Festival of hope & despair
It is spring 2021. The fresh green colours in nature seem to give some hope after a bleak winter of many COVID-infections and lockdowns. There also seem to be long-term problems that could make us despair, such as authoritarian governments, inequalities of wealth and health, and climate change. How can we make sense of our world in turmoil? How can we build a meaningful society with these challenges? Can we directly move from despair to hope, or should we also pay attention to feelings of despair and outrage?
Join us at our Festival of Hope and Despair on Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 May 2021! We warmly welcome you, your hopes and desperations, at three days of lectures, workshops, music, art, support groups, fun and conncetions. Listen to world-leading psychologists, philosophers, politicians, biologists and other experts. Share your own thoughts and feelings, and develop your self-insight, during our support groups. Build your professional skills as therapist, researcher, coach, counsellor or other practitioner in one of our many workshops. Get inspired by our music and art events, and express yourself!
Please share your own inspiration by giving a lecture, workshop, concert, art or social events! Details about how to submit an abstract with your proposal will be published in the beginning of January 2021.
Both hope and despair can be blind. Therefore, we should not ask whether it is better to hope or to despair about our world, but whether we dare to open our eyes. (Joel Vos, 2021)
Submit your proposal!
This is our conference - YOUR conference! Share and organise a workshop, lecture, music or art event, or anything else! We will respond ASAP. The only requirement is that you can do this via Zoom on your computer.
Reserve your place now! Very early bird price!
The prices will go up on 1 February 2021. The price inludes access to the live conferences & recordings after the conference.
About IMEC Conferences
The IMEC International Meaning Conferences are annual conferences for practitioners and researchers who focus on meaning in life and at helping people to live a meaningful life despite life’s challenges.
Our conferences started as bi-annual conferences (2017, 2019). We will now be organising these at least once per year combining in-person live events in London and online events. The conferences bring individuals from multiple academic disciplines from all over the world together: participants have included humanistic, existential, and phenomenological therapists and researchers, positive psychologists, transpersonal and spiritual speakers, priests, philosophers, nurses, psychiatrists, anthropologists, sociologists, social activists, and human resource managers.
The conferences are always combined with the other IMEC events, such as music, poetry and art, and political debates. Whereas other academic conferences can be alienating, we aim to connect participants with each other and build authentic relationships. We offer a stage not only for world-leading speakers, but also for enthusiastic practitioners, students, and artists. To make the conferences accessible for everyone, we aim to organise the conference online each two years, and in the years in between we will organise a conference in person. We aim to publish the lectures in an annual book publication, in collaboration with the University Professors Press.
Organisation: Chair Joel Vos; Secretary: Natalie Fraser; Scientific Committee
Next event: April 2021 online ‘Festival Of Hope and Despair’ Date: TBC
If you join a conference some legal bits may apply to you: read here
General principles of IMEC Conferences
- Focus on connecting individuals and stimulating collaborations
- Multi-disciplinary (psychology, anthropology, philosophy, theology, sociology, humanities, politics, etc.)
- Pluralistic (not one specific meaning-centered ‘school’ of practice or research)
- Connect research and practice
- Any type of practices, e.g. therapists, priests, nurses, community workers, social workers, political activists
- Any type of research, e.g. phenomenological, quantitative, sociological, clinical, community activities, philosophical explorations
- Creative formats of connecting and learning, eg workshops, debates, etc
- Practical tools for practitioners
- Research inspiration and tools for researchers
- Meaning in different contexts: therapy, coaching, research, work, church, nursing, social activism, community events, etc.
- Evidence-based, where ‘evidence’ can be quantitative or qualitative research, clinical experience or systematic conceptual work
- At the end of the conference, create a joint conference statement with audience and keynote speakers, and publish this
- Accessible for as many individuals as possible (eg low fees for students and unwaged)
- Integration with online tools; e.g. live broadcasting of all sessions online (webinars) + make these available online, so that individuals anywhere in the world can follow this; after the conference, individuals can be in touch with each other via Meaning Online where they can create profiles and upload their research/presentations + presenters who cannot attend the conference can present online
Keep updated about IMEC Conferences!
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