The energy had been flowing and escalating since the first official announcement about the conference. Speakers and attendants who had been there before, knew very well that we were heading towards another remarkable event.
After attending over 1000 conferences in my career, I think I might have developed some decent criteria of what makes a conference different from others. The difference comes from two main factors, that a conference can either have them or not. Energy and value. The energy is all this power, all this feeling that you get before, during and after the event is over. Value is what comprises all the gains you have received after attending the conference. And I can confirm that the 5th NeuroHeart Education Conference had both of them in abundance.
The energy, and more specifically the positive energy enwrapping these conferences comes from the unconditional, passionate vision of the organizers. Money and profit are not the objective of events like these. In many other conferences, “sponsorship and finances” are subtle or evident priorities. Here the priority is Rachel Paling’s vision for a better education for the world. A goal that is encompassed and embraced by the creation of the NeuroHeart Education Foundation. The announcement that all the money from the conference will be given to the projects and development of the foundation was the fuel and the proof for the people to embrace it and inundate it with “good, positive and welcoming energy”.
The second ingredient for a successful conference has to do with the content and value it offers to its participants. And I dare say, that this particular conference DOES become better, year by year, in terms of speakers, topics covered and content offered to its attendants. You cannot find many conferences in the context of education, where you can learn about all the current breakthroughs in the field of neuroscience, neuro heart research, psychology and even medicine. The proof of this value is all the impressive feedback these talks receive from all the participants. Almost ninety per cent of the participants from the previous years enthusiastically register for the next year as well, and they bring even more people to join. Living proof of how amazing this content is, are all the recordings from the previous conferences that are still available via the NLC portal.
Angela Maiers gave us a little bit of her glow and she really taught us how much we matter and how important it is to give the floor to the kids so that they can express themselves and be listened to. Rolin McCraty confirmed scientifically the nervous system of the heart and how fundamental is self regulation as well as, coordinating the heart and the brain. Richard Bentley gave us highly sophisticated coaching lessons full of coaching principles that are useful for all educators. Ganga Devi provided so many arguments, proof and results that can convince everyone that yoga and meditation should be part of the school’s curriculum. Rachael Roberts gave us very useful insights on mindset, praise, motivation and she taught us that we should be appreciating our mistakes. We all enjoyed Rob Howard’s 23 words to motivating autonomy learning the difference between being independent and being autonomous. Dana Poklemovic showed us really skillfully how we can move students from seclusion to inclusion and what are the barriers to reach that goal. George Kokolas gave a different perspective on motivation both as a life and classroom skill and Curtis Kelly showed us the power of storytelling and how we can download stories in other peoples’ minds. Joddie Gibson reminded us about the power of words and how we can use them as anchors for learning or fuel for discovering new things. Giancarlo Brotto demonstrated all the new technologies that can help boost learning for the 21st century learners. Jo Bivens made us all reveal the super hero inside us and use some of our “superpowers” inside the classroom. Jenny Dooley gave us an in depth presentation of all the learning difficulties and how inclusive we can all become in our classrooms. Thomas Feiner revealed all the recent neuroscience news regarding decision making and how gratitude can help us become better thinkers. Danijela Debelij asked us to focus on our intuitive heart and use love as a vehicle to thrive and shine in our lives. Irene Viglia Atton showed us the power of dreams, how dreams exist in different fields and how they should never be neglected. Tetyana Skypkina demonstrated the utility of speech therapy techniques for language learning and the one and only, Terry Small, gave us so many different scientific arguments and proof of why knowledge about the brain should be the priority of every teacher on this planet.
And of course, none of the above would take place, if it wasn’t for Rachel Paling who not only is a charismatic, human source of inspiration but also a sophisticated professional. The “brain queen” gave another revealing talk on the future of coaching and how this can become the real future of teaching and learning.
And there is more good news. Those of you who missed all these amazing speakers, you can still get access to the NLC portal and watch all these talks again, plus all the ones from the previous years. And also, the next issue of the Neurolanguage Collective Magazine in September, will be full of articles related to the talks of the conference. We are extremely happy and excited about this issue.
We can’t wait for the conference next year in Sitges.
Thank you Rachel Paling. Thank you NeuroHeart Education Foundation!