Mary Picard is a geographer and has been working in the field of international development as an evaluator, researcher and practitioner for 25 years. She has lived with different cultures and shared life experiences with many people across the globe - in refugee camps in Jordan, the post-conflict situation in the Balkans; in remote villages in Bangladesh, Vietnam and Cameroon; and in the dense web of concrete and humanity in Cairo and Delhi. And in the remotest corners of the rice fields or the desert, she has met with compassion at its best, where the ones with the least have the most to give. In the grand adventure of being present to all the expressions of humanity's most dire to the most inspiring, she discovers an undying spirit of hope that keeps us tied to one another. Mary is a practitioner of kriya yoga and meditation and lives in the Laurentians of Quebec.
Jim Torbert, BArch, MHSA, co-director Atlantic Contemplative Centre (ACC), has been teaching and facilitating applied mindfulness for over 40 years. He has facilitated mindfulness sessions for businesses, healthcare providers, public programs, and educational institutions. For the past six years with the ACC he has facilitated compassion training programs, annual conferences, mentorships, open mindfulness groups in Dartmouth and Halifax, and mindfulness education sessions at Dalhousie University, Central Library, CRA, Halifax Regional School Board and RBC. He is also the co-director of the Waves of Compassion Association dedicated to bringing compassion into all sectors in Nova Scotia. In his professional career he has over 45 years of architecture, health care planning and business administration experience.