Altruism The Power of Compassion to Change Yourself and the World

Broadcast on July 08, 2015
With Matthieu Ricard

This talk will distinguish the difference between compassion and altruism. We will discuss how to move from a “me” to “we” mindset and co-create an altruistic society that addresses major challenges of our time - from personal to planetary issues.

For more resources on putting compassion into action and a summary of the entire Global Compassion Summit, please visit

Matthieu Ricard

Founder of Karuna-Shechen, Buddhist Monk, Author

Matthieu Ricard is a French, Buddhist monk who holds a Ph.D. in Cellular Genetics. He is a brilliant thinker, photographer and a global pioneer in pointing out the importance of happiness, mindfulness, and altruism. Matthieu is the founder of Karuna-Shechen, a humanitarian organization that provides healthcare, education and social services for under-served peoples of India, Nepal and Tibet. He is the recipient of the French National Order of Merit for humanitarian works. Matthieu has been studying Buddhism in the Himalayas for last 40 years and has been the French interpreter for the Dalai Lama since 1989. He is active in scientific research on effects of meditation on the brain and he has been called, “the happiest man in the world” based on scans of his brain.   Matthieu is the author of several books, including, The Monk and the Philosopher; Happiness; The Art of Meditation and in French, Plaidoyer pour l'altruisme. In his last book Happiness, Matthieu demonstrates that true happiness is not tied to fleeting moments or sensations, but is rooted in mindfulness and compassion for others. With his upcoming book, Altruism: The Power of Compassion to Change Yourself and the World, now he turns his lens from the personal to the global with a rousing argument that altruism--genuine concern for the well-being of others--could be the saving grace of the 21st century. Altruism is, Matthieu believes, the vital thread that can answer the main challenges of our time: the economy in the short term, life satisfaction in the mid-term, and environment in the long term.