The Paper Birds Theater Company
The Paper Birds Theatre Company

About The Academics

Laura Taylor

Laura K Taylor (PhD) is an Assistant Professor in the School of Psychology at University College Dublin (UCD), and Reader at Queen’s University, Belfast. She earned a dual Ph.D. in Psychology and Peace Studies from the University of Notre Dame. Laura’s research with children, families and communities facing adversity focuses on constructive outcomes, such as prosocial behaviours, helping across group lines, civic engagement and peace building. She leads the Helping Kids! lab, which is conducting research with collaborators in Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland and Israel. As part of Helping Kids!, the team has researched the role of empathy and how it influences children’s out group helping, such as toward newcomers as well as former conflict rivals. Before academia, Laura worked in peacebuilding and mental health for six years in the Caribbean, Colombia, Guatemala and Nepal.

“Empathy is listening to your heart and acting on that feeling for others.”

Katrina Brown

I recently retired from a full-time academic position at University of Exeter, so I now have more flexibility to work on great projects like The School of Hope. I studied and taught international development and environmental change and contributed to and led many international collaborations. As a Social Scientist I’m fascinated by how people deal with change; my research looks at how people perceive change, how they adapt to it, and how they might transform in the face of it. Much of my work has been about climate change and other changes in the environment, and I’m most interested in how society might transform to address the current environmental crisis and live in more sustainable ways.

Empathy is an important part of this complex jigsaw. How can we better connect with each other, and better live together on our Planet? Can we ‘see like a mountain’, or ‘feel like a forest’?
Empathy is important in mediating our identities, and our attachments to places and community. I want to explore how building empathy can help us achieve a safe, just and sustainable future for all

John Lambie

I was born in 1967. I like this year because it’s often called the Summer of Love. I do believe love is all you need. I studied psychology in Sheffield in the 1980s, and got a PhD from Cambridge University in the 1990s. I used to be in a band called Longpigs (but left before they had a few hits in the 1990s – look them up on Spotify, they are quite good). I started off researching the conscious experience of emotion – what do emotions feel like? – and moved into researching emotional validation – how do we let other people know that their emotions are valid? I developed a set of books and toys (with Skylark Learning) to teach young children about emotions called My First Emotions. I currently work as Associate Professor of Psychology at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge.

“Empathy is me and you connecting — trying to tune into what it’s like for you.