Interdependence, Ethics, and Social Networks - Mind & Life Conversation - Day 1

October 18, 2022


The first day of the two day Mind & Life Conversation with His Holiness the Dalai Lama on Interdependence, Ethics, and Social Networks at his residence in Dharamsala, HP, India on October 12, 2022, organized by Mind & Life Institute.


His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama

Opening Welcome: Susan Bauer-Wu, President, Mind & Life Institute

Moderator: Roshi Joan Halifax, Upaya Institute and Zen Center

Discussant: Richard Davidson, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Discussant: John Dunne, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Interpreter: Thupten Jinpa, Compassion Institute and Board Chair, Mind & Life Institute

Presenter: Joseph Henrich, Harvard University

Presenter: Molly Crockett, Princeton University


Joseph Henrich explores the question: What makes us human? A growing body of research shows that more than any other animal, humans are dependent on learning from others. Joe shares insights on how culture is transmitted over many generations and defines how we thrive and survive as a species. This cultural evolution has given rise to the Collective Mind. Joseph shares his research by touching on three key aspects of human nature: Norm, Interdependence, and Ethnic psychology.

Molly Crockett explores the stories we tell ourselves as humans and how research proves that our human compassion is far reaching and expansive. Does the collective story promote a shared identity and universal compassion towards everyone? Or does it divide humanity into a purified “us” and a vilified “them?” As we face the challenges of the world today, we can look to history, tradition, and storytelling to build a greater understanding for humanity, contemplative wisdom, and modern cognitive science.