We live more fulfilling lives when we are motivated to make positive contributions to society. The Center’s programs are designed to help us redirect our creative energies into enlightened actions that renew personal motivation and sustain our communities and societies.


Ethics Initiative

As an interdisciplinary think tank on ethical responsibility in science, engineering, business, and public policy, The Center organizes public conferences and private roundtable discussions designed to catalyze innovative systems thinking on complex, global challenges facing humanity. Videos of many of The Center’s public programs are available here.

The Center develops innovative curricula for teaching ethics, avoiding prescriptive approaches and using hands-on activities to stimulate reflection and life-transforming personal growth. Our first program began with weekend workshops for MIT undergraduate and graduate students, whose immediate, enthusiastic response revealed an untapped hunger to explore questions of meaningful life purpose and their role as future leaders with huge potential impact in the world.

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Transformative Leadership
Target: University Students & Executives / USA, India, Mexico, Indonesia

In a program created with MIT Sloan School and adopted at other leading business and management schools, students explore how to align professional values with their deep personal values and develop reflective thinking skills for ethical leadership.

Enlightened Leadership: Organizational and Executive Ethics

Target: Corporation Executives and Governments / Global

The Center has designed ethical leadership training modules for delivery in corporate and other institutional settings, addressing unique challenges ranging from systemic corruption to the particular needs of CEOs.

Ethics Training
Target: Undergraduate and Graduate Students/ Specialized professionals / USA and India

The Center develops training curricula tailored to the ethical challenges of specialized professional fields, including scientists, researchers, and police officers.

Young Peace Leaders & Compassionate Young Leaders Programs

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Transformative Teachers
Target: Middle and High School Teachers/ Global

Transformative Teachers provides teachers with the tools and methods for fostering resilient and ethical young leaders. This program supports two ongoing initiatives to develop ethics and leadership among youth: Young Peace Leaders, targeting elementary and middle school aged children, and Compassionate Young Leaders for young adults in high school and university.

Through interactive workshops that engage teachers in discussion, introspection and experimentation, the Transformative Teachers program trains teachers to integrate the development of cognitive skills, social-emotional understanding, and ethical purpose; enabling teachers to make a profound and lasting impact on their students. 

Click here for more information.

Compassionate Young Leaders
Target: High School Students (Ages 15-17) /Undergraduate Students/ UAE, USA and India

The Center is running programs for high school students, exploring how compassionate leadership can be taught to youth, and pairing schools in the USA and India to build global community.

Young Peace Leaders (YPL) is an innovative, trans-media initiative designed to promote personal transformation and cross-cultural understanding among 10-14 year-olds around the world. By teaching awareness, compassion, and right action, the project will promote character development and global citizenship through the cultivation of inner values. YPL participants will also see how their personal transformation can lead to them take part in global transformation.

The video game at the center of the YPL initiative is unlike any other, modeling and encouraging compassionate action between players and across cultures. In the game, players help an ancient race of beings from another planet by using the power of personal interconnection. Students who work cooperatively, with classmates and with other young people around the world, are rewarded. In place of the usual warfare model used in most games—where single players battle each other to win the game, and use varying amounts of violence to succeed—YPL offers a vibrant and engaging gaming environment that encourages positive action and cooperative thinking.

Global Ethics Literacy

The Global Literacy Collaborative, a consortium of MIT MediaLab, The Center at MIT, Tufts University and Georgia State University, has launched a program for children as young as 4 and 5, using interactive tools to promote literacy and understanding of secular ethics and transformative values. Click here to read more…

Fellows Program at MIT 

The Center offers fellowships to individuals dedicated to extending the reach of science and technology to serve humanity’s greatest needs with sustainable, ethical commitment.


Some of Our Newer Initiatives:

20 Day Stranger: An App promoting “non-biased” awareness and empathy
A collaboration between the MIT Media Lab, The Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values at MIT

20 Day Stranger is an iPhone app that reveals intimate, shared connections between two anonymous individuals. It’s a mobile experience that exchanges one person’s experience of the world with another’s, while preserving anonymity on both sides.

For 20 days, you and a stranger will experience the world in your own way, together. You’ll never know who it is or exactly where they are, but we hope it will reveal enough about someone to build your  imagination of their life… and more broadly, the imagination of strangers everywhere. Click here for more information.

Vocal Vibrations
A collaboration between the MIT Media Lab, The Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values at MIT and Le Laboratoire (Paris)

Vocal Vibrations is a voice and body experiment that will explore the relationship between human physiology and resonant vibrations.  Human health famously influences the voice.  This project explores the hypothesis that the voice – by focusing internally augmented, and externally applied, vibrations – can influence mental and physical health through observable physicochemical phenomena in the body and in ways consonant with  - and extrapolating from – a range of contemplative practices.

Vocal Vibrations, an original installation and design, invites the public to discover the relationship between sound vibrations stimulated by voice and their effects on human physiology, with sensory, unique and exceptional experience. This experience has been realized in collaboration with The Venerable Tenzin Priyadarshi, Director of the Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values of MIT, the bold-design studio, Professor Craig Carter of MIT, Situ Fabrication, Stratasys, and a team composed of MIT researchers Elly Jessop, Rebecca Kleinberger, Charles Holbrow, and Al Grodzinsky.

Vocal Vibrations, which builds around currently researched relationships between self-voice vibrations and cellular, tissue, and body health, opened to the public at Le Lebaoratoire in Paris in March 2014, and will travel to the new Laboratoire in Cambridge Massachusetts (Lab Cambridge) in Fall 2014, and after this to other international sites.

Science, Monks, and Technology (SMT Leadership Program)
Target: US, India, Nepal

SMT Leadership Program aims to bridge the gap between theory and praxis for Tibetan monastic and science students by developing and implementing innovative solutions to address the immediate needs of the Tibetan diaspora community.

Participants will gain an understanding of ethics and values based leadership and entrepreneurship, while working in teams consisting of local community members and faculty and students from US universities. The strong service-learning component of this program requires that teams put their  model projects into action, whether they are solar solutions to generate electricity and potable water or the creation of a science center to incubate future learning opportunities.  Successful projects will have the ability to be scaled up to make greater impacts in the wider community.

(in partnership with Sager Family Foundation)