The importance of being kind

2022-10-06 11:30:00 - 12:30:00
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Presenters: Professor Robin Banerjee and Dr Gillian Sandstrom, Centre for Research on Kindness, University of Sussex “Kindness is the golden chain by which society is bound together.” Johann Wolfgang Van Goethe From foodbanks, to youth social action, from palliative care to the practise of philanthropy itself, kindness is at the heart of so much of our – and your – work. Over the past few years words like ‘kindness’, ‘compassion’ and ‘empathy’ have become increasingly used in conversations about the challenges we face as a society, but how do we design ‘kindness’ into our systems and services and understand the difference it makes? This is why the Foundation supports the Sussex Centre for Research on Kindness, which brings together an interdisciplinary team of academics and diverse community partners to explore, investigate, and illuminate kindness and its impacts on people and communities. In this session Professor Robin Banerjee and Dr Gillian Sandstrom will explore the nature of kindness and its role in our lives.  Drawing on their recent involvement in designing and leading the BBC Kindness Test – a mass public science project on kindness carried out in partnership with the University of Sussex – they will share the latest insights into people’s experience of kindness, including:
  • what kindness looks like in different contexts;
  • what the benefits and potential risks are, including its relationship to burnout;
  • and the barriers to increasing kindness in our society. 
Their session will end with an interactive discussion of key directions for future work on the topic of kindness, especially in relation to a range of other global challenges and priorities. Who is it for? There is no Pears partner whose work does not touch on kindness in some way and this session is open to all Pears grantees.