Thom Bond: “Teaching Compassion at Scale” | Talks at Google

Thom Bond, founder New York Center for Nonviolent Communication (NYCNVC), visited Google MTV to discuss the Compassion Course Online (compassioncourse.org). Since 2011, more than 12,000 people in 110 countries have learned to communicate compassionately through this year-long course. As a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), it grows in participation every year and is now offered in four languages, funded entirely through donations.

Moderated by Earl J. Wagner, Google’s local Compassionate Communication trainer and Google engineer.

The Engineers and the Price System

Veblen proposed a soviet of engineers in one chapter in “The Engineers and the Price System.” Veblen believed that engineers, not workers, would overthrow capitalism. He had a penchant for socialism and believed that technological developments would eventually lead toward a socialistic organization of economic affairs. However, his views on socialism and the nature of the evolutionary process of economics differed sharply from that of Karl Marx; while Marx saw socialism as the ultimate goal for civilization and saw the working class as the group that would establish it, Veblen saw socialism as one intermediate phase in an ongoing evolutionary process in society that would be brought about by the natural decay of the business enterprise system and by the inventiveness of engineers. A classic work.

Designing the Future

A Future by Design

Are you prepared to design the future?

Although many of us feel we can prepare for our future by thinking, acting, and learning using present methods and values, nothing is farther from the truth – especially in today’s rapidly changing world. A newborn child enters a world not of his or her own making. Each succeeding generation inherits the values, accomplishments, hopes, successes, and failings of previous generations. And they inherit the results of the decisions made by those generations.

For the hundreds of thousands of years of human existence when technologies were simple or non-existent, this may have had little impact on human life and the earth that sustains it. Each generation of hunters and gatherers, then plowmen and pioneers, passed on tools to the next generation to help them survive. Change from one generation to the next was slow and hardly noticeable. In those days there was little understanding of science and how things worked, and explanations were not scientific.

This is no longer the case in today’s high-tech world where a change that affects millions may happen in a matter of seconds. A child born today inherits a world vastly different from that of its parent’s generation, let alone that from centuries ago. Previous generations left a legacy of, exploitation, occupation, and irrelevant values that present great challenges, but also opportunities to the people of today.

The application of scientific principles, for better or worse, accounts for every single advance that has improved people’s lives. Important documents and proclamations have been issued granting rights and privileges to members of societies, but at the heart of human progress – or destruction – is the rock-solid foundation of science.

For generations past it was impossible to direct the future much beyond the present moment, and forecasts of the future were based on non- scientific methods. Prophets and sages presented visions of the future based on dreams, hallucinations, religious fervor, divination of animal parts, crystal balls, etc. Some may even have been accurate, but this was more because of luck than because of any direct channel to the supernatural.

Now satellites circle the globe beaming down information in fractions of a second about everything that impacts our lives. This information is very valuable for projecting weather patterns, high and low points, geological hot and cold spots, where people live, and the warming of the planet. This has given us, for the first time, the ability to monitor the health of the planet, which many scientists see as in serious, if not critical, condition.

In a single day, trillions of bits of scientific data zip through cyberspace at light-speed, making a high-tech civilization possible. While physical science and technology silently direct much of the action, millions of people around the globe still practice pseudo-science, using fortune- tellers, seers, and philosophers for their daily direction. Many world leaders regularly consult psychics, mediums, and astrologers for guidance in decisions that determine the fate of millions.

Present human activity and its consequences does not have to be shaped by the needs and values of our ancestors. In fact, it must not be. For instance, armed conflict between nations is still seen by many as the only way to settle differences. It is especially promoted by those who profit handsomely from the sale of armaments. This is now totally unacceptable and dangerous because of war’s extreme human and environmental costs.

A militant viewpoint is obsolete once we view the world as a whole interrelated system with all its people as one family. Managing accelerating changes in technology and managing ourselves require new outlooks and approaches. This is now both necessary and possible because of technological change.

These lessons are designed to challenge the reader to direct the future; not just one’s own, but that of society

The Compassion Course

From Thom:

The NYCNVC Compassion Course is the result of my last 28 years as a writer and trainer, and the past 15 years, studying, living and teaching Nonviolent Communication (NVC). It’s my way of making the skills of compassionate living available to anyone, regardless of time and money constraints.

The 2016 Compassion Course (currently in progress) has more than 5,000 participants from over 100 countries. For six years running, this course has proven to be “life-changing”, “fun” and “transformational” (check out the quotes below).

How It Works

Through weekly email messages, the course imparts concepts, stories and practices that empower us to be more compassionate. We learn clear practices that help us and those around us, have more understanding and well-being in our lives (see sample weeks below). The weekly messages explain and demonstrate ways of thinking, speaking and acting that allow us to get through conflict without hurting or hating.

As a global community, we share resources including links and exercises, message forums, conferences and enjoy a sense of connection and expanded learning while preserving personal space and time. The weekly email messages will include access to multiple message boards, access to archived messages, conference recordings, documents, video content, special exercise pages and more.

Why It Works

In the same way that we humans have developed other technologies, the technology of compassion has developed too. This course provides clear, specific ideas and practices to help us experience more compassion, understanding, harmony and fun. That said, it is challenging and calls on our perseverance, practice, focus and dedication.

Through practical steps, the course provides the “how to” of creating more connection, understanding and compassion in our daily lives… a way to create a world we will be happy to leave our children’s children. It is my honor and dream to share this with you for the sixth year. I hope you will join me.

*warm grateful smile*

Thom