“What is the relevance of pro-social motivation and altruism in competitive systems such as the dominant Western economic system?” This is one of the questions that was posed during the 2010 Mind and Life dialogue entitled “Altruism and Compassion in Economic Systems: A Dialogue at the Interface of Economics, Neuroscience, and Contemplative Sciences.” We are so pleased to announce the publication of Caring Economics—the latest in the series of books based on these dialogues.
In 2010, international experts in psychology, contemplative science, and neuroscience gathered to share in this dialogue. The thread that wove through the conversation was their interest in economic decision-making, cooperation, and pro-social emotions and behavior, along with a mutual inquiry into innovative economic systems that could lead to a global economy focused on compassion and altruism.
In Caring Economics, edited by MLI board member Tania Singer and Fellow Matthieu Ricard, we have the opportunity to re-experience those conversations. Each chapter consists of a presentation by an expert in the field, followed by a discussion with the Dalai Lama in which he offers his response and his own unique insights on the subject. As the Dalai Lama states, this dialogue leads us to perhaps the most important need of all, “to examine the connection between economic systems and our quest for happiness.”