About The School of Life
The School of Life is devoted to developing emotional intelligence. We address such issues as how to find fulfilling work, how to master the art of relationships, how to understand one’s past, how to achieve calm and how better to understand, and where necessary change, the world.
The School of Life is a place to step back and think intelligently about central emotional concerns. You will never be cornered by dogma, but we will direct you towards a variety of ideas that will exercise, stimulate and expand your mind. You will meet other curious, sociable and open-minded people in an atmosphere of exploration and enjoyment.
Three types of programmes
Our classes have been designed to give useful insights around the big themes in life. You’ll be challenged to think deeply about the issues that matter most, and provided with a space to share your thoughts, ideas and experiences with other curious, open-minded individuals. These sessions are designed by experts and taught by members of our faculty. They include a mix of lecture and group activity and conversation.
Our special events set the stage for great speakers from all over the world. They share their ideas with us in churches, opera houses and other theatres. We have already hosted renowned thinkers like Slavoj Zizek, Michael Sandel, Patricia Churchland, Alain de Botton, Anita Allen and Michael Puett. Thousands of visitors have enjoyed popular-scientific writers such as Ruby Wax, Tony Crabbe and David Allan.
The professional programmes focus on the character development of young and experienced leaders, managers and experts. On your own you can participate in our workshops and series like A Serious Business Course or How to be a Good Leader. We are often approached for in-house workshops and we tailor to the needs of the organisation, keeping in mind the core-philosophy of The School of Life for change, improvement and invigoration.
London, Amsterdam and the world
Founded in 2008 by the British philosopher Alain de Botton, The School of Life has branched all over the world: London, Sao Paulo, Melbourne, Istanbul, Seoul, Berlin and Tel Aviv. There is a new branch founded almost every month. The head-office in London supplies it's schools with advice, input and part of the educational material. The popular Youtube-channel and The Book of Life are produced by Alain de Botton and his team.
The School of Life Amsterdam was founded in 2014 by Laurens Knoop, Maria Janssens, Frits Philips and Vincent Wensink. Prior to this they paved the way with the philosophical events agency Brandstof. This brand was incorporated into the School of Life in 2015.