Brain Pickings

The Heroic Imagination Project


What the root of evil has to do with a summer in 1971 and the untapped capacity for good.

Psychologist Philip Zimbardo is best-known for the infamous Stanford Prison Study, one of modern psychology’s most unsettling experiments on human nature. (Insights from which are distilled in Zimbardo’s excellent The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil — an absolutely essential text of social psychology, timeless and all the more timely in today’s global atmosphere of increasing social and political unrest.)

Zimbardo’s latest project, however, approaches the good/evil dichotomy of the human condition from precisely the opposite angle. The Heroic Imagination Project is an inspired nonprofit that aims to advance everyday heroism though programs designed to harness people’s inherent, extraordinary and often untapped potential for good within.

At HIP, we believe everyone has the potential to transform the private virtue of compassion into the civic virtue of heroic action, and we are dedicated to helping individuals internalize and express their ‘heroic imagination’ in service to humanity.”

In this excellent TEDU talk, Zimbardo delivers a compelling primer for the project:

If you’ve found your moral imagination tickled by the project, there are three ways to get involved and take action: You can take the hero pledge, take the hero challenge and/or join the HIP community on Facebook and Twitter.

via TED Blog

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