Concept note for Webinar Series on: Compassion in Crisis Times
The ongoing coronavirus pandemic and the long-festering climate change crisis has together brutally exposed deficiencies in our existing developmental paradigm and forcing us to confront new uncertainties and insecurities in our everyday lives like never before. Our collective security and shared well-being of humanity are facing threats on many fronts. We are facing challenges of saving lives and livelihood today while having to safeguard the pillars of security for tomorrow.
While people are seeing the devastating consequences of under-prepared health systems, at many places they are also having to simultaneously confront urban floods, cyclonic storms, heatwaves, and other extreme climate events with increasing regularity. There is no denying the fact, that almost all health shocks and climate shocks hit the poorest and most vulnerable sections of society the hardest. Pandemic and climate crises act as poverty multipliers. At least half the world’s population does not enjoy full coverage for the most basic health services. When disasters hit – global inequality is sustained and reinforced and paid for with the lives of the poor and marginalized.
The risks that we are facing are diverse in nature and character. The level of trust in public institutions is eroding in regions where people feel that authorities had not addressed the pandemic effectively or been transparent about its impact. As existing grievances and vulnerabilities become more entrenched, the potential for violence only grows. also highlighting an alarming spike in gender-based and domestic abuse. In several regions across the world fragile peace has come under threat with the rise of terrorist and violent extremist groups. On the other hand, several regions are also witnessing the rise of authoritarianism, limiting space for civic engagement and free expression.
There is a pressing need to go beyond the present business as usual development paradigm and take a more ethical value-based, compassionate, and sustainable approach for the betterment of our collective future. During this crisis of COVID compassion is more relevant – compassion as ‘BEING WITH’ in times of struggles. The humanity is facing one of the biggest challenges and to be with people in need is the most noble and humane attitude that one can think of. Compassion and empathy can help develop our world more beautiful in this era or New Normal.
In order to stimulate the minds of the young students in this regard, the Centre for Humanities and Compassion at XIM University is organising a series of webinars on the topic – Compassion in Crisis Times with leading thought leaders, academics and activists.
The first webinar of the series was held on 22 September 2021, where Justice Kurian Joseph (Retd. Justice Supreme Court of India and Former Chief Justice HP High Court delivered the keynote address.
The second webinar is scheduled for 11 January 2022 as a panel discussion with three eminent external panelists:
- Brinelle D’souza Chairperson, Centre for Health and Mental Health, School of Social Work, Tata Institute of Social Sciences and Co- Convenor, Jan Swasthya Abhiyan – Mumbai
- Siji Chacko, SJ, Director of Development of the Jesuit Conference of South Asia and Coordinator of Ecology for Eco Jesuit
- Isabel Buitrago Franco, Senior Research Fellow at University of Queensland, Australia and Chairperson Women’s Sustainability Forum
It is expected that the session would be between 75-to 90 minutes in duration.