Meaning Conference 2012

March 8, 2016

The 7th Biennial International Meaning Conference was held on July 26 – 29, 2012 at the Delta Toronto East Hotel in Toronto, Canada. The conference theme was A Positive Global Vision of Healing and Flourishing through Meaning.

In today’s climate of global economic uncertainty, geopolitical conflicts, ecological crisis, and the widening gap between haves and have-nots, the meaning perspective offers a promising vision to resolve these challenging global issues and achieve sustainable growth for both individuals and society. The conference highlighted the role of meaning in well-being, flourishing, character strengths, resilience, post-traumatic growth, spirituality, psychotherapy, healing, recovery, and positive organizations. It emphasized both cutting-edge research and the application of research findings to meaningful living.

The conference hosted a number of summits involving the most creative minds and best-known experts to explore new frontiers and find new solutions, with the belief that the meaning-mindset offers an alternative global vision for developing healthy communities and living rewarding lives. The pre-conference professional workshops covered the latest developments in counselling and psychotherapy. The conference placed a premium on providing delegates with opportunities for interactions with participants from different theoretical camps and cultures. Through cross-fertilization, integration, and networking, it was hoped that we could find new pathways to make life better for all.

Keynote speakers included Christopher Peterson, Laura King, Robert Neimeyer, Jordan Peterson, Mark Kingwell, Todd Kashdan, Salvatore Maddi, Emmy van Deurzen, George Bonanno, Alan Waterman, Paul T.P. Wong, and Richard Ryan.

Workshop leaders included Stanley Krippner, Robert Neimeyer, Emmy van Deurzen, George Bonanno, Salvatore Maddi, and Paul T. P. Wong.

Download the conference schedule here.


From Niki Glanz, PhD (Researcher, Lebanon, NH)

Please know how very much I enjoyed the entire conference, including that final night that capped the experience in such a personal way. You deserve all the tributes you get for bringing the topic of “personal meaning” to such international eminence. Of course, many more tributes are in order for your research, publications (including Second Edition, which I found so stimulating), etc. As you conveyed Sunday evening, achievements like these don’t come easily. However, we all have the great satisfaction of work that is “meaningful,” in our own psyches, as well as in content. I wish you and your wife all the best in your continuing endeavours and life together.

From Dionne Bates, PhD (Psychotherapist, Savannah, GA)

I attended the Meaning Conference last week and I would just like to formally thank you for organizing such a wonderful conference. I can honestly say that the conference was both life and career changing for me and fueled in me a passion to learn more about discovering and creating meaning and value in my life and assisting my clients in doing the same. I look forward to the next conference and I hope one day similar conferences will be held in the U.S. Thank you again…

From Jim McNamara, PhD (Programs Director, Living Institute, Toronto, ON)

Congratulations on mounting such a successful Meaning Conference this year. Our students really enjoyed it.

From Yael Sharon, PhD (Medical Psychologist, Israel)

It was [an] extraordinary conference for me and my husband. First time, after three years of writing my PhD thesis, that I’m with people who talk about materials I’m dealing with. Real delight. So thank you very much. Also, I’d like to thank you for the opportunity to lecture in the conference, though I was sorry you weren’t there. I believe my research about young children and meaning in life, is important to this field because there is no research about it. After submitting my thesis I’ll be glad to write about it.

From Alan Waterman, PhD (Professor Emeritus, College of New Jersey)

I want to thank you again for the opportunity to present a keynote address at the International Conference on Personal Meaning. It was a marvelous event. It served as a stimulus for the start of a number of new projects for me related to meaning.

From H’Sien Hayward, PhD (Clinical Psychology Extern, Kaiser Permanente, San Francisco, CA)

Thank you so much for a wonderful conference! I thoroughly enjoyed myself. And it was a pleasure meeting Dr. Wong and yourself.

From Karen Weima, MDiv (Chaplain & Consultant, Toronto, ON)

Thank you for organizing the conference. It was awe-inspiring and felt like I had come home.

From Carrie Bailey (Counsellor, George Brown College, Toronto, ON)

I also want to say thank you for a very professional, informative, and enjoyable conference! This was my first year attending and I am extremely happy with all I experienced. I am very grateful to [Paul], Lilian, and all of the organizers and presenters. I look forward to reviewing the presentations on-line because there was so much information to take in!

From Gaynor Kim-Sing (Senior Administrative Assistant, Toronto, ON)

Thank you for putting on the 2012 Meaning Conference. I so enjoyed the experience and feel enriched by it. So many tributes were made to you both [Paul and Lilian] last night. I had no idea of the full extent of the work you are doing. The people whose lives you have touched spoke so eloquently, and with authenticity about you both. There will probably be some ripple effect in that they in turn will “pay forward” some of what you have given to them.

From Bina Paiva (Conference Attendee)

I wanted to email you to let you know how much I enjoyed the Meaning Conference. It was life changing for me. It reaffirmed my decision to go on this journey of self-discovery and personal development. It also made me realize just how much passion I have for this new career/calling and I’m looking forward to becoming a psychotherapist. It feels really good to look forward to something and to know that I am moving in the right direction.

From Nina Matveeva (Conference Volunteer)

It was a pleasure and honor to help you on the conference. I’ve got priceless experience of organization such events and unforgettable memories of meeting great people. I’m very grateful for that and touched by your kindness.