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Education of the Heart symposium with H.H. the Dalai Lama

Education - or learning - has been a red thread throughout my life (as it might be for everyone). What would education look like when it's about the things that matter? It is the reason I founded Bright Future Lab in 2013.

One of the big shifts we need in education, I think, is a shift away from the rational, towards the heart. In a fast changing world that is up against massive challenges, we can find most of the practical answers we need in Google (or an alternative search engine). The type of questions Google cannot answer, but that seem all the more important in our time, are the questions our hearts can offer some insights on. We can train capacities of the heart such as courage, vulnerability, connection and resilience like a muscle. The more we cultivate these capacities - and build learning spaces that do - the more we are able to step into what is needed and asked of us in this time.

H.H. the Dalai Lama has been a strong advocate for an worldwide Education of the Heart: "My wish is that, one day, formal education will pay attention to the education of the heart, teaching love, compassion, justice, forgiveness, mindfulness, tolerance and peace. This education is necessary, from kindergarten to secondary schools and universities. I mean social, emotional and ethical learning. We need a worldwide initiative for educating heart and mind in this modern age."

On the 12th of May 2014, we brought together 600 students, teachers and decision makers at Erasmus University to explore this topic, learn from inspiring examples and engaging in a conversation with H.H. the Dalai Lama.

I felt very honoured to be able to be part of the organising team for this event, collaborating with Sander Tideman, Muriel Arts, Ger Rombouts, Janny Eekman and Esmée Woudstra, and for the opportunity to meet the Dalai Lama in person. (who would have thought?!)

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