Now Celebrating Our 11th Year


Supporters & Investors

ALL-TIME Human Rights Pocketbooks distributed since 2018

For All of Us

Our mentor, Dr. George Lakoff, cognitive scientist and linguist, wrote, “The blessings of democracy cannot be taken for granted. Maintaining democracy requires conceptual and linguistic maintenance. We have to ask the Reflexivity Question for Personhood: Can linguistic framing change the kind of person someone is? The answer seems to be yes.” The Empathy Surplus Project was established in 2009 and is a membership, collective education organization that supports the work of Dr. Lakoff to strengthen caring citizen thought leadership and build an empathy surplus in our spheres of influence.

We need YOUR help!

The Human Rights Pocketbook Venture is a positive peace initiative of the Empathy Surplus Project. We want to partner with United Nation Global Compact participants, especially the USA Network, as well as civil society organizations with UN roots, like Rotary, Lions, and Kiwanis to distribute a personal copy to each 9th grader and incoming college student every year. Here’s the list of current schools participating in the Human Rights Pocketbook Venture.

Our Four Empathic Activities

We are a community of practice. Every day we promote the idea of a government of, by, and for the people, progressive markets, and mutual responsibility by practicing Four Empathic Activities. We:

Inwardly Digest

and daily use the brain insights of George Lakoff to frame caring conversations in our spheres of influence.


in weekly conversations about our application of Lakoff’s work and to identify caring policy directions.


our caring policy directions through partnerships with ethical business, effective government institutions, and civil society organizations.


others to join us and promote government of, by, and for people. #GovOfBy4People

Empathy is the soul of democracy, and today’s challenge is how to reverse the world’s empathy deficit.

Empathy is hard wired in humans at birth through neural pathways and can be strengthened or weakened through nurturant parent governing or strict father governing of the family, respectfully. The language of those same nation as family metaphors that are also used unconsciously in ethical business, public government task forces, and caring society organizations create morally complex individuals.

George Lakoff – Cognitive Scientist and Linguistic Expert for Progressive Speech 

Experts help us know our values and reframe the debate. Our #1 priority is to promote the application of the insights of the cognitive scientist and linguistic expert, Dr. George Lakoff. Our communities of practice, neighborhood Empathy Surplus Congresses, are…

Climate Survival

Supporting young caring citizens fighting for their lives is critical to climate survival. That’s why we encourage our neighborhood Empathy Surplus Congresses to host and co-host Greta Thunberg‘s #FridaysForFuture.

Our Blog

What’s happening now

The Ideal Caring Citizen Thought Leader

The Ideal Caring Citizen Thought Leader

Reframing IS social change. Building an empathy surplus in YOUR world begins with you changing your language. The Four Empathic Activities of a Caring Citizen Leader all start with the letter “I.”  I INWARDLY digest and use the work of George Lakoff to frame caring...

read more

“Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the people.”

—John Adams, second President of the U.S., dissertation on the Canon and the Feudal Law (1765)

Our Human Rights Pocketbook Venture
sponsors & partners

Contact us below to sponsor an ad in the next edition.

Get In Touch

5 + 7 =

George Lakoff's Resources

The basic idea is this: It is free and open to all. We will provide framing suggestions regularly over social media, and whoever receives them can decide how to use them, and whether to share them or retweet them.  The process is bottom up.

We also offer this framing service to activist organizations, media folks, and elected officials and their staffs.

Empathy is the soul of democracy, citizens caring for one another, leading to freedom and fairness for all. The Empathy Surplus Project (ESP) is a non-profit, charitable, membership, collective education organization. ESP strengthens caring citizen thought leadership to promote effective government and progressive markets through mutual responsibility. Your monthly freedom investments help reframe our world. Please invest today.

Privacy  |  Terms of Service   ©2019 Empathy Surplus Project All rights reserved. Website developed, maintained, and secured in Ohio by REBEL-IST