It's the 21st century and we're still coming to terms with the primary organizing force of living systems - emotion.

At the crossroads of the Constructal Law (discovered by Adrian Bejan), Immediate Moment Theory (developed by Kevin Behan), Human Systems Dynamics (developed by Glenda Eoyang), and Concentric Ring Theory (from the lineage of animal trackers Tom Brown, Jr. and Jon Young), you'll find the Thermodynamics of Emotion Symposium.

We are a small, intimate conference, limited to 30 attendees, so please register early to reserve your spot.

  • Learn the physics of all life.
  • See and understand the patterns of emotions as real physical forces that shape our daily lives. 
  • Influence how these patterns drive and structure our relationships and organizations.

our speakers


willem larsen, host

Author of the Language Hunter's Kit, co-author of 5 Rules For Accelerated Learning, founder of Language Hunters (a non-profit organization dedicated to a renaissance in how communities of practice learn together in technology, language, science, and music), and both a wildlife tracker and Search and Rescue tracker.

kevin behan, guest speaker

Author of Your Dog is Your Mirror, Natural Dog Training, developer of the Immediate Moment Theory of emotional flow systems, and one of the nation’s foremost experts in the rehabilitation of aggressive and problem dogs.

adrian bejan, guest speaker

Duke University Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, developer of the Constructal Law (a new first principle of physics for the 21st century), and author of Design in Nature and the Physics of Life. Adrian Bejan is one of the 100 most cited engineering authors of our time, and the results of the Constructal Law have been verified in a host of disciplines. 

The "Boiler Room" bar at the Kennedy School Hotel

The "Boiler Room" bar at the Kennedy School Hotel

come join us at the historic kennedy school hotel in portland, or

A Portland landmark, the Kennedy School is a former elementary school refurbished into a hotel packed with nooks and crannies and plentiful bars and meeting spaces, in a beautiful residential neighborhood in northeast Portland. A perfect location for our small conference. When you call to reserve your room, please mention you are part of the Thermodynamics of Emotion Symposium. Please reserve your room early as we only have a guarantee of 12 rooms. Hotel stay is not included in conference fee.




Daily breakfasts and lunch provided.

October 13th, Friday, Day 1

8am - 5pm.

Morning keynotes by Adrian Bejan, Kevin Behan, Willem Larsen.

Afternoon workshops and simulation games on emotional flows.

October 14th, Saturday, Day 2

8am - 5pm

Morning Q&A and workshops.

Afternoon Open Space "unconference" - discussions and workshops.

October 15th, Sunday, Day 3

8am - 3pm

Morning Open Space "unconference" continued.

Afternoon retrospective and conference closing.

Childcare program for parents

During the symposium, we offer childcare for children ages 5-12. Ask us for more info.



The Thermodynamics of Emotion Symposium is dedicated to providing a harassment-free experience for everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, age, race, or religion. We do not tolerate harassment of participants in any form.

This code of conduct applies to all Thermodynamics of Emotion Symposium spaces, both online and off. Anyone who violates this code of conduct may be sanctioned or expelled from these spaces at the discretion of our staff and host.

Some Thermodynamics of Emotion Symposium spaces may have additional rules in place, which will be made clearly available to participants. Participants are responsible for knowing and abiding by these rules.