ProSocial World

The science of ProSocial focuses on fostering social conditions where individual and group interests are integrated and balanced, such that cooperative behaviors are reinforced above selfish ones. Prosocial groups act as a single organism, rather than a collection of individuals.

a year ago   •   2 min read

By Socialroots
Selfishness beats altruism within groups. Altruistic groups beat selfish groups. Everything else is commentary.

- David Sloan Wilson

Within our team, across our partnerships, and in the design and functionality of our infrastructure for networked organizations, Socialroots strives to implement prosocial principles. Our emerging partnership with ProSocial World offers both an impetus to develop our own practice, as well as to improve how we support others in exploring prosocial behaviors. If you're new to ProSocial, check them out. If you're familiar with their work, you may like to consider joining their community and deepening your understanding of these adaptive practices.


Grounded in evolutionary and behavioural science, ProSocial facilitates a paradigm shift in how we approach being human together. Emphasizing prosociality means realizing our species' potential for survival, adaptation and thriving by identifying together rather than pitting ourselves against one another. The ProSocial community delivers their scientifically-backed insights and practices as a clarion call to our institutions as we all come face-to-face with the limits of doing business as usual. Their mission aims to enhance cooperation and inspire positive cultural change for the well-being of others.

Learning resources

Below we have collected a few resources to help you find a starting place for exploring everything that the ProSocial community have to offer.

This is what it means to become “wise managers of cultural evolution” at any scale and for any topic area. We call this the “Third Way” of positive social change, which provides a paradigmatic alternative to the two dominant narratives of social change: laissez-faire and centralized planning.
  • In this medium article (quoted above), ProSocial co-founder Paul Atkins, PhD., describes, with some technical detail, the bodies of work which have led to the development of ProSocial as an Integrated Theory of Change.
  • The Neighborhood Project tells the autobiographic story of how President of ProSocial, David Sloan Wilson (Binghamton University Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Biological Sciences), came to apply his background in evolutionary biology to the study of cultural evolution as he grappled with making a practical difference to the wellbeing of his community.
  • For a compelling case study, read Commit and ACT: Applying ProSocial tools to reduce violence against women. This action research addressed gender-based violence in 10 families in Sierra Leone.
  • If you're interested in making positive change by working with youth, check out these resources and find support for bringing ProSocial to schools.
  • Below is a video introducing ProSocial's processes in more depth. This covers Acceptance and Commitment Training (ACT), and applying Ostrom's Nobel prize-winning principles for governing commons to improve group functioning.

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