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Booking Mary Gordon

If you would like to book Mary Gordon, Founder and President of Roots of Empathy for a virtual presentation now, or an in-person presentation at a later date, contact: Irena Trajkovska, itrajkovska@rootsofempathy.org. 

Watch some of Mary’s talks HERE. You can follow Mary on Twitter @MaryGordonROE and on LinkedIn. And Roots of Empathy on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn – @RootsofEmpathy

Mary Gordon speaks on topics such as: empathy, innovation, education, civil society, leadership, social entrepreneurship, pluralism and parenting.

May 23 – 24, 2024

Manitoba Child Care Association Conference

Mary Gordon accepted to be Keynote speaker. Details to come.

Literacy in the early years. “Stories, Learning and Adventure. Journey through the Early Years”

February 23rd – 25th, 2024

Literacy in the early years. “Stories, Learning and Adventure. Journey through the Early Years”

At the White Oaks Resort and Spa in Niagara-On-The-Lake, ON.

Organiser: Métis Nation of Ontario

Mary Gordon will be the Keynote

a.	ASCY EEY Conference 2023
b.	Organiser: Affiliated Services for Child and Youth – Hamilton
c.	Keynote
d.	Details to come

December 1st, 2023

ASCY EEY Conference 2023, “Embracing the Early Years, Capture the Moment”

Mary Gordon will be presenting “Setting a Place at the Table for Everyone” to 450 Early Childhood Educators, professionals and students in Hamilton for their Professional Learning Day. Organized by Affiliated Services for Child and Youth – Hamilton, Mary joins keynote speaker Andrew B. Campbell (DR. ABC), and other noted speakers: Drew Dudley, the founder and Chief Catalyst of Day One Leadership, Rusty Keeler, the author of multiple books on play and playscapes, and AFÉSEO (l’Association francophone à l’éducation des services à l’enfance de l’Ontario) representatives Camille Scarrow, Laurent Ouairy, and Karina Gagnon.

Participating at the NB Trauma Conference

November 8 – 10, 2023

Hope Restored: NB Trauma Conference, 2023 – New Brunswick 

On November 8th, Founder and President Mary Gordon visited New Brunswick to give the keynote address at  Hope Restored/ L’espoir renaît: NB Trauma Conference 2023. Mary spoke of Collective Trauma, Collective Hope where she highlighted the cumulative effect of trauma and how empathy provides us with hope for the future.  On November 9th, in a break-out session, Mary Gordon was joined by Julie Lundberg, Director of Curriculum and the Director of Atlantic Canada, Annie Oh, Research and Evaluation Coordinator, and Darlene MacDonald, Program Manager, NB & PEI. Together, they shared Roots of Empathy’s History as a Trauma Informed Program. 770 delegates attended the conference from a variety of professional fields such as education, government, military, RCMP, and social work, and they came from across Canada and from parts of the United States. See more about what was presented here.

Mary Gordon, Roots of Empathy and Inspired Teaching Join up for a learning event

November 3rd, 2023

Inspired Teaching and Roots of Empathy discuss: Cultivating Empathy, Academic Excellence, and Deeper Understanding.

During Helsinki Education Week, Mary Gordon, our Founder/President, teamed up with Aleta Margolis, Founder and President of the Center for Inspired Teaching, to lead a dynamic discussion on Fostering Empathy, Academic Excellence, and Deeper Understanding. Engaging educators, parents, and leaders in Finland.

Mary Gordon speaks at HundrEd in Helsinki about Roots of Empathy

October 31 – November 2, 2023

HundrED Innovation Summit in Helsinki, Finland

By invitation on October 31st, Founder/President Mary Gordon will join the Founder of HundrED at the opening event of  HundrED’s Innovation Summit announcing the 2024 Collection, by sharing the amazing impact of Roots of Empathy. HundrED, a Finnish non-profit organization, annually evaluates education programs for their impact on delivering quality education innovations that ‘transform school systems’ and equip students to ‘thrive as global citizens’. To see Mary’s speech, please visit this link.

Roots of Empathy was inducted into the HundrED Hall of Fame for Education Innovation in 2023. See our HundrED Profile: https://hundred.org/en/innovations/roots-of-empathy

On August 25, 2023, please join a joint effort of Equimundo’s international campaigns, MenCare and the Global Boyhood Initiative, for the third webinar in the CARING series, “Revolutionize the way boys are taught about care,” highlighting strategic recommendations from the State of the World’s Fathers report.

August 25th, 2023

Mary Gordon presented on the Impact of the Roots of Empathy for: MenCare Global Fatherhood Webinar Series: “Revolutionize the way boys are taught about care”.

The MenCare Global Fatherhood campaign is hosting a webinar series centered around the strategic recommendations from the State of the World’s Fathers 2023 Report. Each webinar throughout the year highlights one of the six recommendations from SOWF 2023, which align with the acronym CARING. The webinar series highlights examples and evidence of care systems from around the world that engage men in unpaid care work. On August 25, 2023, please join us for the second discussion as we put the “R” in CARING: “Revolutionize the way boys are taught about care.” See the discussion here.

Mary Gordon is an internationally renown educator, author, parenting expert  and especially a child advocate. and who has created award-winning programs focused on the power of empathy. In 1996, leaving the classroom behind, she founded Roots of Empathy, which now offers programs in Canada, the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and is slowly but surely spreading around the rest of the world as Mary is asked to lend her significant perspectives of the importance of empathy to government leaders, educational organisations, and public institutions world-wide.

August 1st, 2023

Interview with Donna Lee Fields from Scaffolding Magic 

Donna Lee Fields is a former Primary & Secondary teacher and  passionate about creating dynamic activities you can use to introduce new information in any language or content class.

She Interviews Mary Gordon on – Which do your young students need more – learning to read or learning to read the emotions around them? How does a child without empathy affect the amount of bullying in a classroom? How can a new born, wrapped in an iconic green blanket, change the lives of thousands of children?

Watch Here: https://scaffoldingmagic.com/mary-gordon-video-clip-roots-of-empathy/

Change Openly interviews Mary Gordon

July 26, 2023

Virtual Interview with Cheryl Luptak from Change Openly

Change Openly empowers changemakers to make a bigger difference by helping ignite and nurture social good – bravely, fully and openly. Cheryl Luptak’s from Change Openly, reached out to laureates to hear their valuable perspectives regarding the GGIAs in order to assess the impact of the GGIAs and to explore how to amplify their impact.

Mary Gordon speaks at Vancouver event for Children

July 19, 2023

A Joyous Celebration of Ideas, the Arts, Science, and Efforts to Make the World a Better Place Organiser: Prof. Adele Diamond, UBC.

A cross-cultural gathering in Vancouver that spans the Arts, Humanities, Sciences, and Humanitarian and Social Justice Initiatives.

Designed to build community that crosses continents, cultures, and fields. Mary Gordon spoke under the theme: Social-Emotional Dev. & Plasticity: Compassion & Empathy. Mary’s topic was Roots of Empathy: The Global Children’s Program, The Research and Impact on Education Policy.

Mary Gordon at Collision speaking for Roots of Empathy

June 26-29, 2023

Collision Tech Conference

Mary Gordon spoke at the Collision conference, one of the world’s largest tech conferences in Toronto. This year it had 36K participants. MG participated on the panel discussion:  ChatGPTeacher? The Future of Learning. (See a short clip)

Mary Gordon at Roots of Empathy 2023 Symposium

June 20, 2023

Roots of Empathy Research Symposium: Empathy Towards a More Caring World

Mary Gordon spoke at the Symposium on a topic of inclusion: Setting a Place at the Table for Everyone at our 10th Annual Research Symposium(see presentations here). The symposium had over 1300 registrants (live and online combined) with 95 % of post-event survey respondents that they were pleased with the outstanding presentations. The presentation videos have received more than 150 hours of viewing as of September 2023.

Mary Gordon is interviewed by Fresh Air CBC

June 17, 2023 – Interview With CBC Fresh Air Program.

Mary Gordon is interviewed on the morning program Fresh Air to promote the Roots of Empathy Research Symposium, “Empathy Towards a More Caring World”. Reached a Toronto audience.

Retired Teachers Organization logo

June 13, 2023 – Interview for Renaissance.

Mary Gordon was interviewed for the magazine of RTOERO, an organization of retired educators with over 83,000 members across Canada.

Roots of Empathy baby celebration in Whatcom

June 8, 2023

Mary Gordon addressed the ROE volunteer parents / babies and Instructors in Bellingham along with funders in their 1st Baby Celebration.

Seattle Baby Celebration Roots of Empathy

June 7, 2023

Mary Gordon addressed the ROE volunteer parents/babies and Instructors in Seattle along with funders at the 16th Baby Celebration.

c20 Mental Health Panel, Mary Gordon presenting

May 20th, 2023 – C20 (Civil 20 India) Panel

On Saturday May 20th, Mary Gordon spoke at a C20 panel (Civil 20, India 2023) virtual event called “Education to Support Mental Health”, part  of the Education & Digital Transformation Summit. Mary contributed to the Civil 20 education policy recommendations submitted to the G20.

Mary Gordon speaks at World Literacy SummitApril 2-4, 2023 – University of Oxford World Summit on Literacy

The University of Oxford held a world summit on literacy on April 2-4th 2023 and has invited Mary Gordon to speak. The topic Mary presented on was  ‘Fostering Literacy through the Lens of Empathy: Connecting emotional literacy to traditional literacy for the success of the whole child.’

Learn more: https://www.worldliteracysummit.org/

Mary Gordon at Canada House

March 29, 2023

Mary Gordon spoke at UK Canada Foundation at Canada House Trafalgar Square

C20 and G20 logos for India 2023, Education and Digital Transformation C20 Working Group, India 2023

March 11, 2023 – C20 (Civil 20 India) Panel

On Saturday March 11th, Mary Gordon spoke as part of a C20 panel (Civil 20, India 20

23) virtual event called ” Education and Digital Transformation: Education for Life, Global Citizenship”. Find highlights of Mary Gordon’s contributions from this panel discussion here.

The objective of the March 11, 2023 online discussion panel was to contribute to the preparation of a G20 policy document with recommendations for the theme – “Education for Life & Global Citizenship”.


Founder and President Mary Gordon is interviewed by Hundred in an article called: Growing the garden of childhood: How Roots of Empathy nurtures connection for children and parents

March 3, 2023 – HundrED Interview

Founder and President Mary Gordon was interviewed about: “Growing the garden of childhood: How Roots of Empathy nurtures connection for children and parents.” Article here.
HundrED is a Finnish non-profit organization that is dedicated to helping every child flourish by giving them access to quality education. HundrED recognizes Roots of Empathy as a top innovation in education by inducting Roots of Empathy into its Hall of Fame in 2023, after being selected in its top hundred for the previous 5 years in a row. Read about why Roots of Empathy is in the Hall of Fame here.

A picture featuring Mary Gordon delivering a presentation to the Ontario Ministry of Education

February 21, 2023 – Presentation to the Ontario Ministry of Education

Founder and President Mary Gordon was the inaugural speaker at a new series of Professional Development for Ontario Ministry of Education Staff. She talked about their impact as more than the Ministry of Education – they are the Ministry of Peace, Justice and Health for children. The Roots of Empathy program supports that development in children.

Mary Gordon gets interviewed by La Presse

January 8, 2023 – La Presse Interview

Founder and President Mary Gordon was interviewed by reporter Rima Elkouri about Empathy. ‘ Our society has an unprecedented potential for empathy. But faced with headwinds, this potential is struggling to express itself. How can we avoid the erosion of our ability to put ourselves in the place of our neighbor?’ Here is the link to the French article. The potential reach of this article was 5 million (Meltwater)

Seeds of Empathy and Roots of Empathy fireside chat

November 17, 2022 ”Fireside Chat: Parents and Educators are Heroes”

Mary Gordon, Founder/President talks to parents and educators in an online event about why they are the heroes in developing Emotional Literacy in young children.

Listen Here

Mary Gordon speaks at New Longevity conference in SpainNovember 8, 2022 ”International Learning: My Teacher is a Baby”

the New Longevity Summit in Balboa Spain, organized by Ashoka and BBK.  For the first time in human history, there are more people over the age of 65 than children under the age of five. And by 2050 the number of people aged over 80 will triple. The statistics show a new reality. The Summit aims to learn from social entrepreneurs addressing longevity with systems-changing approaches, connect local and international changemakers, and generate alliances between social entrepreneurs, business/industry leaders, companies, and philanthropists. 

See our article about longevity here.

Image of New Zealand Paediatric talk by Mary GordonNovember 3, 2022 ”Building a Culture of Empathy”

At the 73rd Annual Scientific Meeting hosted by the Paediatric Society of New Zealand,  Mary Gordon, Founder/President was a featured speaker.

Instructor training in Bellingham WashingtonNovember 2022, Radio Interview in Bellingham, Washington State 

KGMI’s Joe Teehan and Dianna Hawryluk talk to author Mary Gordon about her book, Roots of Empathy, and her efforts to teach empathy to young people. Listen to the interview. The interview coincided with a visit to celebrate the program in Bellingham and to a part of the first Instructor training there.

FOunder Mary Gordon speaks in NiagaraOctober 24, 2022 – “Crisis of Connection”

The Early Childhood Community Development Centre was delighted to host Mary Gordon, internationally respected author, founder, and president of the acclaimed Roots of Empathy program on October 24th, alongside partners from the Niagara Catholic District School Board and the District School Board of Niagara. The professional collaboration took place at the ECCDC Conference Centre in Thorold and was a unique learning opportunity for Child and Youth Workers, Mental Health Leads, and administration from both boards to explore a variety of topics to support them in their important roles, offer opportunities to develop new strategies, and time to foster relationships with peers. See the release here.

BBC World - Podcast People Fixing the WorldOctober 2, 2022 –
BBC Podcast “People Fixing the World”

Radio/podcast program called People Fixing The World (formerly BBC World Hacks) followed up on Roots of Empathy and the story “Bully-busting babies” that they did on ROE in 2018. People Fixing The World is now producing an episode looking at innovative approaches to reduce violence in schools, and would like to included a “Where are they now” segment about Roots of Empathy. François Wibaux (Journalist, People Fixing The World) from BBC World Service discusses with Mary Gordon how the program has evolved and grown since they last saw it.

June 20-23, 2022

Collision Tech Conference

The panel will focus on a full range of topics around education – from childhood to adulthood, and the role of technology, speaking live to an audience of 800.


Mary Gordon Founder/President Roots of Empathy

Martin Basiri Co-Founder & CEO ApplyBoard

Zayn Patel, a student with The Knowledge Society who is developing a program to improve English literacy amongst children in Nigeria

May 6, 2022 

Department of National Defence / Government of Canada Workforce Well Being

In recognizing Mental Health Week in the Department, a variety of speaking engagements, events and activities will be accessible to the whole National Defence Team. This year’s Mental Health Week theme is “This Is Empathy”. As such, they have invited Mary Gordon to speak on empathy. Mary’s presentation #GetReal about Empathy will explore the ways our program impacts mental health.

Mary Gordon will be speaking about empathy in relation to:

  • healthy work place relationships
  • how to enhance our empathy
  • empathic listening
  • “not just staff, leaders, need empathy”
  • mental health stigma – people are always looking for new ways to learn

Attendees will consist of:

  • National of defence wide invitation, deputy minister initiative, monthly webinars from 600-1300 attendees (military & civilian)
  • will open invitation to family members of military
  • Defense Advisory Group – lgbtq2+, POC, disabilities

This will be a 1.5-hour webinar with live audio translation to French

May, 2022

Government of Canada’s (Policy Horizons Canada) is currently undertaking a project on the future of the life course in Canada.

A series of virtual workshops will take place during the first three weeks of May that will bring together representatives of community organizations, academia, government, and the private sector. Participants will collectively explore the possible implications of future changes in six key areas of the life course: care, reproduction, education, living arrangements, labour, and older adulthood. Mary Gordon was invited to share her expertise.

May 4, 2022

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM), Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education

Washington DC

Join Mary Gordon at the Forum for Children’s Well-Being with U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy. Preventing the Next Mental Health Crisis through Partnerships with Families and Communities

The panel:

• Ready Ready Guilford – Christina Dobson (Director of Navigation Services)

• Maine Resilience Building Network – Kini-Ana Tinkham (Executive Director)

• Pierce County WA Collaborative Care Model – Mary Ann Woodruff, MD, FAAP (General Pediatrics)

• Roots of Empathy – Mary Gordon (Founder/President)

David W. Willis, MD, FAAP (Senior Fellow, Center for the Study of Social Policy) will be moderating the panel.

APRIL 14, 2022

Natural Awakenings produces 50 publications connecting readers to a wealth of national and local resources mapping out alternate routes to a healthier, happier, longer life. Each magazine takes a practical look at the latest natural approaches to healing, nutrition, fitness, creative expression, personal growth and sustainable living. Carrie Jackson (Marketing & Communications Specialist) interviews Mary Gordon for an article about teaching kids about empathy.

MARCH 28, 2022

“The Perspective” TV Program with Mike Sherbino

Hear Mary Gordon speak on “The Perspective” TV Program with Mike Sherbino. Mary delves into the work Roots of Empathy does and discusses empathy on a global scale and its applicability at this point in time. To watch, CLICK HERE.

February 18, 2022

Keynote Speaker: Mary Gordon

A Conversation on the Power of Relationships in Building Empathy and Resilience

Mary Gordon was invited to do a repeat of her October 2021 keynote presentation, as COTA had a much higher number of registrants than they could support in October and did not want their employees to miss out on the opportunity to hear Mary speak. This presentation celebrates the power of relationships in building empathy and resilience.

january 20th, 2022

Hear social entrepreneur Mary Gordon, Founder/President of Roots of Empathy and neuroscientists Dr. Sara Konrath, on CBC’s Maritime Connection at 4 – 5pm AT with guest host Krissy Holmes. Listeners will learn about empathy and compassion in Canada. This broadcast asks the questions, two years into the pandemic, how are we doing? What can we do to build empathy?

january 20th, 2022

Mary Gordon was interviewed by Milwaukee Journal Sentinel journalist Mark Johnson.

Titled “Failure to understand and share feelings with each other runs counter to our nature. So why are we in a severe empathy crisis?”, the article explores how empathy is not taught, but caught. Read more about Roots of Empathy’s core values in this insightful article. Only available through a subscription to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

November 29, 2021

The District School Board of Niagara, Niagara Catholic District School Board and the Early Childhood Community Development Centre in Niagara presented this special webinar: A Conversation on the Power of Relationships in Building Empathy and Resilience, with Internationally Acclaimed Mary Gordon.
This presentation will celebrate the power of relationships in building empathy and resilience. Video, story and children’s art will shine a light on children’s vulnerabilities and possibilities, identifying the roles of those adults who are the wind beneath their wings. A practical and joyful thread of hope will run throughout the session.
Target Audience: Child and Youth Workers, Youth Counsellors, Kindergarten Teams, Early Childhood Educators, Special Support Agency Staff, Ontario Early Years Staff, Students, Public Health Administrators for Healthy Babies/Healthy Children, FACS etc.

November 12, 2021

The Human Climate: Conversations with Carol (Podcast) – We are experiencing a different kind of health crisis, where emotions drive our actions or inaction, our detachment or stubbornness, our hatred or fear or despair. And where our emotions drive us, especially when we haven’t learned to recognize, accept and integrate them. Carol explores with Mary Gordon, Mary’s input of above in a way that can open the pores of our curiosity, perhaps even of our hope, so that they might become a small part of getting to a tomorrow in ways not destined to be filled with destruction and denial. Podcast to be aired in the new year.

Watch the full interview here.

October 22, 2021

Central Okanagan Teachers Association, Professional Development Day Keynote presentation – Mary Gordon spoke on empathy and its role in recovering from the pandemic. The one-hour session includes a live Q&A. The theme of the event will be Balance: Personal and Professional Equilibrium. The audience consisted of 300 attendees and all school employees (Teachers, Admin, Education Assistants, Guidance counsellors etc.).

September 3, 2021

Conversation with Pluralism Thought Leaders – Alberta Foundation for the Arts (AFA) consultants reached out to international thought leaders, like Mary Gordon, in the broad areas of pluralism, empathy, equity, diversity and inclusion, with the desire to discuss best practices and learnings on these important topics, so they can help the AFA’s Pluralism Policy implementation. These conversations will help AFA put their best foot forward to open more doors for all Alberta artists.

June 2021

Human Touch Talks – Watch Roots of Empathy’s Founder/President Mary Gordon speak about the importance of human touch and the roles human touch can play in our lives with Ralph Zimmerer, Vice President Global NIVEA Brand Identity & Capability. How are you staying in touch?! CLICK to view Mary’s interview.

June 9, 2021

For more than 25 years, Ashoka Fellow and Roots of Empathy Founder & President, Mary Gordon has been helping us see the power of empathy as a foundational skill for all children, and by extension all adults. On June 9th, at 1pm EDT, Ashoka Welcome Change (Ashoka News Hour) speaks with Mary about empathy in the pandemic, what we’re learning from and with children in this moment. To watch the full interview CLICK HERE and to see the highlights of the interview CLICK HERE.

May 11, 2021

On May 12th, Mary Gordon appeared on the CBC radio program Here & Now, hosted by Gill Deacon. Mary’s storytelling captured the hearts and minds of the listeners. In terms of promoting our brand and increasing recognition of our organization, the interview was invaluable, providing millions of CBC listeners across Canada and beyond with relevant and interesting information about our organization.


May 3-9, 2021

THE MINDFUL PLAY SUMMIT is a conference for parents and educators who want to help children develop emotional resilience. Over 25 top experts, including Mary Gordon on May 6th will share their stories, struggles, and breakthroughs, emphasizing the benefits of play-based learning. Learn how to apply mindful practices to reduce stress and anxiety in children.

March 28th – April 3rd, 2021

Swarthmore College and Ashoka Japan present the international Social Innovation Lab at the Lang Centre and Ashoka Japan Youth Venturer’s International Youth Social Innovator Symposium. Mary Gordon will be the keynote speaker for this virtual, three-day exchange event. Hosted by Dr. Denise Crossan (Social Innovation Lab at the Lang Centre, Swarthmore College Centre for Civic and Social Responsibility, Pennsylvania) and Nana Watanabe (Director, Ashoka Japan). Mary will address “Empathy: platform for social innovation.”

March 4, 2021

The ANNUAL SOCIAL ENTERPRISE FOR A DAY at Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax is a collaborative event focused on providing student with knowledge of social enterprises. Guest Panelists with expertise in social enterprises will speak to their histories and views on how entrepreneurs can make a positive impact on people and society. Hear Mary Gordon, Founder/President ROE, Lori Barker of Ronald McDonald House Charities and Nick Sharpe of Big Brothers Big Sisters.

February 22-26, 2021

Presenting at the4th ANNUAL PRESCHOOL MINDFULLNESS SUMMIT, Founder/President Mary Gordon addresses social-emotional learning, and well-being strategies to use with students, teachers or parents. Past summits have attracted audiences from over 72 countries around the world and have featured speakers such as Dr. Daniel Siegel, Dr. Daniel Goleman and Dr. Rick Hanson.

February 19, 2021

“BUILDING EMPATHY: The Missing Piece in Violence Prevention”

Presenting to school counsellors and mental health professionals at the Melissa Institute, Mary Gordon will focus on the role of empathy in the prevention of violence and aggression; executive functioning capacities; using the lens of Temperament to understand periods of child development, and ways to nurture empathy. Additionally, Mary Gordon will outline the differences between cognitive empathy and affective empathy and how these distinctions are important in the function of empathy development. Participants will be able to utilize this knowledge to assist children and families they work with to encourage empathy and prevent later incidences of violence. This presentation will be used to offer continuing education credits to participants.

January 18, 2021

“WHERE PARENTS TALK” Interview with journalist Lianne Castelino. Mary Gordon presents to an award-winning digital community created to educate and empower parents. Click here to hear the podcast.