Speakers
It is with great pride and enthusiasm that we welcome each one of you: colleagues, guest speakers and delegates
KEYNOTE SPEAKERS

Antonella Delle Fave is a professor of Psychology at the Medical School of the University of Milano, Italy. After getting an MD degree, she specialized in clinical psychology and devoted her research activities to the investigation of well-being indicators, with a particular attention to cultural and diversity issues. She developed research and intervention projects in the domains of health and education and supervised international co-operation programs to promote resource implementation in conditions of disability and social maladjustment. Together with international partners she launched and implemented the “Eudaimonic and Hedonic Happiness Investigation”, aimed at identifying well-being components across cultures. She is currently conducting research and intervention projects on well-being promotion in conditions of chronic and degenerative diseases among patients and caregivers, exploring the potential of an integrated treatment approach. Her scientific production includes papers in peer-reviewed journals, as well as authored and edited books. She served as President of the International Positive Psychology Association (2009-2011) and of the European Network of Positive Psychology (2006-2010).  Since 2010 she is Editor in Chief of the Journal of Happiness Studies.

 

Silvia Helena Koller is Brazilian and works as a Full Professor and Chair of the Center for Psychological Studies of At-Risk Populations in the Department of Psychology at the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil. Currently, she is a Visiting Scholar at Harvard Graduate School of Education and a Visiting Scientist at Harvard T.H. Chan School f Public Health, as well as an Extraordinary Professor at North-West University, in Vanderbijlpark, South Africa. She was awarded as Honorary Professor at Universidad de Chiclayo and Universidad Autónoma del Peru, Peru, and as 2010 the Society for Research on Adolescence (SRA) International Fellow and the 2010 Association of Psychological Societies Fellow. Her commitment to the internationalization of knowledge in Psychology has led it to disseminate Brazilian research in various scientific associations around the world, taking various positions in international organizations, as well as publishing her research on high-quality journals abroad. Affiliations: President of the Brazilian Association for Research and Graduate Studies in Psychology and of the Brazilian Society of Developmental Psychology; The Human Sciences Research Council and UNICEF consultant in Africa; Former Editor-in-chief of the Trends in Psychology, Interamerican Journal of Psychology and Psicologia: Reflexão e Crítica (Psychology) journals; Former Associate Editor of the International Journal of Behavioral Development (International Society for the Studies on Behavioural Development - ISSBD), and of the Child Development Abstracts & Bibliography (Society for Research in Child Development - SRCD); Ad hoc Representative of Latin America at the International Affairs Council. Executive Committee of the International Society for Research in Behavioral Development (ISSBD), and Society for Research on Adolescence (SRA). Member of the Scientific Committee of ISSBD Biennial Meetings (Belgium, Canada, Australia, Germany, Zambia, China and Lithuania). Her research focuses primarily on positive and ecological development and applied psychology, children’s rights, resilience, and prosocial moral development. Her papers have been published in several international and Brazilian journals. Jacobs Foundation, Kellogg Foundation, World Childhood Foundation (WCF), World Bank, Every Child and various Brazilian agencies have granted her research/intervention. She lectured at different universities around the world, such as North-West University (South Africa), University of Zurich (Switzerland), UIUC, UNL, UNC, and ASU (USA), Universidad del Valle, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Pontifical Universidad Católica Javeriana, and Universidad de Baranquilla (Colombia), Universidad San Marco, Pontifical Universidad Católica, Universidad Autónoma, and Universidad de Chiclayo (Peru), Pontifical Universidad Católica (Chile), and others. Her research team has been collaborating with researchers of the five continents. She participates in several outreach programs. She is also committed to building capacity among youth, and fostering young people’s awareness of their human rights, as well as programs for teachers

 

Sahaya G. Selvam is currently an Associate Professor and Deputy Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs at Tangaza University, Nairobi, Kenya. His academic preparations include undergraduate degrees in Philosophy, Sociology, and Religious Studies, and two master’s degrees in Philosophy of Religion and Psychology of Religion, and PhD in psychology from the University of London. Selvam’s focus in positive psychology revolves around the conceptualisation of character strengths in religious and cultural domains, particularly in the African context.  His doctoral work explored the mediating role of character strengths in a Christian-mindfulness based intervention attempting to facilitate recovery from addictive behaviour. Recently he completed a study involving some African anthropologists in a Delphi process, arriving at a list of character strengths relevant for the contemporary African youth. He hopes to develop a training manual on “character grooming” for young people in Africa.  As for his personal life, Selvam is a person of South Asian origin, ministering as a Catholic priest in East Africa since 1992.

 

Linda Theron is a full professor in the Department of Educational Psychology, Faculty of Education, University of Pretoria; an associate of the Centre for the Study of Resilience, University of Pretoria; and an extraordinary professor in Optentia Research Focus Area, North-West University, South Africa. Her research and publications focus on the resilience processes of South African young people challenged by chronic adversity and account for how sociocultural contexts shape resilience (see www.Lindatheron.org.) This research has been nationally and internationally funded (including by the Canadian Institutes for Health Research [CIHR], International Development Research Centre, Canada [IDRC]; Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, Canada [SSHRC]; GCRF Resilience Foundation Awards, UK; South Africa Netherlands Research Programme on Alternatives in Development [SANPAD]; National Research Foundation, SA [NRF]). She is lead editor of Youth Resilience and Culture: Complexities and Commonalities (Springer, 2015). She is also an associate journal editor of Child Abuse & Neglect (Elsevier).

 

INVITED SPEAKERS

JohnBosco Chika Chukwuorji is a lecturer in psychology at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Enugu state, Nigeria. He obtained his B.Sc. degree in March 2010 at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, where he also started his post-graduate studies in Clinical Psychology. He earned his Master of Science degree in 2014. Currently, he is a part-time doctoral student in Clinical psychology at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. In October 2017, he was appointed as Editor of Nigerian Journal of Psychological Research (founded in 1985) and has reviewed scores of manuscripts for reputable ISI journals such as Journal of Positive Psychology, Journal of Happiness Studies, Social Indicators Research, and others. He got the 2017 Early Career Scholar Grant for the 12th African Regional Workshop of International Society for Studies in Behavioural Development (ISSBD) at University of Education, Winneba, Ghana. He researches mental health status and services for vulnerable populations, with primary research interests in clinical health psychology and positive psychology. Mr Chukwuorji has written 33 published journal articles, 2 book chapters and 2 published conference proceedings. Besides his research ventures, he has taught about 15 different courses, including Health Psychology, and served as undergraduate project supervisor (advisor) to 23 students since 2012. He is also extensively involved in carrying out administrative duties with the Faculty and in the Department of Psychology.

 

Dora Gudmundsdottir is Director of Determinants of Health and Wellbeing at the Directorate of Health in Iceland. She is a governmental expert on mental health and National Focal point for Iceland in the EU Health Programme. Dora is trained clinical and organisational psychologist and holds a PhD in the epidemiology of wellbeing. Her research interests focus on the epidemiology of happiness, mental well-being and flourishing as well as studying the impact of the economic crises on happiness and mental wellbeing in Iceland. Sheis affiliated with the Wellbeing Institute, Cambridge University, Director of Graduate Diploma programme on Positive Psychology at the University of Iceland, and the current president of the European Network for Positive Psychology (ENPP) www.enpp.eu
Dora is very interested in finding effective ways for individuals, institutions and societies to flourish. She has a special interest in enhancing evidence-based knowledge in policy making and interventions. Her passion lies in translating the results obtained from quality research into everyday language so it can be easily accessed by the general public. In order to do so, Dora has written a number of articles for newspapers and magazines in Iceland. She is the author of a book on Wellbeing and Success in Icelandic and one of many authors of The World Book of Happiness (www.theworldbookofhappiness.com). She is also an author of a chapter in the book Positive Psychology for Social Change. Dora has also been invited speaker at several conferences for example at the World Health Organisation´s conference on Health in All Policies where she gave a talk on mental wellbeing in all policies.

 

Hans Henrik KnoopHans Henrik Knoop is Associate Professor with distinction, Director of the Positive Psychology Research Unit at Aarhus University, Denmark, and Extraordinary Professor, North West University, South Africa. He was the President of ENPP from 2010-2014, and on the IPPA Board of Directors as founding member since 2009. In 2010 he was the host of the 5th ECPP in Copenhagen.From 2007-2011 he was Research Director at the Universe Research Lab in Denmark heading a team of researchers focusing on combined engagement, excellence and ethics in education.
His work is focused on flourishing in education,work, and society with a strong interdisciplinary approach. His research within positive psychology has involved thousands of educators and leaders and currently half a million Danish pupils. At Aarhus University he co-directs the Master Program of Positive Psychology with almost500 students enrolled since 2011.
He has authored and co-authored more than 180 publications including 9 books, has delivered more than thousand invited talks around the world, and is a frequent commentator in newspapers, radio and television on matters of learning, creativity and positive psychology.

 

Helgard Meyer obtained his under- and postgraduate qualifications at the University of Pretoria and received various awards for academic achievements. He was in private practice from 1980 – 1990 and joined the University of Pretoria in 1990.  He has an interest in chronic pain and has presented may invited presentations at local and international congresses, conferences and symposia, mostly on chronic pain disorders. He serves on expert panels and advisory boards for various organizations in the healthcare industry and is the author/co-author of more than 70 medical publications which include original research publications in high-impact international journals. He has a special clinical and research interest in fibromyalgia syndrome. His current research focus is on the development of novel biomarkers in patients with fibromyalgia syndrome and the project is funded by the Department of Science and Technology which also funds 2 PhD students on this project.  He is a founder member of PAINSA and also the founder and academic convenor of the Annual Pain Symposium hosted by the University of Pretoria (currently in its 10th year). He is a Past-President of PAINSA and was a member of the Council of PAINSA for 16 years. He is also a longstanding member of the International Myopain Society and the International Association for the Study of Pain.

 

Professor Augustine Nwoye, Augustine Nwoye is Professor of Psychology and Fulbright Scholar in the Discipline of Psychology at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, the premier University of African scholarship. Through his research and writings, Dr. Nwoye has made original and unique contributions to the development, definition and study of African Psychology as a postcolonial discipline very much in demand in the curriculum of many departments of Psychology in the South and other regions of Africa. His Inaugural Lecture with the inquisitive title: What is African Psychology the psychology of?, was well-acclaimed and has now been made available to a wider readership through its acceptance and publication in the prestigious journal, Theory & Psychology. His other important contributions to the field have appeared in: Journal of Humanistic Psychology, Journal of Family Therapy, The American Journal of Family Therapy, Psychotherapy and Politics International, Encyclopaedia of Critical Psychology, South African Journal of Psychology, British Journal of Special Education, Contemporary Family Therapy, Dialectical Anthropology, Journal of Systemic Consultation and Management, Annual Review of Critical Psychology, Australian and New Zealand Journal of Family Therapy, and the Comprehensive Handbook of Psychotherapy, edited by Massey & Massey, etc. Dr. Nwoye has held distinguished teaching positions and made solid academic contributions in several other universities in continental Africa, including: The University of Jos, Nigeria; Kenyatta University, Kenya, The University of Dodoma, Tanzania, and Covenant University, Nigeria. During his time at Kenyatta University, he helped to establish its Department of Psychology and served as the pioneer chair of that department. Also, while at Kenyatta, he was selected along with some few other academics to represent Kenyatta University in the task of assisting the University of Rwanda when the latter was struggling to re-establish itself at the cessation of hostilities and the return of civil peace in that country. Dr. Nwoye has won several visiting fellowships and given public lectures in many universities in continental Africa, Asia, Europe and North America, including the Universities of Cambridge and Suffolk (England), Toronto and Calgary (Canada), Stockholm (Sweden), Universiti Sains Malaysia (Malaysia), Covenant University, and the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Professor Nwoye is a native of Nigeria and took all his graduate degrees from the University of Nigeria. His Fulbright Scholarship led to his recent visit to the College of the Holy Cross and the Howard University in the United States. [Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.]

 

Shazly Savahl is a registered research psychologist, and associate professor based in the Department of Psychology at the University of the Western Cape. He obtained a Masters and a Doctoral degree from the University of the Western Cape, funded through the Vlaamse Interuniversiteit Raad Doctoral Scholarship Programme. His research interests include the study of childhood, children’s subjective well-being, child well-being indicators and social psychology. He is a member of the International Society for Child Indicators and is currently the principal investigator of the Children’s Worlds International Survey on Children’s Well-Being and the Multinational Qualitative Study on Children’s Well-Being. Other projects include Children’s Engagement with the Natural Environment and the influence on their Well-Being, and Historical Identity and the City across Generations. He has presented at international seminars and conferences and has published in international journals.

 

Alena Slezackova, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Psychology at Masaryk University, Faculty of Arts, Brno, Czech Republic. She earned her Ph.D. in clinical psychology and habilitation in general psychology. She teaches Positive Psychology, Health Psychology, Psychology of Mental Health and Well-being, and many other courses. She is a founder and director of the Czech Positive Psychology Centre CPPC (http://www.pozitivni-psychologie.cz/en/) which organizes conferences, workshops, and special lectures on positive psychology. Alena conducts her research within the Academic Center for Positive Psychology affiliated to Masaryk University in Brno. Her scientific interests include mainly hope, mental health, and well-being. In addition to her research and teaching, she is a member of the Editorial Board of five academic journals. She is also a member of the Advisory Council of the International Positive Psychology Association (IPPA) and the Country Representative for the Czech Republic in the European Network for Positive Psychology (ENPP). She is also the author of the first comprehensive monograph on Positive psychology in Czech and of a number of the research publications and the science popularization articles on the topics of positive psychology, health psychology and personal growth.

 

INVITED ROUND-TABLE DISCUSSION CONVENERS

 

Dr Angelina Wilson Fadiji obtained her master’s degree in health promotion and development at the University of Bergen, Norway. As part of her master’s programme, she explored the resources for well-being among female porters living in Accra. This was followed by a PhD in psychology at Stellenbosch University exploring aspects of mental health among Ghanaian adolescents in the Northern region. As part of her post-doctoral fellowship, under the supervision of Prof Marie Wissing, Angelina was nominated to join the Eudaimonic Hedonic Happiness Inventory team investigating the manifestation of well-being across different cultures. She is a young researcher in the area of well-being in deprived contexts among adolescents and older individuals and has published scholarly articles in peer-reviewed journals and made a number of conference presentations both locally and internationally. Dr Fadiji is currently working at the Human Sciences Research Council at the level of a Research Specialist. She is involved in a well-being project that taps into improving well-being in a context of inequality and poverty. In addition, she is working on the TIMSS dataset exploring the relationship between learner aspirations, self-efficacy and parent’s level of education as well as attitudes towards learning. A number of masters and a PhD student are been supervised by Dr.Fadiji. She is also a lecturer for the Masters in Positive Psychology programme at the North-West University, Potchefstroom campus. Angelina is also in the process of being appointed as an extraordinary researcher at the North-West University.

 

INVITED IN-CONFERENCE WORKSHOP PRESENTERS

 

Hans Henrik KnoopHans Henrik Knoop is Associate Professor with distinction, Director of the Positive Psychology Research Unit at Aarhus University, Denmark, and Extraordinary Professor, North West University, South Africa. He was the President of ENPP from 2010-2014, and on the IPPA Board of Directors as founding member since 2009. In 2010 he was the host of the 5th ECPP in Copenhagen.From 2007-2011 he was Research Director at the Universe Research Lab in Denmark heading a team of researchers focusing on combined engagement, excellence and ethics in education.
His work is focused on flourishing in education,work, and society with a strong interdisciplinary approach. His research within positive psychology has involved thousands of educators and leaders and currently half a million Danish pupils. At Aarhus University he co-directs the Master Program of Positive Psychology with almost500 students enrolled since 2011.
He has authored and co-authored more than 180 publications including 9 books, has delivered more than thousand invited talks around the world, and is a frequent commentator in newspapers, radio and television on matters of learning, creativity and positive psychology.

MEET-THE-EDITOR SESSION

 

Anthony Pillay

Anthony Pillay is an Associate Professor in the Department of Behavioural Medicine at the Nelson Mandela School of Medicine, University of KwaZulu-Natal and Principal Clinical Psychologist at Fort Napier Hospital in Pietermaritzburg. He holds a PhD in Psychology from the University of Natal and a Master’s Degree in Maternal & Child Health from Harvard University. He has been a Visiting Clinical Fellow at the Boston Children’s Hospital in the US and is also a Visiting Professor at the University of Mauritius, where he is involved in ongoing research into depression in women and girls. His research interests include forensic mental health, community mental health, and the training of clinical psychologists. He is the Editor-in-Chief of the South African Journal of Psychology and Associate Editor of the Journal of Child & Adolescent Mental Health.

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Antonella Delle Fave is a professor of Psychology at the Medical School of the University of Milano, Italy. After getting an MD degree, she specialized in clinical psychology and devoted her research activities to the investigation of well-being indicators, with a particular attention to cultural and diversity issues. She developed research and intervention projects in the domains of health and education and supervised international co-operation programs to promote resource implementation in conditions of disability and social maladjustment. Together with international partners she launched and implemented the “Eudaimonic and Hedonic Happiness Investigation”, aimed at identifying well-being components across cultures. She is currently conducting research and intervention projects on well-being promotion in conditions of chronic and degenerative diseases among patients and caregivers, exploring the potential of an integrated treatment approach. Her scientific production includes papers in peer-reviewed journals, as well as authored and edited books. She served as President of the International Positive Psychology Association (2009-2011) and of the European Network of Positive Psychology (2006-2010).  Since 2010 she is Editor in Chief of the Journal of Happiness Studies.