Emma Seppala, PhD
Associate Director, CCARE
Scientists, engineers and social entrepreneurs to convene at Stanford University for discussion and contest on technology designed to enhance compassion.
Stanford, CA – Stanford University’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE) is holding an inaugural Compassion and Technology conference on Friday, Dec. 6, 2013 that will include talks by research experts and tech industry leaders as well as presentations by innovators in compassion-focused technology who will be competing for cash awards and the opportunity to meet the Dalai Lama during his 2014 visit to the Bay Area. The conference is co-sponsored by Facebook, 1440 Foundation, HopeLab and The Dalai Lama Foundation.
The conference’s purpose is to support a dialogue around innovative practices on compassion and technology. Expert researchers and technology leaders who have successfully implemented and fostered compassionate action through the use of technological advancements will present.
The Compassion and Technology Contest calls for innovators, engineers and designers to present a technology design or product that will help people learn, practice or improve qualities of compassion, empathy, social connectedness or altruism. Applications to compete are being accepted through Oct. 21. Invited finalists are to present their ideas at the Compassion and Technology Conference before the audience and a panel of judges. Tech industry professionals who will be among the speakers and judges at the conference include Facebook’s Arturo Bejar, Google’s Chade-Meng Tan, Juniper Network’s Scott Kriens, Kiva’s Premal Shah, Wisdom 2.0’s Soren Gordhamer and HopeLab’s Janxin Leu and Fred Dillon. Among the academic speakers will be the CompassionLab’s Monica Worline, the University of Michigan’s Sara Konrath, and Stanford University’s Emma Seppala.
Compassion is defined as the emotional response to perceiving suffering and involves an authentic desire to help. It is a virtue that is promoted across cultures and religions. A growing body of evidence suggests that compassion is a natural and automatic response that has ensured our survival and that has benefits for psychological and physical health as well as longevity and flourishing.
“While compassion is a fundamental part of every religious tradition, there is an ever enlarging body of scientific evidence that technological advancements have an immense positive impact in terms of increasing compassion and altruistic behavior on both the community level and the individual level. This conference will highlight these aspects from a technological aspect as well as a scientific aspect in an effort to promote awareness and progress, and reward those who are working towards these goals. We at CCARE are very excited to initiate and sponsor the conference and contribute to this expanding field,” says Dr. James Doty, Founder and Director of CCARE.
Preceding the conference on Dec. 5 at Facebook Headquarters will be Facebook’s Compassion Research Day, a bi-annual event about the ways in which Facebook encourages compassionate interactions on its social media platform. Facebook engineers and collaborative research scientists including CCARE’s Associate Director Emma Seppala will be presenting.
For detailed information on the conference and contest registration, visit the event webpage at http://ccare.stanford.edu/event-registration/?ee=98. For media inquiries, please contact Emma Seppala at firstname.lastname@example.org, (650) 723-3248.