Press Release

Cambridge, Mass., February 16, 2011 – His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama made a personal contribution of $50,000 to The Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values at MIT. With this generous gift His Holiness wishes to recognize the Center’s accomplishments in promoting compassion and ethical leadership despite the short time since its inception. The gift, made through the Dalai Lama Trust based in New York, bolsters the Center’s mission as an interdisciplinary, non-denominational forum where the bond between ethics, values, and leadership is openly explored and effectively taught.

Since its inauguration in April 2009, The Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values at MIT has focused on education to cultivate an ethical framework that fosters compassion and meaning. Recent programs sponsored by the Center include thinkers such as David M. Walker, President and CEO of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation speaking about “Comeback America: Turning the Country Around and Restoring Fiscal Responsibility”; and Don Morrison, Chief Operating Officer of Research In Motion speaking about “Integrity and Inner Transformation”. The Center has also been instrumental in promoting principled and ethical leadership through its Transformative Leadership seminars which trains participants to re-evaluate and strengthen certain leadership qualities that defines them best. These seminars have been offered at Schools of Management at MIT, Yale, and Cornell as well as in universities in India and Mexico.

The Center has also sponsored programs such as the Ethics Initiative, a series of free-spirited conversations between students and leading experts and faculty, that center on ethical issues, the societal responsibilities of scientists and engineers, and the complex problems we face in technology, education, engineering and science in today’s modern world. Conferences and lectures in other countries such as Mexico and India are expanding the reach of the Center beyond MIT. A complete list of the Center’s recent and upcoming programs can be found at http://thecenter.mit.edu

“Almost two years into our efforts we are already seeing positive effects. Conversations across disciplines regarding ethical concerns have begun well,” said the Venerable Tenzin Priyadarshi, Director of The Center for Ethics and Transformative Values at MIT. “There is much more that we can do and this generous contribution from His Holiness the Dalai Lama will help us expand our programs to positively impact the ethical and humane dimensions of life,”

“What we are seeing is a broadening of an important conversation that would not have been possible a few years ago and as people talk the world gets smaller,” added Robert M. Randolph, Sr. Associate Dean at MIT. “This is a hopeful time to be alive.”

About The Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values at MIT

An inclusive and collaborative think tank, the Center fosters inquiry and dialog between scientists, technologists, policy-makers and religious leaders concerning ethical responsibility and compassionate leadership. Nobel Peace Laureates His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Mairead Maguire, Betty Williams, and Jody Williams are founding and honorary members. The Center creates educational programs that transform the conversation about the global and long term social, economic and environmental impact of the decisions being made by a new generation of leaders. For more information, visit http://thecenter.mit.edu

The Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values at MIT
T: 617.324.6030

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