Press Release

The Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values at MIT has received a generous gift from Pierre and Pam Omidyar to help meet increasing demand for its programs. The funding will be provided over three years and is intended to help support and expand operations, staffing and infrastructure related to the Center’s ethics programs for middle schools, high schools and universities across the country.

“Global crises like the financial meltdown highlight not only the complex and interdependent world that we live in, but also the urgent need for ethical leadership. Pam and I are proud to support The Center’s work on integrating ethics, compassion and resilience into our nation’s schools through leadership training programs and collaborative learning environments,” said philanthropist Pierre Omidyar. “The Center’s work complements existing efforts across the Omidyar Group to foster leadership and our conviction that the world thrives when we prioritize treating others with compassion, dignity and a respect for diversity.”

Based on sound scientific research and impact measurement protocols, the Center aims to reinvigorate a culture of ethics in schools and deepen students’ sense of purpose and connection to others. The Center’s innovative approach covers a variety of educational and research initiatives, including the development of practically-oriented teaching curriculum for ethics and leadership, designing interactive media to promote compassion and interconnectedness and creating forums for dialogue and investigation into personal responsibility and moral purpose among researchers, educators and the broader community.

The gift to the Center will be managed by the Omidyar Group’s HopeLab, a nonprofit organization founded by Pam Omidyar that combines a science-based approach with human factors research to develop tools that improve health and well-being. Insights from the Center’s innovative programs will further inform HopeLab’s efforts to enhance human resilience in the face of adversity by fostering a sense of purpose, connection and control in the everyday lives of individuals.

“The generous support provided by Pierre and Pam Omidyar will make a significant contribution to the Center’s activities, both deepening and widening the impact of our programs,” explained Venerable Tenzin Priyadarshi, Founder and Director of the Center at MIT. “The Omidyars and the Center at MIT share a common vision for the potential to harness the impact of leadership and ethics programs for positive social purpose. We value our engagement with them and their support very highly.”

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

The Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values at MIT is dedicated to inquiry, dialogue, and education on the ethical and humane dimensions of life. As a collaborative and nonpartisan think tank, the Center focuses on the development of interdisciplinary research and programs in varied fields of knowledge, from science and technology to education and international relations. Our programs emphasize responsibility and examine meaningfulness and moral purpose between individuals, organizations, and societies. The Center was founded to honor the vision of the Fourteenth Dalai Lama and his call for a holistic education that includes the development of human and global ethics.

About Pierre and Pam Omidyar

EBay founder and chairman Pierre Omidyar, and his wife Pam, are active philanthropists guided by a common set of values and a deeply rooted belief in humanity. Working across many sectors and geographies, the Omidyars have contributed more than $1 billion to causes ranging from economic and human rights advancement for the underserved to technology for improving human health and well-being and sustainable solutions for their home state of Hawaii. To fulfill their mission Pierre and Pam created four organizations: HopeLab, Humanity United, Omidyar Network, and Ulupono Initiative. While each organization across the Omidyar Group has a specific focus, they are united in that they all aim to create opportunity for people to improve their quality of life. For more information about the Omidyars’ philanthropy, please visit www.omidyargroup.com.

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