top of page

the act difference

Drawing from decades of CCARE Stanford compassion science and education, ACT is a groundbreaking contribution to the field of compassion training.

Here you'll learn more about the defining components behind the success and impact of the ACT program.

CCARE_Logo High Res.png
Sidney Cityscape

Applied Compassion Training  | 11-month Certificate Program

The Applied Compassion Training (ACT) at CCARE Stanford goes beyond theory, offering tangible, life-altering results. ACT equips participants with the tools, knowledge, skills, and experience to ignite transformative shifts in personal and professional spheres.


Drawing from Stanford’s design thinking model, ACT prioritizes learning by doing. This unique learning approach prepares people to be agents of change and compassion within their workplaces, organizations, communities, and personal lives.

Receiving a certificate of completion from CCARE at Stanford University as a Compassion Leader and Ambassador is an unparalleled opportunity to gain the credibility, influence, evidence-based resources, skills, global network, and confidence you need to make a meaningful difference in the world!

ACT graduates share their passion for the program

ACT Program Components


CCARE_Logo High Res.png

During the ACT program at CCARE Stanford, the action component of compassion takes center stage! Each participant is mentored through a carefully designed process that empowers them to develop and deliver an Applied Compassion Capstone Project in a real- world setting. Every project serves as a tangible example of action and impact, as participants apply compassion to address a specific area of suffering, aiming to create genuine and lasting change. Capstone projects come in a diverse sizes, shapes, and applications and are applied in a variety of settings across industries. Some examples of Capstone Projects are:

  • Compassion Toolkits for healthcare practitioners to reduce burnout and increase wellness

  • Compassion Programs to increase trust, 

         collaboration, and workplace engagement 

  • Art Installations that cultivate compassion towards marginalized groups

  • Compassion Games for students to reduce anxiety and increase self-esteem 


CCARE_Logo High Res.png

Over the course of the 11-month training, the ACT program devotes significant attention to each participant’s emotional intelligence and experiential access to applied compassion. Stated simply, part of becoming an Ambassador of Applied Compassion is a profound journey of personal transformation. The ACT program includes a deeply reflective inward journey, along with a set of practices to support each participant's personal development.

A core aim of ACT is supporting participants to cultivate, embody and sustain inner attitudes of awareness and compassion. As ambassadors who are asked to model applied compassion in challenging settings and circumstances, each participant’s own inner growth is prioritized throughout the program.


CCARE_Logo High Res.png

One of the underpinnings of ACT is the supportive individual and group mentorship that each person receives throughout the program. Each participant in ACT has an expert mentor who accompanies them throughout their ACT journey and supports the development of their Applied Compassion Capstone Project. Participants meet regularly with their mentor for guidance and skillful advice as they design and eventually deliver their compassion project in the world.


Each participant is also part of a smaller mentoring group and a mini Capstone Team that meets monthly. These teams engage in an evidence-based method of collaboration and feedback that supports and catalyzes the development of each person's Applied Compassion Capstone Project​.


CCARE_Logo High Res.png

ACT follows Stanford's Design School model, which prioritizes experiential learning: learning by dong. This approach recognizes the importance of actively engaging participants in meaningful practices, processes, and experiences that promote direct and embodied learning. Rather than teaching a specific technique or protocol, ACT is designed to train participants experientially in the principles, skills, tools and practices that foster a compassionate response to the endless challenges of daily life.  

Throughout the program, participants are immersed in a thoughtfully created container of compassion, fostering deep engagement with themselves and their peers. This holistic framework ensures a comprehensive and transformative learning experience that is transferred back to daily life.


CCARE_Logo High Res.png

ACT participants and alumni share a deep desire to grow personally and professionally and harness their growth to motivate, inspire and impact the people, communities, and organizations they are part of. The ACT community comes together regularly to support, inspire, network, and collaborate on best-practices of how to apply compassion around the world. 

ACT graduates become CCARE Stanford Ambassadors of Compassion and join a growing and diverse and inspiring network of ACT alumni applying compassion across countries, communities and industries worldwide. Since its inception, nearly 500 people from 40+ countries have participated in ACT!



CCARE_Logo High Res.png

Receiving a certificate from CCARE at Stanford University as a Compassion Leader and Ambassador is a unique opportunity to gain the expertise, credibility, and foundation needed to make a significant impact in the world. ACT participants consistently demonstrate that being part of ACT through CCARE Stanford opens doors to opportunities never before possible.

People across disciplines, professions, and industries worldwide recognize CCARE Stanford as a leading expert in the field of compassion advocacy, education, research, and training. ACT program participants are esteemed as experts and leaders in the field, advancing the public dialogue about compassion and its benefits for organizations and society at large.

Sidney Cityscape

"At Microsoft, we’ve adopted a set of management principles to promote compassion in the workplace. The ACT program gave me the skills needed to apply compassion in the corporate arena and helped me to grow as a leader. By fostering an environment of compassion and empathy, we are creating a workplace that is more productive, more joyful, and more gratifying for everyone.”

Lisa Polloni

Senior Director of Communications


bottom of page