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.