Biennial Symposium of the Psychological Committee of the Royal Academies for Science and the Arts of Belgium


Burnout in the 21st century

Brussels, 17 March 2023


Keynote speakers:

Ivanka Savic is professor of Neurology at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden and adjunct professor at UCLA. She is known for her brain imaging studies covering several fields of human neuroscience: from epilepsy, olfactory processing, sex differences in the brain and the mechanisms behind gender identity, to more recent studies of how occupational stress affects the brain. She is one of the founders of the Stockholm Brain Institute and member of the Academia Education in Europe.

Anna Katharina Schaffner is a Professor of Cultural History at the University of Kent. She is also a writer and a coach. Anna is the author of Exhaustion: A History (Columbia University Press, 2016) and The Art of Self-Improvement: Ten Timeless Truths (Yale University Press, 2021). She has also written a novel, various academic works and journalism, and is editor-in-chief of the Emerge website.
Her writing has appeared in the Times Literary Supplement, the Guardian, Psychology Today, Positive Psychology, AEON and PSYCHE. Her research has been discussed in national and international media, including BBC Radio 4 and WBUR, as well as in Vogue, the Atlantic, National Geographic, Philosophie Magazine, the TLS, de Volkskrant and New Republic.

Wilmar B. Schaufeli is Professor emeritus of Work and Organizational Psychology at Utrecht University, The Netherlands, and distinguished research professor at KU Leuven, Belgium. His main research field is occupational health psychology. He received his PhD (cum laude) from Groningen University, The Netherlands. Initially, he was interested in job stress and burnout but later het also focused on positive occupational health, notably work engagement. Dr. Schaufeli is a prolific Highly Cited Researcher, ranking among the top 1% in his field since 2013. He is a fellow of the European Academy of Occupational Health Psychology, a licensed occupational health psychologist, and also works part-time as an organizational consultant. Personal website:



Welcome Desk

Opening statement

Historical / civilizational evolutions that led to increased visibility of burnout

Anna Katharina Schaffner, University of Kent, UK

Job burnout: knowns and unknowns

Wilmar Schaufeli, Utrecht University, The Netherlands

Coffee break

Parental burnout: knowns and unknowns

Moïra Mikolajczak, UClouvain, Belgium

Lunch break with poster session* for doctoral students

The burned-out brain

Ivanka Savic Berglund, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden and UCLA, USA

Preventing burnout 

Prof. Lode Godderis, IDEWE/KULeuven and Pr Isabelle Roskam, UCLouvain, Belgium

Coffee break

Q&A session with the audience and the speakers

With the financial support of...