Diarise this event for November 9-10 2017 in Copenhagen – or why not contact organiser Torbjorn Andersson directly on +44 01789 432423 or email@example.com
The strapline for the event is ‘Participation, self awareness and identity’ and we have just updated the information on the new website meetingofminds.dk
MOM was last in Copenhagen in 2015 – It was very successful as is reflected in this report from Richard Mills …
(the 2015 event, when last held in Copenhagen)
Report by attendee Richard Mills
There is always something special about the Meeting of Minds conferences and this year’s Copenhagen event was no exception. I had been in Tokyo prior to the event and arriving after 26 hours of travel at the wonderfully ‘autism friendly’ Hotel Bella Sky I was not in the best shape. Suddenly the theme of the conference ‘wellbeing’ seemed particularly apt. However, I was soon restored as delegates enjoyed two days of exceptional expert keynotes and important and frequently inspiring debate.
The official opening by the Princess was memorable. Well informed and genuinely interested in the topic and theme it is apparent that she ‘gets’ autism, creating the perfect context for Andrew Jahoda’s fascinating opening speech and all that was to follow.
Wellbeing is such an important topic in autism and one where it is easy to get wrong by imposing typical concepts of how people should live their lives. We are also in times where economic pressures are bearing down on the lives of autistic people and their families and people are struggling. At such a time it is important to find solutions are that are achievable and ethical. The conference provided proof that great things can happen if people are positive, enthusiastic and are prepared to be creative and to share ideas. Critically the importance of fully involving the autism community was recognised.
It would be unfair to single out specific presentations as all were of the highest quality and thanks to skilled facilitation by Mette Elmose Andersen, all sparked real debate. Highlights for me were many but the fascinating insights of a life lived with autism by Aage Sinkbaek will stay long in the memory. Similarly, new research presented by Rebecca Ledingham on her work with Interpol on the vulnerability of autistic people to Cybercrime was of exceptional importance and interest.
The more intimate setting afforded by such a smaller venue is recognised by the organisers as more conducive to communication and sharing of ideas and to the development of collaborations and joint projects going forward. A real ‘meeting of minds’ This is a hallmark of these events and highly valued by the delegates. Larger conference events can be alienating for many and deter participation. It is important that everyone, including the autistic participants feel comfortable and as a result everyone is able to take a full part and to contribute.
I feel privileged to have been involved and I am very much looking forward to the next event.
Research Director, Research Autism, London
Research Fellow, Department of Psychology, University of Bath, UK