Stories for Compassion Reports

These are news posts that pertain to the Compassion Report Map, the measures we use, and the scoreboard.

Celebrate the Unbelievable Final Results of the 2016 Global Unity Games

Dear Agents of Compassion,

It’s easy to believe that we are living in a time of a “great divide”. It is also true that we live in a time of “global connections”. kl-stargirl02i-fish0814There are over one billion people active on Facebook alone. Can we use this unprecedented connectivity to heal the divides between us and build bridges to Global Unity?

We set out to play the Global Unity Compassion Games to explore and discover what’s needed to create Global Unity and here’s what we found out.screen-shot-2016-10-17-at-1-17-38-pm

The Global Unity Games were played from September 11th, a US National Day of Service, through September 21st, the International Day of Peace. The Peace Day’s theme for 2016 is “The Sustainable Development Goals: Building Blocks for Peace.”screen-shot-2016-10-12-at-9-32-21-pm

This year was the 15th anniversary of 9/11 and in partnership with 9/11 Day and many others we launched a five year campaign called “Tomorrow Together”. The objective of the campaign is to bring young people together to learn about each other and do good deeds in a global expression of hope for a better tomorrow.


We don’t imagine a global kumbaya hug, although that would be great. We define “global unity” as a world of people with CG16- Step4 - fish2016different backgrounds, nationalities, cultures, and belief systems committed to living, learning, working, and playing well together.

The Compassion Games are one way to respect our differences and collaborate to create value for others.  The outcomes of the Games demonstrate mutual respect and support, a commitment to listen to people past individual differences, a commitment to learning and helping others learn, and to collaborate on fulfilling a larger purpose that adds value to people’s lives.screen-shot-2016-10-17-at-1-22-23-pm

The results can be communicated in numbers and in reports and stories. Here are the numbers: 30,838 Individual Players, and 265 Teams in 40 Countries played in the Games and submitted 452 reports. We are confident that many more played and didn’t report, even though you can report anonymously.

The results below are based on what only was reported on the Compassion Report Map


(As well as 23,401,995 People Indirectly Served!)

To understand these numbers we published these scoring guidelines and definitions.

To appreciate the results of the Games we filled a Prezi “presentation canvas” that details who participated, what they did, and the impact and outcomes of what they accomplished.

To get a quick, high-level overview of the canvas we put together a short video you can view here!


(We published the entire presentation so you can drill down and see for yourself, at your own pace, what Global Unity looks like. View it here!)

We have also shared a number of selected Reports in a Facebook Album on our FB page. You can access the album here!

We are so grateful to everyone who played in the Games and made this possible. This includes our Sponsors at Service For Peace, Lush Handmade Cosmetics, Seattle Chocolates, World Trade Center Seattle, Theo Chocolate, CCARE, Compassionate Action Network, and the thousands of Agents of Compassion who demonstrated by their acts of kindness and compassion that “Love Wins” and that “Another World is Possible”.



We hosted a live onine celebration of the Global Unity Games that took place on Wednesday, October 19 at 11:00 AM PDT. We will record the Zoom call for those that can’t make it. Here are a few highlights from Teams that participated:


Compassionate UAE Video


Dr. Lesa Walker Highlight Video


Charter for Compassion Video


Sara Gough, Play for Peace Video


Imroz Shaw, Play for Peace Video

The call also launched the Giving Games – Youth and Schools Playing it Forward taking place from November 29 through December 9. You can learn more and sign up to play here.


As you know, the Compassion Games is a non-profit initiative, and although we are not motivated to make a profit, it still costs us to organize and produce the Compassion Games. Please make a donation to support the Compassion Games: Survival of the Kindest.

Donate Button for Site

Thank you!  Game on!


The Summary and Highlights of Earth Week 2016

Earth is our home, and something incredible happens when we humans fall in love with the Great Story

CG-earth007-fish0416of Life. In knowing we belong here, we become calmer in the face of adversity. Our words and thoughts become kinder, our hearts become full and generous, and we naturally rise to the challenges to protect and
restore what is dear to us.

In this Summary and Highlights of Earth Week 2016, you will peer into the events and experiences of thousands of players and over a hundred teams from around the world who felt the calling of Mother Earth and were moved into action that can inspire us all.

If you’d like to view the Full Report, click here!

 From India to Sudan, Guatemala to the Philippines, the US to Vietnam, and Canada to Australia, people brought unbelievably creative and heartfelt acts of compassion to life for the Earth and all living beings at this remarkable time.

Here is a glimpse into the results in numbers, with over 20,000 people served in 8 countries around the world.

Earth Week Final Results 2016

For every result quantified and reported, there are stories of real experiences that uplift and inspire. You can see highlighted reports on the Facebook album from the Report Map here and the complete Compassion Report Map here.

The meaningful stories from this year’s Earth Week reveal perspectives we might not otherwise experience because the Games were played by such a diverse group of participants from nearly every continent on Earth.

From children in the slums of New Delhi seeing trees for the first time and learning about ecosystems, Indigenous peoples convening in New York’s Times Square to sign the International Treaty to Protect and Restore Mother Earth, and cities rising up to challenge one another across the United States, Earth Week was the embodiment of unity in diversity and unprecedented, unified action.

The following stories highlight just a handful of significant events and reports from exceptional teams and partners to showcase what took place during Earth Week.

Story #1: The International Treaty to Protect and  Restore Mother Earth

Four Worlds International Institute (FWII) uses Indigenous principles to heal communities around the world through the Fourth Way. Chairman of FWII, Hereditary Chief Phil Lane Jr. – who is also the Chairman of Compassion Games International –  is a world-renowned luminary that leads a life-long mission to unify the human family.

For Earth Day, Brother Phil and many other Indigenous leaders arrived in New York by canoe as a sign of solidarity and respect for Mother Earth before announcing the International Treaty to Protect and Restore Mother Earth.

The #GlobalCanoe Arrives in Times Square

Phil Report

Description Summary: “Indigenous leaders from around the world came to New York City to convene and sign the International Treaty to Protect and Restore Mother Earth as part of Earth Day and Love thisScreen Shot 2016-05-11 at 3.00.56 PM Place! Serve the Earth Week. They arrived in the #GlobalCanoe out of love and commitment to Mother Earth.  On average two Indigenous defenders are killed each week in defense of Mother Earth.  This team was led by Compassion Games International Chairperson Chief Phil Lane Jr.”

Report Reflection: “The message and experience of this deep spiritual foundation being brought to
Times Square in NYC, the place where all crossroads of commerce meet, offered a tremendous contrast between where we’ve been, where we are and where we need to go.”

Story #2: Play for Peace Bringing Compassion to Communities in Conflict

With over 30 registered teams for Earth Week coming from India, Vietnam, the Philippines, the United Screen Shot 2016-05-10 at 11.54.08 AMStates, Guatemala, and South Sudan, Play for Peace is a celebrated partner and dynamic force for global peace and compassion.

Globally, Play for Peace has over 2,000+ clubs on every continent in the world, and their involvement in the Compassion Games continues to expand.

Play for Peace states: “Children, youth and adults, even in communities in conflict, are deciding to choose compassion and practice peace, and they are learning to do this through the joy of play… Play creates a gateway to moments when differences dissolve, fear melts away, and we see what connects us rather than what divides us.”

Play for Peace is the true embodiment of compassionate play in action. Here are just a few of the incredible stories they reported from the 30 teams they had registered for Earth Week.

Peace Clubs in New Delhi, India

New Delhi

Youth from impoverished areas of New Delhi came together to connect with nature for the first time in their lives. The report explains:

“These youth come from slum areas where if you open a window or door you cannot even see any tree or feel or see any greenery. So practical daily struggle of survival & life have made their connection with nature to zero.”

They learned about ecosystems and climate change, and realized that they themselves were not the main contributors to the climate change. Even so, they realized there were things they could do to help, like reducing their use of plastic and cleaning up parks.

“It was shared that in the communities they come from no one has 2 or 4-wheeler, no one has motorbike,Screen Shot 2016-05-11 at 3.06.05 PMthey do not use AC, they don’t have refrigerator, they are not the contributor to this problem. At the same time we agreed we use lots of plastic & that we can plan to reduce.”

Upon reflection, they said:

“Each youth who had no connection with nature in daily life started experiencing connection and need of
this connection. They were inspired to contribute something in their limited capacity and in their surroundings. Each one became aware of hazards of using plastic and that they can make a difference.”

Peace Club in South Sudan, Africa

Sudan Report

In South Sudan, communities affected by crisis came together to heal through the power of compassionate play. From the report:

“South Sudan has been undergoing through violent acts especially during the 2013 December crisis that resulted to loss of lives, destruction of properties including homes and service facilities, thousands were displaced, many were traumatized, as hatred enlarged from community to community. In order to to bringScreen Shot 2016-05-11 at 3.08.46 PM peace and heal those traumatized, Hold the Child is working on Child Protection programs in such communities, in one way or the other a high % children were affected during the crisis.”Upon reflection, the reporter wrote:

Since I went through a training of Play for Peace, I can bare witness that I have gone through a milestone of changes, through regular engagement of children and various communities. I have also changed my perception towards those who are our enemies, for example the cores principles of Play for Peace like cooperation, having FUN, safety, inclusion. I feel encouraged everyday when I see smiles on the faces of others. My great moments are when I take time with children and when I see them going back home singing or practicing on the Compassion Games.”

Story #3: Compassionate Communities

Austin, Louisville, and Silicon Valley

There are currently over 350 declared compassionate cities and communities around the world. At their best, compassionate cities challenge and inspire one another to reach new and unprecedented levels of civic engagement that leads to making their communities kinder, safer, more just and better places to live.The Compassion Games serve as a fun, creative catalyst toward this vital goal. In this year’s Serve the Earth Week Coopetition, three outstanding Compassionate Communities – Austin, Louisville, and Silicon Valley – have shown again why they are an exemplary force for igniting acts of service and compassion for other cities to build upon in their own way.

Team Compassionate Austin

Compassionate Austin and the members of its communities are true champions of compassion. View some of the highlights that took place in Austin for this year’s Serve the Earth Week.

Austin Becomes a Compassionate City

On April 14th 2016, the Mayor and City Council members of Austin, Texas’ state capital, voted to join with Screen Shot 2016-05-11 at 3.10.12 PMother Texas cities San Antonio, Houston and Dallas/Fort Worth in becoming a “self designated” compassionate city: Compassionate Austin. Austin joins over 350 cities around the world that have embarked on similar campaigns.

The Austin City Council Resolution recognizes that “we are all compassionate Austin” and encourages everyone in Austin – city departments, area school districts, community and faith groups, and all Austinites – to participate in the Compassion Games as a way to show 3D compassion (caring for others, self, and the Earth) and strengthen compassion strength of their city.

Lesa Walker, a civic leader in Austin who led this initiative, stated:

“We now plot our course with compassion and envision ourselves as a Compassionate City.  However, we still face very serious unmet needs in our community.  We need to earn our designation as a Compassionate City through our daily compassionate action! We all own these issues and need to work together to address them.”

The City Council affirmed the Resolution just in time for the kick off of the Serve the Earth Week Compassion Games. What follows are a few of the highlights that emerged out of Compassionate Austin during Earth Week.

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Team Compassionate Santa Cruz Mountains (Silicon Valley)

Nestled near the Santa Cruz Mountains lies Silicon Valley, the home of some of the world’s largest and most innovative tech companies such as Google, Apple, and Facebook.

It may be surprising to learn that compassion can thrive in such high tech environments, but Silicon Valley closely collaborates with Stanford’s CCARE, the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education. The synergy of this collaboration and the resiliency of its communities is nothing short of amazing.

Emerging out of the Santa Cruz Mountains was the Community Resilience Challenge, a featured Way to Play in the Games lead by Leslie Meehan, a civic leader, Compassion Games Ambassador, and community member of the area.

In the upcoming Global Unity Games it is likely that the civic and corporate leaders of this dynamic area will play a large role in igniting compassionate action around the world.

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Team Compassionate Louisville

Each year, Louisville, Kentucky hosts its annual Give-A-Day: Mayor’s Day of Service celebration. During Earth Week, members of Louisville are encouraged to give one day of service to give back to their community.

Mayor of Louisville Greg Fischer ran and won on a platform of lifelong learning, health, and compassion. After receiving an award from the City of Seattle for affirming itself as a Compassionate City, he boldly and playfully declared that “Louisville is the most compassionate city, and will be so until proven otherwise.”

Mayor Greg Fischer has been a champion and collaborator of the Compassion Games since 2012, and began Give-A-Day to bring the vision of a compassionate city to life. In regard to Give-A-Day, he says:

“Whether you give an hour, a day, donate blood, give food, clothing or simply help a neighbor, everyone can do something! [T]hanks for helping make Louisville the most caring and compassionate city in the world!

Screen Shot 2016-05-11 at 3.17.00 PM

In total, Compassionate Louisville accomplished the following with the help of over 175,000 volunteers and 175,000 acts of service:

50,000 – Personal hygiene items donated through We Day Kentucky.

44,064 – Meals packaged by volunteers for Kids Against Hunger.

14,568 – Brightside volunteers who helped clean up Louisville.

11,000 – Calls and social media hits to the WHAS 11 Give A Day Telethon.

400 – Smoke detectors installed by volunteers with the American Red Cross Louisville chapter.

152 – Boxes of medical supplies sorted by volunteers for Supplies Over Seas, which sends the supplies and equipment to areas in need worldwide.

100 – Bicycles donated and refurbished through the Pedal Power Project for donation to Kentucky Refugee Ministries’ clients.

100 – Beds constructed and donated to JCPS students through the Build A Bed program.

10 – Houses renovated and new homes built for needy families by Habitat for Humanity’s Love Your Neighborhood program.

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Ms. Lia Mandelbaum and a Compassionate Uprising

One of the great joys of organizing the Compassion Games: Survival of the Kindest is meeting remarkable people who take the Games and do truly amazing things. It gives me great pleasure to introduce you to Lia Mandelbaum, a writer for the Jewish Journal and a resounding Champion of Compassion.

The following interview with Lia is organized into short segments highlighting some of the incredible things she was able to accomplish with the Games. (The complete interview is available at the bottom of this article.)

How Lia Got Involved with the Compassion Games and the Games in Prison [1:39]

Lia’s path first crossed with the Compassion Games when she took on the assignment of writing about them for the Jewish Journal. Her article got the attention of Shayna Lester, an interfaith minister who brought the Compassion Games into a prison in California. Shanya asked Lia to help get the word out about the remarkable outcome of hosting the Compassion Games in a women’s prison. During the 11 days of the Annual Compassion Games, 4,600 acts of compassion had been committed without the occurrence of a single act of violence. Lia went on to learn how the Games were used in the prison with a set of remarkable tactics to bring them life. For example, the head gang leaders took on the role of “Compassion Ambassadors”, making it okay for others to show compassion without it being held against them. Over those 11 days, the Games helped transform the entire culture of the prison. As Lia states in this segment: “When you treat people like human beings they can rise to the occasion, even people that you totally doubt.”

How Lia Brought the Games to Roybal High School in Pico-Union Los Angeles [0:37]

Lia went on to write her masters thesis on the impact of the Compassion Games in prison (Read: A Case Study on the Compassion Games) and brought the Compassion Games to the high school where she worked as a teacher and therapist. Lia shared the article she wrote with her supervisor, a psychiatric social worker. Her supervisor didn’t even finish reading the article before she knew she wanted to bring the Games to the high school because of their culture changing capabilities: “If this can transform a prison community, it can absolutely help our community,” she said.

Its Not Always Easy to Show Compassion [0:28]

Yet, this is not just any high school. The Edward R. Roybal High School is in the Pico Union area of Los Angeles, which has the highest concentration of gang activity in LA. They are doing remarkable things to respond to these challenges. As Lia describes in the talk: “the youth have difficult hardships” and showing compassion is risky and can be perceived as a weakness; they need to have “rough edges” just to survive and so cultivating compassion is often not an “easy, breezy thing to bring about.”

The Games Were a Student-Led Initiative [0:26]

With a new orientation toward the importance and power of compassion, they shifted into community organizing mode and the student government formed a committee committed to bringing the Games to the school. By engaging student government the initiative was student led. They appointed Compassion Ambassadors to help spread the word. They organized a Compassion Rush, a Compassion Pledge, and a Gratitude Wall where they shared acts of kindness and caring that was taking place around the campus.

Understanding and Communicating about Compassion is Challenging [0:43]

She explains that they hit a wall when it came to understanding what compassion is. They decided to bring in presenters to help make the case for compassion and have discussions in the classroom about what compassion is. They went into the classes to ask: “What does compassion mean to you? Why does it have value?  Why put effort into it?”

Students Discuss the Shame Associated with Having Family Members in Prison [0:53]

In the discussions they uncovered the difficulty students had in understanding compassion and the great deal of shame around family members being incarcerated.  In response to these challenges, they invited a civil litigator to join them and talk about the need for a more compassionate criminal justice system, and how it was possible to be incarcerated in a way that is humanizing and not dehumanizing. Lia said “I watched as he would talk about people getting incarcerated in such a humane way and the kids, their faces softened, because that’s not a message they hear all the time.”

Music: The Unexpected Doorway for Males to Share Their Feelings [1:29]

Not surprisingly, male students had a difficult time opening up to express their emotions and experiences. There is one student that she describes as having “so much feeling inside but being so afraid to show it”.  Lia discovered that when they listened to music together, this became a safe way for him to show his feelings; she explains that Johnny Cash’s music in particular “opened a door for him and gave him permission to share his deepest pain and anguish”.  So they brought in individuals from the music industry who shared the meaning of lyrics from different musical artists including Marvin Gaye, The Beatles, Sly and the Family Stone, and others. They focused on lyrics that brought out compassion, hope, and solidarity. She reports that the males participated the most in sharing their feelings and experiences with the help of music, which led to the males “wearing their feelings on the outside.”

Traditional Enemies Working Together Was a Shock to the Students [0:45]

They brought in leaders from the Muslim and from the Jewish community to offer an intro to Islam and Judaism through the lens of compassion. She reports that kids could not believe that so called “enemies” were standing next to each other in solidarity and sharing the importance of compassion. Lia said “These kids who are around a lot of gang violence,  they could not wrap their head around a muslim and a jew standing next to each other peacefully and in solidarity, and with such kinship… it just threw the kids off.”

Educating Oneself as a Form of Self-Compassion [0:14]

In the school there is a group called the 9+. These are youth that have to repeat the ninth-grade sometimes multiple times. They brought in former 9+ students who went on to complete high school and even graduate college. The 9+ graduates advised the students that completing high school and going to college was a form of self-compassion.

Dealing with Bullying by Understanding Others as Coming from a Place of Pain [1:11]

Another speaker shared the importance of having compassion for others.  They spoke about when people come at you with anger and hostility to take a pause and understand that they are hurting and “coming from a place of pain”. To learn this, they explained, you can better cope with confrontation and bullying by not personalizing it.

Why the Compassion Games are so Meaningful to Lia [0:23]

Lia stated that “[The Games] put you in a whole other zone when compassion is at the forefront of your head and you’re trying to hold integrity to the mission and you’re really looking at your actions and your words, and, you know, it’s just powerful.” These are great examples of how a community can use the Compassion Games to ignite engagement through competitive altruism, strengthen and bring out what’s already present and working, create an engaging environment for reporting and reflecting, and using the point system as a framework for measuring and building collective capacity.

The Best Measure that the Compassion Games made a Lasting Impact [1:31]

Lia talks about challenges to bringing compassion into a difficult environment. One of the clearest signs that the Compassion Games made a huge difference at the high school was in the following year. Even though the students who organized the Games were no longer at the school, the school hosted the Compassion Games again and plan to continue in the future.  Thank you Lia for being such a Champion of Compassion!

Listen to her complete talk here:

Screen Shot 2015-11-30 at 10.22.33 AM

Acts of Intolerance Make Compassion Bench More Meaningful Than Ever

Back in 2012, Louisville, KY had both the guts and credentials to back themselves up when Mayor of Louisville Greg Fischer boldly stated: “We are the most compassionate city in the world, and will be so until proven otherwise.”

This was of course a playful gesture in the spirit of “competitive altruism”, aimed to ignite engagement from other cities to make communities around the world more compassionate. And it worked, because this lead to the birth of the Compassion Games: Survival of the Kindest. And four years later, Louisville has only grown in their capacity to be a remarkable contender for good in the world.

During the 2015 Annual Compassion Games, the Partnership for Compassionate Louisville was to award its first Compassion Bench to the Louisville Islamic Center, a way to commemorate the Center’s years of interfaith work as a beacon of hope and kindness in the community. The sign for the bench was as follows:

Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 2.03.31 PM

But then, something unthinkable happened. Two days before the bench ceremony at the Louisville Islamic Center, scheduled to take place midway during the 2015 Annual Compassion Games, a sprawl of hate appeared in the form of red graffiti on the white walls of this place of worship.

“Moslem’s, leave the Jews alone” one message said in red.

“This is for France” another said

“Nazi’s speak Arabic” said another.

Mayor Addresses CrowdMayor Greg Fischer called the act one of extremism and ignorance, one that hit “like a punch in the gut” for the Louisville community.

“To our Islamic center, I want to apologize on behalf of the entire community for this unacceptable incident here,” Fischer said.
He continued, saying that this intolerance harms not just Muslims, but everyone.

Although the incident defaced a sacred place, something even more remarkable took the place of what originally intended to be a small affair: It ignited the spirit of the community to come together, to support and uplift one another, and initiate the healing that is needed after such an event.

Gathering at CenterThousands of people joined in on the Friday, September 18th event to help repaint the white walls the red vandalism had covered, and to see the dedication of the Compassion Bench, now taking on an even deeper meaning than originally envisioned.

“Please pardon me if I’m emotional, but this overwhelming support is really humbling to us,” said Dr. Muhammad Babar, a member of the center who spoke at the event.

Perhaps one of the most symbolic acts of redemption for the community happened in the hearts and by the hands of children, who were the ones who painted over the red on the walls of this sacred place and made them white once again.


From 20,000 to 250,000 to 1,252,160 Meals Feeding Children Everywhere!

One million, two hundred and fifty two thousand, one hundred and sixty. Need to see that in numerical form? 1,252,160. That’s how many meals were packaged for local food shelters. How did they reach such an astonishing number?

Compassionate DFW is a project founded by Dr. Charles Barker.  In this year’s Compassion Games Dr. Barker and his team organized over 200 volunteers from over 15 houses of worship and 15 nonprofit organizations to come together in a service project they called “Feeding Children Everywhere”.  

They started out with the goal of packaging over 20,000 meals for hungry kids and adults.  Astonishingly, they packed these meals in just one day, and exceeded their goal by one hundred and sixty meals.

If the story were to stop here, their effort would still merit a jaw-dropping respect and appreciation for what they accomplished. Wildly enough, it doesn’t.

Dr. Barker got wind of the  Chick-fil-A Foundation and their effort to Feed Children Everywhere. Seven other high schools were added to the original coalition, and together they packaged an additional 250,000 meals that were distributed to local food banks.

These series of generous events became part of a national program that led to nearly 340 schools contributing to the goal of packing 1,000,000 meals that will be “Feeding Children Everywhere” across the United States. That’s right. One million meals!

Bravo to Compassionate Dallas Fort-Worth for amplifying the good they were doing and connecting it to the remarkable work of the Chick-fil-A Leader Academy that is focusing on re-imagining high school leadership.

One Million Meals Image

Pass the Compassion Torch at the 2015 Parliament: Face to Face and Heart to Heart

parliamentThe world’s religious and spiritual traditions, represented by nearly 10,000 people, came together under one roof during October 2015 in Salt Lake City for the Parliament of World’s Religions. Along with them came thousands of cultures, spiritual practices, and traditions, providing a tremendous opportunity for meeting each other, building relationships, and creating unity in diversity. And equally, presenting quite a challenge.

Parliament Side 1 - RevisedAs organizers of such an event, how do you create an environment that is welcoming and safe, yet easily provides meaningful ways for people of all backgrounds to meet and get to know one another? The Parliament tasked the Compassion Games with the challenge of coming up with a new “way to play” to do just that. Thus, Pass the Compassion Torch at the Parliament was born!

Every attendee at the Parliament was given a “Compassion Torch” inside their totebag as a starting point for building relationships with others. Playing was simple: a person’s mission, should they choose to accept it, was to use the Compassion Torch as a way to introduce themselves, and take a photo with each other passing the Torch.

The photos were then sent to where they were put online and displayed as a parliament-specific album of torch-passing moments. The album could be viewed at the Compassion Games booth in the exhibit hall or online. Parliament of World Religions

Participants were encouraged to visit the booth to check out this collection of photos, as well as pick up their next “Compassion Mission” to help make the Parliament a friendlier, kinder place, based on the Parliament’s four core themes: peace, justice, sustainability, and compassion.

One of the most outstanding Agents of Compassion who played their heart out in passing the torch at the parliament was SimranKaur Khalsa from Longmont, CO. Here is what she shared with us about her experience playing Pass the Torch:


“Being familiar with the Compassion Games since 2013, I was so thrilled to see the “Pass the Torch” card in our Parliament of the World’s Religions’ packet. It was such a joy to be able to take pictures with others, holding the card between us, and to let people know about the Compassion Games as well as passing the torch. May we continue to pass the torch of compassion so that our world can be a more compassionate one.”

Pass the Torch and the four additional missions were a heartwarming success. We want to “keep the flame alive” now that the Parliament has ended. We are preparing for a number of upcoming “coopetitions”, where players and teams play together, challenging each other to ignite compassionate acts in communities around the world. Please consider participating in any or all of the following:

The Giving Games: Youth and Schools Play it Forward (12/1 – 12/11/15) –  The Giving Games are an 11 day global challenge to inspire, develop, and celebrate our shared humanity through acts of generosity and compassion.  The Giving Games are played worldwide between youth, educators, and mentors to foster safe and fulfilling places of learning, helping the next generation develop into happy, compassionate, creative, and resilient members of our world!

MLK Weekend: Living Beloved Community (1/15 – 1/18/16)  – This coopetition is focused on bringing Dr. Martin Luther King’s Beloved Community to life.  Dr. King’s Beloved Community is a global vision, in which all people can share in the wealth of the earth. In the Beloved Community, poverty, hunger and homelessness will not be tolerated. Love and trust will triumph over fear and hatred.

World Interfaith Harmony Week (2/1 – 2/11/16)  – Designed to promote peace, harmony, collaboration and tolerance between all faith and spiritual traditions in the spirit of altruistic play. This will be the second year that the Compassion Games is participating in this UN-sponsored week of interfaith cooperation.

We want to thank everybody at the Parliament for embracing the Compassion Games in such a meaningful way. We are inspired by our experiences at the Parliament, eager to carry this compassion movement forward with each of you as we come together to reclaim the heart of humanity.

We also see the opportunity to play Pass the Torch at other events and activities. This is a great way to open hearts and to get to know each other and we encourage you to build authentic connections and dream up additional missions that can help make our face-to-face gatherings more fun, inspiring, creative and long-lasting!

2015 Annual Games: Summary of Results and Highlights


We are proud and excited to share the results of the 2015 Annual Compassion Games: Survival of the Kindest. This year’s Annual Games were a remarkable performance by thousands of people and hundreds of teams committed to bringing compassion to life!

MemeWhat we measure reflects what matters, and the Compassion Games are designed to measure a community’s (team’s) “compassion impact and strength” in planning, doing, reporting, reflecting on, and counting service in action.

The theme for the 2015 Annual Games was “compassion is our power-source for social innovation.” The 2015 results demonstrate many examples of how compassion can be brought to bear on social challenges. For example, a number of communities have committed to ending homelessness for veterans as a meaningful step towards ending homelessness in their communities.

Results in Numbers

The Compassion Games core set of measures include the number of acts of service that any individual or team performs, the number of volunteers, the hours of service, the money raised for local causes, as well as the number of people that are served.

This year, the scoreboard was subdivided into two categories for the number of people served. These categories are acts of IMG_0032“direct service” and “immeasurable acts of service”. This clarifies the process, for example, of counting the number of people that were served by a park cleanup, as there is no way to truly know how many will benefit from such an act. This is contrasted by direct service, when, for example, a person is the recipient of a winter coat or hot meal.

We capture these “compassion impact” numbers through reports that are posted to the Compassion Report Map. We do not verify each reported claim; we take players and organizers at their word.  We have defined each of the measures in this document. Once reports are submitted, we post the numbers on the Compassion Games Scoreboard.

Results In Reports

For every result quantified, there is of course a story of a real experience that can uplift and inspire. Teams are made up of people from all walks of life, from students in classrooms to people in correctional facilities. This year was the third consecutive year a women’s prison in California played in the Compassion Games. This year, outsiders donated wool and yarn to inmates who “made amends” by knitting hats and scarves for children with terminal cancer and military veterans. You can read about this story here.


Results in Long-Term Impacts

With 2015 as the fourth year of the Annual Compassion Games: Survival of the Kindest, we’re gaining a greater understanding of how the Compassion Games impacts a community over time. The following six themes offer a way to appreciate the impact and benefits of participation in the Compassion Games:

  1. Catalyst to Ignite Engagement: The Compassion Games reframe play and competition by turning “competitive altruism” and “friendly-competition” into “coopetition” amongst and between different teams to create excitement and motivated interest in participating.
  2. Amplifier of What’s Already Working: The Compassion Games can strengthen and amplify what’s already working in a community.  Weaving together existing events and activities from different groups and organizations catalyzes a shared collective impact.  The Compassion Games also inspires new events and activities that builds upon what’s already being planned for in a community.
  3. Framework and Baseline for Measuring Compassion Strength: The Compassion Games measures community service through the number of volunteers, hours of service, monies raised for local causes, and numbers of people served. Each year’s results create a baseline for building a team’s compassion impact and strength overtime, building “compassion muscles” individually and collectively.
  4. Engaging Environment for Reflection and Learning: The Compassion Games offer a means for engaging and a context for reflection that transfers the experiences from the Games to the real world. Composing and sharing Compassion Reports that include these reflections help develop the capacity to learn the skills needed to act more effectively and compassionately with ourselves and in our communities.
  5. Platform for Cultivating Open Participation: The Compassion Games offers an open-source, creative platform for “do it ourselves” and is made by many. The Games taps into people’s growing capacity—and desire—to participate in ways that go beyond theory and passive consumption.  The Games are open, participatory, peer-driven, and an example of open-source collaboration.
  6. Connection to a Global Movement: The Compassion Games is a part of an international compassion movement that inspires participation in something greater than oneself and one’s local community. The Compassion Games movement lets us understand, connect, and learn from each other while co-creating a global culture of kindness.

Each of these themes are reflected in the results and the outcomes of this year’s Games.

Compassion Games 2015 Results

This section identifies the measurable output that the Compassion Games produced in 2015.

Agents of Compassion

We added 1,356 new agents and on each of the eleven days we sent out missions to over 4,500 Agents of Compassion. We nowlYpat3XxRflzhdpGdyQPxmERHbAey34E6Ui8WMxkQqjoMrRAO7n_kZ_J9tNt2i2Qhc7UuQ=s2048 have 4,725 members of the International Kindness Team. Our goals remains to get to 10,000 Agents of Compassion; if you haven’t already, sign up here!

Teams and Leagues

A total of 193 teams registered to play in the 2015 Annual Games. Based upon the reports we know of, there were many other teams that played but did not register as a team.

i3FdzEdu_w9eNr9OO8_9nx7EWIERtAfuHC_bjHmGLk8xIDVDTpVMtJb11fAufyFcOvf3PQ4VQmei=s2048In support of new partnerships with 9/11 Day, Service for Peace, and the Corporation for National and Community Service, we added a new league for “First Responders” and one for “Veterans and Military Families.”

With encouragement from the American Humane Society and leadership from Connie Vasquez from New York City, we added a new league for “Fur, Feathers, and Fins” to support all more-than-human living beings!  Leagues are a helpful way to group and support like-minded teams.

Ways to Play

When people ask, “What do you do during the Compassion Games?”, it’s the “ways to play” that make up the basic activities of how to get engaged. Players get creative in coming up with ways to serve others or themselves, and service projects intended to better community well-being are at the core what it means to play in the Compassion Games.

The following section explains new ways to play that we introduced this year:

Secret Agent of Compassion: Compassion is Our Power Source Edition

Agent-Badge-2-300x280 (1)Everyone who signs up to play in the Games is a member of the International Kindness Team, receiving daily missions that are sent as part of the way to play we call Secret Agent of Compassion. A mission was sent out for each day of the Annual Games (9/11-9/21), going out to over 4,500 Agents of Compassion around the world. This edition of missions were composed as part of the theme “Compassion is our power-source for social innovation.”

9/11 Good Deed Challenge

The 9/11 Good Deed Challenge was a new way to play that kicked off this year’s Games. We partnered with 9/11 Day and the Good-Deed-Challenge-HeaderCorporation for National and Community Service to encourage people to do good deeds on 9/11 and continue throughout the 11 days of the Compassion Games.  There were over one million good deeds done on 9/11.

Champions of Compassion

We introduced a way to play we call Champions of Compassion that includes a Champions-Header1simplified way for agents to invite others to play in the Games.  This led to almost 1,000 new people signing up as Agents of Compassion.  (You can be an Agent of Compassion by signing up to play here.) Champions of Compassion are empowered individuals who dedicate themselves to championing the power of compassion.

The US TV Talk Show Host Challenge

This year we started the US TV Talk Show Host challenge and a League of Teams associated with each talk show host. We are Hosts-Montage-with-Title-Updplanning to approach each of these famous “champions of compassion” who can reach out to millions of possible agents if they choose to play. This way to play was birthed during the 2015 Compassion Games and was announced on the WBAI Radio Show, which can be watched here.

Compassion is on the verge of becoming a mainstream topic. We will focus on this new way to play to have it in place for the 2016 Annual Games.

Events and Service Projects

YTX7omcJ5Jx_oyyJzYtILvNjgZMDllrEqM7XsUg_0AexVm9TOWEsN054c8KfnoiwtnC5Jw=s2048There were over 350 service projects and events posted to our shared calendar. Teams post upcoming service projects, events and activities here and promote them to their local community. The picture to the right is just a snapshot of a tiny portion of the many, many events that were produced as part of the Compassion Games by team organizers and their fellow teammates.

On September 21st, the last day of the 11 Days of Global Unity, we teamed up with the UN International Day of Peace, Unify
and the Silent Disco Squad to co-create the “Global Peace Dance Party”.  We joined with many different teams all over the world bringing a collective unified action of Global Peace through dance. We danced with Denmark, Australia, Washington DC, Vancouver, Big Sky, Montreal, San Francisco, Seattle, Israel, China, Spain, and others.

Compassion Report Map

Through our continued partnership with ESRI in 2015 we published a new Compassion Report Map to simplify the submission process and to enhance the viewing experience. The map is remarkable in what it shows. Nearly 1,000 reports were submitted during the Games that included the compassion impact measures. You can you view the entire map here.

As is often the case with with a new technology, there are challenges in introducing and stabilizing the tool. Thank you to everyone for their patience and commitment. We’re already in development on the next generation of compassion mapping technologies.


Compassion Games Coopetition Scoreboard

The scoreboard shows the results for each team that reported. The teams are listed alphabetically… remember, no one can lose the Compassion Games!  


The scoreboard totals were the following:

Final Results Image (Updated) - 2015 Games

You can link to the entire scoreboard here.

Reported Outcomes and Experiences

The thematic impacts that we’re making and the results that were produced are highlighted in the outcomes we share. There were amazing “lived experiences” that happened that we can all appreciate and benefit from. What follows is only a drop in the bucket of the nearly 1,000 reports that were submitted to the Compassion Report Map.  The following reports are organized by Teams and Individual Players.

Compassionate Louisville


As usual, Louisville, Kentucky did a remarkable job playing in the Games. They were awarded a mini-grant by the Compassion Games and chose to donate a “compassion bench” to their local Islamic center. As fate would have it, a few days prior to the
event in which the bench was to be donated, one or more individuals chose to scrawl words of hate onto the center’s walls. As Mayor Greg Fischer said at the time, “this was like a punch to the gut.” Louisville, by far, is one of the most compassionate cities in the world and prides itself on their interfaith sensitivity and understanding.

What was to be a small Compassion Games event turned into a huge community event attended by over 1,000 people. They had the children take fresh paint to wash out and paint over the hate that was scribbled on the walls. It was symbolic and powerful (on left).

In other reports, students at the University of Louisville were asked to write “love letters” during the Games (center). Another player reported her reflection on how the Compassion Games had positively impacted her life (right). Participation in the Games can leave a lasting impact. There were well over a 100 reports from Louisville alone!

Portal Main Header PNG

Compassionate Huntington Beach


We’re thrilled when we hear things such as Rev. Peggy Price from Huntington Beach California posting that Compassionate Huntington Beach doubled their number of points this year (see left image). For us, this is a sign that the Games are serving as a baseline for growth, and giving the community a target to aim for in building its capacity to act more compassionately overtime.  Go Huntington Beach! On the right, view a report on just a simple act done to support someone’s grandfather.

Huntington Beach

Toledo and Northwest Ohio


We were stunned to see this beautiful tapestry of compassion reports produced by Judy Trautman and the folks from Greater Toledo and Northwest Ohio (left). This is what compassion in action looks like. Just take a look at these individual reports to appreciate the wide range of actions taken by a diverse community of individuals, groups, and organizations from the Greater Toledo and NW Ohio area. There were over 60,000 pounds of food and many acts of compassion and kindness happening in Toledo Ohio!

 Greater Toledo

Compassionate Richardson – Feeding Children Everywhere


Here’s a report that shows what happens when 15 nonprofits and 15 houses of worship come together and pack over 20,000 meals for hungry kids. Dr. Charles Barker is one of the humblest and most powerful organizers we’ve ever met. He was able to bring together very diverse groups to do amazing good together while feeding hungry kids.


Peace Day Austin; 9/11 Heroes Run- Compassionate Austin


There were 17 different teams that participated in the Compassion Games from Austin, Texas and 2 more from neighboring communities.  A group of collaborating organizations joined together to celebrate and honor Peace Day and Global Welcoming Week, generating multiple compassionate activities and events from 9/11 through 9/21, culminating in a city proclamation.  Dr. Lesa Walker, Founder of the Compassionate Austin movement, welcomed and encouraged organizations to participate IMG_0011simultaneously in the Compassion Games as a perfect way to highlight and elevate these wonderful Peace Day Austin efforts on both a local and global level! Teams represented Austin’s art, music, poetry, dance, drama, and yoga sectors, libraries; schools and colleges, youth-focused organizations, faith/interfaith groups,  as well as businesses and service groups. The Austin 9/11 Heroes Run, benefiting the Travis Manion Foundation, was awarded a Compassion Games mini-grant this year!  In addition, due to the Compassionate Austin and Peace Day Austin’s social media efforts, word spread and there were a couple of self-started family teams that emerged this year involving youth.  Lesa Walker is based in Austin and also serves on the Compassion Games leadership team.  She coined the phrase “compassion is our power source for social innovation” that was the theme for this year’s Games.   Lesa says that the Games offer a wonderful way to engage and unite the community in compassionate action.  Austin is teeming with compassionate activity.  The Games are a way to highlight and document collective impact and spread the message of the importance of 3D compassion (caring for others, self, and the Earth).  

 Compassionate Winnipeg


The Compassion Games were a part of powerful community processes to bring about healing. Here’s a report about the power of forgiveness (on left). Rotary Peace Days in Winnipeg was a big sponsor of the Peace Days and Compassion Games. Many events were intergenerational and cross-cultural. The Compassion Games in Winnipeg included an Indigenous Powwow (on right).


Compassionate California


The California Institution for Women’s Prison in Chino California played their own Compassion Games. Introducing the Games to the inmates gave them another way to express their power. The impact was transformational, and an entirely new culture emerged since the women first played in 2013.

  • The first year the women logged more than 4600 acts of kindness on 1” X 2” pieces of paper and deposited them into their
    unit’s designated envelope. The women coined the name “Compassionistas”, and took the Games very seriously. Everyone who played participated in a closing ceremony. The winning unit received a frosted cake decorated in the color of their unit. Everyone who played got frosted cake. Almost 100% of the prison population played in the Games, which had measurable and astounding results.  For the first time in the history of the prison there were 11 days without a single recorded incident of violence.  In year 2, 10,000 acts of kindness were recorded and this year, because of some changes made within the prison system, the women were permitted to sew, knit and craft items for homeless veterans, shut-ins, nursing homes and children’s hospitals. The women logged in more than 3,500 hours of volunteer service during the 2015 Compassion Games and are already looking forward to playing in 2016.

Screen Shot 2015-10-13 at 11.52.19 AM 

From West Virginia: “Meaningful Misfits”


Coming out of West Virginia a remarkable therapist organized a team of youth that are challenged with co-occurring disorders. They formed a team called the “Meaningful Misfits” and performed some of the most creative, thoughtful and simple acts of kindness.

Meaningful Misfits

Individual Players, Families and Teams

Sharing Donuts: As brothers learn to be nice to each other, their mother shows them how to share their compassion on the Report Map. It all took less than a minute! (See report on left.)

Let Live: Here’s an example of caring for all creation. This player realized that it was the last day of the Compassion Games when they discovered 13 wild turkeys in their yard. They chose to set them free in the name of compassion! (See report on right.)

Individuals and Players

The Compassion Corner Returns Home!

David Breaux completed his year-long Compassion Tour by ending up in Seattle where he jumped in and was a key part in the Compassion Games by offering his honed wisdom and heartfelt sincerity. David is back in Davis, California and on the Compassion Bench! (See report on left.)

David and Shoes

As part of preparing for a free, no-questions-asked health clinic, a team of volunteers were challenged with sorting 5,500 donated pairs of running shoes. It was planned to take two days of full-time volunteers to complete this task. There were so many volunteers and it was so well-organized that the task was done in half a day.  People were actually disappointed when the job was done it was so much fun to serve together!

With nearly 1,000 reports on the Compassion Report Map, there are many examples of compassion for others, for ourselves, and for the earth. Visit the map to appreciate the many shapes and forms that compassion takes in our world during the Compassion Games.

Our Partners: Sponsors & Supporters

In addition to the individual players and team organizers, there are our incredible partners – sponsors and supporters – who make the Compassion Games possible.

png;base64d33eb4161a4f2c7fLUSH Cosmetics – This is the third year that LUSH has been our Gold sponsor. You could not ask for a better partner and company dedicated to using their power to affect positive change in the world.  They encouraged LUSH stores to challenge each other to participate in the Compassion Games as well as engage the many other nonprofits they support.

Service for Peace is a subgrantee of the US Corporation for National and Community service. This year, serviceforpeaceService for Peace was a sponsor of the Annual Games, which made it possible for us to issue mini-grants to participating teams. We first met in Louisville and we have now partnered on 9/11 day, looking forward to partnering on MLK day going forward as well.

images-q=tbn-ANd9GcTC2_QbC4t5L78AuLgHdDqNpNVAsOHK928ZLanjjYgSwV5S7BY4The Corporation for National Community Service is a federal agency of the United States government. They are responsible for promoting public service for 9/11 day as a National Day of Service of Remembrance as well as MLK Day as a National Day of Service. We are deeply grateful for their support of the Compassion Games.

Compassionate Action Network (CAN) – CAN is our fiscal sponsor and the original home for the International Campaign can-logofor Compassionate Cities and the Compassion Games. The Seeds of Compassion was the initial event that brought many of us together, including Compassion Games chairman Hereditary Chief Phil Lane Jr. The CAN board includes Yaffa Maritz, Heide Felton, Dan Kranzler, Maya Nader, Jeff Vanderclut, Cynthia Figgie, and Andrea Brenneke. Thank you for your foundational support.

kirlin_logoThanks to the Kirlin Foundation and to Dan for his personal commitment and determination to being a living example and reflection of the deepest values of compassion and generosity. Dan has held this movement together for the good of all of us.

New Stories and Threshold Foundation – Thanks to Lynnaea Lumbard for so deeply supporting the birth newstories-300x94of the Compassion Games as part of the New Stories community as well as bringing us to the Threshold foundation as an opportunity to gain their support. Thank you to the donors who contributed as part of the Threshold Foundation grant to the Compassion Games.

gwc_logoGreenworld – Many thanks to Marc Ian Barasch for his support for the Games. The interview we conducted as well as the alignment and partnership with the Green World campaign, focusing on regreening the planet in one generation for all future generations, is a remarkable example of Green Compassion.

The Shift Network and the Summer of Peace – Thanks to Philip Hellmich, Stephen Dinan and Emily Hine for their logo3continued promotional support of the Compassion Games!

png;base64a78acead1b6bfe61The Charter for Compassion – Thanks to Marilyn Turkovich for the strategic partnership we have with the Charter for Compassion. We are natural complementors for each other and we encourage all the teams to be Charter Partners as well as participants in The Games.

The 11 Days of Global Unity – Thanks to Rick Ulfik for conceiving of and sharing the platform for 11 days of global unity. cropped-11daysheader21This frames the connection between 9/11 as a Day of Service and Remembrance and 9/21 as the International Day of Peace, and is the timeframe in which we organize the Annual Games!

PugetSOUND-school-300x150United Religions Initiative continues to be a strategic partner for the Compassion Games, with many of our core team and advisers connected closely to them.

Puget Sound Community School – This innovative school was founded by none other than Andy Smallman, leader of the International Kindness Team and primary author of the missions for the Secret Agent of Compassion.

CCARE – Thank you to Dr. James Doty for sharing his wisdom and network of support to promote the Compassion Games. jpeg;base64c04fedc3d293c4cfWe’re honored to offer a signed copy of his new book as one of the perks for our IndieGoGo Campaign.

wisdom-bWisdom at Work – Thank you Dr. Joel and Michelle Levey for your continued support and generous sharing of resources, talents and gifts. The “contemplations” that you’ve written are a fundamental part of the Game’s foundation.

Andy Smallman continues to teach kindness through his nonprofit called kind living. Andy is the heart and soul of the International Kindness Team.Kind-Living-logo

fish (Astronaut) – There were many new images created by fish (Astronaut) during this year’s Annual Games. We think Fish did his most exceptional work to date during this year’s Games. We love the simple and powerful messages his drawings contain. The Games would not be what they are without fish (Astronaut). Thank you fish!

logos-01-225x300Thanks to the partnership with the Silent Disco Squad for organizing the closing ceremonies on a global level.

United Nations International Day of Peace – Thank you to Reverend Deborah Moldow for embracing andjpeg;base64a4f02946d4a8f1a1 supporting the Compassion Games and building its relationship with United Nations.

jpeg;base6465474040ba87d52a (1)ESRI – We are grateful to ESRI for their generous support of the crowdsourcing platform for the Compassion Report Map.

Lorian Associates – Thank you David Spangler for contributing your unique talents and insight into crafting the missions forpng;base64e2bb421312a48b29 the agents during the Compassion Games.

SOTSI-Logo-Purple-LGThank you Gary Zukav for lending your wisdom and clarity about the importance of compassion and “survival of the kindest”!

Compassionate Louisville – Our partners and friends in Louisville continue to play such a key part in the overall compassion movement. Mayor Greg Fischer and his team including Tom Williams, Brenda Frank, Lora Haynes, and Peter Hayes jpeg;base6492a8770b637a8f6awere available whenever we needed them to help spread the word and encourage others to embrace compassion in building-up their community.  You could not ask for more generous and supportive partners than we have with our “champions from the ‘ville.”  Also the original “community challenge” coming out of Louisville is what helped inspire the birth of the Compassion Games movement!

For a complete list of our remarkable sponsors and supporters go here.

Interviews with Distinguished Champions of Compassion


We produced and published seven interviews with distinguished Champions of Compassion.  We asked these leaders why compassion is important to them in their work and about their support for the Compassion Games. Interviews were produced with: Dorothy (Dot Maver), Dr. James Doty, Gary Zukav, Mayor Greg Fischer, Reverend Gola Wolfson Richards, Marc Ian Barasch, Karin Miller, and David Breaux.  They can be viewed here.

Mainstream Media

We received limited coverage from different media outlets. This is certainly an area that we can improve.  Here are some print and broadcast coverage we did receive:

Social Media

images-q=tbn-ANd9GcSar0G4x_qv4H3sC-MBs40ectCh257cdn-SWHZSE50z5rdnPR40SVrvn8AWe did dramatically expand our social media presence and went from 2,000 to over 15,000 likes on our Facebook page!

We also got more engaged via Twitter including participating in #CompassionConvo’s led by Compassion NYC organizer Marie Roker-Jones.  jpeg;base6493183a6b9bd62ee1

jpeg;base641392975e6b53dc81Expanding our social media presence and partnership with the Charter for Compassion is one of our goals for 2016. We just received a grant from the Parliament of World Religions to strengthen our partnership and the application of social media for it. We will be encouraging players and partners to sign up and use Slack to communicate with each other.


Core Team


We are gifted with a number of extremely talented and committed individuals who work and volunteer to make the Compassion Games possible.

Thank you to Sande Hart for giving so much to making the Games happen and for supporting individuals looking to organize teams. You have enriched the Games and made the Games accessible to so many organizers. Thank you.

Thank you to Joey Crotty for bringing a diverse set of talents and skills from writing, graphic design, and website management to articulating the dream of a just and compassionate world.  Under the leadership of Joey we completed a major upgrade to our website and social media presence. Thanks to Beth Alexander for lending her skills and talent to making our website presence so functional!

Our gratitude extends to Dr. Lesa Walker for her humble, clear headed, determined and brilliant approach to building relationships, growing a network, and creatively finding solutions to have things work. Dr. Walker is a member of the Leadership Team.

Sommer Joy Albertsen is the Compassion Games unicorn, divine inspiration and caregiver to the creative life force that sustains us. Her natural leadership talents, creative imagination and expression give the Compassion Games their magical perspective.  Thank you Sommer!

Phyllis Shulman is a key advisor and contributor to strategic projects and initiatives that have guided and directed the development and growth of the Compassion Games. Thank you Phyllis!

Thank you to Jon Ramer for keeping the fire burning and getting us all into this mess!

There are many others who selflessly gave to make the Compassion Games a possibility… Thank you very much!

Board of Directors and Advisors

We are blessed with a wise and committed Board of Directors and advisers. Thank you to Phil Lane Jr., Jim McCarthy, Kunal Sood, Leslie Meehan, and brother Sidney Genette.

We are grateful to our fiscal sponsor the Compassionate Action Network and the members of the board who give selflessly of themselves in support of this work and the work of many moving the compassion dial forward.

Indiegogo Campaign

To help underwrite the cost of producing the games we launched an Indiegogo campaign.  We’d love you to contribute and help spread the word!

We are grateful to everyone for their generous support and participation in the 2015 Annual Compassion Games!


Highlights for Earth Week from Around the World!

Greetings Compassionistas of Planet Earth!

We are proud to report that over 30 teams from 4 continents inspired thousands of people to come together, acting in ways that affirm our love and compassion for the Earth and all her inhabitants. This awakening biophilia, or “love of life”, is transforming the world!

We are still in the process of gathering the reflection reports on the Compassion Mapand have set a “liveline” (deadline) on the Scoreboard for Friday, May 8th. If you participated in Earth Week or Earth Day, add your report to make your actions known to the world! These reports uplift countless others, measure our collective impact, and show what we are capable of when we come together to act compassionately in our communities!

Here are some of the stories and highlights from Earth Week that we are aware of so far!


Screen Shot 2015-05-01 at 11.31.53 AMOne of the new and most exciting ways to play during Love This Place! Serve the Earth Week was on the Story Mapping Challenge. We want to give a huge thank you to our partner Esri for making this resource available. In the challenge, players upload a photo of a place they love and tell a story about why they love this place. Take a look to explore a literal world of stories of people from around the planet, and consider adding your own to the map!

Biophiliac and Proud Meme Small

Are you a biophiliac, or “lover of life”? A positive relationship with the natural world is being identified by scientific research as a

key indicator for one’s sense of overall well-being and even feelings of compassion. During Earth Week, people were proud to identify themselves as a biophiliacs and rally behind their love of life as a motivator for compassionate action and change. Learn more about the profound advantages to unleashing your inner biophiliac and living a longer, healthier life here!


We are deeply grateful to Andy Smallman, David Spangler, Fish Astronaut, and everyone from the International Kindness Team who organized these incredible missions and activities associated with the Secret Agents of Green Compassion. Here is an excerpt from Day 1’s Mission:

Screen Shot 2015-05-01 at 9.44.20 AMGood Morning Agents…

As Secret Agents of Green Compassion, we are part of a conspiracy with nature. Conspiracy comes from the Latin meaning “to breathe together,” which is literally what we do with nature.  We take in her substance in various ways and she takes in ours in reciprocity. We conspire together to express life on earth. But just what is this conspiracy to which we belong? And how are we conspiring?

Intrigued to know more? View all 8 missions that took place during Earth Week here and find ways to help bring ourselves and other humans into balance with nature as we shower the Earth with green compassion.

Compassion As

The Mayors & Cities League stepped up in a big way for Serve the Earth Week. In 2013, Mayors from around the country passed a landmark resolution calling for compassion as effective public policy. We all know documents aren’t enough to accomplish the compassionate change we seek, so cities like Louisville, KY under the leadership of Mayor Greg Fischer hosted their annual “Give-A-Day” where community members gave one day of Earth Week back to the community through acts of compassionate service. Learn more here!

Screen Shot 2015-05-01 at 10.38.57 AM

Baltimore’s riots last week have highlighted the growing unrest and injustices across America. Many are being forced to rethink assumptions we’ve made about race, power, civility, and compassion. Yet, leaders like Reverend Jim Lee are stepping up to guide us away from despair and into a place of compassion and profound healing. He urges his community to “Love our way through the pain. Let’s make the pain the lesson, not the reason.” Check out the way Lee’s community of Metro Detroit used the Compassion Games Earth Week coopetition to uplift one another and find pride in their city and the places they love.

Screen Shot 2015-05-01 at 9.51.35 AM

Can the love of money and oil be greater than the love people have for their home, land, and waters? In Seattle, WA community members, activists, and the Indigenous Peoples League are standing up to Shell Oil who intends to dock their drilling rigs in Seattle ports before expanding their exploration of the arctic for oil. Learn and be inspired here by what this community is doing in creative and loud ways to say “sHell No!” with a flotilla of kayaks and the power of the people!


The Earth gives us everything… water, food, shelter, and ultimately life! This Compassion Games coopetition – focused on awakening a love for our planet in a way that is positive, playful, and collaborative – was a remarkable way to ignite compassionate action to give back to our only home.

Start preparing for the Annual, Global September Compassion Games! Beginning on 9/11’s National Day of Service and ending on 9/21, the International Day of Peace, this Compassion Games coopetition takes place during the 11 Days of Global Unity. Learn more about it here!


Thank you for all that YOU do to make the world a safer, kinder, and more vibrant place to live for the Earth and all living beings! Love wins!

The Power of Love and Compassion to Stop the Violence and Start the Healing

Baltimore’s riots this week have highlighted the growing unrest and injustices across America. Many are being forced to rethink assumptions we’ve made about race, power, civility, and compassion.  We seem to have forgotten concepts like fairness and justice as a nation. Without this moral compass to guide us, what’s left?

As video after video surfaces of young black males being brutally treated by police, it makes us wonder if racial discrimination and police brutality can now be tolerated in our society. Empathizing with the police and continuing to ignore the root causes of these problems is all too easy. Mainstream media seems to cater to our worst fears and instincts by amplifying the inexcusable behavior of a few.

From the New York Times:

The Rev. Jamal Bryant, delivering the eulogy of Freddie Gray in Baltimore, spoke of the plight of poor, young black men like Mr. Gray, living “confined to a box” made up of poor education, lack of job opportunities and racial stereotypes — “the box of thinking all black men are thugs and athletes and rappers.”

“He had to have been asking himself: ‘What am I going to do with my life?’” Mr. Bryant said. “He had to feel at age 25 like the walls were closing in on him.”

As his voice rose to a shout, and the cheering congregation rose to its feet, Mr. Bryant said that black people must take control of their lives and force the police and government to change.

“This is not the time for us as a people to be sitting on a corner drinking malt liquor. This is not the time for us to be playing lottery,” he said.

“Get your black self up and change this city,” he said. “I don’t know how you can be black in America and be silent. With everything we’ve been through, ain’t no way in the world you can sit here and be silent in the face of injustice.”

What a powerful call to justice. However, it isn’t just a call to African-Americans. If we see ourselves as one multi-cultural society we need a collective action that will lead to effective change. What is society’s role in providing a way out of the poverty, hopelessness and despair that these young men seem to be stuck in?

The pathway out used to be as simple as getting a good education and hard work that might ultimately earn you a fair shot at the American dream. But with the rise in the cost of education and the lack of decent paying jobs, this no longer seems like a winning strategy.  We need to do better as a society, even if it’s CG16-0015-fish (1)more difficult. We need to relearn how to respect our differences and work together: to address these challenges with effective policies, solutions, and on the ground actions that change lives.

The Power of Compassion and Our Interrelatedness

According to Navajo Medicine Woman Patricia Anne Davis,  “the word ‘compassion’ can best be translated into English using the word ‘proxy’, meaning that another person can experience another person’s experience because we are all related by our inherent divinity given to each person equally. It is an all-inclusive experience where there is unity in the natural order and everyone is interconnected.”

We are interconnected to the youth and to the police. Can we find compassion for the police officers who are upholding the law and for the black youth who have the cards unfairly stacked against them?

The challenges we face are personal and spiritual as well as economic, cultural and political. Compassionate action can build this bridge. The role of compassion is not only vital in our lives, it is a key to understanding the circumstances of every perspective and finding a way forward that is just and can heal the rifts in our communities.

In Detroit, Michigan a team called #MetroDetroit participated in the Compassion Games “Love This Place! Serve the Earth Week” Coopetition from April 18 through April 26.

We recently wrote a news post about the organizer of the team Reverend Jim Lee of Renaissance Unity Church titled “Love The Hell Out of Metro Detroit: From the Blame – Shame Game to the Compassion Games.

metrodetroit2Lee is “rewiring the cellular memory to a place of forgiveness so his city can thrive – so the beloved community can emerge.” Rev. Lee wants to be very clear, “Forgiveness is not about forgetting the past. It doesn’t change what happened. What changes is the interpretation and perception with a new quality, a new tone can emerge to heal us today, so we can move on to the beloved community.”

Lee believes that his community can revitalize and empower itself by bringing the power of love and compassion to bear on their everyday life. Lee says he wants to “Love our way through the pain. Let’s make the pain the lesson, not the reason.”

The #MetroDetroit team committed to participate in the Love This Place! Story Mapping challenge and set out to identify many of the places in Detroit that they cherish and love. The goal was to heighten appreciation of their physical environment, their sense of social cohesion, and their experience of safety and peace within their neighborhoods.

We are happy to report that team #MetroDetroit posted more photo stories than any other city in the world!  Congratulations #MetroDetroit!  You can see all the story photos here.metrodetroit3

We can learn so much from this remarkable team and their accomplishments. We can come together to make just and lasting change by building cultures of compassion and kindness. There are over 300 cities around the world that have embarked on compassionate city campaigns. As people of this remarkable time – filled with great challenges and surprising opportunities – what do we choose?

The Compassion Games supports communities committed to creating cultures that are safer, kinder, and better places to live. You can find out more here Game on!


Mayors as Leaders in the Compassion Movement

As citizens, we understand the power of public policy and the choices that a Mayor can make. We know that budgets are moral documents that reflect the values of our community and are then carried out by our elected officials.

We also know that now is a tough time to hold public office with so many fellow citizens distrusting the government and the political process.  Therefore, we think it is particularly meaningful to recognize outstanding leaders who are committed to integrating compassion as a part of their approach to building community and setting public policy.

murrayWe are happy to report that the Honorable Mayor Ed Murray of Seattle has issued a Proclamation in support of the Love This Place: Serve the Earth Week coopetition taking place from April 18 to 26.

Here is a mayor’s proclamation that recognizes the extraordinary challenges we face as a planet such as “climate change, global health issues, violence, food and water shortages, and economic struggles.”

It also states that “each of us have a right to a healthy, sustainable environment;” and “the global community must come together to create compassionate solutions to our global challenges.”

With Mayor Ed Murray of Seattle and the Honorable Greg Fischer, Mayor of Louisville, we have two Mayors who are in tune with the urgent call of our time and who recognize the importance of compassionate responses to these challenges.

We also know that proclamations and speeches are not enough. These mayors are calling us to get engaged and give time in service to our communities to address these challenges and opportunities.

Mayor Greg Fischer from Louisville has organized Give A Day during the Mayor’s Week of Service that coincides with the “Love This Place! Serve the Earth Week” coopetition (April 18-26).

Mayor Fischer led the U.S. Conference of Mayors and passed a resolution calling for compassion as part of effective public policy.

In 2012, Mayor Fischer challenged Seattle and communities from all over the world to see who was the most compassionate city.

Seattle took up the challenge and this gave rise to the Compassion Games: Survival of the Kindest in which we harness the power of compassion and cooperation and add to it the spirit of friendly-competition. This approach to competition brings people together to play and live compassionately in their communities.

During the Compassion Games, teams participate in “coopetitions” that challenge us to amplify the love and compassion we feel as a way to make our communities safer, kinder, and better places to live.

Communities connect the groups, organizations, events, and activities that are already in place to co-create a “collective impact” through mass-collaboration.

Players participate in community service projects, random acts of kindness, act as “Secret Agents of Compassion,” and engage in other fun ways to bring about positive change in their communities. Cooperative play helps us develop the skills to build the capacity to act more compassionately towards each other, ourselves, and the earth.

The last step is a reflective one: Players report and share their acts of compassion and kindness with each other through an online crowdsourcing map. They record the number of volunteers, hours of service, monies raised for local causes, and numbers of people served.  Everybody who plays wins; no one can lose the Compassion Games!

In honor of our earth and Earth Day here is a beautiful video that is an ode to planet earth


We are very grateful to the mayor and his staff for mobilizing on behalf and in support of a love this place serve the earth week. Thank you Mayor Murray!


Mayor’s Give A Day of Service:

Compassion Proclamation