Speakers and Sessions


Many educators are familiar with Psychologist Abraham Maslow’s “Hierarchy of Needs” and his theory that certain needs must be met before people are motivated to move up to become self-actualized. One of the most important needs is for self-esteem - feeling loved and accepted by yourself and others. Brain, psychological, and developmental research is finding that feeling self-aware, accepted, authentic, confident, and compassionate towards yourself and others is essential for academic achievement and for reaching Maslow’s top needs for self-actualization and self-transcendence – or becoming the best you can be. This conference will explore the importance of accepting one’s self (and others) for achievement. Discover the science of self-awareness, acceptance, authenticity, self-care and mindful self-compassion, self-confidence, and positive self-concepts and identity. Learn ways to becoming a more “authentic” teacher and leader; help students become more aware, confident, and successful, and how your feelings of acceptance, awe, and curiosity impact learning.

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Featured Speakers

Scott Barry Kaufman, PhD

Cognitive Psychologist; Adjunct Professor, Barnard College, Columbia University; Columnist, "Beautiful Minds," Scientific American; Author, “Self-Actualized People in the 21st Century: Integration With Contemporary Theory and Research on Personality and Wellbeing” (2018, Journal of Humanistic Psychology) and Ungifted: Intelligence Redefined (2015); Co-Author, Wired to Create (2016), “The Development of the Awe Experience Scale” (2018, The Journal of Positive Psychology), and “Imagination is the Seed of Creativity (2018, The Cambridge Handbook of Creativity)

Barbara L. Fredrickson, PhD

Kenan Distinguished Professor; Director, Positive Emotions and Psychophysiology Laboratory (PEP Lab), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Author, Love 2.0: How Our Supreme Emotion Affects Everything We Feel, Think, Do, and Become (2013) and Positivity (2009); Co-Author, “Do Contemplative Moments Matter? Effects of Informal Meditation on Emotions and Perceived Social Integration” (2019, Mindfulness), and “Mindfulness Broadens Awareness and Builds Eudaimonic Meaning: A Process Model of Mindful Positive Emotion Regulation” (2015, Psychological Inquiry)

Jonathan Haidt, PhD

Social Psychologist; Thomas Cooley Professor of Ethical Leadership, New York University; Author, The Coddling of the American Mind (2018),The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom (2006) and Flourishing: Positive Psychology and the Life Well-Lived (2002); Co-Author, “The Varieties of Self-Transcendent Experiences” (2017, Review of General Psychology), “Finding Self in the Self-Transcendent Emotions” (2009, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences), and “Moral Psychology in the 21stCentury” (2013, Journal of Moral Education)

Shauna L. Shapiro, PhD

International Mindfulness/Meditation Expert; Clinical Psychologist; Professor of Counseling and Psychology, Santa Clara University; Author, Good Morning, I Love You: Mindfulness and Self-Compassion Practices to Rewire Your Brain for Calm, Clarity and Joy (Forthcoming, 2020); Co-Author, The Art and Science of Mindfulness: Integrating Mindfulness into Psychology and the Helping Professions (2017, 2nd Edition), Mindful Discipline: A Loving Approach to Setting Limits and Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child (2014) and the audio book with Kristin Neff, PhD, The Science of Mindfulness and Self-Compassion: How to Build New Habits to Transform Your Life (2019)

Other Speakers

Mandy Wintink, PhD

Chief Executive Officer and Director, Centre for Applied Neuroscience; Instructor, University of Guelph-Humber; Author, Self Science: A Guide to the Mind and Your Brain's Potential (2016)

Paula Prentis, LMSW

Licensed Social Worker; Co-Founder, Your Self Series, a company that provides social emotional learning curriculum and a corresponding free website, YourSelfSeries.com, that contains free content to teach young teens about health and mental health; Expert in whole child health and wellness, social-emotional learning, adolescent development, and how to build connections in the classroom to optimize learning and life potentials; Co-Author, Reach Before You Teach: Ignite Passion and Purpose in Your Classroom (2013)

Gravity Goldberg, EdD

Educational Consultant; Former Assistant Professor of Education, Iona College; Former Instructor and Staff Developer, Reading and Writing Project, Teachers College, Columbia University; Author, Teach Like Yourself: How Authentic Teaching Transforms Our Students and Ourselves (2018), Mindsets and Moves: Strategies That Help Readers Take Charge (2015); Co-Author, What Do I Teach Readers Tomorrow? (2017) and Conferring With Readers: Supporting Each Student’s Growth and Independence (2007)