Fourth Annual

UnLonely Symposium 2020


Reserve Your Seat Now!Topic Areas

Cracking the Code on the Loneliness Epidemic

A convening to discuss what’s working, what’s not, and where we need to go. 

Loneliness is a public health epidemic. It is at the root of many physical and mental health conditions that erode health status, reduce the quality of life, and increase mortality rates. From a social perspective, we see loneliness heightening anxiety, divisiveness, and isolation across a wide range of populations.

In response, many organizations—from community centers to hospitals to colleges to workplaces—are now actively searching for effective, scalable, and sustainable programs that foster connection and belonging.

The UnLonely Symposium will explore an array of leading-edge strategies and program ideas that address a variety of vulnerable populations. Please join us to share your and your organization’s efforts, challenges, and experiences and to take advantage of this unique opportunity to connect with your peers!


See last year’s recap and sessions

Jeremy Nobel, MD, MPH

Jeremy Nobel, MD, MPH

Symposium Chair

Founder & President,
Foundation for Art & Healing
Faculty, Harvard Medical School

Symposium Co-Directors

  • Marco Diaz — Senior Vice President, Global Head of Benefits, News Corp
  • Felice Dublon — Vice President and Dean of Student Affairs, School of the Art Institute of Chicago
  • Niyum Gandhi — Executive Vice President and Chief Population Health Officer, Mount Sinai Health System
  • Mark Meridy — Executive Director, DOROT
  • David Shulkin — 9th U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs


What we’ll achieve together.

Exploring opportunities to address loneliness through a variety of awareness, stigma reduction, and programmatic concepts, with the goal of increasing awareness of this pervasive social determinant of health and increasing the velocity of progress towards greater social connection in a wide variety of settings and scenarios.

This is your ticket to connect.

The goal of the UnLonely Symposium is to identify opportunities that enable measurable, effective, sustainable and scalable solutions while addressing barriers and obstacles to their adoption. We will dive deep and explore programs targeting loneliness and isolation from a multi-stakeholder perspective, in several especially impacted populations, including:

  • Older Adults and their Family Caregivers
  • Workplace Populations
  • College Campus
  • Veterans
  • General Community

We’re designing the day for:

  • Field practitioners and professionals whose work addresses loneliness and social isolation in all its various manifestations, including awareness, stigma management, and social support programs.
  • Strategists, planners, and administrators from the wide variety of organizations who serve our target audiences of campus, workplace, older adults and the general community and need to understand what types of approaches are likely to be effective, scalable and sustainable, and how best to plan, initiate and launch them.
  • Researchers, funders, media, innovators, entrepreneurs, and anyone else “under the big umbrella” of stakeholders committed to reducing loneliness and its physical, psychological, and social burdens.

You’ll have an opportunity to dive into these key topics:

We’re using a new expanded format this year to include more subject areas to choose from. Here’s a sampling of what will be discussed:

Evolving Scenarios of Workplace Loneliness

  • Disability, Inclusion, Belonging (including disability)
  • Gen Z Workforce
  • Pre-retirement Stress
  • Workplace Burnout
  • Remote work/gig economy

Interventions: Scaling & Sustainability

  • The economic return on investment for loneliness reduction
  • Participant engagement strategies
  • Role of media for sustained awareness
  • Digital opportunities to accelerate and scale
  • Health plan/health system focus on SDoH
  • Community / built environment innovation

Community Collaboration and Reducing Loneliness

  • Faith-based groups
  • Built environment as a catalyst to connect
  • Emerging tribe of community-builders
  • Role of the municipal government
  • Arts institutions, museums, libraries, parks, & other sacred spaces

Loneliness & Illness: Patient, Provider, Caregiver Perspectives

  • Major illness
  • Chronic illness
  • Rare illness
  • Increased illness burden with Aging

College and the Loneliness Epidemic

  • Mental Health
  • Identity & Belonging
  • Economic disparity + first gen 
  • Academic performance; student retention
  • Social media

Aging & Connection

  • Caregiving
  • Intergenerational Programs
  • “Wellderly”
  • Transportation, Housing & Connection

Overcoming Stigma Around Loneliness: What Does Success Look Like? 

  • Drivers for stigma 
  • Challenges in measuring stigma
  • Strategies to overcome the stigma 
  • Disproportionate stigma burdens in select populations

Peer-to-Peer Support: A Unique Opportunity

  • Peer-to-peer: exploring attractiveness of a unique solution
  • Learning from veterans peer-to-peer experiences
  • Peer-to-peer on campus
  • Additional opportunities with peer-to-peer

Thanks to our sponsors