play / 2016

Compassion Games, Survival of the Kindest

Idea submitted in the My LA2050 Grants Challenge by Compassionate Santa Monica

Make your community safer, kinder, more just and a better place to live.


Are any other organizations collaborating on this proposal?

Charter for Compassion and Compassion Games International.

Please describe your project proposal.

No other initiative has struck a nerve, inspired the uninspired, raised the eyebrow of the skeptic, or gotten the attention of the weary and the tired as much as the Compassion movement. And no idea to mobilize people into a new way of being compassionate has been more creative, effective and awe inspiring than the Compassion Games: Survival of the Kindest. Next year we want to transcend the geographical divide and include LA County in our efforts.

Which of the play metrics will your proposal impact?​

  • Access to open space and park facilities
  • Attendance at major league sporting events
  • Number (and quality) of informal spaces for play
  • Number of children enrolled in afterschool programs
  • Number of parks with intergenerational play opportunities
  • Number of residents with easy access to a “vibrant” park
  • Perceived safety

In what areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

  • Westside
  • County of Los Angeles
  • City of Los Angeles

Describe in greater detail how your proposal will make LA the best place to play?

The Compassion Games are designed to make our communities safer, kinder, more just, and better places to live, work and play. Touch somebody’s life! By participating, players are called upon to perform acts of service and kindness in our neighborhoods, on the job, in service-providing agencies, and wherever their daily journey takes them. The acts of service are organized service projects or simple acts of kindness to aid a neighbor in need. If a project already exists during this time, simply add it to the Compassion Games family and get more attention and support. Showing up in the most unexpected places, organizing in formations unseen before, expanding and deepening in ways no one could have designed, the Compassion Games is proving to be a license to dream and find new solutions to old problems. What’s more, the Games make it OK to do serious work and have fun while doing it. Inspired when Mayor Greg Fischer suggested his city of Louisville, KY was “ the most compassionate city until proven otherwise,” Compassionate Seattle took him up on it. Both great cities put their days of community service in the ring and the Compassion Games were on. It did not take long before other cities heard the same challenge. Santa Monica, Nashville, Milwaukee, Cincinnati, New York City, even Gurgaon India galvanized their communities and proved they knew what “coopetition” means. Santa Monica has been participating since 2013 and its City Council voted unanimously to sign and affirm the Charter for Compassion in September of 2013, making it the first city in LA County to do so and 4th in the state of California. LUSH cosmetics sponsored our compassion cards and media kits. From the promenade we inspired and promoted compassion all over our city. Reports were submitted through a crowdmap and data was collected. At the heart of the Compassion Games’ purpose is the belief that within each of us exists an innate, powerful, and ready kindness. We’re passionate about harnessing this kindness in service of “compassionate action”, defined as action motivated by the intention to alleviate others’ pain and suffering. We’re also passionate about the importance of playfulness and fun as an effective means by which to build healthy community. The games are a way for civic leaders, community organizers, educators, parents, non-profits, religious groups, and businesses to produce collective impact. We are here to uplift each other, to help each other, be kind to each other, and serve each other. We play the game in at least three ways:

  1. Community service projects (create your own or pick one of our suggested ideas)
  2. Individual random acts of kindness
  3. Games that build personal and community resilience

Please explain how you will define and measure success for your project.​

Pick a compassionate action for you and/or your group: Each hour of a community service project, per individual translates into 1 (one) Point” Each act of compassion per individual translates into “1 (one) Point” Every dollar raised for charity translates into “1 (one) Point” Every item collected for charity translates into “1 (one) Point” As an individual, your points are pooled with your organization and then your county (we’ll be playing as a county rather than a city). Then your actions, projects, stories, etc. are added to the Compassion Map where the whole world can witness the Compassion Games efforts. To learn more about finding a way to participate in these games, go to CompassionGames.org. Once you decide what service you will participate in or organize, you publish it on the Compassion Map: http://compassiongames.org

Once you’ve participated in a Compassion Games, report on the hours spent. Every compassionate hour brings one point to the city. At the end of the games all the data is published and we learn how we fare against other cities.

How can the LA2050 community and other stakeholders help your proposal succeed?

  • Money
  • Volunteers
  • Advisors/board members
  • Staff
  • Publicity/awareness
  • Infrastructure (building/space/vehicles etc.)
  • Technical infrastructure (computers etc.)
  • Community outreach
  • Network/relationship support
  • Quality improvement research