Professor Lokesh Joshi, NUI Galway Vice-President for Research
Sep 22 2015 Posted: 14:44 IST

                    

  • Promote Wellbeing
  • Improve Performance
  • Transform Culture

NUI Galway will host a conference on 9-10 October bringing together mindfulness visionaries, higher education leaders and University staff and students to share the evidence-based impact of mindfulness on performance, well-being, entrepreneurship and society.

The NUI Galway Mindful Way conference will seek to explore current challenges within society and organisations. It will focus on the benefits of integrating mindfulness with the University setting to continue to serve the 21st century needs in delivering its core principles: teaching, research and contribution to society through innovation and entrepreneurship.

NUI Galway intends to become a mindful university, one that is aware of the challenges faced by its student and staff, and is preparing itself to lead the higher education sector by setting a new model on how to build a sustainable and successful institution of education, research, life-long learning and sharing. The conference is one of the first steps towards integrating mindfulness into the University culture.

The first day of the conference will focus on ‘Mindful Society’ and ‘Mindful Enterprises’. The second day will focus on ‘Mindfulness in Action’ and ‘Mindfulness in Education’.

Speaking in advance of the conference, Professor Lokesh Joshi, NUI Galway Vice-President for Research, said: “We in NUI Galway are keen to connect the well-being our university community with mindfulness, to enhance the performance of individuals, their various units and ultimately the University. We want to ensure that mindfulness is brought into the University with the solid backing of scientific evidence. NUI Galway is also committed to promoting entrepreneurship within the University, and in addition to a very successful ecosystem for entrepreneurship for researchers, we are now investing in undergraduate entrepreneurship, one of the elements of which will be mindful entrepreneurship. The speakers at this conference have committed to help us build a mindful University and a mindful entrepreneurial ecosystem and we are very pleased to be taking this first step towards becoming a Mindful University.”

Alfred Tolle, Google ‘Compassion Guy’ and founder of Wisdom Stockholm is among the speakers at the conference. Head of Google’s Nordics LCS Dublin, Tolle is responsible for bringing Wisdom 2.0 to Europe and, in his own words, is committed to: “leadership development for a better world.”

Tolle commented: “NUI Galway has a great opportunity to take the lead among European universities by promoting a mindful culture. The Mindful Way conference is an opportunity for researchers, practitioners and students to come together to understand how mindfulness has impacted other areas of society and to explore how evidence-based mindfulness can enhance people’s experience of education.”

Tibetan Buddhist Monk, Gelong Thubten of Kagyu Samye Ling Monastery in Scotland will also speak at the conference on the topic of bringing mindfulness to life. Thubten was an undergraduate at Oxford, and has been a monk for the past 23 years, during which time he has developed mindfulness programmes in companies such as Google and several major law firms, as well as lecturing at a number of universities. He points out that: “Mindfulness is a science-based way of training the mind which can be used in a non-religious manner in many different settings including schools and universities, hospitals, businesses and prisons. It has several major benefits which include reducing stress, improving mental clarity and cognitive function. Mindfulness practice helps us to develop a sense of inner freedom, which enables us to be more effective in the world. Medical research proves that brain activity is much healthier among mindfulness practitioners. Everyone can benefit from this practice and it’s most encouraging that NUI Galway is planning to focus on bringing evidence-based mindfulness into the university for the benefit of students and staff.”

The conference will host an array of other international speakers including:

  • Col. Ray Lane, Commanding Officer, Irish Defence Force Ordnance School
  • Peter Read, Angel Investor and Business Advisor
  • Chris Ruane, Former Labour MP for Vale of Clwyd
  • Nipun Mehta, Founder of ServiceSpace.org
  • Sister Stanislaus Kennedy, Congregation of Religious Sisters of Charity and Founder of The Sanctuary
  • Dr Jutta Tobias, Cranfield University School of Management

Joining the speakers at a panelist round-table discussion will be:

  • Seán O’Driscoll, Managing Partner, Athrú Consulting (Chair)
  • Dr Jim Browne, President, NUI Galway, and
  • Mary Hawkes Greene, President and Founder, Burren College of Art (BCA)

The conference will be facilitated by:

  • Professor Lokesh Joshi, Vice President for Research, NUI Galway
  • Professor Chris Curtin, Vice President for Innovation, NUI Galway
  • Sean O’Driscoll, Managing Partner, Athrú Consulting, and
  • Emily Lane, Founder, Corporate Wellbeing Institute

Registration for the NUI Galway Mindful Way conference is now open and will cost €75. Further information is available at www.conference.ie

-Ends-

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