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Founders of Mind of Joy Consulting

Our Strategic Human Skills at Work Development Programme is the result of more than 20 years of our respective studies, training, professional experience, personal practices and 2 years of intense and exciting work to create Mind of Joy Consulting.

We have synthesized our knowledge, experimented with our training content and designed an innovative programme that can truly and sustainably help teams and leaders to flourish and succeed despite the complexity of their environments.

Our programme, because of its richness, its pedagogical approach and its ability to be integrated into different professional environments, is today unmatched on the market.

The spirit of Mind of Joy Consulting is to support organisations by building effective, trusting and warm collaborations. This is the richness of our profession: to continue studying, practicing and experimenting in order to constantly nourish our vision and inspiration with the desire to share, to train people wisely and to benefit from enriching encounters.

Valentina Dolara

Co-founder, Consultant & Trainer

I am a lawyer who graduated from the University of Florence with a degree in International Public Law. I started my professional career in the field of International Justice and protection of Human Rights.

More than 20 years ago, I started to focus my activity as consultant and trainer on conflict management and the improvement of personal and team effectiveness in companies, non-profit organisations and public structures (health care services, juvenile justice institutions, education and general administration).

For the past 15 years, I have focused my professional interest on practices of mindfulness and attentional, cognitive and emotional balance, providing me with effective tools to improve individual well-being and social relationships in professional contexts. I am a senior trainer of various mindfulness protocols for work environments and a Certified Trainer for Cultivating Emotional Balance and Transformative Mindfulness Methods protocols, as well as a Senior Faculty Member of the secular ethics programme 16 Guidelines for a Happy Life.

For the last 18 years, I have been developing curricula and teaching courses for various Study Programmes of American Universities in Florence on the Science of Happiness and Mindfulness Practices (Developing the Potential of the Mind, Mindfulness for Art Performers), as well as on Intercultural Communication, Human Rights Protection and Ethics in Globalization.

Since 2005, I have also been teaching and cooperating in implementing programmes and courses based on socio-emotional and ethical learning (Universal Education) that help individuals to develop their best mental potential and fundamental human qualities.

Laurent van Steenkiste

Co-founder, Consultant Strategy & Innovation

Graduating with a master’s degree in Business Administration in Paris, I have more than 20 years of professional experience in international marketing strategy for high added-value brands, products and services. I have worked in various BtoC and BtoB markets, ranging from luxury products to technological innovations, where I participated as Marketing and Communication Director in the development of numerous innovations as well as in the launch of several start-ups.

As a manager, my concern has always been to achieve the company’s objectives while developing the conditions for each person involved to find meaning, opportunities to grow and enjoyment in collaborating. I maintain that nothing great can be achieved without respecting and promoting human values. This is why I have always been a trusted, respected and happy colleague and manager.

It has been almost 20 years since I started cultivating a serious interest in philosophy and psychology, using contemplative practices to train my mind in focused attention, awareness, stress management and cognitive and emotional balance. In 2015, I decided to go one step further in deepening my knowledge and experience by following a two-year full-time international study programme in Buddhist philosophy on contemplative sciences, ethics, compassion and advanced meditation practices. I then completed my studies with a professional certificate from the University of California, Berkeley (USA) on three study programmes: Mindfulness and Stress Resilience at Work, Empathy and Emotional Intelligence at Work, and Science of Happiness at Work, based on the results of scientific research in the fields of neuroscience, psychology, and sociology.