Jeremy Rifkin, economic adviser to the European Union, notes that scientific research has revealed that even in young human children, the brain is wired for empathy. When very young humans see someone else struggling, they experience similar frustration, and they actively seek to help, without ever being asked to do so. He says humans are naturally empathic at the core of our selves. And he’s working to help restructure our society so that our natural empathy is allowed to be fully expressed, so that we can evolve into a far more compassionate and collaborative species.

How do we actually prepare an empathic civilization? What I’d like to get my hands on is the school system. This school system around the world reflects 18th century ideas about Utilitarian self-interest — each individual is an autonomous agent in the classroom. Knowledge is power — you don’t share it, that’s cheating. Each person is trying to become a productive, competitive agent in the market. No wonder we’re having problems. What we want to do in our school systems is we want to set up collaborative learning environments. We want knowledge to be interdisciplinary and distributed. We should take service learning — you know when you serve in the community — and ratchet it up to pedagogy, so our young people begin to think that the classroom is the community where they engage empathically with others, and actually create relationships that are designed to express our core values. That would be a revolution worthy of America – a new revolutionary educational system.
~ Jeremy Rifkin – KQED Public Radio Forum 2010

Binikou is a big part of that revolution! We are founded on the observation that as long as the human body (including it’s brain) has the basic physiological needs reasonably well met on a regular basis, then empathy and collaboration and creativity and passionate problem solving naturally emerge in abundance.

joyfully engaging in the community!

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