Human Rights Ethical Business Index

United Nations Global Compact

CLICK 2022 Communications on Engagement

Progressive markets are built on empathy

Empathy is the soul of our republic and its democratic institutions, which rejects empire. In fact, it’s at the heart of ESG investing, i.e., financial investing with respect, protection, and promotion of a clean environment, social progress of expanded human rights, and effective governance void of corruption of public governance. And caring citizens and their elected and appointed representatives have a moral duty to care for each other to expand freedom and fairness for all. Moreover, progressive markets broaden prosperity, opportunities, and Americans’ freedom by replacing our failed 1 percent markets. Furthermore, progressive markets redefine ethical businesses as ones that respect, protect, and promote human rights. And progressive markets create the caring, circular economy we all need for climate survival. Because if we sustain our current uncaring economy humanity dies. 

Most of our members come from the business community and they collaborate outside of their congresses in the Progressive Markets Working Group.

Anna Bruffy, co-owner, Sustainable Development Enterprises, Sandra Marie Granger, 1st Lady, Guyana Government, and Anita Lewis, owner, I AM Clean Energy, discuss a caring circular economy during a visit in 2019.

Progressive markets need collective strategic thinkers

Dr. George Lakoff wrote, “Thinking from a progressive standpoint, is more than just reasoning step-by-step, or articulating a worldview, or using frames and metaphors. The most powerful form of thinking is strategic. It is not just a matter of thinking ahead. It is a matter of changing the landscape of thought and action. It is a matter of setting many things in motion by setting ONE thing in motion. It is a matter of reconfiguring the future by done ONE thing in the present. Conservatives have been very good at strategic thinking. Progressives have not.”

Concerning ethical business, Dr. Lakoff writes, “The progressive market is a tool to enhance the common good. The rules that govern the progressive market should create incentives to enhance the common good, but they should also punish violations of the common good. There are two general approaches to ethical business. You can read about these approaches in Chapter 7 of Dr. Lakoff’s Thinking Points: Communicating Our American Values and Vision, at this link.

who cares wins

In 2000, the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations launched a corporate responsibility initiative called the UN Global Compact. The UNGC’s mission is to redefine an ethical business as one that is aligned around ten principles that focus on human rights, living work/leisure, and anti-corruption of government for the sake of climate survival. Moreover, they encouraged moving away from a so-called “growth economy” to a “caring economy,” with the “2004 Who Cares Wins Summit.” Click on the Who Cares Wins icon above for the full-report that launched ESG investing – environmental, social, and governance investing. 

In 2013, the Empathy Surplus Project Foundation founder discovered the UNGC while attending the annual Rotary Day at the United Nations. This annual event commemorates the role of 50 Rotarians who helped write the United Nations Charter in San Francisco in 1945. Georg Kell, the executive director at the time, encouraged Rotarians to go home and join. ESPF was accepted as a civil society member in 2014, and committed itself to redefining ethical business around the ten principles. We made a special commitment to partner with Rotarians and are grateful to their contributions.

The Caring Circular Economy

Six strategic questions to frame the caring circular economy

Now, more than ever, ethical businessmen and women need and should fund caring thought leadership training. For too long, unethical and conservative think tanks like ALEC have created an economic growth model that is about to end humanity. Our 3rd bi-annual Communication on Engagement outlined the threat.

Now is the time to think circular. For example, in the Fall of 2020 the UN Economic and Social Council issued a 2-page concept paper with six questions:

  1. What is the caring circular economy and what does it look like in practice.
  2. In which industries is the circular economy being instituted, and what are key characteristics to enable the shift towards a caring circular economy?
  3. Where are the biggest opportunities to build and expand the caring circular economy?
  4. What are barriers impeding this transition, and what are some ways they can be addressed?
  5. What are some of the benefits of transitioning towards a caring circular economy, especially in terms of implementation of the 2030 Agenda?
  6. Who is involved in this transition, and what are their key role including policy-makers, the private sector, and civil society?

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Your Donations Support Thought Leaders Continuing Ed

Caring Thought Leaders Core Values


the soul of democracy


both personal and social


to govern with empathy and responsibility


Pro-Empathy Philosophy

Stronger America(ns) 

reframes stronger military

Progressive Markets 

reframes free markets

Better Futures

reframes lower taxes

Effective Government

reframes less government

Mutual Responsibility

reframes family values

George Lakoff's Resources

The basic idea is this: Dr. Lakoff's resources are free and open to all. He 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.  Dr. Lakoff's process is bottom-up.

Dr. Lakoff also offers this framing service to activist organizations, media folks, and elected officials and their staff.

Pro-Empathy Pledge to the People of the World

(Recited while holding a neighbor's hand. People from other countries may insert the name of their country.)

I pledge allegiance to the people of the world

and to my neighbors in the United States of America

and to our human rights, which I defend and promote,

one world governed with empathy and responsibility,

with liberty and justice for all.

The Empathy Surplus Network USA is a charitable human rights thought leaders continuing education collective headquartered in Wilmington, Ohio. We fulfill our mission with adult weekly forums and partnerships with teachers and organizations to distribute complimentary copies of the Illustrated Universal Declaration of Human Rights to K-12 and college students. Donations are exempt from federal income taxation under section 501(a) and described in section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

UNITED NATIONS GLOBAL compact resources

Pro-Empathy Freedom Declaration

I am a progressive -
caring human being
in a strong, diverse community
of nurturing families.
I am a pro-empathy voter and
govern with empathy for and
responsibility to others.
I here highly resolve that
this nation shall have
a new birth of freedom
- and that government
of the people,
by the people,
for the people
shall not perish
from the earth.
I am a person
with human rights.
I care for my own
Safety and Happiness
and that of others.
I am the solution to
expanding life, liberty,
and the pursuit of happiness.
And for the support of this
declaration, joining
progressive human rights
advocates and
pro-empathy voters,
we mutually pledge
to each other
our Lives, our Fortunes,
and our sacred Honor.
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Pro-Empathy Freedom
Declaration Toolkit