I'm an ethics strategist, writer, social change advocate and public speaker, dedicated to the goal of a gentler, more compassionate world. My work focuses on promoting policies and blueprints for society that are aligned with deep ethical thinking. Since June 2016 I'm the Executive Director of the Organisation for the Prevention of Intense Suffering (OPIS), a Swiss-based think-and-do tank I founded to promote the prevention of human and non-human suffering as our overriding global ethical priority. I'm the author of The Battle for Compassion: Ethics in an Apathetic Universe, a methodical exploration of the question "What matters?", and I also produced a short film based on this book that communicates some of its key messages. My new book The Tango of Ethics: Intuition, Rationality and the Prevention of Suffering, to be published by Imprint Academic in January 2023, goes further in proposing a rigorous reassessment of how we think about ethics.
Through writing, advocacy, public talks, workshops and films, I aim to spread compassion and ethical decision-making that aims to meet the needs of all and prevent the worst experiences from happening. I give talks about ethics, suffering, governance, anti-speciesism and OPIS's work on access to therapeutic morphine and treatments for cluster "suicide" headaches. I collaborate with like-minded organisations and also carry out some editorial and ethics consulting to clients.
"I always find that there are at least one or two gems that have emerged from every Campfire Conversation, and meeting Jonathan Leighton was certainly one of them. An inspired talk."
-Pete Lawrence, creator of The Big Chill festivals, founder of Campfire Convention
"What a masterpiece! Very moving and still rational. You somehow summarized exactly how I feel about and hope for our world." (re: The Battle for Compassion film)
-Thomas Hecquet, Co-Director of Animal Equality Germany
"This is absolutely beautiful and crystal-clear prose. An article that does not have to mention the proper noun ‘vegan’ to provide any obvious ethical response to the problem of factory farming. This is reality held up and eviscerated with words." (re: Thriving in the Age of Factory Farming)
-Beorn McCarthy, animal rights advocate
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