After a year-plus of Covid and various lockdowns, people feel the need to reconnect more than ever. Removing ourselves from what we once might have thought of as 'normal' life has had many knock-on effects for individuals, families and society. It is only now that we are beginning to find the time and the space to deal with the consequences of the Covid era. As we begin to leave our homes and return to workplaces, as we begin to see friends and family and rediscover the joys of simple activities we took for granted, we find ourselves arriving at a moment of opportunity and reflection. We are on journeys of healing and the first stop is learning to reconnect.
With that in mind, the Scottish Centre for Conflict Resolution is pleased to announce the theme of this year’s International Conference is ‘The Power of Reconnection’. The Conference takes place online and is free to participate in. Whereas previous in-person Conferences took place over two days, our online Conference will spread its events across the month of October, with many events streaming live during lunch hours in order that the maximum amount of people can tune in.
Our programme will bring together speakers and collaborators to share their wealth of experience. Reconnection means many things to different people – reconnecting with loved ones, reconnecting with causes, or simply reconnecting with oneself – and our speakers will reveal how we can grow strong positive relationships and reconnect with our family, friends, ourselves, and the wider society. The Conference will underline the Scottish Centre for Conflict Resolution’s emphasis on mediation and early intervention work with families to prevent youth homelessness through interactive workshops, discussions and the arts.
You can find out more about each event and speaker taking part in ‘The Power of Reconnection’ 2021 Conference here. Speakers include:
- Dr Adam Burley, a clinical psychologist working in and around homelessness and health exclusion. This involves direct work and the support and supervision of staff who are involved in this work. Burley has an interest in how early experiences of care can impact upon relationships and care-seeking through later life. His event, Shining a Light on the Invisible, takes place on Friday 15 October, 11am. Reserve a ticket here.
- Alan Spence, the award-winning poet, playwright, and novelist (Its Colours They Are Fine; The Magic Flute, The Pure Land). He has recently completed his term as Edinburgh Makar, where he acted as Literary Ambassador for the capital. He co-runs the Sri Chinmoy Meditation Centre in Edinburgh, and his life and work are influenced by Eastern art and philosophies; the Guardian praised his poetry for ‘capturing a specific moment and elevating it to the universal’. His event, Power of the Heart: A Conversation with Alan Spence, takes place on Wednesday 13 October, 12pm. Reserve a ticket here.
- Ruth Unsworth, a Mediator, Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist, and a Church of Scotland Minister. At the University of St Andrews, Unsworth developed the accredited Wellbeing, Counselling and Mental Health Matched Care service and last year, developed The University Mediation Service. 30 years ago, Unsworth worked in homelessness and sees mediation and emotional intelligence as means to reconnect. Her event, Reconnecting Mediation and Emotional Intelligence, takes place on Tuesday 12 October, 10am. Reserve a ticket here.
- Jo Bibby leads The Health Foundation’s strategy to create the opportunities for everyone to lead a healthy life. She has worked in health at local and national level for 25 years, including 10 years at the Department of Health. Bibby is a trustee at the Centre for Homelessness Impact and a non-executive director at Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust. Her event, Young Peoples’ Experience, The Pandemic and Life Chances, takes place on Thursday 21 October, 1.30pm. Reserve a ticket here.
We’ll be announcing more names in the coming weeks. Check out our Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for announcements of more names added to our line-up as well as our Conference 2021 page for details of who is speaking and when.