Mindfulness has a lot to offer people working to promote positive change in society through campaigns, community projects, charity work and policy making. For those working on the front line of human suffering, such as aid workers, and on complex, interconnected issues such as climate change, burnout is a common problem. Mindfulness training can promote resilience, and build capacity to respond effectively in challenging and uncertain situations.
Mindfulness can also help change makers to work through conflict to achieve common goals, communicate more effectively and build better relationships within and between different interest groups. The cognitive benefits of mindfulness – awareness of perceptions and potential biases, and the capacity to see situations and systems clearly – are also very relevant to those working to promote positive social change.
The Mindfulness and Social Change Network has been formed recently to explore existing practice and new possibilities. Members of the network include mindfulness practitioners from various European countries who have worked for Oxfam GB, WWF, Amnesty International, Ecodharma and the International NGO Training and Research Centre (INTRAC).