This event brought together mindfulness practitioners and researchers from diverse backgrounds and viewpoints to explore the following overarching theme: What are the implications and possibilities for social, political and environmental change as mindfulness practice becomes more widespread in society?

Find out more about how we framed the event on this flyer.

The event was held on 19-20 April 2018, in Birmingham, UK, and was a collaborative effort organised by members of the Mindfulness and Social Change Network which include representatives from Present Minds, Aberystwyth University, Cardiff University and the Open University.

The 40 participants included mindfulness practitioners and researchers interested in this theme, working in communities, schools, universities, government, public sector, business, civil society and social movements etc.

The aims were to promote debate, share innovation and inspire new ideas; and to connect with others and deepen relationships in a growing community of socially-engaged mindfulness practitioners and researchers.

The format was participatory – participants shaped the programme and offered talks relevant to the overarching theme; there were open spaces for discussion, and workshops on particular themes. There was also space for mindfulness practice. A total of 16 attendees offered talks and 4 offered mini-workshops.

Here are the titles of talks and workshops at the event:

Session 1: Rethinking mindfulness 1
Mindfulness as social and environmental change – developing a new transition science to move mindfulness from the therapeutic to the political.
Mindfulness as relational resistance in reclaiming humanity in a dehumanising world

Session 2: Rethinking mindfulness 2
Towards Transdisciplinarity?
Diversities of difference in mindfulness-based approaches

Session 3: Diversity and inclusion
Exclusion by Omission: A systematic review of diversity variables in mindfulness based interventions
Decolonising mindfulness – the < 1%: why race still matters?
A personal reflection of the UK BME experience of mindfulness and the mindfulness community

Session 4: Attention economy
What is the ‘attention economy’? How is it shaping our cultural, social, economic and political worlds?
The Mindful Commons: a critical response to the attention economy
Wiping the dust from the mirror

Session 5: Politics and policy
Mindfulness in political process and policy-making
Being and Governance:  The test of mindfulness’ radical potential
Exploring the effects of mindfulness in political argumentation and strategies

Session 6: Sharing new forms of practice
Mindfulness and nature connection for pro-environmental action
The Social Mindfulness Toolbox
Mindfulness and social change teaching in practice

Workshops
A mindful path to compassionate inclusion
Bringing the wisdom dimension back into mindfulness
Teaching social, embodied mindfulness: empowering praxis with purpose
The PROSOCIAL approach; cultivating “teal” group perspective

The event report is available for members on our community platform.

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