Plenary Faculty and Discussants

Plenary faculty deliver lectures and are available to answer attendee questions throughout the week, often leading breakout sessions and participating in panel discussions. Their lectures expand on the week’s theme, deepening and broadening our shared knowledge from a variety of experiences, backgrounds, and disciplines. The faculty includes scientists, clinical researchers, contemplative practitioners, scholars, and teachers from a variety of disciplines.

Bruce Barrett, MD, PhD

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Convening Faculty, PPC Member

Bruce Barrett is Professor and Vice Chair for Research in Family Medicine and Community Health (DFMCH) at the University of Wisconsin – Madison.  Following M.D. and Ph.D. (Anthropology) degrees in … MORE

Dekila Chungyalpa

Loka Initiative, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Convening Faculty, PPC Member

Dekila Chungyalpa is the director of a new and innovative education and outreach program at the University of Wisconsin–Madison for faith leaders and religious institutions. Known as the Loka Initiative, … MORE

Elissa Epel, PhD

University of California, San Francisco

Convening Faculty, PPC Member

Elissa Epel, Ph.D, is a Professor, and Vice Chair, in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, at University of California, San Francisco. She studies psychological, social, and behavioral pathways … MORE

Christiana Figueres

Global Climate Leader

Convening Faculty

Christiana Figueres is an internationally recognized leader on global climate change. She was Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) 2010-2016. Assuming responsibility for the … MORE

Roshi Joan Halifax, PhD

Upaya Zen Center

Roshi Joan Halifax is a Buddhist teacher, Zen priest, anthropologist, and pioneer in the field of end-of-life care. She is Founder, Abbot, and Head Teacher of Upaya Institute and Zen … MORE

Barbara (Bobbi) Patterson, PhD

Emory University

Convening Faculty, PPC Member

Bobbi Patterson’s scholarship focuses on lived religion and place, human and earth ecosystems, and pedagogy, particularly those involving community-based partnerships. Her scholarly training and teaching engages Christian and Buddhist contemplative … MORE

Matthieu Ricard, PhD


Matthieu Ricard, Ph.D., is a Buddhist monk at Schechen Monastery in Kathmandu, Nepal. Born in France in 1946, he received his Ph.D. in Cellular Genetics at the Institut Pasteur under … MORE

Vandana Shiva, PhD


Convening Faculty

Vandana Shiva is a physicist, ecologist, activist, editor, and author of numerous books, and most importantly a radical, tireless defender of the environment. She is the founder of Navdanya, a … MORE

Elke Weber, PhD

Princeton University

Convening Faculty

Dr. Elke U. Weber is the Gerhard R. Andlinger Professor in Energy and the Environment and the Professor of Psychology and Public Affairs, at Princeton University. She believes that psychological … MORE

Evan Thompson, PhD

University of British Columbia

Convening Faculty, Fellow, Grantee

Evan Thompson is Professor of Philosophy at the University of British Columbia. He studies the mind, life, consciousness, and the self, from the perspectives of cognitive science, philosophy of mind, … MORE

Oladosu Adenike Titilope


Oladosu Adenike Titilope is an eco-feminist and a climate justice activist; an advocate for the restoration of Lake Chad for sustainable development and regional stability. In 2019, she became the … MORE

Lyla June


Lyla June is an Indigenous musician, scholar and community organizer of Diné (Navajo), Tsétsêhéstâhese (Cheyenne) and European lineages. Her dynamic, multi-genre presentation style has engaged audiences across the globe towards … MORE

Contemplative Faculty

Contemplative faculty guide participants through practices that integrate their first-person knowledge with themes being explored, interspersing contemplative art and practice sessions with free time for personal reflection. In addition to daily practice, the contemplative faculty lead the retreat time.

Kaira Jewel Lingo

Convening Faculty

Kaira graduated from Stanford University with a B.A. and M.A. in Anthropology and Social Sciences and teaches Buddhist meditation, mindfulness, and compassion internationally, with a focus on activists, people of … MORE

Willa Blythe Baker, PhD

Natural Dharma Fellowship

Convening Faculty

Lama Willa Blythe Baker, PhD, is the Founder and Spiritual Director of Natural Dharma Fellowship in Boston, MA and its retreat center Wonderwell Mountain Refuge in Springfield, NH. She was … MORE

Peter Wayne, PhD

Harvard Medical School

Convening Faculty, Fellow

Peter Wayne, PhD, is a researcher and practitioner in the field of mind-body and integrative medicine.  Dr. Wayne is the Bernard Osher Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School … MORE

Program Planning Committee

The Program Planning Committee (PPC) is a committee of invited specialists from diverse disciplines and perspectives who bring their expertise to curate and produce the content of the conference. In addition to developing the overall theme and narrative arc of the program, the members of the PPC actively participate and serve in leadership roles throughout the conference. The PPC members for SRI 2021 are Bobbi Patterson (co-chair), Elissa Epel (co-chair), Dekila Chungyalpa and Bruce Barrett.