The British Psychological Society Annual Conference took place at the Hilton Brighton Metropole, UK, from 3rd-5th May 2017. I was thrilled to be invited to contribute to two symposia as well having a proposa for a Haiku deck accepted.

I had the priviledge of chairing a symposium convened by colleagues at the University of Cambridge and University of Westminster was concerned with methods that measure, conceptualise, propose and assess interventions for improving students’ wellbeing in Slovakia, Kazakhstan and the UK. Dr Eva Brown Hajdukova and Dr Liz Winter both from the University of Cambridge, Faculty of Education presented her paper on ‘School engagement and wellbeing of secondary students in Kazakhstan using mixed methods. The next paper, entitled, How was school? A phenomenological enquiry into wellbeing experiences of 15-year-olds in Slovakia was given by Lenka Blaskova also from the University of Cambridge. The fourth paper, The development of a logic model for a green exercise intervention to reduce stress and improve wellbeing in primary school children was given by PhD candidate Lucy Forbes, from the University of Westminster, London.

I was also involved in the BPS Branches forum and Community Psychology Section Wellbeing Symposium which was chaired by Dr Paul Hutchings, University of Wales Trinity Saint David. The first paper, presented by Dr Gavin Breslin, Ulster University was concerned with increasing athlete knowledge of mental health and intentions to seek help: The State of Mind Ireland (SOMI) programme. The second paper, given by Dr Laura Longstaff, Northumbria University considered the impact of anticipated organisational change upon sleep quality, psychological health and wellbeing at work. Paper 3, from Dr Iain MacLeod, BPS South-West Branch, discessed wellbeing in industry – The striving for a just culture. Lastly, I presented my paper, wellbeing in fashion and the creative industries.

In the 5-minute haiku deck I briefly described some potential psychological challenges of social robots. Given the advnaces in technology and AI, robots are being developed that can show and respond to human-like emotions, but not all emotions are positve or desirable (especialy in robots). Imagine if robots felt anger, fear, greed, lust, disgust? How might they respond to these emotions in others? How would we measure robot wellbeing? Might robots develop mental health problems as we do? Might they need counselling or even become counsellors? And to come full-circle, to bring in the psychoogy of fashion, who will advise robots what to wear?

The whole conference was extremely enjoyable with fantastic keynote speakers and presenters. The full programme is here. Now, I’m looking forward to BPS AC18 which will take place in Nottingham.