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Applied Compassion Capstone Projects 

A defining component of the ACT program is the creation and delivery of an Applied Compassion Capstone Project. Each participant is supported, using the principles and practices of the training, to design and deliver a project that brings compassion into their unique real-world setting.  This could be a classroom, an office, a health care system, or a community of which they are a part. Here are some of the inspiring Capstone Projects from this year's ACT participants who are bringing compassion into the world in powerful ways.

ACT 2021 Featured Capstone Projects

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Click on the photos below to explore these featured capstone projects

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 Sustaining Compassion in the Social Impact Sector 

"ACT has propelled me into action through loving accountability and inspiration. The perspectives and tangible tools offered from teachers and colleagues alike – as a menu of possibilities and pathways to deepen – has been an exceptionally nurturing and self-empowering learning environment."
Signe Jung Sørensen, Coach and Consultant — Denmark

Compassion Changes Everything

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"My Capstone created a CCARE satellite unit in Brazil, and this allowed me not only to be an ambassador of compassion, but to potentially offer millions of people the opportunity to take a big step towards happiness, health, and harmony. Learning by doing is key."
Ivo Machado, Entrepreneur, Neuroscience Researcher, Medicine Student — Brazil

Compassion Practices for Secondary Traumatic Stress

Taking
Compassionate
Action

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"My Capstone Project includes a workbook and a workshop focusing on compassion-based practices for addressing secondary traumatic stress among helping professionals working with individuals who have experienced trauma. ACT provided a process of appreciative feedback, where we offered each other encouragement in a collaborative, creative and caring community. I LOVED being part of ACT."
Ruth Gottfried, PhD, David Yellin Academic College of Education — Israel

"The process of developing my Capstone Project was a wonderful learning experience. I covered topics such as burnout and imposter syndrome, both of which I experienced working on the project. While writing on self-compassion and mindful presence, I was able to work through exactly what I hope to help others navigate."
- Kristine Claghorn — Creative Producer and Activist — Los Angeles, California, USA

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Building a 
Compassionate
Nursing Practice

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"The ACT program is so
multi-faceted: it combines community building, networking, mentoring, experiential learning and a bit of traditional lecturing. There were ongoing opportunities to practice new skills as well as encouragement and gentle reminders to put these skills in practice to build my Capstone Project."

- Susan Johnson PhD, RN, Associate Professor, University of Washington Tacoma, USA

A Power of Facing
Compassion and Courage in the Face of Global Suffering

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"The process of developing my Capstone led me on a deep personal journey into the true sources of my motivation and reminded me of the skills and gifts I already have to share."
Alex Nunn, Head of Movement Building, Action for Happiness — London, England

5 Steps to Joyful Parenting and Applying Compassion in Clinical Trials

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"Designing a Capstone Project on parenting that uses an evidence-based toolkit from the ACT program enabled me to facilitate 95 participants in a 5-week online course. Positive feedback and gratitude from other mothers inspired me to act further and I am now writing a book with neuroscience exercises for the wider public of parents."Karolina Kolasa, Associate Director at AstraZeneca; Compassionate Parenting & HSP Coach — Poland

Growing Inner-decision making skills In times
of difficulty

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"The Capstone Project helped me to trust my inner strength and resilience to be with difficulty and it taught me practically how to be fully alive with all my pain and joy. I have grown tremendously as a person in this training and benefited from the collaborative group learning experience. " 
- Jenny Canau — Cape Town, South Africa

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A Mindful Leader! 
Human-centered Culture in the Corporate World

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"Through my Capstone Project, I matured into a leader who listens with an open heart and is able to respond to the needs of my staff and audience. The practices of present awareness and compassionate listening now enable me to see and address the real essence of a situation." 
- Marc Shaefer, Managing Director,FinTech Bank-Startup, Coach, Mediator — Germany

Good Intentions
Workshops for businesses and Individuals

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"Since completing my Capstone Project, I have been able to utilize the tools that ACT provided to help businesses and individuals set #GoodIntentions. This has helped me take my workshops to another level, and be braver in applying compassion." 
- Clare Kelly, Senior Manager & Coach, Salesforce — Ireland

Embedding Compassion, Habits & Culture in Philanthropy

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"My Capstone project resulted in new day-to-day operations, a skill-building retreat and a set of behaviors at our organization that illustrate the culture our philanthropy needs to achieve its mission.”
Todd Vogel, Ph.D., Managing Director, Loom Foundation — Seattle, Washington, USA

Compassion Incognito
IT Team Building 

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"The months exploring and planning for the Capstone Project has shown me compassion can be infused in every interaction. The most transformative behavior has been self compassion — I discovered that when I show myself compassion, I can be more compassionate with others." 
- Stephanie Soto, IT Professional — Sacramento, California, USA

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Breathe
Roots of Resilience

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"My clients are continuously giving to others with little time for themselves. Helping leaders and teams“breathe in” with self-compassion has been a lifeline and sharing science-based strategies to build resilience has been a gift. I now have a framework to use and impactful techniques that I can facilitate. The experience has been transformational."
- Laurie Flasko, Training, Team Building, Executive Coach – Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada

Cultivating Compassion
& Physician Well-Being 

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 "The Capstone Project 
provided me with the knowledge, skills, and encouragement to bring a program to my institution. It has helped me deepen the reflection about compassion in the healthcare workplace and proven deeply valuable to my colleagues." 

Benny Gavi, Physician, Teacher, Well-Being Director — Stanford, California, USA

Ommie – Recognizing
Our Common Humanity

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"My Capstone Project allowed me to connect with people around the world and learn how their experiences and values help them overcome obstacles. I loved how my ACT peers shared their expertise and offered constructive, encouraging feedback to benefit my work."
Sasha Marchenko, Founder and UX Designer at Ommie, LLC — California, USA

Self-compassion:
A Leadership Superpower 

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"Leaders in healthcare and related industries are on a whirlwind ride of change and disruption, which is challenging their ability to stay present, aware, and responsive. My Capstone Project gives healthcare leaders proven methods and tools to remain responsive and agile as they navigate adversity."
Victoria Reichenberg, MS, Team Dynamics Consultant and Executive Coach — San Francisco Bay Area, California, USA

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Leading with Compassion
inBig Tech

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"My Capstone Project enabled me to take what I learned back into my day-to-day life in a large tech company. I had the privilege to lead experiential workshops on how to embed compassion into leadership with hundreds of senior leaders. My hope is that those participants become more skillful at compassionate leadership and spread compassion to their reports, peers and beyond."
Kerri Jacobs, MS, California, USA

Working4Compassion
with UK Business Leaders

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"My Capstone Project inspired me to start a conversation about compassion business leaders in the UK. Creating a podcast and a website psychologically and technically challenged my humility and patience. Now, I'm excited about increasing awareness of workplace compassion amongst business leaders and their colleagues."
Robert Tame, Founder Entrepreneur, Consultant, Podcaster — London, UK

As We Carry On
Using Words to Explore Our Grief 

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 "At a time when so many are hurting, the writing workshops I developed created space for people to feel less alone. When we’re given permission to be face our pain, we can soften and expand, despite our greatest losses. It is an honor to hold space while others discover the many words grief gives us." 
Katie Huey, Writer and Facilitator — Fort Collins, Colorado, USA

Wholeness & Purpose
Women in Leadership

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"I wanted to address the suffering of young women who have built a promising career in competitive settings in Europe and have to juggle family, work and other responsibilities. I designed my Capstone Project to bring compassion and self-compassion to their hearts, thus enhancing their life purpose. Growing compassion is now the light that connects the dots in my life."
- Pinuccia Contino, Manager and Regulator, European Commission – Brussels, Belgium

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Befriend
A Movement of Connecting through Compassion 

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"My Capstone Project combined a theoretical and an experiential platform to reveal that simple, compassionate connections be life-changing. We learned that by making connections and listening to each other’s stories, we learn about truths permeating our society. ACT offered me the ideal framework for cultivating compassion."
- Mollie Reinhart, Ed.M., Founder of Befriend – Richmond, Virginia, USA

Every Day Wellness
Pilot Program 

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 "My Capstone Project allowed me to apply compassion to my former workplace by implementing a staff wellness training program. Now, I have a product I can bring to agencies, designed to meet their needs. ACT deepened my mindfulness, applied compassion, and self-compassion practices so I embody what I am teaching." 
Helene Creager, LCSW, Community Corrections and Wellness Consultant — Southern California, USA

Creating a
Contemplative Space
in Schools

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"I was in a work environment at a time when I and others were suffering, and my Capstone Project allowed me to create a space to contemplate our experience and embody the richness that compassion creates. My favorite part of being in ACT was our community — we immediately connected and melded over our shared purpose and intentionality."
Sarah Pearlz, School Psychologist — Nagoya, Japan and Portland, Oregon, USA

Applied Compassion
Going Beyond Mindfulness

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"For my Capstone Project, I conducted classes through our local Rotary Club on healing anguish in relationships and addressed seniors on using mindfulness and compassion to face challenges in aging. Next, I will work with high-tech audiences Silicon Valley, to promote compassionate design principles and help minimize suffering caused by user exploitation through social engineering."
Sunil S. Nethisinghe, Teacher & Coach: Mindfulness Meditation and Applied Compassion — Cupertino, California, USA

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Compassion Restores
Self Care for Healthcare

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 "The capstone project helped me develop a compassion workshop specifically focused on self care for doctors who feel burned out, anxious or under pressure. ACT has encouraged me to keep generating experiments that apply compassion and notice the impact." 
- Sharee Johnson, Psychologist Coach, Meditation Teacher, Author — Victoria, Australia

Art Museum-based Compassion and
Resilience Training

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"For my Capstone Project, I created a psychologically safe haven in museum galleries, which enabled participants to slow down, open up, and discuss matters that might not otherwise have come up. I'm grateful for this transformative opportunity and the scope of international participation that highlighted our common humanity."
Jonathan S. Pincus, 
Macy Institute Fellow at Harvard University — Cooperstown, New York, USA

Wellbeing Head Start
Compassion Training for Teachers

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"My capstone project helped me to bring compassion to the participant teachers in my school. My hope is that through these teachers, the children in our early-years cohort will be raised as compassionate human beings capable of benefiting the lives of others. The ACT training has been such a deep learning journey and an inside-out experience for me."
Anupama Khatana — India

mindfulness and Compassion Fun

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"My Capstone Project enabled me to serve those in need by incorporating all the skills, knowledge, and wisdom gained through the valuable lessons of ACT." Michelle Ting jui Huang, MA, Mindfulness Instructor, Certified Hypnotherapist — San Francisco Bay Area, California, USA

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Climate Psychology In Therapeutic Practices

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"Through our compassion principles of empathy, humility, and common humanity, my Capstone Project followed a beautifully illuminated pathway from what seemed like a way-too-ambitious idea to completion. The ACT framework trained us to support one another in ways that highlighted the goodness of our projects."
Barbara Easterlin, PhD Psychologist — Jackson, Wyoming & Inverness, California, USA

Minding the Path
of Caring

Resilience for Caregivers

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"My Capstone Project prepared me to recognize, describe, and promote the health benefits of compassionate thinking, attitudes, and actions. I am ready to show caregivers how to use compassionate techniques to transform the stressors of caregiving into flexibility, strength, and insightful awareness."
- Diana Hull, PA-C, MPH — Santa Cruz, California, USA

Where Compassion Blooms and Spreads

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"As a physician and leader in the hospital, I noted that our resources on well-being were difficult to access. For my Capstone Project, I built an organizational center to connect these activities, which made these resources more accessible to our entire community and amplified their impact." 
- Cheryl O'Malley, MD — Phoenix, Arizona, USA

Teaching and Learning Compassion

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"The implementation of the Capstone Project enriched and enlivened my vocation as a teacher. ACT gave me the opportunity to do research, formulate and design teaching and learning strategies. Ultimately, compassion as a subject of inquiry and study presented me with curricular opportunities for enriching my mission of education. " - Albert Celoza, 
Faculty, Liberal Arts — Phoenix, Arizona, USA

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HEAL
compassion Training for health professionals

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"The Capstone Project framework's clear steps, timeline, excellent mentoring and group support constantly propelled me forward to design, deliver and analyze my project's impact. I had to be courageous, stretch my personal boundaries, and learn new skills, so I could present myself to my colleagues with credibility in a different role."
Robin Amerena, MD — Melbourne, Australia

Compassionate Interviewing for Qualitative Research

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"Wow, my Capstone Project really pushed me to walk the walk. My own understanding of compassion has evolved, grown, and been enriched by the perspectives of my ACT colleagues. My project left me with a profound sense of purpose and I feel privileged to be able to bring this body of knowledge to my community."
- Daillen Culver, Co-Founder of BeDo — Edinburgh, Scotland

Compassion, The Overlooked Superpower

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"My Capstone Project helped me to internalize the powerful lessons we learned and scale them to benefit a diverse global audience. ACT enhanced my self-awareness and emotional intelligence, connected me with a talented and supportive community, and enabled me to impact a large number of friends and colleagues." 
- Jeff Jacobs, Director, Organizational Effectiveness, Adobe — California, USA

Compassionate Conversations

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"My Capstone Project allowed me to move more deeply into my work helping clients bring their "best selves" to every presentation, conversation, or performance. I led workshops on triggers with technologists and brought compassion into my acting classes." - Jennie Moreau, Executive Speaking Coach, Communications Consultant, Actor — Chicago, Illinois, USA

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Sophie House
Serving Family through Community

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"My Capstone Project enabled me to provide selfless service to a family member who uses a power wheelchair. Our family built an accessible home to provide Sophie more independence and enable her caregiver parents to enjoy more free time with Sophie and her sister. The project energized a whole community or people."
Nancy Blair, Business Owner – USA

Scaling Compassion  through Technology
and Community

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"ACT propelled me to launch many different projects purely based on compassion and human connection. Gratefully, I've connected with many
like-hearted humans who will carry our collective vision forward to bring mindfulness, human connection and well-being to more people globally."

- Ruchika Sikri — Partner, Wisdom Ventures Fund and Founder, Mandala Ventures – Los Gatos, California, USA

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"My ACT Capstone Project allowed me to tap deeply into my own history and heart to understand the ways I’m uniquely situated to benefit my community. It required me to move beyond ideas about compassion to embodied, relational practice."
- David Hlebain, MSW, 
Seattle, Washington, USA

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