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Power and Care

Toward Balance for Our Common Future-Science, Society, and Spirituality

Tania Singer, PhD |  Matthieu Ricard |  Kate Karius
Publication Date:
May 07, 2019
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Leading thinkers from a range of disciplines discuss the compatibility of power and care, in conversation with the Dalai Lama.

For more than thirty years, the Dalai Lama has been in dialogue with thinkers from a range of disciplines, helping to support pathways for knowledge to increase human wellbeing and compassion. These conversations, which began as private meetings, are now part of the Mind & Life Institute and Mind & Life Europe. This book documents a recent Mind & Life Institute dialogue with the Dalai Lama and others on two fundamental forces: power and care—power over and care for others in human societies.

The notion of power is essentially neutral; power can be used to benefit others or to harm them, to build or to destroy. Care, on the other hand, is not a neutral force; it aims at increasing the wellbeing of others. Power and care are not incompatible: power, imbued with care, can achieve more than a powerless motivation to care; power, without the intention to benefit others, can be ruthless. The contributors—who include such celebrated figures as Frans B. M. de Waal, Olafur Eliasson, Sarah Blaffer Hrdy, and Jody Williams—discuss topics including the interaction of power and care among our closest relatives, the chimpanzees; the effect of meditation and mental training practices on the brain; the role of religion in promoting peace and compassion; and the new field of Caring Economics.



Tania Singer, PhD's Profile

Tania Singer, PhD Related seminars and products

Tania Singer, PhD, Scientific head of the Social Neuroscience Lab, Max Planck Society, Berlin, Germany. Her research focus is on the hormonal, neuronal, and developmental basis of human sociality, empathy and compassion, and their malleability through mental training. She is the principal investigator of a large-scale, nine-month longitudinal mediation based mental training study, The ReSource Project, and investigates together with Dennis Snower how psychology can inform new models of Caring Economics.


Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Dr. Tania Singer has an employment relationship with the Max Planck Society. She is a researcher at the Charité - Universitaetsmedizin and the University of Zurich. She receives royalties as a published author, and she receives a speaking honorarium and recording royalties from PESI, Inc. She has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.
Non-financial: Dr. Tania Singer is a member of the Young Avademy or Europe (YAE) and the Interdisciplinary Forum Neurourbanistics. She is a fellow of the International Positive Psychology Association (IPPA). Dr. Singer is an honorary member of the Österreichischer Bundesverband für Achtsamkeit/Mindfulness (ÖBAM) and Mind & Life Europe. She is a member of several scientific organizations; for a complete list, please contact


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