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Symposium 2015

Virtual Library File - Video: How to Let Altruism Be your Guide

The Challenge

How can the communities of people around the globe be induced to become more caring, not just within the social groups from which they derive their identities, but also across these groups? As the w ...

How can the communities of people around the globe be induced to become more caring, not just within the social groups from which they derive their identities, but also across these groups? As the world's problems - from climate change to financial crises - become more global in reach, how can people's domain of altruism be extended accordingly? What concrete steps can be taken across countries and cultures to strengthen the bonds of cooperation and weaken the forces of conflict?

Humans have to be the potential to behave altruistically. Humans are also the main actor on this planet and human behavior has most likely led to a huge biodiversity loss, atmospheric pollution and a general overexploitation of resources. If this behavior continues, the planet and its inhabitants are in great danger. At the core of this problem lays the difference of either behaving selfishly or altruistically. Selfish behavior is associated with short-term thinking and behavior which manifests itself most prominently in current business practices. This trend has to be reversed by considering more the perspective of others and what the own actions may mean for other people and this planet. On an institutional level, compassion training should be rolled out globally to achieve a switch to an altruistic cultural revolution.