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You are here: Home Knowledge Base Society Mental Training towards a Caring Economy
Symposium 2012

Mental Training towards a Caring Economy

The Challenge

Complex problems, such as climate change or irresponsible deployment of resources, are difficult to resolve without global participation of cooperating partners. To date, these problems have been mainly tackled through top-down approaches where governments and international institutions take the role of decision-makers.

There is scope for more involvement at the individual level: personal growth could be used to drive global change in a bottom-up approach. But two factors stand in the way of such involvement: first, departure from community-based living and increasingly self-centered individual attitudes; and second, busy and stressful lifestyles that further aggravate such egocentric tendencies.

Recent developments in affective, social and contemplative neurosciences show that empathy, compassion, a sense of fairness and other "social emotions" required for more "other-focused" perceptions of the world can be trained in a way similar to physical or mental skills. While the importance of fitness and mental faculties for economic performance is widely recognized, the value of "social and emotional intelligence" is still underappreciated. This is despite growing evidence that appropriate training is effective in changing brain functions to stimulate moral consciousness, personal responsibility, cooperation and "prosocial" behavior.

How can prosocial behavior be stimulated? What extrinsic incentives for prosocial behavior could be developed without crowding out intrinsic motivation? And how can intrinsic motivation for socially beneficial actions be intensified?

    Solutions

    Solution
    Symposium 2012

    Make mental training facilities widely available in educational institutions and the workplace, to improve physical and mental health.

    Make mental training facilities widely available in educational institutions and the workplace, to improve physical and mental health.

    Make mental training facilities widely available in educational institutions and the workplace, to improve physical and mental health.

    Polity, Business
    Solution
    Symposium 2012

    Provide mindfulness and compassion training to preschool children as a standard component of their education.

    Provide mindfulness and compassion training to preschool children as a standard component of their education.

    Provide mindfulness and compassion training to preschool children as a standard component of their education.

    Polity, Academia, Business, Civil Society
    Solution
    Symposium 2012

    Make mindfulness and compassion training available for the teachers and the parents of preschool children, to reinforce the children’s training.

    Make mindfulness and compassion training available for the teachers and the parents of preschool children, to reinforce the children’s training.

    Make mindfulness and compassion training available for the teachers and the parents of preschool children, to reinforce the children’s training.

    Polity, Civil Society
    Solution
    Symposium 2012

    Encourage business enterprises to establish "mental gyms" in the workplace.

    Encourage business enterprises to establish "mental gyms" in the workplace.

    Encourage business enterprises to establish "mental gyms" in the workplace.

    Business
    Solution
    Symposium 2012

    Make mindfulness and compassion training available to journalists as a catalyst for turning significant caring activities into news.

    Make mindfulness and compassion training available to journalists as a catalyst for turning significant caring activities into news.

    Make mindfulness and compassion training available to journalists as a catalyst for turning significant caring activities into news.

    Civil Society

    Proposals

    Proposal
    Symposium 2012

    Mental training as an opportunity to optimize mental health necessary in a caring society

    Introduce mental training facilities and courses into schools and businesses to optimize not only physical but also mental health necessary for a more caring society. Since centuries, Western Society ...

    Introduce mental training facilities and courses into schools and businesses to optimize not only physical but also mental health necessary for a more caring society. Since centuries, Western Society recognizes the benefit of maintaining physical health necessary for a productive society and thus big firms, hotels, and schools have introduced sport and fitness facilities within their own buildings around the globe. What has been forgotten is that we have the capacity to also train our mental faculties such as attention, meta-cognition, emotion-regulation faculties, and even prosocial motivation and compassion. Training these mental faculties does not only make us more efficient,

    Polity, Academia, Business, Civil Society
    Proposal
    Symposium 2012

    Mental Training Towards A Thoughtful Economy?

    Mental Training towards a Thoughtful Economy 1. Background Challenge Recent events have raised serious concerns about the capacity of economic systems to deliver just and sustainable economies capable ...

    Mental Training towards a Thoughtful Economy 1. Background Challenge Recent events have raised serious concerns about the capacity of economic systems to deliver just and sustainable economies capable of delivering long-term social welfare and human potential. Indicators include rising inequality, sub-optimal use of human and natural resources and consequential threats to stability, depletion of the global commons, ruptures in the social contract and planetary survival. Although difficult to measure and subject to debates about historical norms there is also a strong impression of increasing social and psychological alienation – increased rates of drug use, mental disturbance, and abusive relationships, etc.

    Polity, Academia, Business, Civil Society

    Background Paper

    Background Paper
    Symposium 2012

    Towards a Caring Economy

    Polity, Academia, Business, Civil Society