Keynote / plenary session summaries

Dates for the new keynote sessions will be announced soon. We aim to pair up speakers in order to provide a thought provoking dialogue and discussion from different perspectives. The following line-up was put together for the postponed 2020 conference and may be subject to change.

Keynote / plenary session summaries

Resilience in the Lives of People with Disabilities: The role of Mattering, Fairness and WellnessDr Ora Prilleltensky, Prof Isaac Prilleltensky and Sophie Halas

Resilience is the personal and collective ability of individuals and groups to thrive in the face of adversity. People can take resilient steps in the personal sphere, but also highlight and challenge systemic inequality that leads to adversity. This is what disability activists have done when they challenged oppressive factors in the lives of people with disabilities. The more people with disabilities experience mattering, wellness and fairness, the higher the likelihood that they will become resilient. Mattering, wellness, and fairness are independent factors that contribute to resilience, but their impact is multiplied when they operate in concert. Mattering, the experience of feeling valued and adding value, is affected by the levels of fairness individuals and groups experience in daily life. There is indeed evidence that higher levels of fairness predict higher levels of mattering. Fairness consists of two major types: distributive and procedural. The former relates to access to valued resources such as housing, education, transportation, health, and occupational opportunities. The latter, in turn, refers to voice and choice. Both kinds are very relevant to the lives of people with disabilities. There is also evidence that mattering leads to well-being. When people feel valued and have opportunities to add value they report higher levels of well-being. In this presentation we will discuss ways to promote fairness, mattering, and well-being at the individual and collective levels. We aim to equip individuals with tools for personal change, and communities with tools for transformative social change.

The value of social learning: youth resilience in Blackpool – Prof Etienne Wenger-Trayner and Sam Richardson

This double-act keynote brings together international social learning theorist Etienne Wenger-Trayner with Blackpool youth worker Sam Richardson for a conversation about learning to be resilient. They come to the topic from two very different, but complementary perspectives. By weaving these two perspectives, their conversation will shine a light on two dimensions of the resilience work at HeadStart Blackpool. They will explore the adoption of social learning as an approach to developing resilience among youths. They will also discuss the use of the Wenger-Trayner value-creation framework to make the value of this approach visible to participants and stakeholders. In this dance of theory and practice, the rigor underlying the work of HeadStart Blackpool will become apparent and the formal framework they used will come to life.

Anti-racism and the Resilience Revolution 

Ngozi Lyn Cole was there when the Resilience Revolution was born. As England Director at the National Lottery Community fund, she led the development of the HeadStart programme, a six-year, £67.4 million programme set up in 2016 to explore and test new ways to improve the mental health and wellbeing of young people and prevent serious mental health issues from developing. Since then she has followed our work with great interest and was really exciting to visit Blackpool in 2018 to see the revolution in progress.

Now a self-employed coach and leadership catalyst, Ngozi will join us to talk about how we can truly move from ‘non-racism‘ to ‘anti-racism’ and by doing so truly beat the odds while changing the odds’ for EVERYONE.  We will discuss what feels uncomfortable when we talk about race;  how people from minority ethnic groups experience our society; why language is so important and the roles that we can all play as allies to improve racial equity. Finally we will spend some time reflecting on the personal commitment we can make to help leave the world a better place than the one we arrived in. As Barack Obama said, ‘Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek’.

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