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Why is SEL important for our social justice, social change and social development?

Social Emotional Learning tools serve as growth and change tools to build institutions on the foundation of equity, diversity and inclusion. The SEL Lab is focused on building a generation of just and compassionate leaders that are committed to social change, social justice and development.

SEL for Changemakers: About

Ongoing programs


Social Emotional Learning for Changemakers in South Asia 2021 

Curriculum: Compassionate Integrity Training

Dates- 1 June-3 Aug 2021 on Tuesdays 530-720pm IST (2 hours a week for 10 weeks)

The SEL Lab offers a program for changemakers in South Asia 2021 created with the intention of bringing change makers from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka together in order to equip them with a curriculum to enhance their social emotional learning capabilities, and enable them to take the skills back into their work. Some of the participants are representing the following organisations: Teach for India, Saturday Art Class, Movement Positive, Global Peace Institute, Enviromec International, etc. 

Who is it for?

Changemakers like social justice advocates, people working and leading non-governmental organizations, humanitarian workers, mental health professionals, leaders/innovators that work at and lead social enterprises, etc

About the program:  

Compassionate Integrity Training (CIT) is a multi-part training program that cultivates basic human values as skills for the purpose of increasing individual, social and environmental flourishing. By covering a range of skills from self-regulation and self-compassion to compassion for others and engagement with complex systems. CIT is based on cutting-edge developments in the fields of neuroscience, psychology, trauma- informed care, peace and conflict studies, and contemplative science. It builds off of work done by Daniel Goleman (author of the book Emotional Intelligence) and Peter Senge, initiatives in Social and Emotional Learning (SEL), and other areas. Its development has been aided by the collaborative work of a team of experts with both academic and applied backgrounds in these areas.

The “Three-in-Three” Education Model:

Each CIT module utilizes a “three-in- three” educational model that integrates three domains of knowledge and three levels of understanding. The three domains begin with a focus on the self (Self-Cultivation), then move to others (Relating to Others), and finally to a systems-perspective, meaning the larger networks we exist in (Engaging in Systems).

Series I: Self-Cultivation

1. Calming Body and Mind

2. Ethical Mindfulness

3. Emotional Awareness

4. Self-Compassion

Series II: Relating to Others

5. Impartiality and Common Humanity

6. Forgiveness and Gratitude

7. Empathic Concern

8. Compassion

Series III: Engaging in Systems

9. Appreciating Interdependence

10. Engaging with Discernment

Additionally, each module in CIT is intended to allow participants to progress through three levels of understanding. In CIT, it is important that knowledge not remain at an intellectual level; to be effective, it must lead to realisations and lasting changes in behavior. Knowledge becomes transformative when it moves from head to heart to hand. The three levels of understanding are:

1. Received Knowledge: This refers to learning new information and developing a clear understanding of a particular topic.

2. Critical Insight: This is when the participant, through exercises and practices, uses his or her own life experiences and reason to come to a flash of personal insight, an “a-ha moment,” when he or she realizes how the knowledge relates to his or her own life.

3. Embodied Understanding: Moments of critical insight are often not powerful enough to dislodge habits. Therefore, embodied understanding refers to the deepening and further internalizing of knowledge so that it becomes second- nature and spontaneous — not just something one knows, but part of who one is. This happens through repeated practice and continued reflection on one’s critical insights. This is where knowledge (including the knowledge and skills of self-compassion, compassion, integrity and so on) becomes transformative at its deepest level.

Each CIT module includes content for received knowledge, activities for achieving critical insight and guided reflective practices for deepening insights into embodied understanding. Once a participant completes CIT, they are eligible to enroll in the CIT Facilitator Training program.

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Why “secular” ethics?
Although CIT deals with values and concepts like compassion and integrity, it is based on a secular approach to universal ethics based on common sense, common experience and science, rather than a particular culture or religion. Secular ethics can be useful to people of any or no religious background, while not conflicting with any particular religious values. The word “secular” in no way implies a stance that is against religion; on the contrary, it implies inclusivity and a respect for all. This approach to ethics has been advocated by organizations such as the Sustainable Development Solutions Network of the United Nations through its World Happiness Report and individuals such as His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The United Nations Declaration on Human Rights of 1948 was also based on a secularized philosophy of universal values, which took all human beings, all nations, all cultures and all religions and non-believers into account.

SEL for Changemakers: Services

Completed Programs 2020

Social Emotional Learning for Changemakers in India 2020 

Curriculum: Compassionate Integrity Training

Graduated in December 2020

Social Emotional Learning for Changemakers in India 2020 focused on developing social emotional competences through the CIT curriculum. The SEL Lab was thrilled to have a diverse people including educators, social entrepreneurs, mental health workers and corporate leaders representing over mutliple states from across India. Our first batch of certified leaders in Social-Emotional Learning! At The SEL Lab we use SEL tools for reflection, dialogue and critical thinking to give leaders SEL tools for their work in social justice, social change and development in their fields of work.  We thank each of our participants for being incredible changmakers contributing to making India more just, equal and compassionate.

Change makers
SEL for Changemakers: Services

The SEL Lab's Changemakers:

SEL for Changemakers: Testimonials

Pooja Gandhi Shah
Mumbai, India
Founder, Align

“The Compassionate Integrity Training by The SEL Lab has been very aligning for me as a process overall. There are tons of things you subconsciously understand or are aware off but you cant really draw them as a mind map. You cant really put the right words in the right format to make sense of the cause and effect of it all. These sessions conducted by Anokhi really helped in adding some structure, logic and format to things that we often get tangled up in. Post the session i would find it fascinating to see certain things play out in my own life and find it a lot easier to then decode them and retain some sense of compassion and empathy. Each session is a great building block to a more stable, EQ driven and safe future for us all.”

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