Speakers and Sessions


Many students today are struggling in school and feeling lost, detached, and uncertain about their future. But educators can help students reconnect to themselves, their school community, and to their learning by focusing on the Science of Meaning, whose pillars include purpose, feelings of belonging, self-stories (identity, beliefs, and self-awareness), transcendence, and exploration. Psychological sciences research has found that changing our self-stories; creating meaning and purpose; promoting a sense of belonging; and cultivating curiosity and exploration can increase student motivation, confidence, self-efficacy, wellbeing, resilience, buffer against anxiety and socioeconomic environments, and help overcome challenges in school and in life. Psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman proposes that Psychologist Abraham Maslow's "Hierarchy of Needs" is more like a ship than a pyramid where the sail that propel self-transcendence and success in navigating life's challenges are purpose, love and belonging, and a sense of exploration and curiosity.

This virtual conference will explore the Science of Meaning and their connection to student success and wellbeing. Discover how teaching meaningful learning and a sense of purpose, promoting belonging, changing self-stories, and cultivating curiosity and exploration can improve achievement and better prepare students to navigate the shoals of school and life's uncertainty and challenges.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter (@learningandtheb / #latb59) for conference updates and news.

This Unique Conference Will Provide You With:

  • 2 days of LIVE keynote presentations and breakout sessions from renowned brain and SEL experts
  • Real-time Q&A with experts and LIVE tracks and breakout groups with colleagues
  • Up to 12 hours of LIVE Professional Development
  • Access to an additional 20 hours of recordings for the two weeks following the conference
  • Slides and resources from the conference
  • The latest research from brain and cognitive sciences on instruction and assessment
  • Research and strategies for educators of all grades


Educators, Parents
Curriculum, Staff Developers
Speech-Language Pathologists
Learning Specialists, Special Educators
Early Childhood Educators, Professionals
Superintendents, Principals, Assistant Principals
PreK-12 Teachers, Administrators, School Heads
Literacy, Math, Technology, Master Teachers
Testing and Assessment Professionals
Teacher Education, PD Professionals
College, University Professors


Featured Speakers

Setting Sail: Purpose, Meaning, and Exploration in an Age of Uncertainty

Scott Barry Kaufman, PhD

Cognitive Psychologist; Adjunct Professor, Barnard College, Columbia University; Columnist, “Beautiful Minds,” Scientific American; Author, Transcend: The New Science of Self-Actualization (Forthcoming, 2020), “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)

Positive Emotions, Purpose, and Belonging

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)

The Deep History of Ourselves

Joseph E. LeDoux, PhD

Director, Emotional Brain Institute ; Principal Investigator, Center for Neural Science, New York University; Researcher, Nathan S. Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research; Author, The Deep History of Ourselves: The Four-Billion-Year Story of How We Got Conscious Brains (2019), Anxious: Using the Brain to Understand and Treat Fear and Anxiety (2016), Synaptic Self: How Our Brains Become Who We Are (2003), and The Emotional Brain (1996)

Leading on the Edge and Finding Your Purpose

Robyn R. Jackson, PhD

CEO, Mindsteps Inc.; Middle School Administrator; Former Teacher and Instructional Coach; Author, Stop Leading, Start Building!: Turn Your School into a Success Story with the People and Resources You Already Have (Forthcoming, 2021), "Making Every Teacher a Master Teacher" (2019, Educational Leadership), Never Work Harder Than Your Students and Other Principles of Great Teaching (1018, 2nd Edition), Never Underestimate Your Teachers: Instructional Leadership for Excellence in Every Classroom (2013)

A Nuanced View of Curiosity: Managing the Anxiety of Confronting the New

Todd B. Kashdan, PhD

Senior Scientist, Center for the Advancement of Well-Being; Professor, Department of Psychology, George Mason University; Winner of the American Psychological Association's Distinguished Scientific Award for Early Career Contribution to Psychology; Co-Author, The Upside of Your Dark Side: Why Being Your Whole Self – Not Just Your “Good Self” – Drives Success and Fulfillment (2014), Mindfulness, Acceptance, and Positive Psychology: The Seven Foundations of Well-Being (2013), and Curious? Discover the Missing Ingredient to a Fulfilling Life (2009)