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Compassion Games make our communities safer, kinder, more just and better places to live.

Compassion Games International (CGI) is a year-round non-profit initiative with the fiscal sponsorship of the Compassionate Action Network (CAN).Latest New Logo Starry Background Large - 7:2

The Compassion Games are a life and culture changing experience that ignites, amplifies, and catalyzes compassionate action in communities around the world.

The primary way we do this is through three affiliated and complementary programs:  (1) the Global Compassion Games, staged from Sept. 11-Sept. 21 annually; and (2) the Compassion Relays, which are open year-round; and (3) Compassion Games league specific “coopetitions” that happen throughout the year.

The Compassion Games inspire compassionate action through a win-win challenge to lift kindness and altruism in our community and world.  By playing the Compassion Games you can activate compassion in your community, classroom, organization, business, or play individually in the world’s only compassion coopetition.  

The Compassion Games came into being in response to a community challenge issued in 2012 from Mayor Greg Fischer of Louisville, Ky., to Seattle, Wash. In response to the challenge, the “Compassion Games” and a new possibility of “coopetition” (cooperative competition) was born. In a few short years, the Games have engaged cities, community groups, families and individuals in several countries.


Our objectives are to:

  • Empower communities to build the capacity to learn new skills that enable more compassionate behaviors towards each other, the earth, and ourselves.
  • Activate acts of compassion and provide a forum for participants to reflect on the meaning of their actions.
  • Provide an organizing structure that motivates participants and allows them to be creative and self-organizing in how they express their acts of compassion.
  • Provide tools for participants to report their acts of compassion so that others can gain inspiration and ideas for their own actions.
  • Develop and showcase leadership related to compassionate action.
  • Create a fun and engaging experience for participants, reigniting the human need for playfulness to sustain compassionate action and to more deeply and authentically connect with one another.
  • Spread the concept of compassion and its profound benefits throughout local communities around the world.
  • Measure and report on these outcomes.

Anyone can play the Compassion Games or carry the compassion torch in the Relays as an individual, as a team, or challenge other groups or communities to play together in a “coopetition,” in which we compete and strive with each other, not against each other, to elevate ourselves and the world to make it the kindest, safest, and most just place it can be.

Who We Are


Leadership Team

Jon Ramer: Founder and “First First Follower” of Compassion Games International, Ramer was moved by the events of Sept. 11, 2001 to focus his entrepreneurial energies on non-profit community organizing. In 2008, Ramer was an organizational participant in The Seeds of Compassion, an event aligned with a visit to Seattle by H.H. Dalai Lama. As Executive Director of the Compassionate Action Network, Ramer conceived and implemented the International Campaign for Compassionate Cities. He is the co-author, with Phil Lane, Jr., of “Deep Social Networks and the Digital Fourth Way.”  You can learn more about Jon here.

Sande Hart: Head Coach of Compassion Games International, Hart also serves as Chair for the United Religions Initiative (URI) North America region and is president of the Spiritual and Religious Alliance for Hope (S.A.R.A.H.), a women’s interfaith community building organization with the goal of empower women and community, end religiously motivated violence, and to promote a culture of peace.

Phyllis Shulman: Phyllis Shulman recently completed sixteen years as Senior Policy Advisor to Seattle City Council Member Richard Conlin. She was responsible for strategic policy recommendations, civic engagement, and development of new initiatives on a myriad of issues effecting Seattle and the region. Her expertise in policy development and facilitation of community interests has been utilized on a number of the more complex issues including strengthening the local and regional food system, the replacement of the Alaskan Way Viaduct, State Route 520 Bridge Replacement, and Neighborhood Planning. She was involved in designing and implementing local food system and food policy initiatives, economic renewal and development strategies, climate change and adaptation policies, Urban Forestry Stewardship Plan, emergency preparedness initiatives, recovery planning and a Resilient City Strategy. Phyllis is a founding member of the Puget Sound Regional Food Policy Council as well as the State Food Policy Roundtable. Phyllis has a broad background having worked in the non-profit, private, government and education sectors. She is currently working as an independent consultant in local and regional food systems, community resilience and compassionate action.

Joey Crotty: The youngest of the Compassion Games team by at least a century, Joey utilizes his talents as a hopeless storyteller and writer, creative strategist, and rogue techy to elevate the evolutionary capacity of consciousness and compassion in the world. Joey is an undergraduate researcher and co-founder of the Consciousness Club at the University of Washington – Bothell. He is a major organizer toward the creation of the Center for Education and Research in Consciousness (CERC), the first center of its kind at a public university. Joey enjoys spontaneous song-making, belly laughter, all of nature, and learning from the wisdom of little ones to get out there and play like his life depended on it.

Dr. Lesa Walker:  As a physician, for over 30 years Lesa has worked extensively in the field of public health and preventive medicine with a focus on designing public health service systems for children and youth with disabilities at the state and national levels. For 24+ years she was the Medical Director of the Children with Special Health Care Needs (CSHCN) Services Program and served as the Title V CSHCN Director at the Texas Department of State Health Services. Currently, she continues working part-time as a medical consultant, however my energy has shifted to a direct focus on compassion. She serves as an Education Program Associate of the Charter for Compassion International and as a member of the Leadership Team of the Compassion Games International. Lesa made a shift in her work life to allow her to devote more creative energy to engaging people in the practice “3D” Compassion (caring for others, self, and the Earth).

Sommer Joy Albertsen: Sommer is an Energy Brilliance Coach, Nia Brown Belt Teacher, and Compassion Activist with her own business Island Joy Wellness. She is a also a core member at Compassion Games International as Leader of The Women & Girls League. Sommer’s intention is to reveal a social justice movement that takes fun seriously, turns the volume up on joyful acts of service, develop the most loving diverse community of women & girl leaders to thrive, and a positive vibration of change in the process.

Andy Smallman:  Andy Smallman is the founding director of Puget Sound Community School, an independent school in Seattle for students in grades 6-12. With his wife, Melinda Shaw, and a dedicated group of parents, he started the school in 1994 to create a model for a style of education that helps students build on their strengths and nurtures their intrinsic motivation. Since the founding of PSCS, Andy has facilitated classes on the subject of kindness, the purpose of which is to help people connect to their true nature and increase peace in the world.

Fish (Astronaut): fish

Lia Mandelbaum: As Culture of Compassion CoachLia is a journalist who, after first writing about the Games, brought them to the High School in downtown Los Angeles where served as an intern social worker. It was her great success on her campus that got the attention of the LA Department of Mental Health who have since introduced the Games to all of their area school representatives. Lia has also provided great examples and opportunities for other teachers around the world to model. Lia is currently completing her Masters thesis on the Compassion Games.

Dr. Leslie Meehan: Dr. Leslie Meehan, MSEE PhD, is a leadership consultant and co-creator of collaborative networks committed to community healing and transformation. She has over 25 years experience in strategic planning, intuitive process, systems architecture, management, and peer facilitation in business and non-profits. Leslie co-founded the Gaiafield Project, a metanetwork hosting global peace practices for social change and transformation. She founded the Thriving Resilient Communities Funding Circle (TRCF) and Collaboratory(TRCC) whose network leaders fund and build sustainable local community systems in hundreds of North American communities.  Leslie is grateful to be working with these wonderful people and other leading social changemakers like the Compassion Games.

Rahbin Shyne: Compassion Games International Education Coach- Author of the Adventure in Compassion titles, Shyne is an active proponent of transforming the educational setting through compassion. As Compassion Games International’s Education Coach, Shyne is active in recruiting and supporting the Schools and Colleges playing in the School League. In addition to bringing compassion to the education setting, she is Executive Director of Earth Mothers, a nonprofit organization which promotes compassion for others through charitable giving and compassion for the planet through sustainable living.

Board of Directors

Chief Phil Lane, Jr.: Chairman of Compassion Games International, Lane is an internationally recognized Indigenous leader and a traditionally recognized Hereditary Chief and Elder. He is the founder and chairman of the Four World’s International Institute (FWII), which works to build partnerships with all nations and peoples. He is an enrolled member of the Ihanktonwan Dakota and Chickasaw Nations, and is a citizen of both Canada and the United States.

Kunal Sood: Kunal is a global health scientist and researcher with a special focus on global mental health using positive psychology. His career has focused mainly on the healthcare and wellness sectors for the past decade. He’s served in management and executive roles at two multinational companies in India and the US.  He brings a rare combination of deep insight and practical business sense with the ability to mobilize financial and human resources. He has considerable hands-on experience working with underserved populations and is an advocate for human rights and social action initiatives, with an unwavering commitment to making a positive difference in the emerging fields of global health and positive psychology. His specialties include positive psychology, global health, transpersonal and integral psychology, palliative care counseling, obesity treatment and prevention, design management, and strategic branding and marketing.  Read his Google+ profile and his LinkedIn profile. Follow his Twitter feed.


Board of Advisors

Dan Kranzler: Dan Kranzler is President of the Kirlin Charitable Foundation, which he formed with his family in 1999 to formalize their commitment and efforts to fulfill their passion for children, education, and the health and strength of families. The foundation works as a catalyst and innovative partner in positive social change toward a vision of a global society, identified first and foremost by the grace of its empathy and compassion.

Mr. Kranzler is a wireless and technology industry entrepreneur who for 30 years has been managing, supporting, and financing start–up high–tech companies. Mr. Kranzler has been involved in senior management roles at a number of communications and Internet companies including McCaw Cellular, Accessline Communications, and Hands–On Mobile.

Dr. Joel and Michelle Levey:  Dr. Joel & Michelle Levey’s integral and pioneering work spans many disciplines including: developing healthy high performing organizational teams and cultures; leadership development & change resilience; integrative & mind body medicine; noetic & mind sciences; peak performance training & laboratory research on extra-ordinary human potential.

Over the past thirty years, their work in the world has inspired leaders and teams in over 200 leading organizations around the globe including: NASA, World Bank, Hewlett Packard, Intel, Intuit, Washington Mutual Bank, Providence Medical Centers, PetroCanada, Shell Oil, Phillips, Rhone-Poulenc Rorer, Weyerhaeuser, Menninger Foundation, Boeing, MIT, The Institute for Health & Productivity Management, and SRI International. They have directed clinical programs for Group Health HMO and Children’s Medical Center in Seattle, lectured at dozens of Universities and medical schools, served as faculty at Antioch & Bastyr Universities, and the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) in Ahmedabad India, and as core faculty for International Center for Organization Design and the World Business Academy. The Leveys are co-founders of: WisdomatWork.com; InnerWork Technologies, Inc.; The International Center for Corporate Culture & Organizational Health; SportsMind, Inc.; and the International Center for Contemplative Inquiry.  Read about Wisdom at Work

Dr. Dot Maver: Dorothy J. Maver, Ph.D. is an educator and peacebuilder whose keynote is inspiring cooperation on behalf of the common good. Dot is Project Director with Kosmos Associates, a Founding Trustee of the National Peace Academy USA, and is a founder and board member of the Global Alliance for Ministries and Infrastructures of Peace, and the River Phoenix Center for Peacebuilding. Her work in education, politics and grassroots community organizing is focused on applied peacebuilding utilizing a shared responsibility and shared leadership model. From 2005 – 2007 Dot served as Executive Director of The Peace Alliance and Campaign for a US Department of Peace, and prior to that she was the National Campaign Manager for Kucinich for President 2004. In the world of fast-pitch softball Dr. Dot is known for her revolutionary fast-pitch hitting technique, The Maver Method: Secrets of Hitting Success; she is co-author of the book Conscious Education: The Bridge to Freedom; is a Fellow with the World Business Academy, and serves on the board of the Nicholas Roerich Museum in NYC. Dot also serves on the United Nations International Day of Peace NGO Education Peace Team and the International Cities of Peace Advisory Council.

Dr. James Doty: James R. Doty, M.D. is Professor of Neurosurgery at Stanford University School of Medicine and Founder and Director of the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (http://ccare.stanford.edu) at Stanford University. The Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education, of which His Holiness the Dalai Lama is the founding benefactor, aims to support rigorous research on compassion. Dr. Doty collaborates with scientists from a number of disciplines examining the neural bases for compassion and altruism. In addition, Dr. Doty is an inventor, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. As a philanthropist, he supports a number of charitable organizations focused on peace and healthcare throughout the world. Additionally, he supports a variety of research initiatives and has provided scholarships and endowed chairs at multiple universities. He serves on the board of a number of non-profit organizations including as Chairman of the Dalai Lama Foundation and is on the International Advisory Board of the Council of the Parliament of the World’s Religions

Gary Zukav: Gary Zukav’s gentle presence, humor, and insightful wisdom have inspired millions to realize their soul’s greatest potential. A master teacher and the eloquent author of four consecutive New York Times bestsellers, Gary is dedicated to the current extraordinary transformation in human consciousness—an unprecedented threshold in the human experience. This transformation is no less than a Revolution of the Soul, one that touches the heart of all humanity and is based on spiritual growth, conscious choices, and a deep celebration and reverence for Life.

Jim McCarthy:  Jim McCarthy is blessed with a proven ability to see the future, to create value around what he sees, and to thereby bring the future closer.  While at Microsoft and Bell Laboratories, he saw there was a better way to build products by focusing on the team around him.  He used this observation to create one of the greatest Microsoft teams, the Visual C++ team.  Much of Microsoft adopted his ideas as articulated in the seminal book, Dynamics of Software Development from Microsoft Press in 1995 (and a new 2006 edition).  His approach and observations have been shared through many speaking engagements. They formed the basis of Microsoft Solutions Framework and were a catalyst for and the true progenitor of the Extreme and Agile programming movements.

Jim partners with his wife, Michele McCarthy, to run McCarthy Technologies, Inc., which provides technology and consulting that enables organizations and teams to consistently generate the greatest possible results.  The key to these results is an innovative, proprietary technology called “The Core”.  It encapsulates and makes accessible the best interpersonal collaboration technology currently available and has been thoroughly researched, tested and applied over the past twelve years.  Just as Jim’s earlier approaches helped form Microsoft’s successful culture, and ultimately gave rise to the XP and Agile movements, his current research into The Core is poised to help a new generation of organizations achieve their highest potential.

Marilyn Turkovich:  Marilyn Turkovich is the program director for the Charter for Compassion International, the organization that has taken the words of the Charter “planted” by Karen Armstrong after she won the TED prize, and is nurturing it into a global movement.  Marilyn has been involved in education at all levels and have been a curriculum designer for schools and businesses across the US and internationally.  She’s written extensively in the fields of multicultural, intercultural, and global education. Marilyn was the former chair of the National Council for the Social Studies Textbook Committee and the Committee on Teaching about South Asia.

Marc Ian Barasch: Marc’s landmark book,  Field Notes on the Compassionate Life (2005), was Nobelist Desmond Tutu called a “compulsory read for all,”  was  a major inspiration for the Compassionate Cities movement. Marc went on to found the Green World Campaign (www.greenworld.org) to ”ReGreen the World in One Generation.”  Inspired by his concept of “green compassion,”  this global charity has planted millions of trees on degraded land in three continents through award-winning programs of holistic, community-based landscape restoration, poverty alleviation, food security, and climate change resilience.  Marc’s media career includes editing major national magazines;  writing and producing award-winning global television (his “One Child, One Voice”  for Turner Broadcasting was seen by 2 billion people); co-producing NPR’s “E-Town;” and co-starring in a film, “I Am,” inspired by his work. Marc is CEO of Green World Ventures, whose goal is to help feed Africa and the world with the superfood moringa tree.

Sun Dance Chief Rueben George: Of the Tsleil-­Waututh Nation and director of community development, is an Indigenous community organizer and spiritual leader. He is a Sun Dance Chief  and the grandson of Chief Dan George, the Oscar nominated and universally respected First Nations spiritual leader. Rueben started his career by founding and creating Dukes Youth Healing Centre 19 years ago. Rueben learned very quickly that the foundation for his success in his work would be his culture and spirituality. Rueben’s grandfather taught him “anything you learn in college or university on healing there is a First Nation teaching that says the same thing.” Based on the teachings of his elders, Rueben created a reference library of successful psychological healing programs and translated them into First Nation’s culture and spirituality. As well as being a Sun Dance Chief Pipe Carrier and sweat lodge leader, Rueben is a co-founder of the Nawtsamaat Alliance and the Campaign to Protect the Sacred.