Nourishing the Personal – Community – System synergy for educating the heart and mind.
Nipun Mehta is the founder of ServiceSpace.org - an incubator of projects that support a gift culture. In his mid-twenties, Nipun quit his job to become a "full time volunteer" and over the last 15 years, his work has reached millions, attracted more than 500 thousand volunteers, and mushroomed into numerous projects like DailyGood, Awakin Circles, and Karma Kitchen. Among his many prestigious accolades, President Obama appointed him on a council for social change, Dalai Lama recognized him as an “Unsung Hero of Compassion”, and Germany’s OOOM magazine named him Top 100 Most Inspiring People of 2018.
Why compassion in education?
Educational systems around the world are increasingly becoming outdated. The traditional “ download” of education not only leaves many children bored and uninterested, its overemphasis on tests and grades rewards passive memorization over innovation and creativity, and leaves fresh graduates completely unprepared for the modern workplace. Moreover, children are more plugged into devices and more disconnected than ever before, as bullying rates continue to sky rocket.
Many innovators are now suggesting a shift from content to relationship. In the world of Google, content is cheap, automated and freely available. Everything humans can do with content, machines can do better. Amid such a backdrop, a growing body of research suggests that the most valuable commodities for the future are teamwork, collaboration and empathy.
“I believe we need to show future generations how to navigate the unknown with skillfulness, mindfulness and compassion because today our students are not being educated with theses qualities in mind."
How do we cultivate Compassion Quotient ( CQ )?
The virtue of having a field of relationships is that it makes space for transformation and allows our innate compassion to arise. A lot of today’s dominant paradigm is optimized for intellectual quotient ( IQ ), and in recent years, we’ve seen a keener understanding of emotional quotient ( EQ ). But we’d like to explore a third metric to broaden the conversation: CQ, which is one’s capacity to act in service even when it may not offer any immediate or visible benefit.
This invites us to many nuanced and practical inquiries. At a personal level, can classrooms bring in mindfulness practices that sensitize us and reduce bullying? A recent survey found 86% of teachers and 70% of parents worry that youth are growing up in a hostile world.
At an impersonal and social level, how can we build empathy and greater tolerance?
What is the scientific basis of compassion and can it be taught or does it bloom naturally?
Does exposure to modern technology make these values more accessible or does it fragment our experience of life? At a more systemic level, how do we build the foundation for a secular ethic of compassion?
If these questions interest you and you’d like to explore practical ways to amplify CQ in your educational community, we would like to invite you to our Compassion in Education Symposium organized in partnership with the Romanian – American University and Teach for Romania organization.
In the time we will spend with Nipun, we will learn about his insight on practicing compassion in our everyday life and with our students, we will have brainstorming sessions with other educators and we will identify new practices that can generate a new way of practicing education with more compassion in our schools and communities.
Although money is considered to be the most useful form of capital, we feel there are also other alternative valuable forms of wealth that we wish to explore such as: time, community, attention, friendship.
You can buy a traditional ticket online or we are happy to accept these alternative forms of payment for a
Coffee and Refreshments will be provided throughout the event.
Verita Foundation and Verita International School, in partnership with Romanian-American University and Teach for Romania organized Cultivating Compassion in Education from a desire to provide "forward-looking" innovation and ideas that can revolutionize education as we know it.