A Dialogue with
Dr. Richard Davidson

Keynote speech and panel discussions with
health, education and business professionals

December 2–3, 2017

Bern - Switzerland

The Key to a healthy Life is having a healthy Mind
— Dr. Richard Davidson

About the conference

Dr. Richard Davidson, researcher and author of numerous books, will visit Landguet Ried, Center for mindful living, for a multidisciplinary meeting to explore the intersections between meditation, health and well-being and the various ways in which this millennial practice can contribute to the creation of a more conscious and compassionate society.

Scientific evidence suggests that we can change our brains by cultivating habits of mind that will improve well-being, including happiness, resilience, compassion and emotional balance. Each of these characteristics can be shaped and modified within our brain by experience and training. 

In this weekend event, Richard Davidson will share with us the most exciting aspects of his ground-breaking research at the Center for Healthy Minds, that suggests, that well-being is a skill, and as such, can be trained and cultivated. He will also share with us, how using mental trainings to cultivate well-being can be applied in a wide range of contexts and have the potential to positively impact social change.

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
We can change the brain by changing the Mind
— Dr. Richard Davidson

About Dr. Richard J. Davidson


Davidson is best known for his groundbreaking work studying emotion and the brain. A friend and confidante of the Dalai Lama, he is a highly sought after expert and speaker, leading conversations on well-being on international stages such as the World Economic Forum, where he serves on the Global Council on Mental Health. Time Magazine named Davidson one of “The 100 Most Influential People in the World” in 2006.


Davidson has published hundreds of scientific papers and is the author of The New York Times bestseller "The Emotional Life of Your Brain" published by Penguin in 2012. He has been featured widely in popular media, including the Today Show, ABC’s NightlineNational Public RadioNational Geographic MagazineTime MagazineNewsweek, O: the Oprah Magazine, PBS’s The Charlie Rose ShowHarvard Business Review, and additional national and international news outlets.


Davidson is the William James and Vilas Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry and the Director of the Waisman Laboratory for Brain Imaging and Behavior – both at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where he has been a faculty member since 1984. Throughout his career, he has published more than 375 articles and 80 chapters/reviews as well as edited 14 books.






Saturday, 2 December 2017:


10:00 Keynote Speech by Dr. Richard Davidson


Keynote speech by Dr Richard Davidson

Dr Davidson will present his latest research and findings on the effects of meditation practice on human well-being.

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


14:30 Mindfulness in Business


Dr Richard Davidson will be joined on stage by mindful leadership consultants, corporate representatives and management professors to explore how mindfulness can contribute to the emergence of a more caring, creative and productive workplace.

With Dr Richard Davidson

Other 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

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

Sunday, 3 December 2017:


10:00 Mindfulness in Health & Society


Dr Richard Davidson will be joined on stage by MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction) trainers and practitioners, who 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.   

With Dr Richard Davidson

Other Guest Speakers:

·      Paul Grossman, Director of the EZfA, Freiburg, Germany

·      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

Guided meditation sessions


14:30 Mindfulness in Education


Dr Richard Davidson will be joined on stage by Swiss education authorities, education professionals and MBSR instructors in the field of education to explore how mindfulness can contribute to enhancing the teacher-student relationship in the classroom and overall academic results.

With Dr Richard Davidson

Other Guest Speakers:

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

·      Rebecca Butterworth, Secondary Principal at ICS Inter-Community School Zurich, 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





Check out regularly for updates on speakers


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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.

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Paul Grossman, Director of the EZfA, Freiburg, Germany

Dr. Paul Grossman is Director of the European Center for Mindfulness, Freiburg, Germany, a meeting place and a hub of continuing education, primarily oriented to supporting health-and-illness related professions in the cultivation of mindfulness and other central elements of Buddhist psychology. He is also Research Director Emeritus, Department of Psychosomatic Medicine, Division of Internal Medicine, University of Basel Hospital, Basel, Switzerland. Over the past three decades, Paul has investigated and published extensively on relations between cardiorespiratory physiology and psychological function in health and disease, and has explored the adoption of mindfulness and other elements of Buddhist psychology in the health-and-illness related sciences. He has been principal investigator of several investigations of mindfulness-based interventions for debilitating, long-lasting medical conditions, and has lectured and authored papers on conceptual aspects of mindfulness and mindfulness-based interventions in health-and-disease care and psychology. He is Associate Editor of the Springer journal Mindfulness, and director of MBSR-Freiburg, a mindfulness-based stress-reduction teacher-training program in Freiburg, Germany.


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

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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.

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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. .

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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.


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’).

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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...

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Maria Kluge, author of the book “The Toolbox is You”, Germany

Maria has devoted her career to applying her training and interest in mindfulness, yoga and therapeutic massage to promote health and wellbeing in a variety of settings. She studied therapeutic massage, cranial sacral and tai massage, with intense focus on patients with cancer, special scar treatments and stroke rehabilitation.
In 1993, she founded the Dogwood Institute in Charlottesville, VA. Beginning. In 1994, Maria trained in MBSR (Mindfulness- Based Stress Reduction) with Jon Kabat- Zinn at the University of Massachusetts where she completed the MBSR.
She brings a gentle, compassionate, and playful approach toward working with others. She was instrumental in establishing the University of Virginia’s Mindfulness Center and taught there for 7 years.
More recently, Maria developed and authored a book addressed to education professionals wishing to integrate mindfulness practices in the classroom, called “The Toolbox is You”, which earned her a prize in Austria in 2016 for best book design. Maria presently sits on the Advisory Board of the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and the Hiromi T’ai Chi Center in Charlottesville, Virginia.



Sleeping & Getting here