Welcome to the Compassionate Systems Community at J-WEL | MIT J-WEL

Welcome to the Compassionate Systems Community at J-WEL

What is Compassionate Systems?

An essential question for the future of education is how to help students understand and respond mindfully and compassionately to the interconnected systemic challenges in our world. These challenges are both global - like climate change, human migration and poverty - and very local, like substance abuse, stress, and cliques and bullying in school. Rather than feeling overwhelmed by the complexity, we believe that the innovations in systems thinking education and social and emotional learning and mindfulness that have occurred over the past two decades can build a cognitive and affective foundation of skills essential for students in today’s world.

We draw from established SEL models, together with developments in the emerging field of complexity science and the study of systems, to establish a framework—what we call a “compassionate systems” framework—for building a cognitive and affective foundation for global citizenship. This framework conceptualizes compassion as an essentially systemic property of mind: to cultivate compassion is to be able to appreciate the systemic forces that influence people’s feelings, thoughts and actions.

"The world is more interconnected than ever before. And yet with the way our societies have evolved, in many ways we seem to become more and more fragmented. Compassionate Systems is a way to engage with the complexity of life on our planet, without getting emotionally  overwhelmed by the challenges we as a global population are facing. The framework is developed to cultivate cognitive and affective foundation for global citizenship.”