The Darwin International Institute for the Study of Compassion, also known as DIISC, was established to create a global network of universities and other institutions with a shared commitment to supporting the study of compassion and exploring its impact on our lives and the wider environment. 

 DIISC is the operational arm of the Darwin Centre Trust CIO, which oversees the management of the Darwin Scholarship Programme. The DCT is managed by an experienced board of trustees under the direction of Professor Patrick Pietroni. 

DIISC has four primary aims and functions:

1. to stimulate and organise exploration, research, learning and education in and between a wide range of discourses and practices, as they help us understand compassion at individual, family, social, professional, organisational, intercultural, governmental, international and ecological levels;  

2. to bring together these perspectives in integrative dialogue and mutual learning, promoting interdisciplinary collaboration and common purpose through opportunities in education and research; 

3. to understand the implications of compassion for all aspects of community life, education, health care, environment, business, social policy and intercultural relations; and

4. to explore, develop and evaluate practices at any or all of these levels and domains of life that promote and sustain compassion in action. 

DIISC is building up a network of affiliated universities and like-minded organisations around the world to support emerging scholars and further the study of compassion across a wide range of disciplines. DIISC promotes a new way of learning and working together, based on open dialogue between individuals and disciplines, reflective practice and compassionate action. 

At present, DIISC has regional hubs in the UK and USA; further hubs are in development in Asia. Eighteen institutions have signed up as DIISC affiliates with the aim of hosting Darwin Scholars, with several more planning to join us.  

In 2018, two new centres for the study of compassion will be established at the University of Central Lancashire in the UK and the University of New Mexico in the USA. DIISC’s network continues to grow and will eventually form a global community of academics working collaboratively to build a more compassionate world.

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