The study of compassion is gaining increasing attention. Yet to date, there is little consensus on what compassion is, how it is to be cultivated, or whether compassion is the appropriate term to capture a range of complex motivations, capacities and behaviors deemed critical not only to our survival, but also to our collective evolution or awakening. Various conceptions of compassion are articulated in diverse contemplative traditions and scientific disciplines. Though interest in the study and practice of compassion is increasing, little scholarly attention has been paid to the differences between these conceptualizations or to the implications that such differences might have for training, research and application. This Think Tank convened a working group of leaders in compassion research, scholarship, and practice to develop an account of different models of compassion from which we will design a collaborative, interdisciplinary research agenda for the field.  A long-term goal is to form a professional learning circle of colleagues committed to community building, knowledge- and resource-sharing, and socially-engaged advocacy work.


Brooke D. Lavelle, PhD

Courage of Care Coalition

Convening Faculty, Grantee, Reviewer

Brooke D. Lavelle, PhD, is the Co-Founder and President of the Courage of Care Coalition, a nonprofit dedicated to facilitating the co-creation of a more just, compassionate world. Together with her … MORE

Paul Condon, PhD

Southern Oregon University

Fellow, Grantee, Reviewer

Dr. Paul Condon is a professor of psychology at Southern Oregon University in Ashland, Oregon. His research examines the impact of meditation on social processes–including compassion, moral decision-making, and emotion … MORE

John Dunne, PhD

University of Wisconsin-Madison

John Dunne’s work focuses on Buddhist philosophy and contemplative practice, especially in dialog with Cognitive Science. His publications range from technical works on Buddhist epistemology to broader works on the … MORE


Helen Weng, PhD

University of California, San Francisco

Convening Faculty, Fellow, Grantee, Reviewer

Wendy Hasenkamp, PhD

Science Director, Mind & Life Institute

Planning Committee Member, Reviewer

Gaelle Desbordes, PhD

Independent Researcher

Fellow, Grantee, Planning Committee Member, Reviewer

Yoona Kang, PhD

University of Pennsylvania

Convening Faculty, Grantee, Reviewer

Lisa Flook, PhD

University of Wisconsin–Madison

Convening Faculty, Grantee, Reviewer

John Makransky, PhD

Boston College

Convening Faculty, Fellow

Wendy Farley

Emory University

Andrew Dreitcer, MDiv, PhD

Claremont School of Theology

Convening Faculty, Planning Committee Member

Jennifer Mascaro, PhD

Science & Grants Consultant, Mind & Life Institute; Emory University

Convening Faculty, Fellow, Grantee, Reviewer