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Flourish: A Positive Education Conference

Join us in August 2024 at Flourish: A Positive Education Conference, where you will engage with the science and practices of positive psychology for yourself, your students and your school. 

By attending, you will connect with peers from across the industry and leave feeling replenished and equipped with tools, habits and ideas to kickstart the new school year. 

When: August 21-23, 2024
Location: Ridley College, St. Catharines, ON

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In a world where the challenges facing educators and students are ever-evolving, it's crucial to adopt a proactive approach to education that emphasizes not just academic achievement but also holistic wellbeing.

A few challenges we aim to address at this conference include: 

  • Teacher wellbeing 
  • Student wellbeing
  • The impact of social media on youth 
  • Diversity without division 
  • Belonging 
  • Nurturing habits for vitality 
  • School culture 
  • Resilience 

Prioritizing your wellbeing isn’t selfish. It’s vital to allow you to be at your best so you can support the needs of your students.  

What to Expect  

  • Inspiring Featured Guests: Hear from and engage with thought leaders and learn how to apply the science of positive psychology and positive education to your life and your school culture.

  • Thought-Provoking Workshops: Dive deep into practical sessions that will equip you with the tools to implement positive education practices with your students and in your classroom. Conference streams:

    • Wellbeing for school culture.

    • Wellbeing for school leaders. 

    • Wellbeing for the classroom. 

    • Wellbeing for you.

  • Networking Opportunities: Connect with like-minded educators, school administrators, counsellors and wellbeing experts. Share experiences, exchange ideas and build invaluable professional connections.

  • Interactive Experiences: Experience positive psychology in action while networking with peers through a series of interactive games and activities or while exploring the beautiful Niagara Region. 

Featured Guests

Pre-Conference Workshops

  • Date: August 21st
  • Times: 2:00-5:00p.m.
  • Cost: $150

Pre-Conference Workshops

DIVERSITY WITHOUT DIVISION®: The Stress-Busting Approach to a Culture of Belonging

Speaker: Irshad Manji

Conference Stream: Wellbeing for school culture

Empathetic communication skills foster trust and generate respect. In both ways, they’re vital to creating a culture of belonging in our schools.

Indeed, says Moral Courage® College founder Irshad Manji, skillful communication is the most crucial element of belonging. It fosters relationships that bring out who people are — our wholeness.

Without appreciating the individual’s wholeness, efforts to nurture belonging easily commodify people. They reflect a transactional mindset that fixates on what people are — our labels. That’s why the work of diversity readily becomes divisive.

Irshad Manji’s antidote: Diversity Without Division, which results from the Moral Courage Method of communicating across differences. 

On August 21st, as part of the Flourish pre-conference, Prof. Manji will deliver an in-person interactive workshop that teaches the five core skills of Moral Courage.

As participants, you'll draw from your own lives to explore the challenge of understanding and being understood in times of high emotion. You’ll leave the workshop with a tangible tool that reinforces the skills learned. 

Above all, you’ll learn how to be heard by those who disagree with you, so that diversity of views can be honoured — without the fear and anxiety that generate division.

LEARNING TO FLOURISH: Using Appreciative Approaches to Nurture Wellbeing at Work

Speaker: Dr. Sabre Cherkowski

Conference Stream: Wellbeing for school leaders

This session will explore the potential of appreciative approaches for crafting the work of teaching and leading toward wellbeing. In this workshop, Dr. Sabre Cherkowski will provide an overview of the practical findings from her research on flourishing in schools and offer practices designed to shift minds and hearts toward noticing and nurturing wellbeing at work. You will learn about appreciative processes for personal and collective wellbeing, such as Flourishing Inquiry. Through this session, you will have an opportunity to learn about the research findings, think about what these mean to you in your own context, and plan your own professional learning journey toward flourishing.

30-IN-3: Wellbeing Strategies for a Flourishing Classroom

Speaker: Emiliya Zhivotovskaya

Conference Stream: Wellbeing for the classroom

The field of positive psychology is filled with powerful theories, but how do you translate the science into practical and fun activities for students? Without tangible, plug-and-play applications, educators can feel overwhelmed and burdened by the need to create wellbeing in the classroom, on top of an already full load.

Join positive psychology expert and master experience curator, Emiliya Zhivotovskaya, for 30-in-3. Learn and experience 30 research-based strategies over the course of 3 hours that can seamlessly and easily be integrated into any classroom.

Teach theories of strengths, mindset, emotional intelligence, positive interventions, belonging, mattering, self-regulation, task initiation, nervous system regulation, mindfulness, pro-sociability, and more. You will leave with a comprehensive toolkit of 30 ready-to-use resources, strategies, and practices to help you create a lasting impact on your students' lives.

This workshop is for educators at all levels who are passionate about creating a positive and resilient learning environment. Whether you're a teacher, school counselor, or administrator, this workshop will empower you to bring wellbeing to life for your students.

HEALTH, WELLBEING & PERFORMANCE: How Educators can Flourish Throughout the Year

Speaker: Dr. Greg Wells

Conference Stream: Wellbeing for you

Sleeplessness, stress and burnout are significant challenges that we must overcome and educators need to navigate for their schools and students.

In this session Dr. Greg outlines the Body-Mind-Life Framework that helps you enhance your physiology, optimize your psychology and elevate you personally and professionally. He will guide you through practical strategies to enhance your energy levels, combat inflammation and optimize your health, ensuring you can bring the best version of yourself to the classroom and beyond.

As a workshop participant, you will explore simple but powerful practices to elevate your energy, shift from tension to flow, and craft high performance in the face of challenge, uncertainty and rapid change. 

This session is not just about personal health; it’s about translating these principles into actionable practices that can be integrated into educational settings. Equip yourself with the knowledge to transform your health cell by cell, and witness the ripple effect it has on your students’ ability to flourish.

Participants will learn: 

  • How high performers enter ‘The Zone’ and stay there despite overwhelming pressure
  • Why stress can be a powerful spark for positive mental and physical growth 
  • When to use your breath for physical calm, mental clarity and enhanced energy
  • How to calm down and focus in stressful situations to enable creativity & learning

This workshop is based on Dr. Wells’ best-selling book Powerhouse: Protect Your Energy, Optimize Your Health and Supercharge Your Performance.

Ignite Your Learning Journey. Register today.

Dive into thought-provoking workshops, connect with fellow educators and discover practical strategies to empower your teaching practice. Secure your spot by registering for one of our pre-conference sessions today!

Register Now

Conference Details

Schedule At A Glance 

Preconference: Wednesday, August 21st

  • Morning: Registration 
  • Afternoon: Pre-conference sessions with our keynote speakers
  • Evening: Optional activity, Headmaster's Marché, on campus

Day 1: Thursday, August 22nd

Note: These activities are included in the cost of registration and transportation will be provided for out-of-town guests. If you wish to dine in Niagara-on-the-Lake, we encourage you to make a reservation in advance.

Day 2: Friday, August 23rd

  • Full-day conference sessions and keynote speakers 
  • Evening: Foster Festival performance

Preconference: Wednesday, August 21st

  • Morning: Registration 
  • Afternoon: Pre-conference sessions with our keynote speakers
  • Evening: Optional activity, Headmaster's Marché, on campus

Day 1: Thursday, August 22nd

Note: These activities are included in the cost of registration and transportation will be provided for out-of-town guests. If you wish to dine in Niagara-on-the-Lake, we encourage you to make a reservation in advance.

Day 2: Friday, August 23rd

  • Full-day conference sessions and keynote speakers 
  • Evening: Foster Festival performance

The full conference schedule will be posted in Spring 2024.  


  • Conference Registration Fee: $550
  • Pre-Conference Workshops Registration Fee: $150

Please note that all fees are listed in Canadian dollars. 


Unlock Your Potential. Register today.

Discover the science of wellbeing, connect with fellow educators and equip yourself with practical tools. Register now for this transformative event. Let’s thrive together!

Register Now

Book Your Accommodations

We are pleased to offer a special room rate for conference attendees at the following locations, which are close to the Outlet Collection at Niagara and White Oaks Resort and Spa, for extra value added to your stay. Shuttle service to and from the conference will be available for those staying at either of these hotels. 

Holiday Inn Express & Staybridge Suites

Address: 524 York Road, Niagara-on-the-Lake

Conference booking code: FCE

Discounted rates are available until June 21st, 2024.

Book this hotel

Hilton Garden Inn

Address: 500 York Rd, Niagara-on-the-Lake

Conference booking code: 91G

Discounted rates are available until July 22nd, 2024.

Book this hotel

Why Positive Education? 

At Ridley College, we believe the primary aim of education is the cultivation of human flourishing. As such, this has been at the heart of our approach to learning for over a decade.

We define 'flourishing' as PERMA-V, the human development theory developed by Dr. Martin Seligman. Each of the letters represents pillars of wellbeing that are foundational to everything we do at Ridley.

Integrating positive education practices into a school culture offers a wide range of benefits for both students and educators. Here are some of the key advantages: 

Flourish Conference 2019

The inaugural Flourish Conference, hosted by Ridley College in partnership with the Canadian Positive Psychology Association in June 2019, brought educators from across North America to Ridley College to advance their understanding and application of the science of Positive Education.

The event featured keynote speakers Professor Lea Waters and Dave Mochel, along with invited speakers Louisa Jewell, Emiliya Zhivotovskaya, Greg Evans, Juan Arenas and Tamara Lechner.

Watch RecapView Photos

Contact Us

If you have questions about the conference, please email [email protected].