Celebrate Life. Build Community. Have Fun.

Join the Sunday Assembly’s annual conference from May 19th–May 22nd 2016 which is entirely dedicated to celebrating life, building secular communities and having a lot of fun.

Utrecht will rock with inspirational speakers, deep thinkers and great doers providing you with tools to improve your life, grow your community and change the world.

A get together for Sunday Assembly organisers, Sunday Assembly participants, community builders and anyone who wants to make a difference in this one life we know we have.

Say hello to some of our awesome speakers!

Sanderson Jones

Sanderson Jones


Sanderson, the co-founder and CEO of Sunday Assembly, will be hosting the event with a sole mission of filling it with as much joy, laughter and celebration as 3 days can handle. He’ll probably also insist on talking about non-religious ‘spirituality’ at some point.

Pippa Evans

Pippa Evans

Improve With Improv

When not co-founding Sunday Assembly Pippa Evans is one of the UK’s top improv performers. Part of the legendary Comedy Store Players, co-creator of Showstoppers: An Improvised Musical, she’s developed a way to improve your life using the skills of improv.

Emma Broomfield

Singing for Your Mind

By day Emma Broomfield works for The Choir with No Name—a UK charity which runs choirs and singing workshops for people that have experienced homelessness. By night, she runs the incredibly successful and fun Sunday Assembly London Choir. She regularly speaks on the subject of singing and wellbeing and has given talks at venues such as the Southbank Centre, the Royal College of Arts, Boston University (London campus) and Memorial University, Newfoundland to name but a few.

Shamash Alidina

Shamash Alidina


Shamash Alidina is one of the world’s leading proponents of Mindfulness – he even wrote ‘Mindfulness for Dummies’! This globe trotting teacher will explain and demonstrate tips techniques that can help you and your community lead more mindful lives.

Liz Slade

Liz Slade

Beyond Medicine? What Is The Future Of Health?

Why do doctors keep people alive? Why is it better that to be healthy than ill? After 10 years in the health industry Liz worked to explore these questions. Now she works at Sunday Assembly as our COO and she’ll share her findings with us. Clue: being happy and kind is a pretty big part of it.

Kasper van der Meulen

Kasper van der Meulen

Mental Fitness

Kasper van der Meulen is an author and storyteller who takes a no-nonsense approach to personal development. His workshops and lectures are jam-packed with interactive experiences, easy to use techniques and appealing stories that help you find the best version of yourself. His book ‘Mental fitness for the modern brain’ teaches us how to focus in a world trying to distract us. Kasper studied with the “Ice Man” and can survive insanely cold temperatures.

Astrid Willems

Astrid Willems


Astrid Willems is a philosopher who studied communication, philosophy, and fine arts. An entrepreneur and illustrator she gives workshops based on her flexible thinking (‘flexdenken’) philosophy all around the Netherlands. Astrid’s influential book full of beautiful illustration and impressive theory about flexibility that has Dutch reviewers (famous for their lack of enthusiasm about everything) in awe. We are honoured she was happy to come back to a bigger and better international assembly.

Tim Lawler

Tim Lawler

Secular Rituals and Dealing with Death

Tim Lawler is an alive man, but won’t be that way for long. Death will take him, as it will take you but before then Tim will be running a workshop on soul midwifery – the art of helping people deal with their own end. Ad man, actor, Assembler and other things that begin with A.

Andy Gibson

Andy Gibson

How To Be Happy, Though Human

Andy Gibson launched Mindapples to help everyone take care of our minds like we take care of our bodies. Since then, he’s been on a mission to help people treat their minds better, and will be explaining why understanding human nature is the essential starting point for having a happy, rewarding life.

Sam Brown

Sam Brown

Radical Inclusivity

Radical Inclusivity is one of the values at the heart of Sunday Assembly, and is something we all try to aspire to, but how do you do it? Sam is your ideal guide.

Ruth Moir

Ruth Moir

Life Course Workshop

Over the past few months, Sunday Assembly has been piloting a brand new way helping people through the big (and small) questions through the Life Course. It’s based in on the evidence based work of Martin Seligman (using his PERMA model) combined with what we’ve learnt over three years of Sunday Assembly, join Ruth Moir – Sunday Assembly London’s Community Creator – who will share the findings from  our first prototype.

Esther van Duin

Esther van Duin

Preventing stress, neurobics & the brain

Esther investigates the association between (traumatic) life events, genetic vulnerability and psychotic reactivity to stress as a neuroscientist at the Maastricht University. A member of the Dutch National ThinkTank she teaches us about the amazing impact dancing can have on your brain and how to prevent burnouts. We hear Esther gave the best presentations across Sunday Assembly Utrecht’s last two seasons. Combining science, dancing, laughter and self improvement she is sensational.

Jeroen van Baar

Jeroen van Baar


Jeroen van Baar studied Psychology and Neuroscience in Utrecht and Paris. He is a researcher at the Donders institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour in Nijmegen and therefore is one of the most overachieving thinkers of his generation. Jeroen however claims we should strive for mediocrity instead of excellence. His popular book (“De Prestatiegeneratie”) looks at where our drive to excel comes from and where it can take us if we are not careful. Jeroen has intriguing ideas on his generation’s need to excel that are incredibly smart, reasonably funny and quite inspirational.

Freek Zwanenberg

Freek Zwanenberg


Freek Zwanenberg is a classically schooled (popular) piano player. After studying at the University of Humanistic Studies in Utrecht however Freek developed a beautiful personal theory and approach to improvisation as a way of life. Freek subsequently makes his living improvising and teaching his fellow man about improvisation before it is too late. Also, his name is Freek.

Ewout Jansen

Ewout Jansen

Changing Your Dream

Ewout toured the Dutch comedy circuit for five years and won 12 comedy awards. Depressingly talented he retired from telling jokes for money to think with the Dutch National ThinkTank, lecture at the School for Communication and Journalism in Utrecht and counsel the Dutch Supreme Court. He also chairs the Cultuurbord art foundation and frequently hosts the Sunday Assembly in Utrecht.

Lisa Van Schijndel

Intuition: Stop, Listen, GO!

Intuïtion: What is it exactly? How do you follow it, and is this always a good idea? We will go on a journey in which we’ll take a closer look at our own inner voice, where it is seated and how we can hear it. Working with theories like Theory U, we will investigate ways of listening and experience by doing. Lisa van Schijndel is a creative, positive life-treasurer that is always on the look for personal development adventures. Lisa is a clinical psychologist, songwriter and singer, a core member at De Universiteit and recently joined the Utrecht Sunday Assembly Team.

Marien Baerveldt

How to be a Wayfinder

What are you doing to support your inner student? Your inner artist? What are you doing to support your community builders? Your teachers? Your listeners? Marien Baerveldt will share what it means to start caring deeply for our own learning, and that of others. It will be based on experiences with Open Masters and The Wayfinders Kit. Marien Baerveldt is a social entrepreneur who builds learning organisations and communities through hosting conversations that matter. Having studied cognitive neuropsychology and organisational sciences he continued on a road less traveled and co-created the self guided learning community ‘De Universiteit’.

Michael Plant

How Socrates can make you happier than Kanye West

Most of us (including Kanye West) misunderstand how to pursue happiness and could be much happier than we are. I’ll explain what happiness is, why the evidence shows we’re much worse at it than we thought, why should try to change how you think and how you spend your time, not your objective circumstances, what practical evidence-based steps you can take to find more happiness, and why Socrates was right all along (even though he didn’t know it). Michael Plant is studying a PhD on the nature and causes of happiness in the University of Oxford’s Philosophy Department.

Janneke Meijers

Philosophical Speed Dating and Creative Walks

Janneke works by the principles of the Art of Hosting, which is an internationally well used practice of building meaningful conversations. In our workshops we leave our work, our girlfriends, our social media at the door and slow down to see what actually lives in our bodies, in our minds. And then, we speed up. We deepen the conversation and connect. After completing her cultural and social studies in Utrecht Janneke  became a journalist, actress, coach and community facilitator for ‘De Universiteit’. She recently joined the team of the Sunday Assembly Utrecht.

Jos De Blok

Innovations in Healthcare

Jos de Blok is the founder and CEO of Dutch organisation Buurtzorg, where he pioneers new ways of delivering home-based healthcare. Within Buurtzorg, autonomous teams of nurses work directly with their patients, in a community-based network free from management structure. This innovative model frees nurses from administrative burdens, allowing them to focus on the business of providing quality care. Buurtzorg works in ways that not only meet the needs of patients in their homes, but the needs of employees too—the company has three times been declared the Netherlands’ ‘employer of the year’.



Meet and Greet at Winkel Van Sinkel
Join the Sunday Assembly crew for a casual meet and greet. Make new buddies, or reacquaint yourself with old friends—perfect to set yourself up for a weekend full of joy!


Good Morning Coffee
The Mindfulness Adventure Begins
The State of the Nation with Sanderson, Jacqueline and Pippa
Keynote speeches, Workshops and discussion to stretch your mind
Evening: Join us on an exploratory guided light walk in the dark which takes in Utrecht’s beautiful city centre, learning about it’s rich history and marveling at the many light art installations along the way.


Early Morning Yoga
Welcome & Keynote
Morning workshops
Open Space—bring your ideas to the table and invite people to join you in conversation
Town Hall Meeting
Sunday Assembly General Assembly
Cabaret Evening with Utrecht’s own Ameezing Band!


Sunday Assembly Of All The Talents
12.30 pm Tea and Cake Utrecht Style!


Winkel Van Sinkel

Winkel Van Sinkel is not only amusingly named but is also a legendary ‘Grandcafe’ in the heart of Utrecht. This art deco delight will host us as we connect with people from across the world.


The conference takes place in Kytopia, right in the beating heart of Utrecht. Steeped in creativity, this former music venue is now ‘a synergetic free nation of likeminded people…A magical place where music is made, culture is created, international collaborations are formed and like-minded people are co-writing the musical history of Utrecht.’ – we like the sound of that


Utrecht is a small place, with a compact city centre. A couple of places near the conference venue include the Court Hotel, or a bit further away, the IBIS (we have a group reservation here if you quote Sunday Assembly via email). Or you could book into a real local experience and stay at an Airbnb venue of your choice. We may also be able to arrange couchsurfing with the Utrecht volunteers on a case by case basis. We can’t wait to see you there!