Speakers and Sessions

NOTE: Due to high demand, additional attendees will view Friday's keynotes in the overflow room. Please call 781-449-4010 x 101 if you have any questions.

CULTIVATING COMPASSIONATE CHILDREN

The importance of empathy in the classroom and student development has become more recognized in recent years. However, researchers at Indiana University have found that empathy in American college students has been in decline over the past few decades, with the biggest declines corresponding to the rise in social media, narcissism, bullying, and social isolation. Fortunately, researchers in the cognitive and social sciences are findings ways to reduce conflict, bullying, and bad behavior, as well as ways to train positive emotions (such as empathy, compassion, self-compassion, kindness, gratitude, cooperation, hope, and altruism) in children. Join us in San Francisco this February to explore the “Science of Human Goodness” and how empathy, compassion, and kindness are hardwired in the brain and are essential for human survival. Learn how to cultivate empathy and compassion in your students; discover how to reduce bullying and suspensions; and examine new ways to strengthen compassion, cooperation, collaboration, and achievement in children and teens.

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LEARNING OBJECTIVES

You will gain knowledge about:
  • The science of human goodness and bad behaviors
  • Promoting altruism, fairness, empathy, and compassion
  • Ways schools can cultivate compassion and gratitude in kids
  • Class management and encouraging empathetic, positive discipline
  • How to teach kindness, self-compassion, and mindfulness in schools
  • The benefits of promoting cooperation and social-emotional learning
  • How to battle bullying and use technology to train prosocial behavior
  • The biological and evolutionary roots of altruists and psychopaths
  • Improving school behavior and climate with restorative practices
  • Raising kind, confident, and compassionate students and teens
  • Effects of executive skills and digital technology on reading
  • Enhancing empathy through stories and design thinking

Featured Speakers

Welcome Remarks/Presentation: The Power of Empathy and Compassion to Change Lives: A Personal Story

James R. Doty, MD

The Science of Human Goodness: Cultivating Compassion and Hope

Dacher J. Keltner, PhD

Professor of Psychology; Director, Berkeley Social Interaction Laboratory, University of California, Berkeley; Co-Director, Greater Good Science Center; Author, Awe: The New Science of Everyday Wonder and How It Can Transform Your Life (2023) and Born to Be Good: The Science of a Meaningful Life (2009); Co-Author, “Awe Sparks Prosociality in Children” (2023, Psychological Science), “The Magic of Hope: Hope Mediates the Relationship Between Socioeconomic Status and Academic Achievement” (2017, Educational Research) and Understanding Emotions (2013); Co-Editor, The Gratitude Project: How the Science of Thankfulness Can Rewire Our Brains for Resilience, Optimism, and the Greater Good (2020) and The Compassionate Instinct: The Science of Human Goodness (2010)

Against Empathy: The Case for Rational Compassion    More Info

Paul A. Bloom, PhD

Professor of Psychology, University of Toronto; Brooks and Suzanne Ragen Professor Emeritus of Psychology, Yale University; Co-Editor, Behavioral and Brain Sciences Journal; Author, Psych: The Story of the Human Mind (2023), The Sweet Spot: The Pleasures of Suffering and the Search for Meaning (2021); Against Empathy: The Case for Rational Compassion (2016), and Just Babies: The Origins of Good and Evil (2013); Co-Author, "In Praise of Empathic AI" (2024, Trends in Cognitive Sciences) and "Brain Functional Connectivity Predicts Depression and Anxiety During Childhood and Adolescence (2023, Biological Psychiatry)

How to Raise (Human) Goodness

Michele Borba, EdD

Psychologist; Educator; Bullying Prevention and Character Development Expert; Author, Thrivers: The Surprising Reasons Why Some Kids Struggle and Others Shine (2021), End Peer Cruelty, Build Empathy: The Proven 6Rs of Bullying Prevention That Create Inclusive, Safe, Caring Schools (2018), Unselfie: Why Empathetic Kids Succeed in Our All-About-Me World (2016), The Big Book of Parenting Solutions (2009), No More Misbehavin': 38 Difficult Behaviors and How to Stop Them (2005), and Building Moral Intelligence: The Seven Essential Virtues That Teach Kids to Do the Right Thing (2002)

Better Schools for Teen Brains: Executive Function, Empathy, and Social-Emotional Learning

John J. Medina, PhD

The Science and Power of Compassion: Cultivating Empathy, Altruism, and Connection

Kelly M. McGonigal, PhD

Health Psychologist; Award-Winning Psychology Lecturer, Stanford University; Invited Lecturer, Stanford University School of Medicine; Creator, Stanford Compassion Cultivation Training, Stanford Center for Compassion and Altruism; Recipient of the Walter J. Gores Award, Stanford University’s highest teaching honor; Author, The Joy of Movement: How Exercise Helps Us Find Happiness, Hope, Connections, and Courage (2019), The Upside of Stress (2016), and The Willpower Instinct (2011)

The Power of Mindfulness in Parenting and Education    More Info

Shauna L. Shapiro, PhD

The Good News About Bad Behavior

Katherine Reynolds Lewis, BS

A New View on Empathy: How to Hack Our Ability to Understand Others at School and in Life    More Info

Jamil Zaki, PhD

Director, Social Neuroscience Lab; Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, Stanford University; Co-Founder, The People’s Science; Author, Hope for Cynics: The Surprising Science of Human Goodness (Forthcoming) and The War for Kindness: Building Empathy in a Fractured World (2019); Co-Author, "A Brief Intervention to Motivate Empathy Among Middle School Students” (2022, Experimental Psychology), “Social Belonging, Compassion, and Kindness: Key Ingredients for Fostering Resilience, Recovery, and Growth from the COVID-19 Pandemic” (2022, Anxiety, Stress & Coping), and “Empathy as a Moral Force” (2018, Atlas of Moral Psychology)

1) THE SCIENCE OF HUMAN GOOD & EVIL: FROM CONFLICT TO COLLABORATION

The Science of Human Goodness: Cultivating Compassion and Hope

Dacher J. Keltner, PhD

Professor of Psychology; Director, Berkeley Social Interaction Laboratory, University of California, Berkeley; Co-Director, Greater Good Science Center; Author, Awe: The New Science of Everyday Wonder and How It Can Transform Your Life (2023) and Born to Be Good: The Science of a Meaningful Life (2009); Co-Author, “Awe Sparks Prosociality in Children” (2023, Psychological Science), “The Magic of Hope: Hope Mediates the Relationship Between Socioeconomic Status and Academic Achievement” (2017, Educational Research) and Understanding Emotions (2013); Co-Editor, The Gratitude Project: How the Science of Thankfulness Can Rewire Our Brains for Resilience, Optimism, and the Greater Good (2020) and The Compassionate Instinct: The Science of Human Goodness (2010)

How to Raise (Human) Goodness

Michele Borba, EdD

Psychologist; Educator; Bullying Prevention and Character Development Expert; Author, Thrivers: The Surprising Reasons Why Some Kids Struggle and Others Shine (2021), End Peer Cruelty, Build Empathy: The Proven 6Rs of Bullying Prevention That Create Inclusive, Safe, Caring Schools (2018), Unselfie: Why Empathetic Kids Succeed in Our All-About-Me World (2016), The Big Book of Parenting Solutions (2009), No More Misbehavin': 38 Difficult Behaviors and How to Stop Them (2005), and Building Moral Intelligence: The Seven Essential Virtues That Teach Kids to Do the Right Thing (2002)

Against Empathy: The Case for Rational Compassion    More Info

Paul A. Bloom, PhD

Professor of Psychology, University of Toronto; Brooks and Suzanne Ragen Professor Emeritus of Psychology, Yale University; Co-Editor, Behavioral and Brain Sciences Journal; Author, Psych: The Story of the Human Mind (2023), The Sweet Spot: The Pleasures of Suffering and the Search for Meaning (2021); Against Empathy: The Case for Rational Compassion (2016), and Just Babies: The Origins of Good and Evil (2013); Co-Author, "In Praise of Empathic AI" (2024, Trends in Cognitive Sciences) and "Brain Functional Connectivity Predicts Depression and Anxiety During Childhood and Adolescence (2023, Biological Psychiatry)

The Fear Factor: The Neuroscience of Empathy, Altruism, and Psychopaths

Abigail A. Marsh, PhD

The Goodness Paradox: The Strange Relationship Between Virtue and Violence in Human Evolution    More Info

Richard W. Wrangham, PhD

What Children Reveal About the Origins of Altruism and Fairness

Felix Warneken, PhD

Building Collaboration and Collective Student Efficacy

Douglas B. Fisher, PhD

Chair, Department of Educational Leadership, San Diego State University; Classroom Teacher, Health Sciences High and Middle College; Co-Author, Confronting the Crisis of Engagement: Creating Focus and Resilience for Students, Staff, and Communities (2022), The Social-Emotional Learning Playbook (2022), The Restorative Practices Playbook: Tools for Transforming Discipline in Schools (2022), and Removing Labels: 40 Techniques to Disrupt Negative Expectations About Students and Schools (2021)

Developing Collaboration and Inclusion Through Empathy

Britt Andreatta, PhD

Nurturing Connections, Identity, and Pro-Social Skills

Paula Prentis, LMSW

Integrating Social-Emotional Learning and Collaborative Skills in the Classroom

Becky Ladd, PhD

The Science of Prosocial Skills: How Music, Rhythm, and Synchronized Movement Enhance Empathy and Peer Cooperation

Tal-Chen Rabinowitch, PhD

2) THE SCIENCE OF EMPATHY: TEACHING GRATITUDE & PROSOCIAL BEHAVIORS

A New View on Empathy: How to Hack Our Ability to Understand Others at School and in Life    More Info

Jamil Zaki, PhD

Director, Social Neuroscience Lab; Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, Stanford University; Co-Founder, The People’s Science; Author, Hope for Cynics: The Surprising Science of Human Goodness (Forthcoming) and The War for Kindness: Building Empathy in a Fractured World (2019); Co-Author, "A Brief Intervention to Motivate Empathy Among Middle School Students” (2022, Experimental Psychology), “Social Belonging, Compassion, and Kindness: Key Ingredients for Fostering Resilience, Recovery, and Growth from the COVID-19 Pandemic” (2022, Anxiety, Stress & Coping), and “Empathy as a Moral Force” (2018, Atlas of Moral Psychology)

The Roots of Empathy and Prosocial Behavior: Implications for Children

Inbal Ben-Ami Bartal, PhD

Second Nature: Using Neuroscience to Help Kids Develop Empathy and Self-Control

Erin Clabough, PhD

Gratitude Works! The Science and Power of Gratitude

Robert A. Emmons, PhD

The Cultivation of Altruism via Gratitude

Christina M. Karns, PhD

Nurturing the Roots of Empathy in Education

Mary Gordon

Supporting Student Success: Encouraging Empathy and Social-Emotional Learning    More Info

Kathy Perez, EdD

3) THE SCIENCE OF COMPASSION: CULTIVATING KINDNESS IN CHILDREN & CLASSROOMS

The Science and Power of Compassion

Kelly M. McGonigal, PhD

Health Psychologist; Award-Winning Psychology Lecturer, Stanford University; Invited Lecturer, Stanford University School of Medicine; Creator, Stanford Compassion Cultivation Training, Stanford Center for Compassion and Altruism; Recipient of the Walter J. Gores Award, Stanford University’s highest teaching honor; Author, The Joy of Movement: How Exercise Helps Us Find Happiness, Hope, Connections, and Courage (2019), The Upside of Stress (2016), and The Willpower Instinct (2011)

How Compassion Meditation Transforms the Brain and Altruistic Behavior in Young Adults

Helen Y. Weng, PhD

Strategies That Work: How to Raise and Educate Kind Kids    More Info

Thomas E. Lickona, PhD

Making Friends With Yourself: A Mindful Self-Compassion Program for Teens    More Info

Karen Bluth, PhD

A Mindful Approach to Cultivating Care in Education

Lisa Flook, PhD

Hacking School Culture: Designing Compassionate Classrooms

Ellen Feig Gray, MA, CIPP, CPPC

No More Mean Girls: The Secret to Raising Strong, Confident, and Compassionate Girls

Katie F. Hurley, LCSW

4) EMPATHY, TEENS, & TECHNOLOGY: PROSOCIAL GAMES & REDUCING TROLLING/BULLYING

Better Schools for Teen Brains: Executive Function, Empathy, and Social-Emotional Learning

John J. Medina, PhD

Cultivating Compassion, Empathy, and Socialization in an Unbalanced Digital World

Ana R. Homayoun, MA, PPS

Shame Nation: Helping Teens Choose Kindness and Compassion in an Age of Trolling

Sue Scheff

Using Video Games for Prosocial Training in Adolescents

Kurt D. Squire, PhD

Beyond BFFs: Using Digital Technology to Increase Empathy and Prosocial Behavior

Sara H. Konrath, PhD

Be an Upstander, Not a Bystander: 10 Practical Strategies to Reduce Bullying and Create a Positive Culture

Christa M. Tinari, MA

Director, Contemplative-Based Resilience Project, The Garrison Institute; Senior Trainer, Instructional Content Developer, Program Development, and Implementation Specialist for Transformative Social-Emotional Learning; Nationally recognized Specialist for Safe Schools and School Climate; President, PeacePraxis; Former Adjunct Instructor, Temple University; Former High School Student Assistance Counselor, and Director of Prevention Programs at a community-based educational non-profit; Co-Creator of “The School Climate Thermometer”, a survey instrument designed to ‘take the temperature’ of school climate at middle schools; Co-Author, Create a Culture of Kindness in Middle School: 48 Character-Building Lessons to Foster Respect and Prevent Bullying (2017)

Victims of Peer Bullying and Aggression in Schools: Academic and Social Consequences

Gary W. Ladd, EdD

Effects of Adolescents' Social-Emotional Skills and Empathy on Learning: How "I Imagine" Becomes "I Remember"    More Info

Rebecca JM Gotlieb, PhD

5) THE SCIENCE OF BAD BEHAVIOR: PROMOTING POSITIVE DISCIPLINE & RESTORATIVE PRACTICES

How Teacher Empathy Can Reduce Suspensions and Discipline Problems

Jason A. Okonofua, PhD

Positive Discipline: Tools for Classroom Management for Connections, Cooperation, and Conflict Resolution

Jane Nelsen, EdD, LMFT

The Power of Mindfulness in Parenting, Discipline, and Education    More Info

Shauna L. Shapiro, PhD

The Good News About Bad Behavior    More Info

Katherine Reynolds Lewis, BS

6) THE SCIENCE OF STORIES: ENGAGING EMPATHY, READING, & LANGUAGE

Empathy and the Reading Brain in a Digital World

Maryanne Wolf, PhD

Early Education and the Brain: How Goal Directed Attention Changes Math and Reading Circuits in Children

Bruce D. McCandliss, PhD

The Neural Correlates of Empathy and the Narrative Brain    More Info

Jonas T. Kaplan, PhD

Turbocharging the Brain: Influences of Shared Reading Practices and Animated Content in Preschool    More Info

John S. Hutton, MD, MS

Helping Your Child with Language-Based Learning Disabilities Through Positive Collaboration, Empathy, and Kindness

Daniel Franklin, PhD

Make Learning Epic: The Power of Story and Empathy in the Classroom

Trevor Muir, MA

The Power of Academic Conversations for Empathy, Equity, Agency, and Identity

Jeff A. Zwiers, PhD

Beyond the Golden Rule: Critical Civic Empathy in Literacy Instruction

Nicole Mirra, PhD