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Join us at the IMEC International Meaning Conference!

London 12-14 July 2019

Early bird tickets until 31 December 2018

’No man is an island entire of itself; every man
is a piece of a continent, a part of the main.’ (John Donne)

Our relationships with others are changing. We face political crises, socio-economic change, globalisation and an increasing workforce of robots and automation. With the change of our relationships, we change. Our social and personal meanings transform. Our personal values are moving under pressure from commercials and social media. How can we live a meaningful life in this dynamic context? How can we realise our personal dreams? What does research tell about these social and personal changes? How can therapists, coaches and other practitioners empower clients and help them make sense? How can the relationship with a practitioner help clients discover what is meaningful? How can research socially empower individuals? How can social theory direct us towards positive transformation? How do mental health advocates, political activists and artists strive for social justice?

One aim of this conference is connecting people. We want to connect and learn from each other’s theoretical and practical wisdom. We come from many different disciplines: existential philosophy and therapy, coaching, positive and phenomenological psychology, sociology, politics, theology, anthropology, business, HR, and art. We are researchers, practitioners in mental health care, philosophers, activists and artists. We have many interactive and creative forms of connecting, via lectures, workshops, debates, experiential exercises, live client demonstrations, social events… Anyone can propose a presentation, workshop or symposium, and contribute in the open spaces in the program. In the social program, there is opportunity to show your creative talent with music, poetry, art and other forms!

Another aim is exploring the social changes. Researchers will share their findings on social development. Psychologists, sociologists and activists will describe their understanding and vision how we can live a meaningful life.

An additional aim is learning meaningful practices. The pre-conference program offers hands-on skill workshops for therapists, researchers and activists.



Amongst other strands, during the conference, there will be events (lectures, workshops, etc)

around the following strands:

  • Existential therapy, coaching & counselling
    • Eg. client-therapist relationship, grief therapy, meaning in HRM and pastoral care
  • Meaning & positive psychology
    • Eg. research on the impact of the economical and political climate on our lives
  • Empirical experiential qualitative research
    • Eg Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis, phenomenology, hermeneutics, narrative
  • Political & social theory
    • Eg. identity in social context, city life, economics, meaning at work, sociology, anthropology, education
  • The practice of social justice & activism
    • Eg. empowerment via therapy, political groups, mental health lobbyists, diversity in care
  • Creative connections
    • Eg. art, poetry, music, social, mindfulness, nature





Friday 12 July 2019 pre-conference worshops

Saturday 13 July 2019 day with lectures and parallel sessions

Sunday 14 July 2019 day with lectures and parallel sessions

Venue:                                .

Birkbeck College, London, UK

Social program:

Friday evening: conference welcome drink

Saturday evening: buffet & creative program

Friday, Saturday, Sunday morning: mindfulness session as start of the day

Interaction & creativity during the conference:

Open space meetings (to be filled in on the spot by conference participants)

Panel discussions

Live online broadcast of plenary sessions via

Interactive summary with audience (via post-its)

Joint conference statement

Central social meeting space with a ‘meeting wall’ for announcements

Collective art project

Social connection exercises

And more…




Birbeck University



Regents University



New School of Psychotherapy and Counselling



University of Roehampton Centre for Social and psychological Transformation (CREST)



Conference chair. Meaning Online. Metanoia Institute. New School of Psychotherapy and Counselling.


1Strong and stable? Therapy and BrexitMARTIN MILTON
2Finding meaning in lossROBERT NEIMEYER
3Therapy, multiculturalism and social justiceLOUIS HOFFMAN
4Existentialism and politicsEMMY VAN DEURZEN
5Directionality and relationshipsMICK COOPER
6Revolutionary love (online)MICHAEL LERNER
7Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (workshop)JONATHAN SMITH
8Viktor Frankl meets Ernest BeckerALEXANDER BATTYANY
9Meaningful educationGORDON MEDLOCK
10Radical change: how embodied practice changes the way we changeGREG MADISON
11The economics of meaning in life: the rise and fall of the Capitalist Life SyndromeJOEL VOS
12Coaching and the quest for meaningYANNICK JACOB
13Meaning in prisonsSIEBRECHT VANHOOREN
14The education of meaningPNINIT RUSSO-NETZER

Travel Information

Airplane: The nearest airports are London Heathrow and London Gatwick.

Tube: The nearest stations are Euston SquareRussell Square and Goodge Street.

Trains: Trains to Euston and King’s Cross St Pancras run from all over the United Kingdom and has direct trains to Amsterdam, Paris and Brussels.

Full conference - Early bird
  • This wil pay for three days' entrance to the IMEC International Meaning Conference 12-14 July 2019 at Birkbeck College, London, UK. This includes:
  • -conference package (badge, program, etc);
  • -access to all workshops and sessions;
  • -welcome drink at Friday 12 July 2019;
  • -tea/coffee/other twice a day at 12, 13 and 14 July;
  • -buffet lunch (meat, fish, vegan options).
One day conference Early bird only
  • This wil pay for one day entrance to the IMEC International Meaning Conference at either Friday 12 July or Saturday 13 July or Sunday 14 July 2019 at Birkbeck College, London, UK. This includes:
  • -conference package (badge, program, etc);
  • -access to all workshops and sessions;
  • -welcome drink at Friday 12 July 2019;
  • -tea/coffee/other twice a day ;
  • -buffet lunch (meat, fish, vegan options).

Scientific committee

As the conference takes place in London, the scientific committee primarily -although not solely- consists of members from Europe:

– London New School of Psychotherapy and Counselling, Metanoia Institute &

Meaning Online, Dr Joel Vos (chair) (

– Birkbeck University, Professor Jonathan Smith

– London New School of Psychotherapy and Counselling, Professor Emmy van Deurzen

– Austria, Viktor Frankl Institute, Professor Alexander Batthyany

– Metanoia Institute, Dr Biljana van Rijn

– Regent’s College London, Professor Martin Milton

– University of Haifa, Israel, Dr Pninit Russo-Netzer

– Leuven University, Belgium, Dr Siebrecht van Hooren

– University of Roehampton, Diego Vitali, PhD student

– University of East London, Yannick Jacob

– Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Canada, Dr Roger Tweed

– Buck’s New University, Dr Piers Worth

– University of East London, Dr Tim Lomas

– Existential Analysis in the UK, Dr Aleksandra Kupavskaya

– Existential Analysis in the UK, Dr Anna Naumenko

– Higher School of Economics, Moscow; Lomonosov

Moscow State University, Dmitry Leontiev

– Dr Carmel Proctor