Arianna Huffington on Empathy–Arianna Huffington wrote a book exploring what drives us to include the world around us in our individual caring

News on The Edge
Welcome to the Social Edge update!

A few years ago, Arianna Huffington wrote a book exploring what drives us to include the world around us in our individual caring. Not surprisingly then, she went to the Skoll World Forum last month to speak on a panel addressing Catastrophic Risk and Threats to the Global Commons.

This week, she is on Social Edge connecting empathy with social change. She writes: “Empathy is the one quality we most need if we’re going to survive and flourish in the twenty-first century.”

She refers to Jonas Salk, who was convinced we were transitioning from survival and competition to collaboration and meaning –a transition facilitated by this decade’s spectacular advances in technology and social media.

She agrees with Jeremy Rifkin that empathy lies at the very core of human existence –it’s not just a quaint behavior to be trotted out during a post-earthquake or tsunami mobile-thon.

The solutions to our problems will not come from the political, media, and financial institutions, but from each of us making a personal commitment and taking action. And for that, we will need “innovation nurtured by an entrepreneurial spirit, and empathy nurtured by a strong civil society.”

Great social entrepreneurs are able to combine their scientific and managerial expertise with their gifts for empathy. When Arianna Huffington reads their stories, she is reminded of the combustible creativity that results when empathy meets imagination, and, she says, “I am filled with hope.”

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Join this Week’s Live Discussions

Cultivating Empathy
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