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Festival of Compassion

The festival has now ended for this year. You will be able to view recordings of some of the events below.

Following a truly unprecedented year, now more than ever the value of compassion to our lives, institutions, and communities has been amply demonstrated.

We are bringing together academics, practitioners, campaigners, and activists, working in a number of fields, for a festival on compassion in its broadest sense, to coincide with the celebration of this year’s ‘World Compassion Day’.

The Festival of Compassion is a university-based event which will consolidate and present some of the key current thinking related to compassion, and offers practical suggestions about how to actively implement compassion for wellbeing both in university and in life beyond it.

Join us for activities online, on campus and in the city of Exeter to listen to engaging talks from renowned experts and participate in ‘taster’ sessions with practitioners, including: art; yoga; music; poetry; therapy; spiritualism; guided nature walks, and much more.

Themes

We are taking an interdisciplinary approach to presenting some of the important issues and dichotomies related to compassion, by charting a path between scientific, philosophical and alternative views on compassion and wellness. Within several Festival Themes or “Tents” we will address compassion and self, compassion in education, compassion and community, and compassion through play.

The Exeter Festival of Compassion is a great way to support University of Exeter staff and students as well as the local community, and to engage with the University of Exeter, an institution of global standing and a major South West employer.  

Contact the Festival of Compassion team at festivalofcompassion@exeter.ac.uk.

Event recordings

The festival has now finished but you can still view recordings of the events where appropriate. 

Keep checking the date as we are uploading the details as they come in to the accordions below.

Festival of Compassion, Bringing mindfulness to education

DateTimeTitleShort DescriptionEvent details
Thu 18   Felix Klieser Interview with Felix Klieser, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra’s new Artist in Residence Details to follow
DateTimeTitleShort DescriptionEvent details
Fri 19 10.30-11.30 Bringing Mindfulness to Education Liz Lord from Mindfulness in Schools Project (MiSP) will discuss what mindfulness is and isn’t, the research evidence around potential benefits and what it looks like in a school or university context 

Talk
Online

RECORDING

Fri 19 11.00-13.00 Death Café The Departure Lounge: An interactive death café exploring the ways in which grief for humans and other animals can be a catalyst for compassion 

Talk
St Luke’s Campus,

NOT RECORDED

Fri 19 14.00-15.00 Yoga with Nikki Darling Nikki Darling will facilitate a gentle session that weaves in some compassion focused yoga philosophy, poetry, and a meditation practice

Workshop in person
St Luke’s Campus,


NOT RECORDED

 

Fri 19 14.30-15.30 15.30-16.30 Can we talk about race? Fireside conversation with Professor Beverly Daniel Tatum, a clinical psychologist, author and a sought-after speaker on the topic of racial identity development, the impact of race in the classroom, strategies for creating inclusive campus environments, and higher education leadership. Conversation will be followed by a book sale and signing.

Streatham Campus

RECORDING TO FOLLOW

Fri 19 17.00-17.30 Race: the beginning and the end Talk by Reverend Professor Keith Magee, an economist and theologian with over 30 years of professional experience as a senior executive in higher education, museums and non-profits with a focus on culture and justice, philanthropy, public policy and public theology.

Streatham Campus,

RECORDING TO FOLLOW

Fri 19 19.30 Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra Join Felix Klieser, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra’s new Artist in Residence in concert at the Great Hall. Conducted by BSO’s Chief Conductor Kirill Karabits, the programme includes Mozart’s most popular and tuneful Horn Concerto with Felix as soloist, and a rare opportunity to enjoy one of Anton Bruckner’s earliest symphonies. Streatham Campus 
DateTimeTitleShort DescriptionEvent details
Sat 20 11:00-14:00 Compassionate Cafe Celebration of compassion and a multicultural community with music, food, book sale and signing, games, conversations, crochet, knitting and even LEGO to build a better relationship with nature at Maketank. Exeter City,
Maketank, 3-5 Paris Street, Exeter, EX1 2JB
Eventbrite booking link
Sat 20 10.00-11.00 Yoga with Nikki Darling Nikki Darling will facilitate a gentle online session that weaves in some compassion focused yoga philosophy, poetry, and a meditation practice Online,

Eventbrite booking link

DateTimeTitleShort DescriptionEvent details
Mon 22 10.00-11.00 Yoga with Nikki Darling Nikki Darling will facilitate a gentle session that weaves in some compassion focused yoga philosophy, poetry, and a meditation practice Streatham Campus,
Forum Piazza, Marquee

Eventbrite booking link

Mon 22 10.00-12.00

Sim Factory -

What if the organisation was a game?
Come and play a game online to explore what would happen if the organisation was a game. How would we play it and what would be the rules? Can we still be compassionate towards our colleagues? In ‘Sim Factory’ we simulate a factory, with customers, management, staff and products. What can we learn from this game in how to behave in real organisations?  

Workshop

Online

Eventbrite booking link
Mon 22 10.00-11.00 The Poetry of Compassion A creative writing workshop by Sally Flint to explore how nature and people can and do interact in a compassionate world by experimenting with words and images Streatham Campus,
Peter Chalk, Room 2.5
Eventbrite booking link
Mon 22 11.00-14.00 Poetry Café A festival of words, celebrating all the amazing poetry submissions, where you can write poetry and the walls (screens), hear a reading by Chris Southgate and get editing help by Sally Flint. If you feel inspired you can also fill the room with your own words at the “Poetry Corner”

Streatham Campus,
Devonshire House, The Terrace, Compassionate Café

Eventbrite booking link

Mon 22 11.00-13.00 EduPlay Time to play! A collection of resources and ideas to encourage your playful side and inspire ideas for your own teaching, as well as exploring compassion through play. Just turn up and grab a seat! Penryn Campus
Daphne du Maurier Building, Seminar K
Seminar
Book via The EduExe Series - Home
Mon 22 13.00-14.00 Pitch up and Play – Football  Sports - No registration or membership needed! Just turn up and get involved! 

Streatham Campus

Sports Centre

(Sand Astro)

Walk-in
Mon 22 13.00-14.00 An informative support session about migraines A talk by David Kernick with Q&A Talk
Online
Eventbrite booking link
Mon 22 11.00-15.00 Wellbeing Campervan The Education Welfare team will be available to students for any wellbeing and welfare questions St Luke’s Campus,
The Quad
Student
Walk-in
Mon 22 12.30-13.00 Official opening of the Festival Our Vice-Chancellor, Lisa Roberts, will welcome staff and students to the Festival of Compassion and project lead Maarten Koeners will share the story behind the event, how it came about, its aims and give you some highlight to look forward to Staff/Student Talk 
Online

Eventbrite booking link

Mon 22 15.30-17.00 Compassion and Spirituality: Compassion in different Faiths and Traditions Members of the Multifaith Chaplaincy team will speak about what compassion is and how it is practised within their faith / worldview tradition.  The Multifaith Chaplaincy team is comprised of chaplains from Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Humanist, Muslim, Jewish, and Quaker traditions.  All of these have specific insights to give on the practices of compassion within our lives and communities Online

Eventbrite booking link

Mon 22 19.00-20.00 Mindful Classic Sessions

In this session, Irene Salvo will explore self-compassion starting from the reading of ancient Greek and Latin literary works (in translation). How can we develop compassionate attitudes towards our truest selves? Mindfulness and literature can show one of the paths available to us. No previous preparation is required to attend 

Streatham Campus, Devonshire House,  Exehale Room
Eventbrite booking link
Mon 22 19.00-20.30 Self Compassion - Being Kinder to Ourselves

Join Olga Zilberberg (www.Olgaz.co.uk) for a workshop of learning how to be kinder to ourselves, being accepting of our flaws and mistakes while moving towards achieving to be better and master a sense of self love and kindness

 

Talk

Online

Eventbrite booking link
DateTimeTitleShort DescriptionEvent details
Tue 23 8:00 – 16:00 Independent Thinking  Live! A BIG DAY OUT!  Over 20 of top Associates and speakers from Independent Thinking are delivering an exhilarating collection of live and recorded keynotes and workshops for teachers and school leaders everywhere And It's FREE! Keynotes and workshops
Streatham Campus,
various venues
Eventbrite booking link
Tue 23 11.00-15.00 Wellbeing Campervan The Education Welfare team will be available to students for any wellbeing and welfare questions - CANCELLED  Streatham Campus,
Forum Piazza
Students
Walk-in
Tue 23 12.00-13.00 Pitch up and Play - Dodgeball Sports - No registration or membership needed! Just turn up and get involved! 

Streatham Campus

Sports Centre

(Sand Astro)

Walk-in

Tue 23 12.00-13.15 Campus Poetic Tours: the walk Join us for an outdoor walk through Streatham or Penryn campus, experiencing our work and study environment through the poetic word as part of an embodied sense of place and identity

Streatham Campus

Eventbrite booking link

 

Tue 23 13:30 – 14:30 Campus Poetic Tours: the map Experience the poetic tours of Streatham and Penryn campuses, virtually; listen to some more poetry; enjoy some refreshment Streatham Campus,
Queen’s Building, 1B

Eventbrite booking link

Tue 23 12.00-13.15 Campus Poetic Tours: the walk Join us for an outdoor walk through Streatham or Penryn campus, experiencing our work and study environment through the poetic word as part of an embodied sense of place and identity Penryn Campus,
Eventbrite booking link
Tue 23 13.30-14.30 Campus Poetic Tours: the map Experience the poetic tours of Streatham and Penryn campuses, virtually; listen to some more poetry; enjoy some refreshment Penryn Campus,
Peter Lanyon Building,  Seminar 6
Eventbrite booking link
Tue 23 13.30-14.30 Mindful Classic Sessions

In this session, Irene Salvo will explore compassion towards others and nature starting from the reading of ancient Greek and Latin literary works (in translation). How can we embrace in compassionate circles people around us and the natural environment we live in? Mindfulness and literature can show one of the paths available to us. No previous preparation is required to attend

Streatham Campus,
Devonshire House,  Exehale Room

Eventbrite booking link

Tue 23 19.00-20.00 Ikigai with Caitlin Kight

Ikigai: a Japanese Concept About Finding Meaning in Life. This session will introduce you to this idea, explain how it can help provide resilience and direction and guide decision-making, and make will use a series of embedded activities to demonstrate how someone can begin to find their ikigai

 

Workshop

Online

Eventbrite booking link
Tue 23 19.00-20.30

 

 

Shame, Self-Compassion & Forgiveness: A sacred meeting, with Helen Tanner

 

In this workshop, we will be gently shining the light on shame and how it can be transformed and released through the self-compassion & forgiveness process  

Workshop

Online

Eventbrite booking link
DateTimeTitleShort DescriptionEvent details
Wed 24 09.30-11.00 Self-esteem, creativity and making people's brains hurt Keynote talk by Ian Gilbert, founder of Independent Thinking, an educational thinker, innovator, entrepreneur, speaker and award-winning editor and writer. Never happier than when he is making brains hurt, he has a unique first-hand perspective on the world of education having lived and worked in schools and universities in the UK, the Middle East, South America and Asia   Streatham Campus,

Newman Building, Lecture Theatre Blue 

Eventbrite booking link

Wed 24 10.00-16.00 Open event in St Luke's Volunteer Garden

Join us for outdoor activities at St Luke’s Volunteer Garden (we do have some shelter), which will help promote general wellbeing, as well as show compassion for others within the University and the community through fun and contemplation.  Activities include gardening, crafting, readings and creating the Tree of Compassion. Refreshments available. Donations for Exeter Foodbank

St Luke's Campus,

Walk-in

Wed 24 11.00-14.00 Playful Cafe

Get a free coffee and cake - come and play with us at our Playful Café, sponsored by T-Cup Studios and HeadsUp!

The Playful University Club will host a selection of games perfect to include in your teaching and There There will host an amazing ‘playful pipe cleaner event’ - the name of the game is to literally step out of the everyday and into play and experimenting. It will be wonderfully mindless – allowing us to step out of our anxieties and busyness to let our hands manipulate the soft fluffy wires and come into a state of Flow 

T-Cup Studios and HeadsUp Technologies are delighted to be sponsoring and attending the Exeter University Festival of Compassion 

Streatham Campus,  

Devonshire House, The Terrace, Compassionate Café 

Walk-in 

Wed 24 11.00-15.00 St Petrocs Volunteering Event and Wellbeing Campervan St Petrocs will be joining us on the Penryn campus to talk to students about their organisation, volunteering opportunities and to speak to and learn from students about their ideas for how best to help others. The Education Welfare team will also be there for any student wellbeing and welfare questions - CAMPERVAN CANCELLED - VOLUNTEERING WILL GO AHEAD Penryn Campus,
Outside Peter Lanyon Building
Student event
Walk-in
Wed 24 11.00-12.30 Poetry of Ageing

Shuks Esmene and Kelly Stevens work on a University of Exeter project called Healthy Ageing through Innovation in Rural Europe (HAIRE). Shuks will give a 15-minute talk on Zoom about how compassion and kindness play a key role in the project and its delivery, and Kelly Stevens will follow up with a writing workshop. The idea of the workshop is to really “see” old age with compassion, and consider ways we can bring compassion to the lives of others and to ourselves as we age 

Workshop
Online
Eventbrite booking link
Wed 24 12.00-13.00 Playful Yoga Join Anouska Cekalovic during her in-person session called “Playful Yoga”, where you are invited to engage in exploration of yoga poses and breathing exercises. It's slow paced and easy to follow as it is a time to reconnect with yourself! Please bring your Yoga mat! Streatham Campus,
Forum Piazza, Marquee

Eventbrite booking link

Wed 24 12:00-16:00 Digital Wellbeing Come along to the Digital Hub to discuss digital wellbeing and how to be compassionate online! Also showcase your digital compassion by working with your team to win Mario Party mini games. Come along and get involved and spin the digital wheel to win a prize, or give a prize! Streatham Campus,
Forum Digital Hub
Wed 24 13.00-14.00 An informative support session about Type 2 Diabetes, and the risk factors surrounding it A talk by Amanda Kohn with Q&A`

Talk
Online

RECORDING

Wed 24 13.00-14.00

Cultivating Compassion within Evidence Based Mindfulness Training

Research suggests that people who complete evidence based 8 session Mindfulness Based Programmes (MBPs) experience increased levels of self-compassion and meta cognitive awareness, stepping back behind the "waterfall of thinking". This session, with Kay Octigan, is an introduction to evidence based mindfulness training  

Workshop

Online

Eventbrite booking link
Wed 24 14.30-15.30 Mindful Classic Sessions

In this session, Irene Salvo will explore self-compassion starting from the reading of ancient Greek and Latin literary works (in translation). How can we develop compassionate attitudes towards our truest selves? Mindfulness and literature can show one of the paths available to us. No previous preparation is required to attend 

Streatham Campus, Devonshire House,  Exehale Room

Students

Eventbrite booking link

Wed 24 16.00-17.00 Playful Poetry Writing workshop

Chris Southgate will lead a series of exercises designed to stimulate ideas, adventures and experiments in poetry. Suitable for beginners and experienced writers alike. Bring a notebook and a pen/pencil, but most of all a heart and spirit ready to play

Workshop

Streatham campus

Forum, Seminar Room 02

Eventbrite booking link

Wed 24 19.00-20.30 Journey to joy Would you like to create more joy in your life and learn, experience and share how you could do this?  Join Anouska Cekalovic on our own “Journey to Joy”, where you engage in activities that can support joy through movement, reflection and sharing - so bring your favourite cuppa!  Online

Eventbrite booking link

 

 

DateTimeTitleShort DescriptionEvent details
Thu 25 9.30-12.00 Panel Discussion Panel discussion on the theme of ‘Celebrating Experiences towards a Compassionate Campus’ Prof Louise Lawrence (University of Exeter),
Rev Prof Keith Magee 
Dr Theo Gilbert 
Dr Kathryn Waddington 
Marion Ojua (Student Guild)

Hosted by Linda Peka 
Online

Eventbrite booking link

  
Thu 25 09.30-
10.30
Mindful Classic Sessions

In this session, Irene Salvo will explore compassion towards others and nature starting from the reading of ancient Greek and Latin literary works (in translation). How can we embrace in compassionate circles people around us and the natural environment we live in? Mindfulness and literature can show one of the paths available to us. No previous preparation is required to attend

Streatham Campus,
Devonshire House,  Exehale Room

Students

Eventbrite booking link

Thu 25 12.00-15.00 Refugees and Sanctuary Cafe A drop in café exploring the theme of refugees and sanctuary, hosted by a number of University and community groups who work to support refugees and campaign on refugee issues.  Come and meet, talk and engage  

Streatham Campus,
Devonshire House, The Terrace, Compassionate Café

Workshop

Walk-in

Thu 25 12:00-16:00 Digital Wellbeing Come along to the Digital Hub to discuss digital wellbeing and how to be compassionate online! Also showcase your digital compassion by working with your team to win Mario Party mini games. Come along and get involved and spin the digital wheel to win a prize, or give a prize!

St Luke's Campus
Cross Keys café

Thu 25 13.00-14.00 Pitch up and Play – Touch Rugby Sports - No registration or membership needed! Just turn up and get involved! 

Streatham Campus,

Sports Centre

(Sand Astro)

Walk-in

Thu 25 12.00-14.00 Open event in St Luke's Volunteer Garden Join us for outdoor activities at St Luke’s Volunteer Garden (we do have some shelter). These activities will help promote general wellbeing, as well as show compassion for others within the University and the community through fun and contemplation.  Activities include gardening, crafting, readings and creating the Tree of Compassion. Refreshments available. Donations for Exeter Foodbank

St Luke's Campus

Walk-in

Thu 25 12.00-12.40 Qigong  

An interactive Qigong with Holly Prince, where you can engage in learning some qigong movements.

Qigong (pronounced ‘chee-gong’) is an ancient Chinese healing art, focused on combining breath with movement with the aim to maintain good internal health. It can be seen as similar to Tai Chi

Streatham Campus,

The Forum Piazza, marquee

Eventbrite booking link

Thu 25 13.00-14.00 Refugees and Sanctuary

Presentations and discussion on the theme of refugees and sanctuary, exploring what we can do within our communities to promote a culture of welcome to those who have sought sanctuary in the UK

Streatham Campus,  Building One, Bateman Lecture Theatre 

Eventbrite booking link

Thu 25 All day Lukie’s - Connect & Discover   Last Thursday of the month St Luke’s Campus event for staff and students

St Luke’s Campus

Walk-in

Staff & students 

Eventbrite details

Thu 25 13.15-14.00 Being kinder to yourself with Jo Blakely

Come along to our session to explore the benefits of compassion for wellbeing and how to develop it within yourself

St Luke’s Campus

The Quad, Marquee

Staff & students

Eventbrite booking link
Thu 25 12.00-13.00 Playful Yoga Join Anouska Cekalovic during her in-person session called “Playful Yoga”, where you are invited to engage in exploration of yoga poses and breathing exercises. It's slow paced and easy to follow as it is a time to reconnect with yourself! Please bring your Yoga mat! St Luke’s Campus,
the Quad, marquee

Eventbrite booking link

Thu 25 12.00-14.00 LEGO Serious Play:
from the ground up – building compassionate learning environments
Join us for a playful exploration of what a compassionate learning environment looks like, and what this means for the future design and function of learning spaces. Penryn Campus,
Exchange Building, RED
Eventbrite booking link
Thu 25 16.00-16.40

Qigong 

An interactive Qigong with Holly Prince, where you can engage in learning some qigong movements.

Qigong (pronounced ‘chee-gong’) is an ancient Chinese healing art, focused on combining breath with movement with the aim to maintain good internal health. It can be seen as similar to Tai Chi

 

Streatham Campus, 

The Forum Piazza,  Marquee

Eventbrite booking link

Thu
25
17.00-19.00 Playful Lab Would you like to explore learning through the medium of play? Within our Playful Lab we will experiment with playful practice (learning through doing), using games (physical, cognitive, computer, etc) storytelling, and a little magic. Streatham Campus,
Innovation Centre, Skydeck

Eventbrite booking link

Thu 25 19.00-20.30 Compassion, Action and Feeling truly Alive   Aspasia Leledaki https://aspasiaawakenings.com/. Come explore with Aspasia through meditation, stillness, movement, dance, music and more, the activation of our innate capacity to be compassionate and truly alive.  Workshop
Online

Eventbrite booking link

DateTimeTitleShort DescriptionEvent details
Fri 26 10.30-12.00 Compassionate futures Roundtable discussion. Speakers will share and discuss how they view the future in which we foster compassion within the learning community and beyond. Hosted by the Provost, Prof Janice Kay CBE

Talk

Online

Eventbrite booking link

Fri 26 13.00-14.00 Pitch up and Play - Rounders Sports - No registration or membership needed! Just turn up and get involved! 

Streatham Campus

Sports Centre

(Sand Astro)

Walk-in
Fri 26 11.00-14.00 Compassion & Sport Café Get a free coffee and cake and come chat with us about all things sport! Join us for a challenge, learn more about recreational sports opportunities and talk about the importance of being physically active for mental health. Rumour has it that there might be a ping pong table alongside other sports games to take part in, so come along for a chance to win some prizes too!

Streatham Campus,
Devonshire House, The Terrace, Compassionate Café

Walk-in

Fri 26 10.00- 13.00 MOTH | Design for Life & Death MOTH invites you to consider Symbols of Death. Memento Mori images – reminding us to live life well – and to contemplate our relationship with death and what might happen to us, when the one inevitable event we plan for the least comes to visit?  To start some (difficult, but) important conversations with those you love.  Create your own Memento Mori image.

Falmouth Campus,

Wood Lane, Lecture Theatre 2 

Eventbrite booking link

 
Fri 26 14.00-15.00 Being Kinder to Yourself, with Sarah Lane Explore the benefits of compassion for wellbeing and how to develop it within yourself Talk
Streatham Campus,
Forum, Seminar Room 05
Eventbrite booking link
Fri 26 14.00-16.00 Honour Based Violence & Sanctuary by Karma Nirvana An online training session delivered by Karma Nirvana,  a charity working to end honour based abuse in the UK Talk
Online

Eventbrite booking link

Fri 26 15.00-17.00 Compassionate Salon

Join us to close the Festival of Compassion with all volunteers, speakers and attendees, for tea, biscuits and music  Forum Piazza Marquee (Streatham Campus). We’re arranging for a reflective activity and great music too 

Streatham Campus,

Forum Piazza, Marquee

Walk-in

DateTimeTitleShort DescriptionEvent details
Sat 27 10.00-11.00 Playful Yoga Join Anouska Cekalovic during her online session called “Playful Yoga”, where you are invited to engage in exploration of yoga poses and breathing exercises. It's slow paced and easy to follow as it is a time to reconnect with yourself! Workshop
Online
Eventbrite booking link
DateTimeTitleShort DescriptionEvent details
Sun 28 10.00 – 10:45 Guided kindness meditation with Frits Koster A guided meditation practice on mindfulness and kindness Workshop
Online

Eventbrite Booking link

NB

 

Useful links

We've pulled together a selection of useful links to match the themes of the festival.

Festival of Compassion Sponsors

As headline sponsor of the inaugural Festival of Compassion, UPP are proud to demonstrate the strength of their partnership with the University of Exeter.

UPP Ltd is the UK's leading provider of on-campus residential and academic accommodation infrastructure, operating over 36,000 rooms in partnership with 15 world-leading universities. This includes over 4,000 rooms on the Exeter campus.

T-Cup Studios and HeadsUp Technologies are delighted to be sponsoring and attending the University of Exeter's Festival of Compassion.

Special thanks to the Exeter Alumni Annual Fund for co-sponsoring the Independent Thinking Events on the 23rd November 2021 and to Independent Thinking for their support.

At Agar we specialise in partnering with businesses to help create the kind of culture where individuals fulfil their potential and the business succeeds. Our approach is simple. We believe that by having the right people with the right skills and attitudes your business can grow and flourish.

Agar are proud to have been working with the University of Exeter for well over a decade.

The Festival of Compassion is subject to the latest Government regulations and guidelines relating to COVID-19 and our first priority is keeping all of us safe whilst on campus/location. Should Government regulations or guidance change, meaning it is not possible for the face to face events to go ahead, we will advise you as soon as possible and publish a revised programme with the online events.