2018 Research Symposium Program
Our 7th annual Research Symposium Program
Day 1 – Wednesday May 9, 2018
1 King Street West, Toronto
7:30 AM – 4:00 PM
|7:30 – 8:30||Registration & Breakfast|
|8:30||Welcome & Opening Remarks|
Roots of Empathy
CBC Broadcaster/Producer Mary Ito will facilitate the day
|9:00 – 10:30||Keynote Address
The Power of Kindness – Why Empathy is Essential in Everyday Life
|Dr. Brian Goldman, M.D.
Emergency Room Physician, Radio Host, Healthcare Pundit, Author As a veteran emergency room physician, Dr. Brian Goldman has had a successful career setting broken bones, curing pneumonia, and otherwise pulling people back from the brink of medical emergency. He always believed that caring came naturally to physicians. But time, stress, errors, and heavy expectations left him wondering if he might not be the same caring doctor he thought he was at the beginning of his career. He wondered what kindness truly looks like—in himself and in others. Dr. Goldman left the comfortable, familiar surroundings of the hospital in search of his own lost compassion. He circled the planet in search of the most empathic people alive, to hear their stories and learn their secrets. His journey became the newly-released book The Power of Kindness. It takes us far from the theatre of medicine and into the world at large, and investigates why kindness is so vital to our existence.
|10:30 – 10:45||Morning Break – Coffee, tea, and snacks provided|
|10:45 – 11:45||Early Intervention, The UK Story|
Founder of the UK Early Intervention Foundation and MP for Nottingham North, one of the UK’s most deprived areas 1987-2017
|11:45 – 12:45||Lunch provided|
|12:45 – 2:00||The Empathic Brain: From vicarious activations to empathic action|
|Christian Keysers, Ph.D.
Co-Founder & Co-Director of the Social Brain Lab,Netherland Institute for Neuroscience, Professor of Social Neuroscience, Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences, University of Amsterdam
ABSTRACT This talk will help us to understand what makes us social. Why does it make us shudder to see a friend injure himself? Why do we so intuitively understand how our partner feels? The powerful tools of neuroscience help us to understand these questions. Using a combination of non-invasive neuroimaging in humans and invasive neurophysiology in animals, Dr. Keyser’s research helps us understand the fabric of our social nature – empathy – and why some of us struggle with the social world more than others.
|2:15 – 2:30||Afternoon break – Coffee, tea, and snacks provided|
|2:30 – 3:45||Improving the lives of youth based on evidence|
|Inga Dóra Sigfúsdóttir, Ph.D
Scientific Director of the Icelandic Centre for Social Research and Analysis, Professor of Psychology, Reykjavik University and Columbia
ABSTRACT In Iceland, teenage smoking, drinking, and drug use have been radically cut in the past 20 years. The percentage of 15 and 16 year olds who had been become drunk in the previous month before a survey plummeted from 42 per cent in 1998 to 5 per cent in 2016. The percentage who had used cannabis is down from 17 per cent to 7 per cent. Those smoking cigarettes daily fell from 23 per cent to just 3 per cent. The way the country has achieved this turnaround has been evidence based. Starting as an Icelandic prevention program, it is now heading into a new phase as Planet Youth, where the team is figuring out how to make similar principles work in different places, by mobilizing local communities and creating circumstances that can positively influence the lives of adolescents.
|3:45 – 4:00||Closing Remarks|
Thursday, May 10th, 2018
8:00 AM – 4:00 PM
|8:00 – 8:30||Breakfast provided|
|8:45 – 10:00||Research on Attachment relationship|
|Andy Meltzoff, Ph.D
Co-Director of the University of Washington Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences
ABSTRACT Dr. Meltzoff will share scientific evidence supporting the early connectedness between infants and adults, suggesting the origins of empathy. The neural response to touch is fundamental for parent-child interaction. The coding of the body in the developing brain is important, yet it is understudied in babies. Touch communicates emotions, safety and is fundamental to social-emotional learning. This brain study may provide us a glimpse into the building blocks of empathy.
|10:00 -10:15||Morning Break – Coffee tea and snacks provided|
|10:15 -11:15||Roots of Empathy Research; Queen’s University Northern Ireland|
|Sarah Miller, Ph.D
Senior Lecturer, Queen’s University Belfast, Centre for Evidence and Social Innovation
ABSTRACT Dr. Sarah Miller shares the findings of the recent cluster randomized-controlled trial and evaluation of the cost effectiveness of the Roots of Empathy program for improving social and emotional wellbeing outcomes among 8 to 9 year olds in Northern Ireland.
|11:15 -12:15||Serendipity, Empathy, and Dance|
|Ryszard Praszkier, Ph.D.
Researcher, Centre for Complex Systems & New Technologies, University of Warsaw, Professor, International Institute for Social & European Studies Hungary, Ashoka, Innovator for the Public
ABSTRACT Serendipity, the fortuitous generation of new and valuable ideas, is a most desired phenomenon. For example, research reveals that critical for serendipity are random encounters with people and stemming from them, unplanned mutual inspirations. On the other hand, joy, free interactions, and mutual inspirations are associated with empathy. The new approach to building a creativity-enhancing milieu is embedded in empathy as a way of interacting with others. Other findings demonstrate that dancing and playing with metaphors enhance creativity and empathy. Will the new generation of serendipitous working environments also include dancing and metaphor-sharing?
|12:15 – 1:00||Lunch provided|
|1:00 –1:30||Roots of Empathy Reflections: Perspectives from the Classroom|
|A dialogue with adolescents and their classroom teacher|
|1:30 – 2:30||Roots of Empathy Research – Bern University Switzerland|
|David Lätsch, PhD
Professor of developmental psychology, Division of Social Work, Bern University of Applied Sciences
ABSTRACT Dr. Lätsch shares the evaluation of a three-year pilot implementation of Roots of Empathy, carried out in Zurich, Switzerland, between autumn 2015 and summer 2017. The talk will shine a light on the complex relationship between empathy and aggression, using both results from existing research and from the longitudinal dataset collected in the evaluation study.
|2:30 – 2:45||Afternoon Break – Coffee, tea, and snacks provided|
|2:45 – 3:45||A Youth Workers Guide to Supporting Mental Health|
Specialist Coordinator – Development, Children and Young People, The Finnish Association for Mental Health
ABSTRACT The Finnish Association for Mental Health aims to improve and promote mental health at the individual, community, and policy level. The association trains teachers from Grades 1-9, as well as child health clinic nurses and youth workers, to teach mental health skills to children. The new National Curricula includes mental health skills as a school subject. By increasing mental health awareness, we increase empathy and understanding towards children and young people.
|3:45 – 4:00||Closing Remarks|