A collaborative, interdisciplinary, and immersive opportunity for conversations around humanity’s response to the crisis of disconnection and othering — for researchers, contemplatives, changemakers, and anyone interested in this topic.
The Summer Research Institute is an application-based program. It will be held online from June 6-10, 2022. Applications opened on Monday, December 13, 2021 and closed on Friday, April 8, 2022.
Humanity is experiencing a crisis of disconnection and ‘othering.’ The challenges we face—from racial injustice to conflict within and across borders to climate change—demand concerted action; yet we remain more divided than ever. What is the role of our minds in creating these divisions, and how can our minds transform to create a more connected world?
The 2022 Mind & Life Summer Research Institute will explore the way we become ourselves in relation to others, and how othering and belonging emerge in us individually, within community, and in the context of culture, our legal and social institutions, and our physical environment. At the individual level, we will examine how basic features of human cognition unconsciously and automatically establish both in- and out-groups, and how deep perspective-taking and understanding may naturally arise and undercut these tendencies with resonant compassion and love. At a societal level, we will look at how social institutions and practices can deepen old grooves of othering, hindering our efforts to build peace. We will learn how structural inequities once enshrined in law persist even after laws change, and how we can use history, neuroscience, and contemplative practices to inform new practices of conflict resolution that “widen the circle of the we.” And with the climate crisis unfolding in real time, we will consider how modernity has shaped the Western view of ourselves as separate from nature, and discover more interconnected worldviews embraced by many cultures and Indigenous communities.
Throughout, we will engage in contemplative practices to help us explore how body states come and go, theoretical frames arise and pass, and identities feel both elusive and solid. We’ll investigate how such practices can help us break out of habitual patterns of separation, allowing us to more fully see, and live into, our interconnection. With this sense of becoming, we hope to emerge from the week with the view that we belong to each other, and to the world.
Read more about what to expect at this year’s SRI on our blog.
Please note: Most of our programming takes place between 10 am- 6:15 pm US Eastern Time.
What to Expect
- Live plenary lectures and Q&As with with leading scholars, activists, and contemplatives
- Curated small group breakout sessions for storytelling, reflection, and action
- Daily contemplative meditation and movement practices to cultivate awareness and embodiment
- Live intergenerational, interdisciplinary panel discussions for fostering inquiry and dialogue
- Social forums to network with participants and faculty, share new ideas, discuss topics of interest, and find new collaborators
- Live Poster presentations with interactive discussion boards
- Contemplative arts offerings
University College London
Convening Faculty, Reviewer
Prof. Harris is a social neuroscientist who takes an interdisciplinary approach to understand human behaviour. His research explores the neural correlates of person perception, prejudice, dehumanization, anthropomorphism, social learning, social … MORE
Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela is Professor and Research Chair for Historical Trauma and Transformation at Stellenbosch University. Her work focuses mainly on two strands of research: exploring intergenerational repercussions of oppression and … MORE
Who should attend?
Anyone whose work and/or personal passions align with this year’s theme, Othering, Belonging, and Becoming, is welcome, including researchers (e.g., scientists, humanities scholars), contemplatives, and changemakers (e.g., leaders, policy-makers, clinicians, activists).
The Mind & Life Institute is committed to: 1) building a thoughtful and engaged interdisciplinary community that integrates diverse perspectives and experiences, and 2) offering catalytic and transformative opportunities, especially for those early in their careers.
This unique and international virtual gathering offers the opportunity to deepen work and connections, and the potential to spark innovative and interdisciplinary collaborations and projects.
Applicants must apply to one of two categories of participants:
Emerging: Students (undergraduate and graduate), postdoctoral fellows, junior faculty (researchers across the sciences and humanities), early-career changemakers and professionals, and contemplative practitioners within five years of appointment or beginning work in the field.
Please note: Emerging researchers who attend the SRI become eligible to apply for the Mind & Life Francisco J. Varela Research Grants. Emerging changemaker participants will be eligible for our new Contemplative Changemaking Grants . Other participants may be eligible for other Mind & Life grants.
Established: Researchers (across the sciences and humanities), contemplative teachers, and changemakers (professionals, policy-makers, leaders, activists), and those interested in this topic, who have held faculty appointments or positions for more than five years.
We welcome candidates of all races, ethnicities, classes, genders, ages, religions and spiritualities, physical abilities, sexual orientations, geographic locations, disciplines, and institutions to apply.
Applications for the 2022 Summer Research Institute will be open Monday, December 13, 2021 through Friday, April 1, 2022. All application materials MUST be submitted by the application deadline; applications that remain incomplete or unsubmitted after the deadline will not be considered for acceptance to the program. Please refer to our applications page to learn more about the application process and requirements.
The registration fee will be paid after acceptance to SRI. There are four different levels of registration fees:
Pay it forward ($250): For those who work for institutions that allocate a budget for conferences, or for individuals with the means to cover the actual per person cost of the SRI, plus a contribution for others to attend SRI.
Supporter ($175): For those who work for institutions that allocate a budget for conferences, or for individuals with the means to cover the actual per person cost of the SRI.
Sustainer ($125): For employees and groups from smaller nonprofit organizations, or individuals who cannot afford to cover the unsubsidized registration option.
Scholarships : Scholarships are available for those who cannot afford the other options and need financial assistance to attend the SRI. Please use the form attached with the application if you require a scholarship. To learn more about scholarships please visit our scholarships page.
Please note that scholarships are limited with priority given to those participants from the global majority, systematically marginalized communities, and full-time monastics or clergy.
The registration fee provides participants access to the conference platform, including video recordings of plenaries and panels post conference. If you have any questions, please email email@example.com.