work on a course in Vietnam developed for teachers which is compulsory and helps teachers develop their own wellbeing.

Free Learning Resource: Mindfulness in Education

Session Title: A Heartfelt Talk About the Practice of Mindfulness in Higher Education in Both Singapore and Vietnam

Prof. Katherine Weare • 

Katherine Weare is an Emeritus Professor at the Universities of Exeter and Southampton in the UK. 

Katherine is the parent of three adoptive children. Originally a teacher before she moved to work in universities, she has focused throughout her life and her career on promoting the well-being of children and young people, and those who live and work with them. She has published widely in the field, reviewing the evidence base on ‘what works’, advising policymakers and governments, and developing practical strategies and programmes across Europe to promote positive wellbeing, tackle mental health problems and promote social and emotional skills focusing particularly on the need for joined up, holistic approaches. She has always been interested in meditation but 15 years ago took up formal mindfulness and trained as a teacher of MBSR/MBCT and has integrated this into her academic and practical work around wellbeing. She currently advises various mindfulness projects such as the UK Mindfulness in Schools Project, the Plum Village mindfulness community, and the UK government. Her recent book, co-written a book with Thich Nhat Hanh ‘Happy Teachers Change The World: a guide to cultivating mindfulness in education’ has proved to be a best-seller, and is currently being translated into a wide range of languages and launched across the world. She is a board member for Mind and Life Europe, a not for profit set up by the Dali Lama, and is currently working with them on a new project to develop networks, support and pilot projects across Europe to cultivate a whole child approach that includes hearts as well as minds.

Free Learning Resource: Evidence for Mindfulness Impact on School Staff

Session Title: Mindfulness in Education: Where Are We Now

Book: Happy Teachers Change the World: a guide to cultivating mindfulness in education. Thich Nhat Hanh and Katherine Weare. 

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