During 2015 Australia21 Director Dr Lynne Reeder, together with an Australia21 advisory group, conducted a pilot research project, Empathy Conversations – Testing Their Effectiveness as a Policy Resource – A Pilot Study. This multi-disciplinary study suggested that guided empathy conversations can assist in bringing those with ‘unlike’ lived experiences into a shared connection and common experience of humanity within a policy setting.
Following from this, Australia21 held a forum at the University of Melbourne in June 2016 entitled ‘Mindfulness, Empathy and Compassion: The Building Blocks of a Mindful Nation’. The Forum presented and canvassed opinions from a range of sectors on the role mindfulness, empathy and compassion have to play in the public and private sectors.
It was clear there is significant interest in investigating how we can incorporate mindfulness, empathy and compassion into Australia’s political, industry, health, education and community sectors. The feedback from the forum highlighted the complexity of these areas and that there is an urgent need for more discussion, collaboration and examination of how mindfulness, empathy and compassion can be applied, the barriers to implementation and consideration of top down/bottom up approaches etc.
In today’s world companies and governments will be better served if there is greater awareness and understanding of the benefits of mindfulness, empathy and compassion and how these can be implemented. Australia21 is currently working with other groups to take a lead role in developing a more systemic approach to integrating mindfulness, empathy and compassion into Australia.
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