The Dalai Lama joined Bishop Desmond Tutu, eBay founder Pierre Omidyan, "Power of Now" author Eckhart Tolle, Nobel laureates and other spiritual leaders here to call for change in the world through compassion.
The Tibetan spiritual leader, who is here to lead the Vancouver Peace Summit, and Bishop Tutu were jointly given the Fetzer Prize for Love and Forgiveness. The award has been instituted by Michigan's Fetzer Institute to honour those who are working for peace in the world.
Speaking to nearly 10,000 people on the topic of 'World Peace Through Personal Peace' at the opening session of the three-day Peace Summit Sunday, the Dalai Lama said only true compassion can lead to world peace. He added that technology was becoming a hindrance in the way of peace in the world.
"I think technology may have some benefits for a smart brain but no capacity to produce compassion," he said.
The Dalai Lama said more women should be in positions of power to bring soft power and compassion to the world. The women attending the summit include 1976 Nobel Peace prize winners Mairead Maguire and Betty Williams of Ireland, 1997 Nobel winner Jody Williams from the US, former Ireland president Mary Robinson, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's wife Maria Shriver, and Bishop Tutu's daughter Mpho Tutu.
The Dalai Lama said jokingly: "Some people may call me a feminist, but we need more effort to promote basic human values - human compassion, human affection. And in that respect, females have more sensitivity for others' pain and suffering."
Real change, he said, must "start with individuals, then family, then community. We really need to embrace the concept of the whole world as 'we'."
Bishop Tutu, who could not come because of an injured back, accepted the award via video from Cape Town.
"We know in our hearts that many of our problems stem from our disregard of these virtues - the capacity to forgive, the capacity to reconcile, the capacity for caring for our fellow human beings," Tutu said.
Earlier, welcoming the Dalai Lama and others to the peace summit, Canadian Governor General Michaelle Jean said such "a dazzling constellation of global change agents" can pave the way for change in the world.
"You have a unique opportunity to dream big. Please be inspired. The world is counting on you. Peace is within our grasp," she said via video from the Canadian capital Ottawa.
The summit will hold discussions on various challenges facing humanity.