‘Babylon’s burning. You’re burning the street. You’re burning your houses with anxiety. (…) You’ll burn at your work, you’ll burn at your play. It’s positively smoldering with ignorance and hate. And with anxiety. Babylon’s burning.’ (The Ruts)

The world is in crisis! Forests are burning. Icecaps are melting. The corona virus is raging through the continents. Economic inequality has disconnected people from each other. The extreme right dominates politics, and governments are run by populists. How can we make sense of these crises? How can we still live a meaningful life? How can young people grow up? How can we respond to this? Crash into a psychological crisis? Surrender? Lock ourselves up in a personal bubble? Or rebel? Find our own alternative niche within the chaos? Or dream about a meaningful society for all? How can we help ourselves and others with these questions?

At this third IMEC International Meaning Conference in London, we are connecting thinkers and doers from many disciplines, to create together a vision of a meaningful world for all people and nature. How can we envisage this? How can we research this? What can we do, in our daily lives, and as psychotherapists, coaches, or political activists? What could politicians do? We want to connect and learn from each other’s theoretical and practical wisdom, from different disciplines: existential philosophy and therapy, coaching, positive and phenomenological psychology, sociology, politics, history, theology, anthropology, business, HR, and art. We are researchers, practitioners in mental health care, philosophers, activists and artists. Researchers share their findings. Psychologists, sociologists and activists describe their experience. The pre-conference program offers hands-on skill workshops for therapists, researchers and activists.

This not your ordinary conference. We walk the talk, by creating meaningful connections during the conference. 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!


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

  • Meaning & positive psychology
    • g. research on the impact of the economic and political climate on our lives
  • Critical theory, politics & education
    • g. education, history, identity in social context, meaning at work, sociology, anthropology
  • Existential therapy, coaching & counselling
    • g. client-therapist relationship, grief therapy, meaning in HRM and pastoral care
  • Empirical experiential qualitative research
    • g Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis, phenomenology, hermeneutics, narrative
  • The practice of ecology, social justice & activism
    • g. eco-anxiety, multiculturalism, political activist groups, mental health lobbyists diversity
  • Creative connections
    • g. art, poetry, music, social, mindfulness, nature