Our Story

Who we are now and where we began

Tara Waudby

Larry McIlvain

Jennifer Suleiman

Mo Hourani

Our Founding Story

The Compassion Summit was co-founded by ISG Saudi Arabia and ACS, Amman through a series of fortuitous events. Tara Waudby, at the time Assistant Superintendent for Learning at ISG ,and Larry McIlvain, Head of School at ACS, envisioned the event while meeting at ASB Unplugged 2016 in Bombay, India.  Both were interested in compassion, collaboration and creative-problem solving. Tara had recently met a nun who noted so simply that "peace begins in schools", and thereafter, she was inspired by the Charter for Compassion's Peace Salons.  Through storytelling and passionate dialogue, the Compassion Summit was born and launched in March 2017. 

The Compassion Summit is a wonderful story of collaboration.  Jennifer Suleiman and Mo Hourani, both who were at ACS Amman, are also members of the founding team and, together with Larry and Tara, organised workshop sessions, keynotes, and logistics of the event.  Marilyn Turkovich, Director of the Charter for Compassion, assisted with planning the agenda and was extremely generous in her resources and inspirations.  The 11 schools who sent students who believed in our idea were instrumental to the success of the inaugural Compassion Summit 2017.

The inspiration and response from participating students, teachers, and community members motivated us to make this event happen again in March 2018, and yet again in March 2019.  Each year our team grew as other teachers attended the summit and became passionate about our goals. Derrick and Allison joined after attending the 2018 Summit, and Reacheal joined after attending the 2019 Summit. In 2020, the Compassion Summit was set to begin rotating yearly between member schools, but due to COVID the March 2020 Summit in Bahrain was cancelled.

With the continuance of global uncertainty due to the pandemic, our team recognized the increasing need for a Compassion Summit, but knew we would be unable to meet in person for quite some time. Despite the many challenges and obstacles we were facing, the leadership team decided to endeavor to make the Compassion Summit 2020 a virtual one. With traveling logistics no longer a consideration, the Summit evolved into a virtual summit.

In February 2023, the Compassion Summit resumed to be in person with 11 schools and 130  participants from the region at ACS Amman. 

As the world evolves with the many uncertainties, the Compassion Summit is proud to serve as a partner in compassion for so many schools and proud to inspire students to lead with Compassionate Action. No Compassion No Peace

We believe we can build a more peaceful future.  We believe peace begins in schools.  We believe that by inspiring continuous, compassionate action, we can shift a generation of thinkers and create a more compassionate world. We believe in service.  

We believe in kindness.  We believe.

The Compassion Summit was founded by

With incredible support from 

The work of the Compassion Summit, as with many other such endeavors, is due to the collaboration and deep support of many people and organizations. We'd like to highlight the catalytic engagement offered by the Charter for Compassion, the Fetzer Institute, Voices for Creative Nonviolence and NESA for the support, inspiration and ideas throughout the years!  

Thank you for believing in an idea...