5th January 2022 | University of Oxford | UK


About the Conference

A day to explore the latest research into what it means to be a good leader, with a focus on enabling people to flourish and thrive whatever the context. We will also work together to build frameworks that support leadership for the greater good and flourishing.

Hear Dr Edward Brooks, Executive Director of the Oxford Character Project, Oxford University; Dr Matthew Lee, Director of Empirical Research at the Human Flourishing Program, Harvard University; Sir Anthony Seldon, former University Vice-Chancellor, educationalist and contemporary historian, and others speak about their research and experience.

Places are limited, so we encourage you to register either to join us in person at Pembroke College, Oxford, or online, as soon as possible.

The day will:

  1. Challenge current leadership practices
  2. Explore practical ideas to develop character, wisdom and good leadership
  3. Provide a forum to meet and hear from respected experts on leadership and flourishing
  4. Connect leaders from across a range of contexts and organisations who are committed to supporting their people to grow as leaders and to thrive as leaders
  5. Contribute to a global conversation on the development of a framework for leadership for the greater good that enables flourishing

If you would like to find out more or contribute to the conference, please contact:

Brought to you by

  • Oxford Character Project at Oxford University: Cultivating wise thinkers and good leaders
  • The Human Flourishing Program at Harvard University: promoting human flourishing, and developing systematic approaches to the synthesis of knowledge across disciplines
  • Global Social Leaders: A global movement of socially conscious young leaders with participants in over 100 countries
  • Wellington Leadership and Coaching Institute: Developing leaders who enable their people to flourish; a part of Wellington College

Our Speakers


Sir Anthony Seldon

Sir Anthony Seldon, Vice-Chancellor of The University of Buckingham since 2015, is one of Britain’s leading contemporary historians, educationalists, commentators and political authors. He was a transformative head for 20 years, first of Brighton College and then Wellington College. He is author or editor of over 40 books on contemporary history, including the inside books on the last four Prime Ministers, was the co-founder and first director of the Institute for Contemporary British History, is co-founder of Action for Happiness, honorary historical adviser to 10 Downing Street, UK Special Representative for Saudi Education, a member of the Government’s First World War Culture Committee, was chair of the Comment Awards, is a director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, the President of IPEN, (International Positive Education Network), Chair of the National Archives Trust, is patron or on the board of several charities, founder of the Via Sacra Western Front Walk, and was executive producer of the film Journey’s End. He appeared on the Desert Island Discs in 2016. For the last fifteen years he has given all his money from writing and lecturing to charity. He has three children; his wife of 34 years, Joanna, died of cancer in December 2016.

Dr Edward Brooks


Edward Brooks DPhil (Oxon) is the Executive Director of the Oxford Character Project and a Research Fellow of Oxford’s McDonald Centre for Theology, Ethics and Public Life. His work joins research in virtue ethics, leadership and character development to the design and delivery of leadership and character development programmes at the University of Oxford and other universities and commercial partners in the UK, Europe and Hong Kong. At Oxford, he founded and directs the Oxford Global Leadership Initiative, and is the Director of Virtues and Vocations a research project exploring culture, character and leadership development in business, finance, law and technology. Edward is editing a book on The Arts of Leading: Perspectives on Leadership from the Humanities and Liberal Arts, and finishing another book on the virtue of hope: What May I Hope For? Modernity and the Augustinian Virtue of Hope.

Dr Matthew Lee


Matthew T. Lee, Ph.D., is the Human Flourishing Program at Harvard University’s Director of Empirical Research and he leads the Community of Practice. He is also a Distinguished Visiting Scholar of Health, Flourishing, and Positive Psychology at Stony Brook University’s Center for Medical Humanities, Compassionate Care, and Bioethics, a non-resident Research Fellow at Baylor University’s Institute for Studies of Religion, and he previously served as Chair of the American Sociological Association’s Section on Altruism, Morality, and Social Solidarity. His current research explores topics such as benevolent service to others, organizational compassion capability, and the integration of social science and the humanities.  He is co-editor of Measuring Well-Being: Interdisciplinary Perspectives from the Social Sciences and the Humanities.


Dr Katy Granville Chapman

Katy Granville-Chapman DPhil (Oxon) is the co-founder of Global Social Leaders, the founder of the Wellington Leadership and Coaching Institute and a Post-Doctoral Teaching Fellow at the University of Oxford Department of Education. Katy is a deputy head at Wellington College, an Associate Fellow of the Oxford Character Project, Senior Fellow of the Human Flourishing Program at Harvard University’s Community of Practice, and Research Associate at the University of Oxford University Wellbeing Research Centre. Katy is the co-author with Emmie Bidston of ‘Leader: Know, Love and Inspire Your People’, which was Highly Commended and Runner up in the Leadership for the Future category of the Business Book Awards and was longlisted for the Chartered Management Institute’s Management book of the year.

Emmie Bidston

After graduating from the University of Cambridge with a degree in economics – and before going into teaching – Emmie Bidston worked for the Civil Service developing policies for the British government, in a range of areas from education to contingency planning. She is the director of the Wellington Leadership and Coaching Institute and co-founded a charity to help develop young leaders in Africa and runs conferences, coaching and leadership training for adults and young people. She is also the co-author (with Katy Granville-Chapman) of ‘Leader: Know, Love and Inspire Your People’, and is a Senior Fellow of the Human Flourishing Program’s Community of Practice and Associate Fellow of the Oxford Character Project. Emmie co-chairs the leadership for flourishing and educational leadership for flourishing groups with Katy for the Human Flourishing Program, the Oxford Character Project, and GSL.

 Jonathan Harper FRSA

Jonathan Harper FRSA is CEO of Future Foundations, Co-founder of Global Social Leaders and Our Future Group. He was recognised as global alumnus by Enactus, for the impact he has had on society, and supporting young people to reach their potential. He has worked with Vodafone, McKinsey and Amazon Web Services to design and deliver transformational employee development programmes which support the wellbeing and development of young people. He has worked with the British government to design and deliver youth leadership programmes including the National Citizen Service Leaders programme and The Youth of Today Fellowship, and was selected to be the Project Director for the West London Summer Programme, in response to the Grenfell Tower tragedy. He is passionate about supporting people to thrive, and establishing sustainable cross-sector partnerships to enable sustainable change.


Dr James L. Ritchie-Dunham

It is possible to serve all the stakeholders your system is designed to serve and to fully engage all of the creative energy available in your system. It is possible, relatively straightforward to do, and leads to massive, net-positive gains for everyone. In my work, I show how. I have designed strategic systems-change frameworks and co-developed implementation processes that have guided 1000s of groups in 100s of initiatives in 43 countries over 28 years. These groups, from small teams to large organizations to global networks, bring their system together to identify, reveal, understand, and implement the systemic agreements that guide their ability to regenerate value for everyone everywhere in the system they lead everyday. I share this work as a practitioner, researcher, teacher, and author. My scholarly network includes formal affiliations at Harvard, UPM in Madrid, TEC EGADE in Mexico, Boston College, and a 43-country network. I have described and shared these frameworks, processes, and cases in the books Managing from Clarity: Identifying, Aligning and Leveraging Strategic Resources (2001) and Ecosynomics: The Science of Abundance (2014), chapters, practical and scholarly articles, videos, audios, online courses, and an online knowledgebase.

Anjali Sarker

Anjali Sarker is a social innovation expert and international development practitioner with a special focus on women’s economic empowerment through financial inclusion. Currently, she is leading the student programmes at the Oxford Character Project, including the Global Leadership Initiative and the Global Leadership Challenge. Previously she worked at BRAC, one of the largest NGOs in the world, to bring digital financial services to one million women in Bangladesh. She is a Senior Atlantic Fellow at the London School of Economics (LSE), a Global Shaper at the World Economic Forum, and a New Voices Fellow at the Aspen Institute. She holds an MBA from Said Business School, University of Oxford and an MSc in Inequalities and Social Sciences from LSE.

Dr Scott Parsons

Dr. Scott Parsons is the Character Development and Education Integrator (Assistant Professor) for the Military Program at United States Military Academy at West Point. He assists universities and institutions in developing leaders of character by designing curriculum, integration techniques, and assessment tools with a focus on character education. As a leader, teacher, and coach, Scott designs character education programs, based on Neo-Aristotelian virtues to facilitate a flourishing life for students, faculty, and staff. The Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues’ Framework for Character Education is the blueprint he uses in assisting institutions with Character Development and Integration. Scott also has several other teaching and research areas of focus. He specializes in the intersection of Just War Theory with the Ethics of Artificial Intelligence, the Ethics of Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems, and Cyber Ethics. As a retired Army officer with over 21 years of military experience, Scott has spent roughly half his military career in Military Intelligence and the other half in academia serving as an Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Ethics.


Helen Bentley

Helen Bentley is a psychology graduate from The University of Birmingham and completed her Masters degree in Criminal Justice at the University of Massachusetts. Since returning to the UK, she has spent thirteen years in policing working for West Yorkshire Police as a Neighbourhood officer, the Metropolitan Police as a proactive detective in the newly-formed Mayoral-funded Violent Crime Task Force and is currently a Detective Sergeant at Thames Valley Police working in the Drugs and Exploitation strand of the Violence Reduction Unit which represents a public health approach to serious violence. Helen is passionate about supporting and empowering people and has created a peer-to-peer network to support officers and staff investigating drugs supply cases involving children and vulnerable adults.

Dr Adeyinka Adewale

Dr Adeyinka Adewale is the Deputy Director of Studies in the department of Leadership Organisations and Behaviour at Henley Business School where he is also an Associate Professor of Leadership Ethics and Entrepreneurship. Widely known for his empirically derived teaching, consulting and coaching practices, he delivers acclaimed keynotes globally on themes around leadership, business ethics, and entrepreneurship. He also publishes seminal papers in leading academic and practitioner outlets, including Sloan Management Review, Journal of Business Ethics, Africa Journal of Management, Journal of Management Education, and Forbes, whilst frequently contributing to published volumes with major publishing houses such as Emerald Publishing and Edward Elgar Publishing. More recently, Adeyinka established the Africa Social Innovators Network to provide high impact support for Africa-focused social innovators. He continues to serve on the board of exciting start-ups and charities in Africa and Europe, through which he affirms his dedication to contributing his expertise to Africa’s development.

Dr David Johnson

Dr David Johnson is Reader in Comparative and International Education and the University Proctor. David is the Principal Investigator for the project education, purpose and human flourishing in uncertain times. He is also the Programme Research Lead for the ESRC-DFID Raising learning Outcomes in Education Systems Research Programme and Academic Lead for the Aga Khan Foundation funded Research Programme on Education and Uncertainty. He is a Chartered Educational Psychologist who studies learning and cognition and is particularly interested in tracking learning progression in national systems of education over time. Recent work includes time series studies of learning in Sierra Leone, Nigeria and Sudan.


Raja Karthikeya

Raja Karthikeya is a strong advocate for individual volunteerism and humanitarian action. In 2021, he founded PROJECT MADAD, a non-partisan initiative of doctors and professionals that created the first COVID-resilient village in India. In 2018, he became one of the few individuals to cross the Arctic and Antarctic circles in under a year to raise awareness about climate change. He was earlier named a Person of the year by Outlook India magazine for his role in tsunami rescue operations in the Andaman islands. In 2001, he was made an honorary member of the Swiss Army’s Rescue regiment for earthquake rescue efforts. He has served in United Nations Special Political Missions in Afghanistan and Iraq, and led a UN Global Programme on Preventing Violent Extremism. His work has centered around peacebuilding, fostering of trust across identity barriers, and promotion of pluralism. He has published widely on public policy challenges. He is currently a Visiting Fellow at the University of Oxford’s Centre for Changing Character of War where he is researching how the UN reshapes the trajectory of conflicts.

Our Host

Pembroke College is one of the constituent Colleges of the University of Oxford and was founded in 1624.

For more information visit https://www.pmb.ox.ac.uk/


Pembroke College St Aldates,

To find Pembroke click here

Draft Itinerary


0930   –   Registration and coffee

1000     Welcome

1010   –   Session 1: Dr Matthew Lee, Dr Edward Brooks, Dr Katy Granville-Chapman, and Emmie Bidston

1100   –   Coffee 

1115   –   Break out session 1: Building on session 1

1200   –   Session 2: Sir Anthony Seldon

1230   –   Lunch and Networking

1330   –   Session 3: Academic and application panel 1

1415   –   Breakout session 2: Building on sessions 2 and 3

1500   –   Tea

1530   –   Session 4: Dr David Johnson – A flourishing project

1545   –   Session 5: Academic and application panel 1

1600   –   Breakout session 3: Building on sessions 4 and 5

1640      Review of the day and next steps

1700   –   Close

1715   –   Optional guided tour of Oxford

1900   –   Drinks and book launch

2000   –   Dinner

2200   –   Carriages

Delegate Fees and Booking Forms

Full delegate fees are early bird offer to 1st November £180 (including VAT), then £250 and include:

  • Attendance at all sessions and wellbeing activities
  • Refreshments and lunch
  • An optional guided tour of Oxford followed by drinks and dinner

Please note that the delegate fee does not include any travel or accommodation costs.

Attending Online:

All talks will be live streamed and available after the conference for online attendees. Online participants will also be hosted by OW and professional commentator for Eurosport, BT Sport, Sky Sports and ITV, Tom Gaymor – Tom Gaymor Consultancy Ltd | home page – and will have the opportunity to join Zoom breakout rooms and collaborate with other online participants from around the world.

Attendance Fee: £45.00.