Islanders Kevin Joyce and Martha Enson, under the banner of their company EnJoy Productions, will co-present the Compassionate Leadership Summit on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 8 and 9, at the University of Washington HUB, 4001 E. Stevens Way N.E., in Seattle.
The summit is a gathering for those who seek to apply the practices of compassion and mindfulness in workplaces and communities. Among the approximately 40 presenters at the event will be poet and activist Merna Hecht, from Vashon. Other presenters range from Ed Taylor, vice provost and dean at U.W., to Kilung Rinpoche, head of a Buddhist monastery, social activist and trainer Jackie de la Cruz, and City Attorney Pete Holmes.
The program begins at 8:30 a.m. Friday, Nov. 8; Saturday’s session begins at 5:30 p.m. Themes will include working with vulnerable and disenfranchised populations, corporate initiatives, skills in dealing with conflict, compassionate cities and listening to the voice of youth in creating a compassionate future.
In creating the event, Joyce said he and Enson — who are a married couple — have stepped beyond what EnJoy Productions has done for many years, creating events for other clients. The Compassionate Leadership Summit, instead, is their idea, and their passion.
“We wanted to convene a diverse group of smart, interesting people, and we wanted to serve, in some way, the current needs in our culture,” Joyce said. “Our society and our larger community are deeply in need of more compassion, civility and awareness. It starts with how we listen — to each other, and to ourselves.”
Joyce said the summit will offer tools and skills, stemming from secular and spiritual traditions, neuroscience and positive psychology, to help attendees become more empathetic and effective listeners.
For Joyce and Enson, there is also personal synchronicity in the timing of the event, which will coincide with a state initiative called “Compassion 2020.” That program will give a select group of high school students — including Joyce’s and Enson’s daughter, Ruby Joyce — the life-changing experience of traveling to India as “compassion scholars,” culminating in an audience with the Dalai Lama. The trip will take place from Nov. 4 to 12.
“This was an amazing and auspicious coincidence,” Joyce said.