The Importance of Humane Education in 2 Minutes

I was recently asked by a potential funder to give my best 2-minute statement for why someone should support the work of the Institute for Humane Education (IHE).

I really need 10 minutes, and even then I’m not doing justice to the complexity of global issues that humane education helps to solve; the many ways in which IHE prepares people to be humane educators, provides humane education, and promotes the field itself; or the profound impact humane education has on people of all ages who learn about the grave challenges of our time and become solutionaries for a better world. I have hundreds of testimonials from people of all ages who’ve said that IHE has changed their lives for the better and enabled them to become changemakers. But if you need to raise money to do good work, you have to be able to tell busy people why they should support you, and you have to be able to do it succinctly, often in just two minutes.

I feel like my best effort at explaining the power and promise of humane education came in my TEDx talk, The World Becomes What You Teach, and judging by the response it has gotten, others agree; but when I only have 2 minutes, it’s too long.

So here’s my pared-down, 2-minute pitch for supporting humane education and our work at IHE:

Why is humane education important?

1.    The world needs it: We face grave and escalating challenges. Our planet is warming, our population is growing, our resources are dwindling, and half of all species are threatened with extinction by century’s end. Given these and other global problems, humane education is paramount so that we graduate a generation with the knowledge, tools, and motivation to address growing threats and to create just, healthy, and restorative systems.

2.    Schools need it: Schools that incorporate humane education into their mission and curricula prepare students to solve problems rather than perpetuate them. Humane education enables schools to graduate solutionaries who are able to use the foundational tools of literacy, numeracy, and critical and creative thinking as engaged citizens and problem-solvers.

3.    Students need it: Students deserve an education that is relevant and meaningful to their lives and future. As one 11th grader said after I gave a humane education presentation at her school: “We should have been learning this since Kindergarten!"

Why is the Institute for Humane Education important?

1.    IHE offers the only comprehensive humane education graduate programs in North America. The more people that IHE trains who can bring humane education into every educational setting, the more solutionaries there will be to solve our pressing challenges.

2.    IHE develops and offers award-winning free online resources to people across the globe who use them in classrooms, board rooms, and living rooms, bringing humane education to the world.

3.    IHE changes lives through online courses, workshops, books, and presentations. As David Berman, who took my first week-long humane education course in 1987 when he was 13 years old, said recently: “That course changed my life!” He in turn has changed many other lives.

Humane education is a profoundly effective way to create a better world. I hope you will consider donating to our 15th anniversary “Creating the Future” campaign to help this work spread. Also, I encourage you to experience humane education for yourself by participating in one of our online courses. Or perhaps you’re ready to be a fully-trained humane educator and want to get your master’s degree through our online accredited program. And no matter where you are or what you are doing in the world, please avail yourself of our free activities and bring humane education to your community.

For a humane world,


Zoe Weil, President, Institute for Humane Education
Author of Most Good, Least Harm, Above All, Be Kind, and The Power and Promise of Humane Education
My TEDx talk: “The World Becomes What You Teach"

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