Stories for Business

These are news posts that pertain to bringing The Games into businesses.

3.7 Million March: An Urgent Call to Rally for Unity & Peace

Dear Friends and Allies of Compassion,

The world is stirring. Every now and then an event occurs that shocks us, and with it appears an opening for something new to Paris Ralliesemerge. Right now, we are at such a moment. The 3.7 million people who marched in the streets of France – who locked arms with our world’s
leaders – are what French officials are saying was the largest street demonstration in the country’s history. And they weren’t protesting the attacks they were rallying for unity.

“I’m fed up with all the hatred in the world. I can’t stand people hating each other. More than just free expression, I want people to live together and to accept each other, even if they are different,” said Edith Gaudin, a teacher in Paris.

More than ever we need to create and live in cultures of compassion that revolutionoftheheart7-fish0212take us outside our comfort zones, into our stretch zones, and allow us to experience empathy and compassion directly. In fact, this is what the Compassion Games were created for, and it just so happens that this year the Compassion Games is partnering with UN sponsored World Interfaith Harmony Week (WIHW) (February 1st -7th).

One of the world leaders who marched on the streets in Paris is King Abdullah II from Jordan. In 2010, the King proposed a World Interfaith Harmony Week to the UN, a week “when all interfaith groups and other groups of goodwill can show the world what a powerful movement they are.” The UN unanimously approved, and now each year the first week of February is aimed to promote harmony and collaboration between people of all faiths (and none).

kl-stargirl01a-fish0814We are partnering with faith, interfaith and Indigenous leaders to light a spark of creativity and innovation, to inspire groups around the world to get engaged and to make the good we are capable of known. This includes a seven day Compassion Games “coopetition” starting February 1st, a 10-Year Solar Challenge called for by First Nations, and $50,000 in prize money sponsored by King Abdullah II.

Let’s not retreat from this moment. Let’s lean forward, open our hearts and hands and come together in unprecedented, unified solidarity and action!


1. Learn more about the World Interfaith Harmony
Week Coopetition here

2. Read more about the WIHW Prize Monies for participating groups here

3. Spread the word! Share this story to challenge family, friends, and your communities to play in World Interfaith Harmony Week. Experience the joy of building solidarity, cooperation, and bridges of peace and harmony!

At this unique moment in time we need to clarify and reaffirm religion’s role in our lives as a beacon of hope. Religion at its best is kl-stargirl02i-fish0814a hearth for the human spirit. In its myriad of expressions, religion can help us connect with something greater than ourselves, to encourage us to reach out and to get to know the “others” in our lives. It inspires us to serve all people for the greater good that exists within and among all of us, to find love and compassion in the seemingly most improbable places, in places where once there was only hate. Yet these are the places most desperate for peace.

Let us be that peace.

In Fierce Unity and Compassion,

Compassion Games International
World Interfaith Harmony Week
URI (United Religions Initiative)
The Guibord Center
Interfaith Youth Core
Dalai Lama Fellows
Compassionate Seattle
NICO (Northwest Interfaith Community Outreach)
Silicon Valley Interreligious Council
Four Worlds International Institute
Compassionate California
I am Jerusalem
S.A.R.A.H. (Spiritual and Religious Alliance for Hope)
Scarboro Missions
First Nations Solar
Interfaith Council of Central Orange County

Compassionate Silicon Valley: The Heart of Innovation and the “Spiritual Element”

Silicon Valley is known as a hotbed of innovation. A fiercely competitive environment, it is a place in which discovering and promoting the next big thing is everything. Could it be that “compassion in action” is the next big thing?

As it turns out, one of the most inspiring and effective teams in the 2014 Compassion Games: Survival of the Kindest is Compassionate Silicon Valley. To participate in this global “co-opetition” they have amassed a team that includes more than 20 affiliated organizations that have challenged each other to work and play cooperatively. The list includes:

  • Ahmadiyya Muslim Community
  • Brahma Kumari World Spiritual Organization
  • Campbell United Methodist Church
  • Carry the Vision
  • Center for Spiritual Enlightenment
  • Chung Tai Zen Center of Sunnyvale
  • Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints
  • Council of Churches of Santa Clara County
  • First Unitarian Church of San Jose
  • Global Ministries University
  • Gnostic Sanctuary/Ecclesia Gnostica Mysteriorum
  • Hindu American Foundation
  • Interfaith Council for Economics & Justice
  • Interfaith Space
  • Jain Center of Northern California
  • Jewish Federation of Silicon Valley
  • Northern CA Local Council of Covenant of the Goddess
  • Pacifica Institute BAY CC
  • San Jose Friends Meeting
  • San Jose Stake
  • Sikh Gurdwara-San Jose
  • South Bay Islamic Association
  • Temple Emanu-El Congregation
  • Tzu Chi Foundation
  • Universal Church of the Master
  • Working Partnerships, USA

In all the years of the Compassion Games, we have never seen such an innovative, highly developed level of cultural-maturity and competitive altruism at play!  This is unprecedented… clearly they are up to something, and this something could be really good for all of us!

What we suspect is that they are developing and implementing a “spiritual core” for their highly diverse team to ensure that the functionality and applications of Compassionate Silicon Valley are built on an innovative next-generation platform. It suggests that they are taking a Human Kind / Kind Human 2.0 approach to living, working, and playing together.

Could this prototype of a “spiritual element” be an extension of the “secure element” recently patented by Apple and that is now at the heart of Apple Pay?  It’s the logical next step beyond “payments” – giving freely with no expectation of anything in return.

Putting pluralistic spiritual and non-spiritual values at the core of their team and its applications to ensure balance, harmony, peace and empathy amongst all the players. It could be a brilliant strategic move that takes Compassionate Silicon Valley right to the lead in the Compassion Games, and continues the tradition of having the valley be a leading hub for fresh, novel, and inventive development.

James and a Friend

Dr. James Doty and Unnamed Friend

We checked in on Dr. James Doty M.D. and Founder of CCARE (Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education) at Stanford University who is right in the heart of Silicon Valley and it’s environs.  We are wondering whether he thinks such a “spiritual element” is a technically feasible and viable approach to building high performance teams and applications capable of implementing cultures of compassion in communities around the world; Dr. Doty says:

“As a species, humans are finely attuned to the emotional states of others. The survival of our species, literally from birth, is one in which others of our species intervene, support and care when they sense we are in need, in pain or are suffering. It is our default mode. And it is when we demonstrate this reality that our physiology functions at its best and it is also when we are most happy. It is what allows each of us to thrive and is what gives meaning and purpose. Fundamentally, this defines compassion and its power for the giver and the receiver.”

“In Silicon Valley,” he says, “there is for many a sense of anxiety, isolation and loneliness. Compassionate Silicon Valley has created a platform that includes many spiritual and faiths traditions offering a place of safety, security and fellowship ultimately creating a sense of trust and unconditional acceptance that is so critical for authentic social connection.”

“I have no question the power of this effort.”

Speculation has begun about this new heart-based “start-up” on a quest to find a repeatable and scalable way to bring compassion culture to the masses. The new venture Compassionate Silicon Valley is being led by Girish Shah, a spiritually-gifted technical wizard.

Take a look at the instructions they have published for participating in the 2014 Compassion Games:silicon-valley-page 2A





silicon-valley-page1BWe can expect great applications of compassion in action from Compassionate Silicon Valley as they build upon the diverse and powerful Human Kind / Kind Human 2.0 platform they are developing.  We will all just have to upgrade our collective capacity to do good in order to keep up with this novel approach to playing and winning the Compassion Games: Survival of the Kindest!!

Skeptical that compassion in business could work? Listen to Simon Sinek speak about why a true leader creates an environment of trust that makes people feel unquestionably safe, and you might change your mind. Or better yet, your heart.

Spontaneous Ways to Make a Difference

September 21st – Good Star Alignment for the Compassion Games

Early on we realized that September 21st was an ideal day to start the Compassion Games not only because it’s the United Way’s Day of Caring, but also because it’s the autumnal fall equinox and the much beloved International Day of Peace.

Fortunately this year, the Peace, Compassion, Happiness, Empathy, Understanding, Love and Generosity movements are all working together. We’re all after the same ideal of a better world for our children and grandchildren no matter what you call it. Compassion Games knows we’re interdependent so we’re operating as such and seeking to lift all boats in the process.

Locally, our kick-off event for the games on Friday, September 21st is at the Urban Art Mural project in the south end at 10 AM. Get ready to be creative with friends and neighbors as we take back a corner that’s had a violent history. In the afternoon we’ll have a table at the United Way Day of Caring after-party at Century Link Field starting at 3 PM, and then to end the day we’ll be a participant in the peace vigil and concert happening at the Interfaith Community Church, 7 PM. For over ten years we have worked with the Interfaith Community Church and the three Interfaith Amigos so it’s fitting to celebrate the opening with them. In fact, it was Ted Falcon of the Interfaith Amigos who suggested that we move from the “Golden Rule” to “The Golden Reality”, inspiring much of the vision for these games.

Globally, the Compassion Games is contributing to peace, compassion, and empathy initiatives taking place beyond the greater Seattle region by including them in our “Heart Map

Seattle prides itself on being a “glocal” city (global and local), e.g. we haven’t been shy about starting the games in Seattle as a response to a challenge from the mayor and friends in the City of Louisville! In creating the games we seek to be the “organizational backbone”, if you will, for all of the individuals and organizations in Seattle who have been working on behalf of a kinder, safer and more just world for everyone. Meanwhile, we encourage other cities and communities around the world to sign the Charter for Compassion and consider organizing Compassion Games in your community.

In the online space, we’re looking to create “waves of compassion” through social media streams. Please “like” us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, share our posts and tweets with your friends and family and help us spread the word!

Most of all, if you’re in Seattle, be a player in the games! To join our newsletter and get involved, click here!

Our Stand for Compassion at Seattle Center

As part of Compassionate Seattle’s plan to create “collective impact” we put together a physical “stand for compassion” that was on display at Seattle Center. On seven occasions we set up our stand and engaged with fellow citizens about our community and our plans to create a culture of compassion in our region.  We learned how people think and feel about compassion and how they see or don’t see themselves connected to other people and the greater community.

I came to believe that we are not just in an economic recession but we’re in a social recession as well. There’s no question that people want to see more compassionate action, as there is a mood of resignation and hopelessness associated with the current conditions.

However, being at Seattle Center offered us a bright spot as we told the story of the John T Williams Totem Pole Memorial and the difference that compassionate action made in turning a tragedy into an opportunity for healing. Two weeks after the shooting members of the John T William’s family and tribe met with city officials in a “restorative circle” that led to a peaceful creative solution, inspiring all of us to have similar courage.  At the Stand for Compassion at Seattle Center we met Tony Joe who met Rick and John T. Williams when she first arrived in Seattle in 1975.  Listen to Tony Joe describe her relationship with the Williams Brothers.

We also met people like Michael who a few times a week pulls over to help motorists in need. Hear his description of what he does and how he feels he’s representing Seattle when he does it!

The experiences we had being at Seattle Center taught us about our need to reconnect with each other and overcome the social isolation and disconnection.  This led to imagining the Compassion Games as a way to get us out of our norms and connected with each other.  Thank you to all the people who came down and helped us build a stand for compassion: Anne Stadler, Erik Lawyer, Susan Partnow, John Hale, Silvana Hale, Elle McSharry, Jeff VanderClute Libby Burk, Michael Truog, and John and Heidi Malcolmson.  Thank you to Seattle Center and the Next Fifty for supporting us in doing this. On to the games!

Compassionate Louisville: The Community Challenge

The inspiration for the Compassion Games comes from our friends in Louisville, Kentucky.  Mayor Greg Fischer and his team are implementing their compassionate cities program in a remarkable fashion.   After Seattle affirmed the Charter for Compassion and invited other cities around the world to join with us in creating 10 Year Campaigns for Compassionate Cities, Louisville was one of the first and by far the most developed cities campaign we encountered. The Compassionate Action Network International awarded them the International Compassionate City award in 2012.

Mayor Greg Fischer would welcome a rivalry. “I’ve said from day one that we’re going to pursue being recognized as the most compassionate city in the world – and if that prods other cities to try to outdo us, then ‘Game On.’ In a competition centered on compassion, everyone wins!”

Compassionate Louisville recently amassed over 90,000 hours of community service during their one-week long Give a Day program.  We’re following their lead and measuring the number of hours of community service and are encouraging other cities to agree upon this simple measure of hours of community service.  From their community challenge:

“We challenge you to volunteer more, to give more blood, to share more resources and to top our collective mark with the goal of leaving our world a better place. If a city tops us, next year we will step up our devotion because we know that in our garden of compassion, there is still rocky soil and arid places that need tending; and there always will be. We are not so naive as to think this is not a community with more than its fair share of pain and suffering. We know it is. We, however,believe compassion is good soil for the garden of community.”

“All I have tried to do,” Fischer said, “is pull the good hearts and good hands of Louisville together. From our cathedrals to our temples and mosques, from the Muhammad Ali Center to our Christian seminaries, we are a community that is built on faith, love and tolerance. This is who we’ve always been. All I’m doing is rallying the troops.”

Of course, Louisville has also been extremely compassionate in their support of us and other cities taking on this challenge. It has made all their materials available and if you’re interested you can access them here.  You can watch a video of their Livable City Award and their issuing the Community Challenge.  And yes Tom we intend to kick your butts!