Death Doula Superpowers – How Learning About Dying Could Actually Save Us.

Linn Friedrichs

Linn's students are ready to act, but feel unequipped to tackle our existential problems. The climate crisis, war, extinction – death has a new presence in education. So Linn turned to those who deal with it daily – and trained in death work. Could learning about dying be our educational superpower?
Lightning Box 1

Most of us live in a state of perpetual cognitive dissonance. We know death is inevitable, but we live as if resources and the life they make possible will last forever. Pandemics, wars, and environmental disasters loom over us, but we do not feel resilient enough to face them all at once. When death arrives, we do not know how to deal with it. Our avoidance of death not only leaves us unprepared personally but also weakens our educational system's ability to teach vital skills on diversity, conflict, sustainability, and care.

What knowledge, skills, and attitudes can empower us in the face of death? How can we teach this difficult topic across generations, disciplines, and school subjects? What does a “pedagogy of care” look like? And what role does technology play in all of this?

This talk combines Linn's experiences in international education, diversity and inclusion initiatives, and leadership coaching with insights from research and practical training in death work and hospice care.