Mindfulness in Society

Research and practice in neuroscience

and mindfulness for society


December 2–3, 2017

Bern - Switzerland

Mindfulness is like that—it is the miracle which can call back in a flash our dispersed mind and restore it to wholeness so that we can live each minute of life.
— Thich Nhat Hanh


Due to unforeseen circumstances, Dr Richard Davidson must cancel his participation in the event planned for 2-3 December ; he sends his heartfelt apologies to all participants and summons you all for next Tuesday April 10th 2018 for a dialogue and exchange with him and guest speakers at Landguet Ried. More information on:  https://www.landguet.ch/richard-davidson/

The 2-3 December 2017 event is nevertheless maintained with the gracious collaboration of the guest speakers – all of them accomplished players in the mindfulness field – who wish to contribute to the advancement of mindfulness practice for the benefit of society, and who bring their selfless contribution to the organization of this event.

About the EVENT

Mindfulness is transforming the way we live, work, heal and lead.

This conference will ally scientific research and contemplative methods, and will serve as a platform for practitioners of various sectors of society to exchange and share success stories on how this millennial practice is contributing to the creation of a more conscious and compassionate society.

Dr. Olga Klimecki of the University of Geneva, an affective neuroscientist following on the steps of Dr. Richard Davidson and Prof. Tania Singer, will present the most exciting aspects of her research that focuses on understanding the neural mechanisms that shape social emotions in adaptive ways, by incorporating methods from psychology, neuroscience, and economy.

Further, a multidisciplinary group of mindfulness trainers, scientists, and mindfulness corporate consultants will share the most exciting aspects of their work.  A unique opportunity to informally meet and network with professionals of the business, health and education fields to explore how they are already implementing mindfulness interventions in their work.



Benefits of Participating


Healthcare professionals:

  • Explore the source of inner strength and resilience
  • Deal with emotional and physical suffering as well as stress more effectively
  • Acquire tools to respond to patient care without incurring in empathic burnout
  • Find ways to help patients gain a more holistic understanding of disease


Education professionals:

  • Develop resilience and self-awareness
  • Provide students with tools to increase attention and emotional intelligence
  • Improve the teacher-student relationship and overall academic results
  • Help students develop a grounded sense of self-esteem, not dependent on external factors
  • Learn to let go of anxiety and negative thoughts


Business professionals:

  • Develop greater levels of attention, performance and satisfaction at work
  • Increase self-awareness, resilience and emotional regulation.
  • Boost workforce engagement and well-being
  • Find the inner source of creativity and engagement and enhance team work
  • Discover the source of responsible and caring leadership





Saturday, 2 December 2017:


10:00 Research presentation by Dr. Olga Klimecki


Dr. Klimecki will present the most exciting aspects of her research that focuses on understanding the neural mechanisms that shape social emotions in adaptive ways, by incorporating methods from psychology, neuroscience, and the economy.

Questions & answers

Introduced by Diego Hangartner

Including interactive 1-2 exercises for participants, in pairs. Guided meditation sessions led by mindfulness instructors (15-20 minutes max)


14:30 Mindfulness in Health & Society


Mindfulness trainers, MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction) instructors and scientists will present the perspective on how mindfulness can change and is already changing the approach to one-self and to everyday’s difficulties and thus contributing to enhancing overall emotional well-being.   

Guest Speakers:

·      Jean Gérard Bloch, MD Rheumatologist at University of Strasbourg , France

·      Geneviève Hamelet, President of the Association for the Development of   Mindfulness in French speaking countries, France

·     Dr. Olga Klimecki, Affective neuroscientist, University of Geneva

Moderated by Diego Hangartner

Including interactive 1-2 exercises for participants, in pairs or in a threesome. Guided meditation sessions interspersed during the panel (10-15 minutes)

Sunday, 3 December 2017:


10:00 Mindfulness in Business


A select group of mindfulness consultants in the corporate world will share their experience and success stories on how mindfulness is contributing to the emergence of a more caring, creative and productive workplace.

Guest speakers:

·      Liane Stephan, Co-founder and Director of Kalapa Leadership Academy, Germany

·      Erick Rinner, Partner & International Director at Potential Project, Switzerland

·      Angelika von der Assen, Axpo Group Baden, Search Inside Leadership Institute, Switzerland

·      Svetlana Landa, Founder of Style of Life Academy, co-founder of Women's Leadership Forum, executive coach PCC ICF, Russia.

Moderated by Diego Hangartner

Including interactive 1-2 exercises for participants, in pairs or in a threesome. Guided meditation sessions interspersed during the panel (10-15 minutes)

Get together and networking


14:30 Mindfulness in Education


Education professionals and MBSR instructors in the field of education will explore how mindfulness can contribute to enhancing the teacher-student relationship in the classroom and overall academic results. 

Guest Speakers:

·      Diego Hangartner, Founder of the Institute of Mental Balance and Universal Ethics, Switzerland

·      Silvia Wiesmann, Co-director of the EZfA’s teacher training programme, Freiburg, Germany

Including interactive 1-2 exercises for participants, in pairs or in a threesome. Guided meditation sessions interspersed during the panel (10-15 minutes)

Final meditation session... My personal learnings



GUEST Speakers



Dr. Olga Klimecki, University of Geneva, Swiss Center for Affective Sciences

A psychologist and neuroscientist, she combines methods from psychology, neuroscience, and economy to understand the neural mechanisms that shape social emotions in adaptive ways. Currently coordinating a research focused on the role of emotions in conflict resolution jointly with Prof. David Sander. Also leading the workpackage Emotion in the European project Medit-Ageing. Doctoral thesis supervised by Prof. Tania Singer ( investigating neural, behavioral, and emotional plasticity induced by training social emotions like compassion and empathy with meditation-based techniques.


Angelika von der Assen, Axpo Group Baden, Search Inside Leadership Institute, Switzerland

Angelika von der Assen is a self-employed mindful leadership consultant and also Head of Management Development at Switzerland’s largest energy supplier. She is passionate to bring mindfulness to organizations by focusing on secular practices that fit the corporate world (eg Googles’ SEARCH INSIDE YOURSELF’).

Geneviève H. Pic.jpg

Geneviève Hamelet, President of the Association for the Development of Mindfulness, France

Geneviève Hamelet is one of the founding members as well as the president of ADM (The Association for the development of Mindfulness). She has been trained in MBSR and MBCT and is now a certified MBSR teacher, trainer and supervisor of the CFM/Umass medical school.
She also holds a Master of Sophrology and a Semrig Thablam Mawa degree (STM) in UD « Inner Science of Mind and Phenomena » and its applications in self-development, within the Tarab Institute founded by Tarab Tulku Rinpoche and Lene Handberg to promote the universality of Indo-Tibetan ancient wisdom in the modern world.
A Buddhist student for the last 20 years, she has been since 1997 the interpretor for many mindfulness teachers such as Akincano , Gyetrul Jigme Rinpoche, Jon Kabat-Zinn, Jack Kornfield, Frank Ostaseski, Bob Stahl, Ajahn Sucitto and others...

Liane Stephane.jpg

Liane Stephan, Director and Co-Founder of Kalapa Leadership Academy, Germany

Mrs. Stephan is head of Kalapa Leadership Academy and Systeamotion. Working with a systemic approach, she focuses on management consultation and development, coaching and authentic leadership. Liane Stephan has been a trainer for coaches for 15+ years now.
She has been practicing mindfulness for 35+ years and has integrated meditative and contemplative practices into her life and her work.


Diego Hangartner, Founder of the Institute of Mental Balance and Secular Ethics, Switzerland

Diego has dedicated over thirty years to external scientific research and internal meditative exploration of the mind and consciousness.  He started as a pharmacologist specializing in psychopharmacology and addiction, always interested in what constitutes a healthy mind and how to cultivate it.  He spent many years at the Institute of Buddhist Dialectics in India, studying, translating and publishing several Tibetan works, and organizing several large events with His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Europe.
  Diego was COO of Mind and Life Institute in the US and co-founder and director of Mind and Life Institute in Europe until 2015. Mind and Life is an organization that brings together scientists and contemplatives to discuss, research and fund research into how to tackle some of the toughest challenges facing mankind. Today, he continues his research and teaching with the Max Planck Institute, ETH (The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology) and Zurich University.
  To share his teaching more broadly, Diego founded the “Institute of Mental Balance and Universal Ethics” (IMBUE), an interdisciplinary initiative, to develop and provide tools and programs that foster mental balance. He created and teaches “The Wheel of Mental Balance”, a methodology to cultivate a healthy and resilient mind.
  For more information: www.diegohangartner.org

Panjim Anjuna.jpg

Silvia Wiesmann, MBSR-teacher Switzerland, Co-director of EZfA’s MBSR-teacher-training, Freiburg, Germany

Silvia Wiesmann got her Master of Arts in Movement Therapy/Somatic Psychology at Naropa University. She is a certified MBSR-teacher, a member of the Swiss MBSR-teacher association and director of the MBSR-teacher-training at EZfA (European Center for Mindfulness). She has applied mindfulness based approaches in working with various populations: Adolescents at Halcyon School treatment program of Mental Health Center in Boulder, Hospice Care at Zen Hospice Project in San Francisco, in an outpatient program for people suffering from eating discorders at University Hospital in Bern as well as in Psychooncology, Psychosomatics, etc.. She has been conducting workshops and giving lectures on mind body awareness, movement therapy, somatic psychology at conferences, seminars, continuing education for health care professionals in the area of mindfulness based interventions (Psychooncology, Hospice Care, Psychosomatics. Since 2009 she is co-teaching a one year training for professionals in mindful body awareness. She is the president of a recently established non-profit association promoting mindfulness and compassion in education.

Erick Rinner pic.png

Erick Rinner, Partner and International Director at Potential Project, Switzerland

Erick is a board member and a senior trainer with Potential Project. Erick shares his time between the development of Potential Project’s activities in Europe, while still running Milestone Investisseurs, his private equity firm. He has a 27-year experience in private equity and corporate finance in Europe. Erick's core skills include initiating change at board level, negotiation, advising management teams on value creation and leadership. He sits on the board of companies and trusts in London, Luxembourg and Switzerland. Erick has had a daily mindfulness practice for 11 years and is regularly in retreat. He received his MBA from Columbia Business School in New York (Award for Excellence), is an executive coach and a registered mindfulness teacher (MBSR). Erick gives all his mindfulness training fees to Karuna-Shechen and Global Nomad in Tibet.

Jean Gerard Bloch.jpg

Jean Gerard Bloch, MD, Rheumatologist, University of Strasbourg, France

Jean-Gérard BLOCH, MD, Rheumatologist,
After his medical degree, he earned a MSc in neuro-immuno-pharmacology. Inspired by psychology in contemplative traditions, he offers and promotes a mind-body integrative medicine approach, supported by scientific validation, and collaborates on applied and fundamental meditation research. He is a certified MBSR program instructor, by the UMass Medical School Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society, and vice president of the ADM “Association pour le development de la Mindfulness“. He develops this approach at University of Strasbourg and its Hospital since 2010. In 2012, he implemented the Medicine Meditation and Neuroscience course along with Pr. Gilles Bertschy. Since 2014, he instructs a meditation course at the School of Psychology, included in the Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Master’s Degree curriculum. He has organized relevant scientific encounters which include a conference with His Holiness the Dalaï Lama on the interface of modern science, engagement and meditation in September 2016, a lecture by Jon Kabat-Zinn at the Medical School of the University of Strasbourg on “Meditation and Body/Mind Medecine: what are the impacts on Public Health and Society ?“ in November 2017; and a lecture by Saki Santorelli on “The Wound That Heals All Wounds: Mindfulness, Caring, and the Recognition of Joy“ in Septembre 2017. .


Svetlana Landa, mindfulness and executive coach, author and motivational speaker, Russia

Expert in Russia for well-being and leadership development, professional coach and a member of the International Coaching Federation (ICF), a certified mindfulness meditation instructor, trained in Meditation Awareness (RAM) under the personal guidance of Gyétrul Jigme Rinpoche. She has 17 years of management experience; 10+ years in executive coaching, business trainings and teaching on MBA programs. Svetlana is the author of trainings and development programs for leaders, such as: "Inspiring leadership", "Creative leadership", "Innovative thinking in business", "Stress and energy management", etc. Svetlana is the co-founder of the business and social community “Women's Leadership Forum”, the founder of coaching center “Style of Life Academy” and author of a Russia’s bestseller, "Everything at once: rules of life for successful women to change the world"



Sleeping & Getting here