Zoe Weil

Zoe Weil is the co-founder and president of the Institute for Humane Education (IHE), where she created the first graduate programs in comprehensive Humane Education linking human rights, environmental preservation and animal protection, offered online through an affiliation with Antioch University. IHE also offers a free Solutionary GuidebookSolutionary Workshops, and an award-winning resource center through its Center for Solutionary Change to help educators and changemakers bring solutionary practices to students and communities so that together we can effectively solve local and global challenges. Zoe is a frequent keynote speaker at education and other conferences and has given six TEDx talks including her acclaimed TEDx, “The World Becomes What You Teach.” She is the author of seven books including The World Becomes What We Teach: Educating a Generation of Solutionaries; Nautilus silver medal winner Most Good, Least Harm, Moonbeam gold medal winner Claude and Medea, and Above All, Be Kind: Raising a Humane Child in Challenging Times. Zoe was named one of Maine Magazine’s 50 independent leaders transforming their communities and the state, and is the recipient of the Unity College Women in Environmental Leadership award. She was also a subject of the Americans Who Tell the Truth portrait series. She holds master’s degrees from Harvard Divinity School and the University of Pennsylvania and was awarded an honorary doctorate from Valparaiso University.

Articles by this author

Equanimity is defined as mental calmness, composure, and evenness of temper, especially in difficult situations. (Photo by CHRISTOF STACHE/AFP via Getty Images) Views
Saturday, October 17, 2020
Four Ways to Find Equanimity When the News Is Overwhelming
If you’re like me, you spend a lot of time consuming the news. You check news sources first thing in the morning, the last thing before bed, and periodically throughout the day. Perhaps you’ve always been inclined to consume news frequently, but 2020 has ramped up your habit. These days, you may...
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In the midst of so much fury, trauma, and terror, hearts refuse to be crushed. (Photo: Oleksandr Lapin/ Ukrinform/Barcroft Media via Getty Images) Views
Wednesday, July 01, 2020
What Makes Us Crack
Sometimes it's not the thing that should make you crack that makes you crack. You keep it together as a pandemic takes half a million people who die alone gasping for breath and throws millions into unrelenting poverty. You keep it together as you watch people killed simply because of the color of...
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 Let’s imagine historians looking back at 2020 and describing it as the year when these societal systems began to change in earnest. (Photo: Pixaby) Views
Wednesday, June 10, 2020
Why 2020 Could Turn Out to Be a Transformative Year
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the sheer awfulness of 2020. First came the bushfires in Australia. They burned more than 72,000 square miles (nearly the size of Minnesota) and killed more than one billion animals. Next came COVID-19 , which (as of this writing) has infected nearly eight million...
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A piglet looks out from its enclosure. (Photo: Kevin/flickr/cc) Views
Sunday, April 26, 2020
What We Choose to Eat Has Everything to Do With This Pandemic—and the Next One
When the history of COVID-19 is written, will we finally name our obsession with eating animals as the original sin that led to a catastrophe of such profound consequence? Will we have learned from the lesson of the Wuhan “wet market”—where COVID-19 is thought to have originated —that cramming wild...
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If cities, states, and the federal government can choose to release prisoners due to COVID-19, what does that tell us about the purpose and meaning of imprisonment? (Photo: Robyn Beck / AFP - Getty Images) Views
Thursday, April 09, 2020
What COVID-19 Reveals About Incarceration and How We Can Transform the Prison System
When I was in graduate school in the 1980s, I volunteered at a women’s “correctional institution,” a euphemism for prison. So many of the prisoners I worked with shared similar stories: They grew up in foster care, were separated from siblings, experienced childhood sexual abuse, wound up on the...
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The Entire Journey Views
Saturday, February 11, 2017
The Changing Face of Advertising: What It Might Mean and How It Might Matter
The 24 hours following Super Bowl LI were full of commentary about the political angle of ads aired during the game. The recap: there was the Airbnb pro-diversity ad , the replay of the Coca Cola America the Beautiful ad in nine languages, the Audi women's rights ad , the pro-immigration Anheuser-...
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Monday, July 11, 2016
Ending the Violence with Meaningful Solutions
I am a humane educator, a person dedicated to creating a more just, peaceful, and sustainable world through education. This past week’s killings of Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, and five Dallas police officers underscore the necessity of educating a generation of solutionaries who have the...
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Tuesday, April 12, 2016
Empathy + Thinking = Wise Action
In a recent video from The Atlantic , Yale psychology professor Paul Bloom argues that empathy is a fundamentally bad thing that makes the world worse. Bloom believes empathy leads us to make less rational decisions. If a child is trapped in a dangerous mine, our empathy compels us to harness great...
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Sunday, March 06, 2016
Civil Discourse Leads to Positive Change; Insults Do Not
In the past week I’ve seen a grotesque image of Donald Trump as a pig centaur trending on Facebook, and an open letter inviting FB friends to de-friend them if they support Trump. I’ve seen Hillary called every name in the book (newest: Killary), while Bernie is regularly called a communist. No one...
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Tuesday, February 16, 2016
From Good Works to Good Ideas: Educating the #SolutionaryGeneration
Kids are doing all sorts of good works these days. More often than not their efforts are focused on: 1) Raising money for charities 2) Collecting and providing food and essentials to the poor, and/or 3) Participating in local clean-up efforts to protect neighborhood environments. Such efforts are...
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