Explore the amazing potential of your mind! - Mind & Its Potential 2013

Pre-conference workshop
9.30am

PRE-CONFERENCE WORKSHOP: INTRODUCTION TO CULTIVATING EMOTIONAL BALANCE (CEB)

with
Eve Ekman, USA, an expert working with emotion and mindfulness to reduce stress and burnout while enhancing "professional empathy" in the workplace; Director of Research and Development, Paul Ekman Group
 
and
 
Corey Jackson an accredited CEB trainer, majoring in Psychology and Sanskrit at the University of Sydney and is the Tibetan interpreter at Vajrayana Institute. He has a passion for transferring ancient wisdom in a thoroughly modern context.
 
In this fascinating and interactive workshop learn the key elements of Cultivating Emotional Balance (CEB), a 42 hour training programme that builds specific scientifically and spiritually informed skills for cognitive and emotional regulation and mindfulness in work and life. The goal of the CEB training program is to train participants in the skills for reducing emotional responses that are destructive to oneself and others, and enhancing positive states of compassion, empathy, altruism and pro-social behaviour.
 
This unique program was developed in response to a dialogue between revered spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama; Dr B. Alan Wallace, a highly respected Buddhist scholar; and Professor Paul Ekman, a world renowned psychologist within the field of emotions. This dialogue became the subject of  Daniel Goleman’s best selling book, Destructive Emotions.
 
The workshop is highly experiential and will involve basic education about scientific research on emotions and mindfulness, group discussion and exercises. Participants will learn about the evolutionary function of emotions from the viewpoint of western psychology. Scientific exercises will increase our ability to identify emotions in others. Practical mindfulness sessions will allow time to build emotional awareness through engagement with our individual experience of emotions.
In addition to developing emotional awareness this training will address root causes of professional and personal stress. When people feel overwhelmed by the stress burdens of their relationships and work they may feel their only option is to emotionally disengage. This disengagement can have a negative impact on communication, cooperation and empathy with co-workers and friends and can reduce feelings of satisfaction and meaning. This workshop builds skills to facilitate the regulation of emotions before they become “over aroused” and create stress. Participants will also learn how to cultivate sustainable empathy and reconnect to meaning in their work and lives.

PRE-CONFERENCE WORKSHOP: INTRODUCTION TO CULTIVATING EMOTIONAL BALANCE (CEB)

Conference
8.45am
Welcome
8.50am
Welcome to Country
8.55am

Opening remarks from the Chairperson

Opening remarks from the Chairperson
THE BIG PICTURE: YOUR AMAZING MIND
9am

THE WOMAN WHO CHANGED HER BRAIN

An inspiring and uplifting story of a woman who overcame severe learning difficulties using cognitive exercises to improve brain function, as featured in Norman Doidge’s The Brain That Changes Itself. She has gone on to help others through her learning programs based on practical applications of neuroplasticity.

THE WOMAN WHO CHANGED HER BRAIN
9.40am

THE WANDERING MIND: GIVING THE MIND FREE REIN

  • What happens when we give the mind (and brain) free rein?
  • How much of the brain is active during mental wandering?
  • What does such a mind state accomplish?
  • What are the implications for our ability to think and connect to others?

THE WANDERING MIND: GIVING THE MIND FREE REIN
10.10am

THE ART OF MEMORY

Learn how to unlock the power of your mind using memory techniques that are relevant to the day-to-day demands on our brains.

THE ART OF MEMORY
10.30am
Morning coffee
WHAT’S BLOCKING YOUR POTENTIAL? DESIRES, DISTRACTIONS, DELUSIONS
11am

FROM SURVIVING TO THRIVING

  • How can we use our minds to help us thrive not just survive?
  • How can we differentiate between pleasure and genuine happiness?
  • Why do we continually seek more money without realising its limitations?
  • What are the down sides of a relentless pursuit of pleasure and money?
  • What does the science say about learning the art of thriving?

FROM SURVIVING TO THRIVING
11.30am

DISTRACTION: A PHILOSOPHER’S GUIDE TO BEING FREE

  • What does it mean to be distracted?
  • Is it simply a matter of overstimulation or a lack of focus?
  • Where do distractions occur in our daily lives – at work, with technology, in relationships?
  • Are all distractions necessarily a bad thing?
  • Cultivating a life of genuine freedom

DISTRACTION: A PHILOSOPHER’S GUIDE TO BEING FREE
11.50am
Brain break
11.55am

DELUSIONS OF GENDER

  • What role does science play in our ideas about male/female differences?
  • Are male and female brains really “wired” differently?
  • What role has popular science played in perpetuating unfounded gender stereotypes?
  • Do boys and girls learn differently? Are misconceptions of gender differences adversely affecting our children’s education?
  • How do cultural stereotypes affect the performance of men and women in our society?

DELUSIONS OF GENDER
12.15pm

PANEL: ARE WOMEN REALLY FROM VENUS AND MEN FROM MARS? POPULAR MYTHS ABOUT THE BRAIN

Do we really only use 10% of our brain? Are women inherently bad at reading maps? An informative and lively discussion throwing light on some widely accepted views of how our brains work.

PANEL: ARE WOMEN REALLY FROM VENUS AND MEN FROM MARS? POPULAR MYTHS ABOUT THE BRAIN
CREATIVE, ENGAGED & PRODUCTIVE: YOUR POTENTIAL AT WORK
12.45pm
Lunch
2pm

CULTIVATING EMOTIONAL BALANCE AT WORK

  • How can we manage the emotional demands of working with people?
  • Why do we tend to emotionally disengage when overwhelmed by chronic stress at work?
  • What impact does emotional disengagement have on job satisfaction, meaning and productivity at work?
  • How can we identify emotional triggers that lead to stress?
  • Developing professional empathy skills to sustain emotional engagement with clients and colleagues within solid boundaries

CULTIVATING EMOTIONAL BALANCE AT WORK
2.30pm

GRATITUDE AT WORK: HEARTS, MINDS AND THE BOTTOM LINE

  • What do we mean by gratitude in the workplace? Are there different types of gratitude?
  • How does gratitude predict job satisfaction?
  • Can an organization increase job satisfaction through gratitude interventions? What does the research show?
  • Is gratitude contagious?
  • How can we incorporate gratitude into workplace culture?

GRATITUDE AT WORK: HEARTS, MINDS AND THE BOTTOM LINE
2.50pm
Brain break
2.55pm

CREATIVITY: THE STRATEGIC TOOL OF THE 21st CENTURY

  • Why has creativity become our most endangered species? Why is it more important now than ever before?
  • Why is creativity the strategic tool of the 21st Century? How does it lead to improved wellbeing, social inclusion, innovation, leadership, productivity and transformation?
  • Why is diversity critical to unleashing the creative potential of individuals and organisations?
  • How can you develop a culture where creativity and innovation can flourish?

CREATIVITY: THE STRATEGIC TOOL OF THE 21st CENTURY
REALISING A LIFE OF MEANING AND PURPOSE
3.15pm
Afternoon coffee
3.45pm

IN PURSUIT OF A MEANINGFUL LIFE

  • What do we mean by “a meaningful life” and why should we care?
  • Where does meaning come from? How can we find and recognize it?
  • How does meaning in life affect our overall wellbeing?
  • What does research indicate about the benefits of leading a meaningful life?
  • Can we actively intervene to increase meaning in our own lives and those of others?

IN PURSUIT OF A MEANINGFUL LIFE
4.15pm

(ME)VOLUTION – THE GREATEST JOURNEY YOU WILL EVER TAKE

  • What characteristics do the world’s great humanitarian leaders have in common?
  • What if we could map these characteristics, learn from them and mirror them?
  • What would that mean for your ability to be the change that you want to see in the world?
  • Mevolution answers all of these questions, and gives you the roadmap to understanding how to build a powerful movement for good

(ME)VOLUTION – THE GREATEST JOURNEY YOU WILL EVER TAKE
4.45pm

PERSONAL STORY: SO YOU THOUGHT YOU COULDN’T LAUGH ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH? THINK AGAIN!

Discover how humour and emotion can be immensely valuable in breaking down barriers, community and self stigma about having a mental illness. Laugh out loud and maybe shed a tear as you are taken on an inspirational and powerful journey with a dedicated advocate, educator and "Psychologically Diverse citizen".

PERSONAL STORY: SO YOU THOUGHT YOU COULDN’T LAUGH ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH? THINK AGAIN!
5.05pm

SYDNEY SINGS - STORIES AND MUSIC

Creativity Australia’s acclaimed With One Voice choir social inclusion and community wellbeing programs aim to recognise each unique voice. The choirs provide important opportunities to develop skills in communication, creativity and teamwork and networks for friendship, wellbeing, belonging and employment. When many diverse voices come together as "one voice" on a regular basis, the outcomes are transformational. Singing with others has been proven to improve our neural pathways!

SYDNEY SINGS - STORIES AND MUSIC
5.30pm
Close of Day 1

Conference
8.55am

Opening remarks from the Chairperson

Opening remarks from the Chairperson
EDUCATION: THE KEY TO UNLOCKING POTENTIAL
9am

THE BAREFOOT MOVEMENT

Be motivated to make a difference in your life and those of others by a courageous and compassionated man named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine in 2010 for his work in educating the rural poor in India.

THE BAREFOOT MOVEMENT
9.30am

STRONGER SMARTER: ENGAGING YOUNG MINDS

  • What do we expect of Aboriginal children?
  • What is a high expectations relationship?
  • What effect does a high expectations relationships have? 
  • A stronger smarter Aboriginal child: Do we believe it or not?
  • Converting rhetoric to reality

STRONGER SMARTER: ENGAGING YOUNG MINDS
10am

PERSONAL STORY: THE TRANSFORMATIONAL POWER OF MUSIC

The engaging story of one of Australia’s leading musicians - a violinist, conductor and composer who is internationally renowned for his compelling performances and artistic individualism.

PERSONAL STORY: THE TRANSFORMATIONAL POWER OF MUSIC
10.30am
Morning coffee
NURTURING YOUR POTENTIAL THROUGHOUT LIFE
11am

NURTURING THE DEVELOPING BRAIN

  • What effect does maternal mood both pre and post natal have on the development of children’s neurocognitive abilities?
  • Do different parenting styles affect a child’s development?
  • What effect does more sensitive parenting have on brain development and stress regulation?
  • Does the child’s environment affect expression of genes and subsequent brain development?

NURTURING THE DEVELOPING BRAIN
11.30am

JOURNEYS TO RECOVERY: BREAKING THE CYCLE

  • When do problems with anxiety, worry, or low mood typically start?
  • How do symptoms become entrenched as habits of thought and action?
  • Is it possible to learn how to break the cycle of symptoms and recover from anxiety and depression?
  • Learning from the experiences of others as a key strategy for recovery

JOURNEYS TO RECOVERY: BREAKING THE CYCLE
11.50am
Brain break
11.55am
PANEL: HOW CAN WE MAKE THE MOST OF OUR POTENTIAL?
MINDFULNESS & YOUR POTENTIAL
12.35pm
Lunch break
2pm

THE SHAMATHA PROJECT: A SCIENTIFIC STUDY OF THE EFFECTS OF INTENSIVE MEDITATION PRACTICE

  • What are the effects of meditation practice on attention, emotion regulation, and physiology?
  • Does meditation practice always lead to focused attention, emotional balance, compassion and prosocial behaviors, as expected?
  • What do people actually “do” when they meditate, given the instructions they receive?
  • What happens in people’s lives because they have meditated, given their beliefs about what could or should happen?
  • How can we study first person experience with rigor and veracity?

THE SHAMATHA PROJECT: A SCIENTIFIC STUDY OF THE EFFECTS OF INTENSIVE MEDITATION PRACTICE
2.25pm

MINDFULNESS FOR IMPROVED PERFORMANCE AND EFFECTIVENESS

  • Is there a connection between mindfulness and effectiveness?
  • Can mindfulness improve performance?
  • How can mindfulness be applied in a busy work-life?
  • Do we need to retreat from work to become mindful?

MINDFULNESS FOR IMPROVED PERFORMANCE AND EFFECTIVENESS
2.50pm
Brain break
2.55pm

MINDFULNESS BASED STRESS REDUCTION FOR A MORE JOYFUL LIFE

  • How does Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) work?
  • What are some of the unexpected effects of MBSR?
  • How can MBSR help me change my relationship to challenging circumstances?
  • Having more choice, participation and joy in life
  • Transforming unhelpful patterns of thinking, feeling and action

MINDFULNESS BASED STRESS REDUCTION FOR A MORE JOYFUL LIFE
3.15pm

REBOOTING THE MIND IN STRESSFUL TIMES

  • Are you: speedy, overstimulated, multitasking, dumbed down, exhausted, stressed, depressed?
  • How can you: slow down, simplify, focus, relax, enjoy?
  • Simple: 10 minutes meditation in your pyjamas every day!

REBOOTING THE MIND IN STRESSFUL TIMES
3.35pm
Afternoon coffee
PUTTING IT INTO PRACTICE: MAKING CHANGES THAT STICK
4.05pm

ITS NOT ALL IN YOUR HEAD: HOW YOUR BODY CAN CHANGE YOUR BRAIN

  • Do wobbly bodies make for wobbly minds?
  • What role is sedentary lifestyle playing in mind stress and ageing ?
  • Can physical activity change mental stress?
  • Why do most of us find physical change so hard?
  • How can you sell change to yourself?
  • Can changing simple habits transform the way you look and feel

ITS NOT ALL IN YOUR HEAD: HOW YOUR BODY CAN CHANGE YOUR BRAIN
4.25pm

PUMP IT UP: BOOSTING YOUR MENTAL FITNESS

  • What does the term “mental fitness” mean? How can we measure it?
  • Can we boost our mental fitness in a similar way to boosting physical fitness?
  • What exercises can I do to increase my psychological strength, flexibility and endurance?
  • How is mental fitness relevant to organisations and educational settings?
  •  

PUMP IT UP: BOOSTING YOUR MENTAL FITNESS
4.45pm
Brain break
4.50pm

PANEL: CAN WE OVERCOME THE NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION SYNDROME AND MAKE CHANGES STICK?

Full of determination to make changes but somehow they don’t last? Join this fascinating discussion on how to make changes stick. 

PANEL: CAN WE OVERCOME THE NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION SYNDROME AND MAKE CHANGES STICK?
5.15pm

CLOSING SESSION: THAI-RIFFIC – REALISING YOUR DREAMS

An entertaining story of an “awkward nerd” growing up in Western Sydney who has unleashed his inner comedian to great effect.

CLOSING SESSION: THAI-RIFFIC – REALISING YOUR DREAMS
5.30pm
Close of Day 2

Post-conference morning workshops
9am

Workshop 1: PUTTING MEANING TO WORK

with Associate Professor Michael F Steger, USA, international expert in the study of meaning and the quality of life; Director, Laboratory for the Study of Meaning and Quality of Life, Colorado State University.

How can work be more than just a way to make money? This workshop provides a hands-on encounter with exciting scholarship on how positive psychological principles can help fashion work that contributes to a fuller, happier life. Conducted by internationally known expert on how meaningful experiences improve our lives and our work, Dr. Michael Steger, the workshop will focus on three core areas:

  • Understanding meaningful work
  • Identifying and using your unique psychological strengths in the workplace, and
  • Examining strategies for making your work more meaningful.

Workshop 1: PUTTING MEANING TO WORK
9am

Workshop 2: BEFRIENDING DIFFICULT EMOTIONS: MINDFULNESS BASED STRESS REDUCTION FOR EMOTIONAL REGULATION

with Timothea Goddard, psychotherapist, educator, workplace trainer and long-time student in the practices of Aikido, yoga, and meditation; Director, Openground Training & Consulting
 
Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn in 1979) offers a systematic training in mindfulness - learning how to cultivate an observant, accepting and compassionate stance towards your thoughts, emotional states, body sensations and impulses.
 
In this experiential workshop we will explore how mindfulness practice regulates emotional distress and increases capacities for self-reflection and wise action. We will draw on understandings from science and the wisdom traditions, practice together, explore the rich ground of human emotional life and hopefully become a little more free in responding to challenging circumstances.

Workshop 2: BEFRIENDING DIFFICULT EMOTIONS: MINDFULNESS BASED STRESS REDUCTION FOR EMOTIONAL REGULATION
9am

Workshop 3: THE ART OF MEMORY

with Daniel Kilov, an accomplished memory athlete capable of memorizing a shuffled deck of cards in under five minutes; Silver Medallist at the National Memory Championships 2011 and 2012 and twice national record holder for memorising abstract shapes
 
Learn all the things you ever wanted to learn, but never thought you could. In this workshop participants will be trained in the art of memory, a loosely associated group of mnemonic principles and techniques used to organize memory impressions, improve recall, and assist in the combination and ‘invention’ of ideas. Daniel believes that we are all mental athletes; in a competitive world, we all need to be able to remember more, to be more creative, innovative and focused. Discover how to remember names and faces, pins and passwords, quotes and speakers, jokes and trivia and more.

Workshop 3: THE ART OF MEMORY

Post-conference afternoon workshops
2pm

Workshop 4: MINDFUL PERFORMANCE AND WELLBEING AT WORK

with Rasmus Hougaard, Denmark, a world authority on bringing the benefits of mindfulness to the workplace;Founder and Director of The Potential Project
 
Modern work life is defined by distractions, complexity and busyness. The brain naturally responds to this by multitasking. Join this workshop to learn the detrimental effects of multitasking and explore basic strategies for overcoming it. Discover how to thriving in challenging circumstances by applying a mindful way of working. It’s about working smarter rather than working harder. The concepts and strategies being explored in the workshop have been implemented in companies such as Google, Sony, American Express and many other organizations around the world.

Workshop 4: MINDFUL PERFORMANCE AND WELLBEING AT WORK
2pm

Workshop 5: MENTAL FITNESS IN EVERDAY LIFE

with Paula Robinson, registered psychologist and leading expert on mental fitness, well-being and positive psychology theory, research and practice; Managing Director, Positive Psychology Institute
 
In an increasingly busy, complex and demanding world, our psychological resources and reserves are being stretched to their limits. Having good Mental Fitness means having the strength, flexibility and endurance to meet the challenges of personal and professional life. Paula Robinson, is arguably the first in the world to address the concept, measurement and development of Mental Fitness, based on her PhD research. Join Paula for a lively, interactive and practical workshop exploring:
  • The Mental Fitness Model
  • How Mental Fitness fits within the broader context of Positive Psychology
  • Practical activities and tools for boosting your Mental Fitness
  • Creating your own Mental Fitness program for everyday life.

Workshop 5: MENTAL FITNESS IN EVERDAY LIFE
2pm

Workshop 6: HAVE A NICE DAY - THANK YOU BUT I HAVE OTHER PLANS: CHANGING BAD HABITS

with Renate Ogilvie, psychotherapist, international lecturer in Buddhism, and consultant to the Bhutan Nuns Foundation
 
Our physical well-being relies on our psychological wellbeing. Bad habits undermine our wellbeing and lead to frustration and illness. The ancient wisdom teachings of the contemplative religions as well as neuroscience teach us that the mind can change. Accepting that the mind can change we need to understand its nature. Directing our mind into a new direction allows old habits to fade and more effective habits to grow. Our mind today will produce our future happiness.
 
The tools:
  • Mindfulness techniques
  • Effective visualisation
  • Understanding and overcoming procrastination
  • Facing addiction - the first step

Workshop 6: HAVE A NICE DAY - THANK YOU BUT I HAVE OTHER PLANS: CHANGING BAD HABITS