Dr. William Connolly
William Connolly holds the Krieger-Eisenhower chair in Political Sciences at Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, US). He is als known for his work on filosoof democracy and pluralism. His book The Terms of Political Discourse (1974) has won the Benjamin Lippincott Award in 1974. In 2010, he was ranked fourth by American political philosophers as most influential political philosopher of the last 20 years after Rawls, Habermas and Foucault. In 2017 he was awarded The Distinguished Scholar Award of the International Studies Association for his work on zijn pluralism, secularism, global capitalism and planetary processes. He is co-moderator of the blog The Contemporary Condition, for which he writes on a regular basis. His work focuses on the themes of democratic pluralism, capitalism, inequity and climate change. Some of his publications: Why I am not a Secularist (1999); Neuropolitics (2002); Pluralism (2005); Capitalism and Christianity, American Style (2008); A World of Becoming (2011); The Fragility of Things: Self-Organizing Systems, Neoliberal Fantasies and Democratic Activism (2013); Facing the Planetary: Entangled Humanism and the Politics of Swarming (2017); Aspirational Fascism: The Struggle for Multifaceted Democracy under Trumpism (2017).

Dr. Joachim Duyndam (chair)

Joachim Duyndam is full professor of Humanism & Philosophy at the University of Humanistic Studies (UvH) in Utrecht, The Netherlands. There, he chairs the research program Humanist Traditions, Meaning-in-Life, and Aging Well. He has published, from a humanist perspective, on themes such as mimesis, empathy, (moral) resilience, uniqueness.

Dr. Henk Manschot
Henk Manschot is professor emeritus Philosophy and Ethics. He graduated at Sorbonne University (Paris), the ‘Institut Libre de Sciences Politiques de l’Université de Paris’ and Groningen University in the Netherlands. In 1989 he was appointed as full professor in philosophy and ethics at the University of Humanistic Studies (UvH) in Utrecht, with a focus on ethics of care. His present research addresses philosophical ecology, the ways in which ‘human- and sustainable development’ are related, Nietzsche and ecology, and cosmopolitical education. Between 1996 and 2000 heb was vice-chancellor of the UvH and between 2000 and 2004 president of the Socrates Foundafion for Science and Culture. Hij was visiting professor at the Free University of Brussels. Between 2002 and 2009 he was vice-chair of the China-Europe Foundation (CE-DESD) en chair of the Encounter of World Views Foundation. Henk Manschot was fellow of the Human Development Capability Approach Association (HDCA) and is an active member of this association.

Dr. Caroline Suransky
Caroline Suransky is assistant professor at the University of Humanistic Studies (UvH) in Utrecht, the Netherlands and visiting professor at the University of the Free State in Bloemfontein, South Africa. She is member of the board of the Humanist Association in the Netherlands. She studied philosophy of education in the Netherlands, the United States and South Africa. Between 1988 and 1998 she was appointed at the University of Durban Westville (presently UKZN) in South Africa. In her teaching and research central themes are globalization, pluralism and social change, and she is particularly interested in the role of higher education in promoting social justice. Furthermore, she focuses on the ethics of sustainable development in a globalizing world. Between 2004 and 2016, she coordinated the International Summer School on Pluralism and Social Change, that brought together academics, activists and professionals from different disciplines. This Summer School was developed in collaboration with HIVOS (Humanist Institute for Cooperation with Developing Countries), and was held in the Netherlands, India, Indonesia and South Africa. The Summer School was nominated for the Global Pluralism Award in Ottawa, Canada.

Dr. Yoni Van Den Eede

Yoni Van Den Eede is post-doctoral researcher (FWO) and parttime research professor at the Free University Brussels (VUB). His research focuses on the philosophy and ethics of technology and media, but he tries to understand them within the wider context of cultural, social, political, ecological and existential factors that give shape to our contemporary context, often ‘mediated’ by digital technologies. He has published a.o. Amor Technologiae: Marshall McLuhan as Philosopher of Technology (VUBPRESS, 2012), Mens en media. Van Marshall McLuhan tot een hedendaagse filosofie van media en technologie (LannooCampus, 2014), Vanzelf. Tegen het efficiëntiedenken en de doelmatigheidscultuur (Acco, 2015). He co-edited Postphenomenology and Media: Essays on Human–Media–World Relations (Lexington Books, 2017). His new book, The Beauty of Detours: A Batesonian Philosophy of Technology, will be published in 2019 with SUNY Press. Since 2011 he is member of the board of the Society for Phenomenology and Media, of which he was president from 2014 until 2016. He (co-)organized several conferences in Belgium and abroad. He teaches contemporary (cultural) philosophy at the VUB.

Dr. Marc Van den Bossche

Marc Van den Bossche is full professor at the Department of Philosophy and Moral Sciences at the VUB. He is the author of Kritiek van de technische rede (‘Critique of technical reason’) (Leuven/Utrecht, 1995), Natuur en lijfelijkheid (‘Nature and Embodiment/Physicality’) (Utrecht, 1998), Ironie en solidariteit. Een kennismaking met het werk van Richard Rorty (‘Irony and Solidarity: An introduction to the work of Richard Rorty’) (Rotterdam, 2001),  Het pathos van het denken (‘The Pathos of Thinking’), Religie na de dood van God (‘Religion after the death of God’), De zinnen van het leven. Of de kunst van het verstaan (‘The Meanings of Life. Or the art of understanding’) and Vreemde wereld. Zygmunt Bauman over samenleven in vloeibare tijden ( ‘Strange World. Zygmunt Bauman on living in liquid times’). He also wrote essays on subjectivity and intersubjectivity and two bestsellers: Wielrennen (‘Cycling’) and Sport als levenskunst (‘Sports as an art of living’) (Rotterdam, 2005 and 2010). He is the editor and co-editor of book volumes on Rorty, Arendt, Fukuyama and several topics within the history of philosophy. His recent research focuses on migration and on art and social imaginaries.

Dr. Femke Kaulingfreks

Femke Kaulingfreks is professor Youth and Society at the University of Applied Sciences Inholland. She studies complex and urgent societal questions with regard to growing up and upbringing. Her practice oriented research focuses on the empowerment of juveniles in a vulnerable position. Femke is political philosopher, anthropologist and pedagogue and works interdisciplinarily. She studies how juveniles with quite different backgrounds can grow up on an equal basis in a metropolitan context. Femke addresses complex themes: coping with deviant behavior, polarization and radicalization. She specializes in qualitative research – preferably ethnographic research in neighbourhoods – focused on the life world of juveniles. Femke holds a PhD of the University of Humanistic Studies (UvH) in Utrecht. In 2015 she published the book Uncivil Engagement and Unruly Politics about the political meaning of riots in the Netherlands and France. In 2017 she published Straatpolitiek, about the different ways in which juveniles who feel excluded express their engagement, in other ways than through voting and political parties.


Dr. Caroline Suransky (see ‘Speakers’)

Dr. Henk Manschot (see ‘Speakers’)

Dr. Hans Alma

Hans Alma holds an endowed chair Contemporary Humanism at the Free University Brussels (VUB), department of Philosophy and Ethics. Trained in cultural psychology and psychology of religion at the Radboud University Nijmegen, her research focuses on the human search for meaning in life, especially the role of the imagination and the arts in coping with worldview diversity. Using a process approach to worldview studies, she specifically analyzes the way humanism develops in this context. She wrote the book De kunst van samenleven: Een pleidooi voor een pluralistisch humanisme (2018) with a proposal for using moral imagination in humanist practices.

Dr. Christa Anbeek

Christa Anbeek is professor in Liberal Theology at VU Amsterdam, the Netherlands. She studied theology (philosophy of religion) and worked as a pastoral counselor in psychiatry. She was assistant professor at Tilburg University and associate professor at the University of Humanistic Studies (UvH), both in the Netherlands. Vulnerability, art of living, and existential dialogue are important themes in her academical work. She published Overlevingskunst (2010), De berg van de ziel (2013, together with Ada de Jong), Aan de heidenen overgeleverd (2013) en Voor Joseph en zijn broer: Van overleven naar spelen en andere zaken van ultiem belang (2018). This book was awarded as the Best Spiritual Book 2019 in the Netherlands. Furthermore, she publishes on interreligious dialogue and developed a game for philosophical dialogue, Tussen Zon en Maan (2019).

Dr. Merel Visse

Merel Visse (Ph.D) works as an associate professor at the Care Ethics Group of University of Humanistic Studies and from September 2019 on, she will also lead the Department of Medical Humanities, Health and Society of Drew University in New Jersey. For further information see: http://www.merelvisse.com

Dr. Nidesh Lawtoo

Nidesh Lawtoo received his PhD in Comparative Literature and Critical Theory from the University of Washington and held positions at the University of Lausanne, Johns Hopkins University, and the University of Bern, prior to coming to KU Leuven. His areas of specialization include modernism, critical theory, postcolonial literature, film studies and continental philosophy with special focus on theories of mimesis, imitation and simulation. He is the editor of Conrad’s Heart of Darkness and Contemporary Thought (Bloomsbury, 2012) and the author of The Phantom of the Ego: Modernism and the Mimetic Unconscious (Michigan State UP, 2013), Conrad’s Shadow: Catastrophe, Mimesis, Theory(MSU P, 2016; Adam Gillon Award), and (New) Fascism: Contagion, Community, Myth(MSU P, 2019). He is currently Assistant Professor of Philosophy, adjunct director of the research center MDRN, and Principal Investigator of a 5-year ERC project titled Homo Mimeticus that explores the role mimesis plays in modernist literature, sf films, and critical theory.

Drs. Bertine van Hoof

Bertine van Hoof works as an (interim) managing director and advisor in the field of HR and organizational development. Next to that she has a broad and in depth experience as leadership and career coach for highly educated professionals and (top) executives, including Nyenrode Business University since 1996. She is guiding people, teams and organizations to flourish and align personal and organizational interests in an intelligent and respectful way. In 2016 she started her PhD research on wise and effective leadership. Furthermore, she is the co-editor of Another State of Mind: Perspectives from Wisdom Traditions on Management and Business.

Dr. Ernst von Kimakowitz 

Ernst von Kimakowitz is passionate about strengthening the positive impact of business towards a more equitable and more sustainable planet. He is founding director of the Humanistic Management Center and co-founder of the Humanistic Management Network. He leads the executive training provider Ethics First, is a lecturer at the University of St Gallen, Switzerland and was visiting professor at Soka University in Tokyo, Japan.

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