Compassionate Action Network International ("CAN International") is a worldwide organization registered as a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation in the United States. Its principal offices are in Seattle.
Over 154,000 people participated in 5-day event held in Seattle in April 2008.
More than 7 million viewed the event online.
For one week in April 2008, Seattle, Washington USA hosted an unprecedented event — The Seeds of Compassion. “Seeds” was an historic series of public gatherings, discussions, and workshops that galvanized individuals, networks, and organizations around the world.
Anchored by the deep wisdom of the Dalai Lama, Bishop Desmond Tutu and other luminaries, this community-focused event celebrated and explored the relationships, programs, and tools that nurture and empower children, families and communities to be compassionate members of society. Each of the five days provided those present an opportunity to better understand the real benefits of compassion, and concrete steps on how to bring compassion into their lives.
In addition, community and spiritual leaders, educators and writers, researchers and thinkers all gathered to share their wisdom, ideas, and questions with tens of thousands of others. Parents, children, youth, teachers, activists, politicians and philanthropists were prompted to consider how we can help Seeds of Compassion continue to resonate for many years after April 2008. One of the outcomes that came out of that process was Compassionate Action Network International.
With the Seeds of Compassion providing a strong foundation and with a strong passion and commitment to give form to the desire for compassionate action, CAN International began building a worldwide organization to help foster a culture of compassion. In mid-2009, CAN International received its nonprofit status.
CAN International dedicates itself to nurturing compassion and compassionate action in our children, ourselves, and our world, and works to embody, promote, and engage in compassionate action.
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On February 28, 2008 acclaimed scholar and best-selling author Karen Armstrong received the TED Prize and made a wish — to help create, launch, and propagate a Charter for Compassion. After much work and the contribution of thousands of people. the Charter was unveiled to the world on November 12, 2009.
Inspired by the Charter, CAN International worked to have the City of Seattle affirm the Charter and declare its support for a 10-year campaign for creating a compassionate city. In April, 2010, the Seattle Mayor and City Council unveiled the Compassionate Seattle proclamation. Karen Armstrong was the keynote speaker for that event.
By the end of 2010, CAN International launched the International Campaign for Compassionate Cities and created the CAN International Institute to act as the home for the Campaign and to provide support for those wishing to launch local campaigns in their towns, cities, counties, states and provinces, countries, universities, businesses, and other places where people gather.
From its volunteer beginnings, CAN International has grown into an organization serving people and organizations internationally. CAN' International'ss current area is the work of CAN International Institute.
Yaffa Maritz, Chair
Heide Felton, Co-Vice Chair
Jeff Vander Clute
Rita Hibbard, Interim Executive Director and International Cities Campaign Director
Ari Cowan, Fellow of CAN International
Pam Kilborn-Miller, Program Director of Charter for Compassion