From Monday January 11th to February 1st the 11th edition of the University of Life, Alliance VITA’s bioethics conference will address the theme “Our society in need of healing – How to act in favor of a culture of life?” These sessions will be held by videoconferencing in 113 towns, in France and in at least 6 other countries.

Already attended by more than 20,000 people in the preceding years, the Bioethics Conference 2016 is intended for those who have already participated as well as for “newcomers”. This year, the sessions will be focused on action. Already decided upon before the tragic events in November 2015, the theme “Our society in need of Healing” responds to profound expectations. Realizing the extent to which our society is lacking essential reference points, many people do not want to passively bear the consequences of its errors, but wish to act concretely and join together to improve the situation.

Each one of the four evenings will reflect on the sufferings and the contradictions of our society and some remedial solutions. Everyone is invited to take a personal stance faced with humanitarian, political and cultural challenges.

The theme for 2016 will be addressed using Alliance VITA’s specific approach which is enriched on the one hand, by the experience of its listening services for people confronted with painful situations at the beginning or the end of life, and on the other hand, by its awareness-raising effort aimed at the general public and decision-makers. François-Xavier Pérès, Tugdual Derville, Caroline Roux, Henri de Soos, Valérie Boulanger and Dr. Xavier Mirabel will share analysis and explain their views and the way the association acts. The conference will be led by Blanche Streb.

Adding to their speeches will be five experts: philosophers François-Xavier Bellamy, Thibaud Collin and Martin Steffens, accompaniment specialist, Anne Davigo-Le Brun and doctor in law Grégor Puppinck. The purpose is to clarify several indispensible concepts for action such as trials, bereavement, democracy, natural law, human rights, culture…

As a supplementary innovation this year, Alliance VITA has invited four founders of institutions dedicated to weak or vulnerable people, to tell about their itinerary and their outlook on society: Laurent de Cherisey (Simon de Cyrène), Etienne Villemain (Les Maisons Lazare), Christian de Cacqueray (Catholic funeral services) and Jean-Marc Potdevin (Réseau Entourage).

The way their social innovations were founded and conducted is a valuable source of example and emulation for all of us. Furthermore, other numerous experts and witnesses will intervene in the towns where the Bioethics conference takes place, ending each evening by a time for “regional coverage” allowing specific local witnesses for each town so desiring.

For the third time, the Bioethics Conference will be broadcast throughout France simultaneously in 113 rooms, by a video conference system from a Parisian center. As in 2015, the Bioethics Conference will be offered internationally. Notably, the Berlin, Brussels, Liege, Lausanne, Zurich, Rome, New York, Casablanca, will assure retransmission.

A special effort will be made to facilitate interactivity within the room and between different sites.

Dates of the evenings: Monday January 11th, 18th, and 25th and February 1st from 20:15 to 22:30 pm.

For information, check the website:  http://www.universitedelavie.fr