2016: Spirituality,
Self-TRanscendence, & 
Second-Wave Positive Psychology

JUly 28-31, 2016 | Toronto, Canada

The 9th Biennial International Meaning Conference was held July 28-31, 2016 at the Novotel Toronto North York Hotel in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The conference theme was “Spirituality, Self-Transcendence & Second-Wave Positive Psychology.”

This year’s conference theme seemed to resonate with people from a variety of backgrounds, including mental health and medical professionals, business coaches, spiritual seekers, and even Buddhist Monks. Our emphasis on PP2.0 seems to be especially timely because it transcends the traditional humanistic-positive psychology divide and is able to take on the new challenges of human suffering, personal mortality, and international terrorism.

Apart from the over 100 presentations, highlights of this conference included the first Second Wave Positive Psychology (PP 2.0) Summit on embracing the dark side of human existence, another Meaning Summit on working with meaning-in-life issues in counselling and therapy, and a focus on both the application of self-transcendence to spiritual and palliative care as well as the meaning-centered approach to positive management. 

Sponsors included Sunshine Coast Health Center; Meaning-Centered Counselling Institute Inc.; Wright Foundation; Honey Family Foundation; Carrina Wong Chan; Virtue, Happiness, and the Meaning of Life Project; Constructivist Psychology Network; Viktor Frankl Institute; Bucks New University; University of East London; European Network of Positive Psychology; Tikkun; and the Network of Spiritual Progressives. 


Invited speakers included Shu-Mei (Suemay) Chang, Ph.D., Piers Worth, Ph.D., Pninit Russo-Netzer, Ph.D., Veronika Huta, Ph.D., Marie S. Dezelic, Ph.D., Gabriel Ghanoum, Psy.D., Rev. Kenneth Howard, M.Div., Bob Wright, Ed.D., Hal E. Runkel, M.S., Louis Hoffman, Ph.D., Joel Vos, Ph.D., Roger Tweed, Ph.D., Dmitry Leontiev, Ph.D., Nedra R. Lander, Ph.D., and Danielle Nahon, Ph.D.


I just wanted to thank you [Paul] and Lilian for a lovely, high-quality and professional conference! As I told you, I really felt at home, and I commend your efforts and impressive work to create such an inspiring and integrative [conference] for professionals.

Pninit Russo-Netzer, Ph.D.

Researcher, University of Haifa

Thank you for organizing and leading the last conference in Toronto; after a few weeks of coming back home in Mexico, I have been able to savor all of the great knowledge you and your team were able to add in order to produce a simple but highly effective event. No doubt all of the learnings will be very well used in our University.

Luis Antonio Gutierrez Aladro, Ph.D.

Vice Chancellor, Universidad TecMilenio

Thank you for doing such a wonderful job at presiding the Toronto conference. I am very fortunate to have had the opportunity to be there and attend all the keynotes as well as the panels and workshop with Dr. Neimeyer. It was such a wonderful and enriching experience; it is probably one of the best conferences I have been able to attend. I will definitely attend, and look forward to, the next one.

Judith Lopez-Penaloza, Ph.D.

Professor, Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo

Thank you so much for your dedication and organizational effort that resulted in a most successful conference on Meaning in Toronto this weekend. I attend all of the session (except for those occurring concurrently) and enjoyed them immensely.

Richard Boileau, M.A., CT

Principal, Boileau Strategies

I wanted to thank you and all those who contributed to organising the Meaning conference. It really was a wonderful experience and a great combination of research and clinical experience. I’m very much looking forward to having access to the presentations and articles.

Michael Dash

Coordinator, Bereavement Counselling Service, Palliative Care, Concord Hospital

Thank you for your generosity and hospitality in hosting such a wonderful conference. I loved working with you both and your lovely team. It was an incredible opportunity for me as a budding psychotherapy student to volunteer for the conference. I felt so nourished with new ideas from all of the talks I attended. You orchestrated a wonderful group of people who talked about very current, pressing, and important topics and ideas. You have a beautiful community around you!

Caroline Millen (Volunteer)

Graduate Student, The Living Institute

I attended only on Friday, but in that one day found it fascinating, and enjoyed the presentations a lot. Much more interesting and enticing than in regular psychology conventions.

Ami Rokach, Ph.D.

Course Director, York University

Thank you so much for such an incredible experience. The workshops and speakers were very scintillating. It was a very rewarding experience for myself and my team. We were also very honored to have been given the opportunity to speak at the conference. I look forward to the next conference

Pei C. Grant, Ph.D.

Director of Research, Hospice Buffalo

Thank you so much for the excellent conference. As Dr. Carol Ryff so beautifully expressed, the INPM felt like “home” to many of us. The conference content itself was a head-spinner and participants were marvelous. Thank you. I look forward to my future participation.

Shizuka Modica, Ph.D., ACC

Professor, Kyoto College of Graduate Studies for Informatics

I want to express my deep gratitude and admiration for your work as well as giving life to such meaningful life projects. The conference passed all my expectations and brought depth, knowledge, connections and future joint programs into existence. Thank you for your extraordinary contribution to the field as well as to the very human and modest means by which this is attained. It was a pleasure to take part.

Lia Naor

Ph.D. Candidate, University of Haifa

I wanted to say thank you for the wonderful conference last week. I was particularly pleased since I got to meet and speak with Dr. Breitbart, whose work I have admired for a long time. So thank you for this opportunity.

Joanna Schnall, M.S.W., R.S.W.

Social Worker in Research, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre

What an amazing Conference! Lots of ideas and opinions and new connections. And good food, and live music! Congratulations! The program schedule is a keepsake! The group of us for one of the final paper sessions, Meaning in Life, went very well, a good combination of us to share that, thank you.

Lynn Thompson

Producer & Host, Living on Purpose Podcast

Thank you very much for sharing your conference address. It was a great conference. Thank you and all for making this a great, insightful, and enjoyable four days.

Emil Boychuk

Director, Career Life Energy Consulting

2018 is here

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