A mindful nation?
There has been an emergence of understanding how our emotional and mental states shape our relationships, how we work, and how we make decisions. Research has highlighted the value of mindfulness - and it's cultivation of empathy, open-mindedness and compassion as competencies which can be learned.
Developing these competencies can reduce stress, improve decision-making, increase creativity and innovation and increase communication skills. Bringing a systematic training of these competencies into the world of work could have wide-ranging benefits for Australia in the areas of business, education, health and government.
This broader application of mindfulness is already being heralded overseas. In the UK, 200 parliamentarians took part in an eight week program. This lead to the production of the Mindfulness All Party Parliamentary Group report Mindful National UK, which recommended that “UK government departments should encourage the development of mindfulness programmes for staff in the public sector – in particular in health, education, and criminal justice, to combat stress and improve organisational effectiveness”.
Openground is keen to be part of the development of Australia as a Mindful Nation and is involved in pro-bono work, strategic partnerships and leadership training as a contribution to this worthwhile mission.
While a mindful, empathic and compassionate approach can be valuable for individuals, it also offers wide-ranging benefits for government, business and society.
Dr Lynne Reeder, Director, Australia21