About the IICC

Following the successful initiative to establish Seattle, Washington as the first city in the world to affirm the charter for compassion and to declare its support for the 10-year campaign for compassionate cities, the Compassion Action Network created a continuing, sustainable, and effective International Campaign for Compassionate Cities. CAN maintains a successful and effective networking process for those working to bring the campaign to their cities. The International Institute for Compassionate Cities augments CAN’s networking process by gathering information, providing that information to a broad range of individuals and organizations, and offering a variety of educational programs and gatherings focusing on effective implementation and sustainability.

The Institute was established to serve as a means by which a broad range of people can quickly, conveniently and inexpensively get critical information, training and tools (such as best practices and validated research) necessary to present a credible presentation to city and regional governments, as well as resources for building the culture of compassion in these cities.


The mission of the International Institute for Compassionate Cities is to support the mission of the Compassionate Action Network (“CAN”), support those moving forward to establish a culture of compassion in their cities and regions, and to further the knowledge, value and embodiment of compassion. We achieve our mission through sincere, heart-felt, innovative, practical and cost-effective educational tools and opportunities.

What We Value

We value:

Compassion — A deep and abiding understanding of the sorrow and suffering in the world.

Action — The importance of moving beyond aspirations, intent and plans to concrete action with tangible, measurable results.

Connection — A compassionate, patient, respectful, reverent and authentic connection to others as we fulfill our mission.

Wisdom — A thoughtful and heartfelt consideration of situations and options including the core purpose of CAN and the IICC, value to others, and tangible outcomes, tempered by appropriateness and timing in making decisions and taking action.

Integrity — The power of one’s word to others; operating with head, heart and mouth in alignment; being fully present with a willingness to be exposed and authentic.

Responsiveness — A spirit of welcoming to change, new horizons and the opportunities to effectively respond to the ever shifting  needs of those we serve.

Responsibility — Individual accountability and membership in our works, engaging in actions that bring results in alignment with the mission of the Compassionate Action Network.


Our goals include:

  1. Supporting the propagation of the Charter for Compassion.
  2. Collecting information and resources from those who are in the process of or who have completed the establishment of a compassionate city.
  3. Providing information, educational programs and resources to build proficiency and effectiveness for those developing compassionate cities campaigns.
  4. Identifying best practices for establishing, maintaining and enhancing a culture of compassion in cities throughout the world.
  5. Disseminating information on best practices, effective approaches and current developments on the progress of the campaign.
  6. Researching needs, opinions and campaign effectiveness.
  7. Collaborating with a broad range of individuals, groups, agencies, organizations, and initiatives to further the effort to affirm the Charter for Compassion and the establishment of compassionate cities.


Institute activities include:

  1. Providing a broad range of resources for initiatives in other cities and current information on initiatives throughout the world via the web.
  2. Conducting regional, national and international conferences and symposia.
  3. Offering training programs on-site, at the IICC training facility and via the internet including certification programs and programs for government.
  4. Conducting an international public information campaign, including publishing, video/film production, television programming and related media channels.
  5. Establishing an international Association of Compassionate Cities.
  6. Researching the impact of the campaigns via university-sponsored programs, opinion polls, online evaluations and other research methodologies.
  7. Collaborating with other groups to promote, develop and implement campaigns.