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Events are free to attend but book your places now, as ticket numbers are limited

Festival of Compassion announces eclectic programme

A unique festival will this month be helping to foster compassion within our communities.

Taking place from 19-28 November on campus at the University of Exeter, online and in the city of Exeter itself, the Festival of Compassion has now announced its eclectic programme of talks, walks, discussions, poetry, yoga, mindfulness and much more for all the community to engage with for free. 

 Liz Lord from the charity Mindfulness in Schools will discuss in an online talk what mindfulness is, the research evidence around its potential benefits and what mindfulness looks like in a school or university context.

 A fireside conversation with Professor Beverly Daniel Tatum, a clinical psychologist, author and a sought-after speaker, will address racial identity development and higher education leadership.

 Daily cafés on campus will explore the different themes of the festival while within the city itself the Compassionate Cafe will be a celebration of multicultural communities, with music, food, book signings, games, conversations, knitting and even LEGO.

 Writing workshops run by poet and Research Fellow Dr Sally Flint will explore compassion through poetry, and there will also be campus poetry walks and a poetry reading by Chris Southgate at the festival’s Poetry Café.

And more than 20 speakers from the organisation Independent Thinking will be at the festival with an exhilarating collection of live and recorded keynotes and workshops for teachers and school leaders everywhere.

The University’s Education Welfare team will be going on tour in their Wellbeing Campervan and will be joining homelessness charity St Petrocs on the Penryn campus to talk to students about their ideas for how best to help others.

Dr Maarten Koeners, a Senior Lecturer at the College of Medicine and Health and one of the festival organisers, said: “We’ve got so many amazing events going on at the Festival of Compassion, which will all explore different ways and approaches to promoting and fostering a community that is compassionate, sensitive to suffering in self and others and committed to try to alleviate and prevent it where possible.

“I am looking forward to continuing our shared adventure from the heart to create something that will make a difference – will you join us?”

Events are free to attend but book your places now, as ticket numbers are limited.

Students who would like to gain valuable professional experience can now apply for a student volunteer role to help run the festival. For more information contact

Date: 8 November 2021

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