As one of the most important cultural institutions affecting individual and social life, business must become a driver for constructive personal and social change. If we are to engender a world in which people act out of an awareness of our common humanity, innate potential, and inherent interdependence business must be a part of this process. As an element of a larger strategy to bring human values into the business world, the Center for Compassion, Integrity and Secular Ethics (CCISE) has partnered with etsy.org. Together we seek to encourage small business owners to learn more about the importance of secular ethics, understand how basic human values impact their businesses and how to cultivate these values in their organizations and in their clients.
Etsy.org is an independent non-profit organization launched by etsy.com in 2015 “to build business education programs that foster the confidence, clarity, and compassion needed to work in ways that regenerate our lives, our enterprises, and our communities.” Currently, it works towards this mission through the Good Work Institute, a place-based program it created that brings together cohorts of entrepreneurs to learn together over an extended period of time. The Institute’s curriculum stresses the importance of compassion and an awareness of interdependence as key pillars in achieving these goals.
The Center for Compassion, Integrity and Secular Ethics has partnered with etsy.org to integrate Compassionate Integrity Training (CIT) into the etsy.org Good Works curriculum launching in June 2016. Compassionate Integrity Training was developed at the Center to provide training in ethical mindfulness, emotional awareness, inner values, prosocial emotions and discernment for a variety of populations on a secular ethics model that employs contemplative pedagogy. Our staff has been working with etsy.org team members to train them in the primary components of CIT. This effort includes working with etsy.org to seamlessly integrate these skills and practices into their overall curriculum. Additionally, the Center is working with etsy.org to develop a research and assessment strategy. Through this collaboration we will capture data about the impact of the Good Work Institute in general, and Compassionate Integrity Training, specifically, on the members of the cohort.