6-11 March 2023


Naughton Institute, Trinity College Dublin. Live streaming also available.


Tickets are free. Advance booking essential to guarantee a place at in-person events.

Creative Brain Week explores and celebrates how brain science and creativity collide to seed new ideas in social development, technology, entrepreneurship, wellbeing and physical, mental and brain health across the life cycle.

Creative Brain Week is a Global Brain Health Institute innovation at Trinity College Dublin, presented in association with the Healing Arts Initiative of the World Health Organisation, with support from the Atlantic Institute.

The inaugural Creative Brain Week took place in March 2022. This year’s event will also illustrate innovation at the intersection of arts and brain science, including creative approaches to health.

Monday 6 March: A Prologue to Creative Brain Week 2023
Monday’s prologue event will include updates on projects inspired by Creative Brain Week 2022 and an introduction to this year’s event, attendees and ambition. There will be scene setting presentations on Brain Health Capital and Hope. Speakers include Ian Robertson, Founding Director of the Global Brain Health Institute and Emeritus Professor of Psychology at Trinity College Dublin; Professor Brian Lawlor, Conolly Norman Professor of Old Age Psychiatry, and Site Director of the Global Brain Health Institute; and Harris Eyre, Lead for the Brain Capital Alliance.

Tuesday 7 March: The lasting impact of conflict and the self in conflict
Can individual and collective conflict, be they acquired brain injury, neurological degeneration, the long tail of war, or othering narratives, be foundations for neuroscience informed health services saturated with creativity?

Speakers include Rachel Clarke-Hughes on The Playhouse’s decades of creativity in response to the Troubles in Derry/Londonderry;  NYU’s Nisha Sajnani on WHO’s creative interventions with refugees; David Cotterrell, war artist on the artist as first responder; and Agustín Ibáñez on the neuroscience of conflict.

Wednesday 8 March: Imagination as bridge between Conflict to Joy
How do people know we can do better? Where does that capacity reside? How is it revealed in practice?

Speakers include Jill Sonke, Research Director in the Center for Arts in Medicine at the University of Florida; The African Brain Health Network and West Cork Arts Centre on compassion informed creativity; Virginia Sturm on the neuroscience of emotion; and Cindy Weinstein, author of Finding The Right Words, a story of Alzheimer’s, grief and the brain.

Thursday 9 March: The complexity of Joy. The simplicity of Joy.
Is joy where creativity and neuroscience align? How is this affecting people’s lives? Where might the pursuit of joy lead?

Christopher Bailey, WHO Arts and Health Lead, is one of the speakers introducing the themes for the day. Presentations include ‘Complex Joy?: A Celebration of Brain Health in People with Down Syndrome’ with Eimear McGlinchey, Assistant Professor in Intellectual Disability, School of Nursing and Midwifery, TCD and Fintan Bray, the first person with Down Syndrome to be elected to a political party in Ireland.

7-9 March: Creative Brain Week Living Labs
Daily sessions (12.15-1pm) offer attendees an opportunity to discuss, develop and reflect on the themes of the day through:

  • Dance and movement with Ailish Claffey
  • Visual arts Eliza Squibb and Wambui Karanja
  • Neuroscience and dialogue
  • Youth Theatre of Ireland discuss creativity 7 and 8 March
  • Mike Hanrahan and Aline Haas dance performance on 9 March

6-11 March: The Creative Brain in Action
Music, performance, art exhibitions, film, interventions and installations demonstrate the creative brain in action.

Booking information 
In person events take place in the Naughton Institute, Trinity College Dublin, and are fully ticketed.

Tickets are free but have to be booked in advance to guarantee a place. Online booking options are also available for discussion events.


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