I am a writer, educator, public speaker and consultant on ethics, and I am dedicated to developing strategies for a gentler world with less suffering. One of my main activities is helping people and organisations to deeply rethink their ethical priorities and what matters, and how they can translate this ethical thinking into practice. Since June 2016 I am the Executive Director of the Organisation for the Prevention of Intense Suffering (OPIS), a think-and-do tank I founded that is dedicated to spreading compassion and promoting the prevention of human and non-human suffering as our overriding ethical priority.
My book The Battle for Compassion: Ethics in an Apathetic Universe (New York: Algora Publishing, 2011) offers a sweeping overview of our situation as a species, and details the kinds of considerations I believe are necessary for shaping a more compassionate future for our planet. In 2015 I produced a short film with the same name that communicates some of the book’s key messages:
The decisions we make as individuals and organisations often reflect unexamined values and priorities that are in conflict with the gentler world we all want deep down. Ethics is about reconnecting with our capacity for compassion towards others, and making rational decisions that are aligned with compassionate values, so that we can have real impact in reducing suffering in the world. Transparent ethical values and principles are an essential basis for designing a happier future.
An article I wrote for the Huffington Post’s Pioneers for Change blog titled “The Ethics of Impact” summarises some of my thoughts.
And this is a 12-minute “Guided Meditation for Activists” that I prepared in order to support self-forgiveness and compassion for others, especially for people aiming to reduce suffering in the world: