Mindful of the Future: Can Political Mindfulness Help Us Build Back Better?

online event
Thursday 18 November 2021 (19:00-20:00)

Mindfulness – the practice of cultivating attention to the present moment – is embedded across social life: from parenting, to work, health, education – and among political decision-makers.

Critics argue that ‘McMindfulness’ is individualising, and encourages us to turn inward and away from addressing urgent social and political priorities. But others see potential for mindfulness in developing our capacities for civic engagement, problem solving and even imagining a better, sustainable world. This is sometimes called ‘political mindfulness’.

In this online event we will explore the potential role of mindfulness in helping to repair a highly divided political culture and address intensifying social, economic and sustainability issues. The event will include a short 'taster' mindfulness exercise, scene setting presentations from our experts in the organisational, social and political context of mindfulness followed by a facilitated audience discussion on key issues, such as:

  • Can mindfulness inform behaviour change (towards sustainability)?
  • How might mindfulness support organisational change, and wider democratic deliberation?
  • Can mindfulness help us envisage new, more sustainable forms of society?
  • How do we move from individual to collective forms of mindfulness? Do we need to?

This event is being organised by Dr Will Leggett (Associate Professor of Sociology, University of Birmingham), Dr Scott Taylor (Associate Professor in Leadership & Organization, University of Birmingham).

Speakers include: Paul Szumilewicz (Head of Transformation, Europe – HSBC) and Dr Rachel Lilley, Senior Fellow in Leadership Development, Birmingham Leadership Institute.

This event is part of the ESRC Festival of Social Sciences. Spanning the month of November a range of interactive virtual and physical events will be free and open to the public - find out more about our other events as we discuss Our Changing World!

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