Coopertion Day

Human Cooperation is at the heart of all human progress. When we work to increase cooperation in our society, it’s like tapping into a natural renewable resource that makes our world a better place.

And we all have a role to play.

Here’s how.

By increasing cooperation in our own lives, we can experience the benefits directly, helping pave the way to our deeper cooperation tomorrow.

By increasing cooperation in the communities we live, we can each create the friendships and social fabric to overcome our more difficult problems more easily.

By focusing our efforts where there is consensus now, we can make increasing cooperation in society our goal.

And the power of applied cooperation is backed by ongoing scientific research at Yale and MIT…

The science behind Human Cooperation.

Cooperation Day is inspired by the scientific research into human cooperation, and the work of institutions looking at ways to bring that research to the public good.
See MIT’s Applied Cooperation Team.

Here is MIT scientist David Rand talk on Natural Cooperation.

Here is MIT Applied Cooperation research associate Erez Yoel talking about how we can engineer for cooperation and altruism.


Bibliography for the video and text of Cooperation Day

1. The RNA World: molecular cooperation at the origins of life by Paul G. Higgs and Niles Lehman. Published in Nature. Dated November 2013. Link to paper – “The RNA World concept posits that there was a period of time in primitive Earth’s history — about 4 billion years ago — when the primary living substance was RNA or something chemically similar. In the past 50 years, this idea has gone from speculation to a prevailing idea. In this Review, we summarize the key logic behind the RNA World and describe some of the most important recent advances that have been made to support and expand this logic. We also discuss the ways in which molecular cooperation involving RNAs would facilitate the emergence and early evolution of life.”

2. Evolutionary Explanations for Cooperation by Stuart A. West, Ashleigh S. Griffin and Andy Gardner.  Published in Current Biology. Dated August 2007. Link to paper – “…cooperation can be found at all levels of biological organisation: genes cooperate in genomes, organelles cooperate to form eukaryotic cells, cells cooperate to make multicellular organisms, bacterial parasites cooperate to overcome host defences, animals breed cooperatively, and humans and insects cooperate to build societies. ”

3. From extortion to generosity, evolution in the Iterated Prisoner’s Dilemma by Alexander J. Stewart and Joshua B. Plotkin. Published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS). Dated July 2013.  Link to paper – “While other researchers have previously suggested that cooperative strategies can be successful in such a scenario, Stewart and Plotkin offer mathematical proof that the only strategies that succeed in the long term are generous ones.”

4. Culture and the evolution of human cooperation by Robert Boyd and Peter J. Richerson. Published in Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. Dated November 2012. Link to paper -“All of the available evidence suggests that the societies of our Pliocene ancestors were like those of other social primates, and this means that human psychology has changed in ways that support larger, more cooperative societies that characterize modern humans. In this paper, we argue that cultural adaptation is a key factor in these changes.”

5. Cooperative behavior cascades in human social networks by James H. Fowler and Nicholas A. Christakis. Published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS). Dated March 2010. Link to paper. News report – “When people benefit from kindness they “pay it forward” by helping others who were not originally involved, and this creates a cascade of cooperation that influences dozens more in a social network.”


Our mission

We are an initial group of volunteers working to promote an increase in cooperation in society.  We are gathering cooperation ideas and promoting them. What’s yours?

Increasing human cooperation is key to solving most every problem we face in society.  By cooperating together now on the things we agree, we can create the social bonds to solve our more difficult problems sooner.

We intend to promote a series of actions that anyone can undertake to increase cooperation in their own life or within the community they live, and to promote an understanding of the science of cooperation, and the mission of Cooperation Day   #coopday