The Working Conference on Compassion

On 1-2 October 2015, Shrewsbury’s Theatre Severn hosted the first Working Conference on Compassion. The conference set out to explore the scope of the study of compassion as an academic field, and also as an event to launch the new Darwin International Institute for the Study of Compassion (DIISC). Delegates came from a wide range of disciplines, countries and walks of life

… to explore the issue through a variety of discourses

and perspectives, and to consider the individual, social, institutional and inter-cultural factors at work when compassion is expressed – or not.

John Ballatt, 2016


All confirmed that there is a renewed urgency for education to foster more compassionate ways of relating and acting in the world.

It was determined that DIISC should become a diverse community of people, coming together with a common interest in the process of learning about compassion across the academic, scientific and creative disciplines. In this way specialist perspectives become properly accessible and shareable across boundaries. Developing this synthesis – a more nuanced and powerful way of thinking about promoting compassion – will involve learning how to talk, and listen, to each other, in an integrated and mutually reinforcing way.