Charter for Compassion

            On February 28, 2008 acclaimed scholar and bestselling author Karen Armstrong received the TED Prize and made a wish—to help create, launch, and propagate a Charter for Compassion. After much work and the contribution of thousands of people the Charter was unveiled to the world on November 12, 2009. The Council of Conscious helped to formulate the Charter for Compassion document.

            The Charter for Compassion inherits a confluence of contributions made by, the Compassionate Action Network, the Fetzer Institute, and many others. Charter for Compassion provides an umbrella for people to engage in collaborative partnerships worldwide. Our mission is to bring to life the principles articulated in the Charter for Compassion through concrete, practical action in a myriad of sectors.



            A world where everyone is committed to living by the principle of compassion.



            We support the emergence of a global movement that brings the Charter for Compassion to life. To do so, we are a network of networks, connecting organizers and leaders from around the world, providing educational resources, organizing tools, and avenues for communication; sharing lessons, stories, and inspiration; providing the umbrella of the Charter for Compassion for conferences, events, collaborations, conversations and initiatives to create compassionate communities and institutions.


What Does Compassion Look Like?

In a Compassionate City

Diverse groups of leaders and citizens work with intention to bring the Golden Rule into every aspect of civic life.

Political and civic gatherings are marked by careful listening, thoughtful dialogue, vigorous debate and a desire to serve.

Agencies provide public services to support and cherish all citizens.

In a Compassionate School

Students learn how to listen to each other.

Service-Learning is part of the curriculum.

Students and teachers actively prevent bullying.

Students are taught to be global citizens and to treat others with respect and dignity.

In a Compassionate Place of Worship

The Golden Rule is at the core of teaching and practice.

Strangers are welcome and all work to heal the world.

The Community cares for the poor, homeless, hungry, sick and grieving.

Justice is imagined and created through public advocacy and practice.

In a Compassionate Business or Organization

Employees are treated with gratitude and respect.

Employees are provided with a living wage.

Employees are encouraged to take care of themselves with exercise, rest and meditation.

Employees are supported in doing community service.

All keep in mind the well-being of clients, customers, partners and supply chain.

Health of the community is a clear and action based objective.


What Does the Charter for Compassion Promote?

We intend to build a thriving ecosystem of compassionate action as a force for change by:

  • Encouraging individuals to make personal commitments to live by the principles of the Golden Rule.
  • Promoting pioneering efforts in compassionate action.
  • Supporting the development of networks and their capacity for innovative collaborative action.
  • Creating opportunities to learn and share experiences, helping people to shift being isolated individuals and groups to developing communities of practice and learning.