Speaker: Matthew Lee

Flourishing: Designing Systems for Love, and Measuring What We Truly Treasure

Life's one non-negotiable is to be loved and to see our love make a difference. - Matthew T. Lee

"Are we becoming more fully alive through Education?" After a decade of conventionally successful research and university teaching as a sociologist, Matthew T. Lee, Ph.D., found himself meditating upon this existential question. It triggered a shift in how he showed up in class, and what emerged at Akron University from collaborations with colleagues were Unclasses. He began to meet the students downtown instead of in a classroom. Each class would begin with a heart check-in (and sometimes haikus!). Open space was carved for silence, contemplation, and even rest. As he changed the context, shifts in content naturally followed. His intense course "Conflict and Justice" at Harvard University expanded to "Conflict, Justice and Healing".

A sociologist and former criminologist, Matt is one of the leading experts in research on human flourishing - a relative state in which all aspects of a person's life are thriving, including the contexts in which that person lives. To "measure what we truly treasure", he took an interdisciplinary approach integrating quantitative social sciences with the deep wisdom of humanities. Currently, he serves as a Research Associate at the Human Flourishing Program at Harvard University and is co-leading the working group on love and care for the Global Study of Human Flourishing, one of the largest studies of its kind. He is also the Director of Flourishing Network, the program's community of practice. Alongside, he is a Professor of the Social Sciences and Humanities at Baylor University and a Distinguished Visiting Scholar of Health, Flourishing, and Positive Psychology at Stony Brook University, as well as a Visiting Scholar at the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Matt has extensively researched and written on shifting current extractive systems towards regeneration and "daring to say love". How do we bring the grammar of business into a constructive dialogue with the grammar of love? How might we re-imagine health as flourishing that locates the individual in social, ecological, and spiritual contexts beyond merely the absence of disease? What's the role of creating open spaces in education for greater self-discovery and transformative growth? His most recent three books are: Measuring Well-Being: Interdisciplinary Perspectives from the Social Sciences and the Humanities; The Heart of Religion; and Transcending Crisis by Attending to Care, Emotions, and Flourishing.

Underneath the long list of his leadership positions, courses taught, papers published and awards, a simple insight grounds his daily actions - "Every person is infinitely valuable." Join us for an illuminating conversation with this inspiring teacher dedicated to fostering flourishing and well-being in our world.

This call will be moderated by our past guest and volunteer Navin Amarasuriya, who is passionate about bringing scientifically evidenced practices of well-being to schools around the world, and into his own heart.

[Some useful resources - Measure Your Flourishing Score, Flourishing App, Articles and Journals by Matt. And a couple of recent articles by others that Matt invites you to pre-read for this call --From Accessing Your Ignorance to Accessing Your Love and Fixing The System.]

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