5th January 2022 | University of Oxford | UK


About the Conference

A day for leaders to engage with the latest research into what it means to be a good leader and to enable people to flourish and thrive whatever the context.

Hear Dr Edward Brooks, Executive Director of the Oxford Character Project; 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.

This will be a unique opportunity to engage with the latest research as well as to work with other leaders from all sectors on practical solutions for developing wise thinkers and good leaders, as well as for increasing flourishing.

There are limited places, so we encourage registering as soon as possible.

The day will:

  1. Challenge current leadership practices
  2. Share practical ideas to develop character, wisdom and good leadership
  3. Provide a forum to meet and hear from world thought leaders on good 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

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.


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.

Our Host

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

For more information visit


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

1110   –   Coffee 

1130   –   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 session 2 and 3

1500   –   Tea and book launch

1530   –   Session 4: Academic and application panel 2

1600   –   Breakout session 3: Building on session 4

1630   –   GSL an opportunity for flourishing: Jonathan Harper

1645      Review of the day and next steps

1700   –   Close

1715   –   Optional guided tour of Oxford

1900   –   Drinks

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.