Eighteen years ago, a dialogue was held among the world’s faith and the development community, hosted by the President of the World Bank and the Archbishop of Canterbury at Lambeth Palace. Its theme was about the “Creation of Spiritually Based Indicators for Development.” A working group of the Bahá’í Faith prepared a concept paper for this dialogue, entitled “Valuing Spirituality in Development.” [amongst them this ebbf event speaker Arthur Dahl]
The first principle in that paper was that of “Unity in Diversity” and it noted that the idea of developing spiritually based indicators for development was timely and to have spiritual values and principles seriously considered in the development arena. Now 18 years later much of the above dialogue outcome seemed to have been lost in the shovel. The paper asserted that to use spiritually based indicators, it must have its foundation in the application of universal spiritual principles.
The concept paper defines the concept of “Unity in Diversity” as a way of expressing the principle of the oneness of humanity. It further states:
“…Unity in diversity stands in contrast to uniformity. It cherishes the natural diversity of temperament and talents
Gary Reusche sends a suggested read, mindsets and attitude to help us cope with global population of 11 billion people.
One of the longest serving ebbf members,Gary Reusche, sends his suggested read and whilst we have not read nor can vouch for the contents of this book, thinking of the right mindsets, attitudes and actions that will allow the planet to prosper with a population of 11 Billion people looks like something worth reading about.
“I know Paul Hanley for a number of years as I contributed a chapter in his book “Sprit in Agriculture” published in 2005. Still, when I read the promotional material about “Eleven” I had my doubts about liking the book. I was of the opinion that my view of world events was too radical. Perhaps, I thought, I was becoming cynical, especially of do-gooders espousing feel-good solutions to the ever growing list of catastrophic issues facing the planet. Increasingly believed that “unimaginable horrors precipitated by humanity’s stubborn clinging to old patterns of behavior” was the direction the world was inexorably heading.
Vahid Masrour who works for the Wikimedia Foundation led the pre-learning online event ‘Rethinking Organisations and Capacity Building with a View of Abundance’ to give a foretaste of the adventure the ebbf #BuildingCapacity International Learning Event, Bucharest 6 – 9 October is fast becoming.
Participants from Sweden, UK, Romania, Ecuador, Italy, USA enthusiastically discussed their insights of Vahid’s myth-busting accompanying presentation “From Crisis to Abundance: Exponential Organisations” in which he quickly demonstrated how people and organisations unwittingly hold themselves back from creating the adaptive and meaningful workplaces that they seek, by unwittingly maintaining a scarcity mass consciousness mindset.
It turns out, the way we use our own media spaces actually drives our views on scarcity and therefore our views on Abundance too. We have this tiny amygdala in our brain which triggers reactions to what surrounds us and to what we witness such as impulsive need to fight back, flee danger or become frozen to the spot. By our daily consumption of ‘bad news’ distributed in mainstream channels and, if we are not careful, our own social media channels we become hooked into media consumption, and unfortunately for us the viewer, we innocently keep ourselves wired into a negative feedback loop through the constant retriggering of the amygdala by consuming stories that reflect and trigger our ‘survival’ instinct states.
Fit for the 21st Century
Good news on the other hand, decouples us from the negative feedback loop and instead takes us back to the present moment, bringing us face to face with the immense possibilities standing before us in this 21st Century.
To illustrate, Vahid opened up the parameters of what becomes possible when we begin to appreciate stories of progress
Paris - what was the atmosphere really like at #COP21? Report from ebbf & IEF members who contributed there
What was the atmosphere and the action really like at #COP21 ?
You can get fresh insights from the ebbf and IEF (International Environment Forum) ‘s members who spent some very intense days at #COP21 in Paris and have shared their photos, impressions, contributions in this report that you can find on IEF’s website: http://iefworld.org/cop21
We are planning an online “ebbf meaningful conversation” event soon to allow you to interact with them on what happened and what will happen.
This Friday and Saturday help co-create the next ebbf international event: consultation, beyond decision-making a tool for learning
This Friday and Saturday you are invited to co-create the next ebbf international event
(taking place in Milan from 18:00 on the 12th to the 15th of May 2016)
JOIN one of three pre-event online meetings taking place this week
for a learning experience on the topic of the event:
consultation, beyond decision-making a tool for learning
ebbf board member and International Environment Forum’s president Arthur Dahl together with a number of other ebbf members and IEF representatives will be holding a number of events in Paris during the #COP21 summit taking place in Paris.
“We shall have an active presence at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21) at Le Bourget in Paris, France, on 30 November-11 December 2015. The International Environment Forum is organizing three events in the Climate Generations area for civil society, and co-sponsoring a side event at the intergovernmental conference. The Baha’is are partnering in a side event on ethics at the intergovernmental conference, with an IEF member participating. Details on these events and reports will be posted on the IEF website during and after the conference. At least 10 IEF members will be part of our team in Paris.”
Ahead of the event we were inspired by a statement issued by the BIC specifically for this sustainability global conference, that we encourage you to view:
Shared Vision, Shared Volition: Choosing Our Global Future Together
Just some initial highlights from that statement include: “Anthropogenic climate change is not inevitable; humanity chooses its relationships with the natural world” and “A more balanced attitude toward the environment must therefore address human conditions as consciously as it does natural ones. It must be embodied in social norms and patterns of action characterized by justice and equity. On this foundation can be built an evolving vision of our common future together. And that vision, in turn, stands as a powerful mechanism for mobilizing action around the world and coordinating numerous efforts into mutually-reinforcing lines of action.”
Are you involved in #COP21 ? Would you like the ebbf members and IEF representatives attending to share your ideas and messages?
Below you can find some highlights from the most recent pre-#ebbf25 online event
You can ask (clicking on the titles below) questions prior to the next two online events that you can join in the run up to the ebbf annual learning event in Barcelona.
16th September – Nousha Etemad Partner at Deloitte Canada
“what does it mean to be a collaborative leader in this hyper-connected world, what skills are necessary?”
24th September – Augusto Lopez-Claros director of indicators at the World Bank
Highlights from the last online event:
The pursuit by individuals of limitless material prosperity – regardless of any consequences this might have on others – is too often the basis of economic activity. Yet even those who succeed are rarely satisfied; they keep aspiring for and wanting more. In this never ending cycle, their only means of achieving more is to deny the means to greater prosperity to those who have less. So the final result is senseless one where neither they nor the others they leave behind are left satisfied and no real prosperity is created.
Prosperity is too often considered as a shimmerer, something that implies unlimited consumerism, we all agreed that whilst the standard of living has improved over the last 50 years, the quality of life and happiness index has stayed the same.
To create true prosperity we and organisations should be looking at less tangible things that offer limitless growth such as development, generosity, sharing, education and learning.
A participant mentioned Viktor Frankl idea of two areas to create meaning in life: happiness that comes from the satisfaction in reaching a goal and a more meaningful form: living life in service of others that creates an unlimited growth in those giving and in those receiving.
The success for companies then comes from making the switch from limited financial to limitless purpose values growth of others to what you contributes to life of others. Or even better a dynamic balance between both.
limited quantitative growth or limitless qualitative growth?
We reflected how the entire idea of quantitive growth is reaching boundaries that limit it and that will lead to a confrontational one…
Carrie Freeman, partner at Second Muse , will offer the opening keynote at #ebbf25 ebbf’s annual learning event coming up soon in Barcelona. She offers here a great opportunity for innovators
Carrie who has been studying how business can be a key contributor in an ever-advancing civilization for 20 years writes “In the new world of Big Data, we’ve learned how to acquire great data, but we’re still struggling with accessing it, understanding it, and putting it to work. That’s especially true with environmental data, where the urgency of problems facing people right now is driving efforts to turn raw digital input into information leading to concrete solutions.”
The opportunities she offers is: “Calling for entries from citizen scientists, professionals and from artists who have a brilliant idea for applying publicly accessible data to solving environmental challenges that will be featured at Eye on Earth Summit in Abu Dhabi
Washington - Augusto Lopez-Claros comment on World Bank blog: Equality of opportunity as an engine of prosperity
Augusto Lopez-Claros (director of global indicators at the World Bank) will be one of the speakers at ebbf’s 25th anniversary annual event taking place in Barcelona in just over one month. He recently wrote an interesting article on the World Bank’s portal titled “Equality of opportunity as an engine of prosperity”.
A few highlights from the article below
“Inequalities in education, for instance, artificially reduce the pool of talent which societies can draw from; by excluding qualified girls from the educational stream and promoting less qualified boys, the average amount of human capital in a country will be reduced and this will have an adverse impact on economic performance”
“with greater female power within the household there will be higher investments in the health and education of children, thereby planting the seeds for the accumulation of human capital in the next generation.”
And his article ends with
“Prosperity involves more than just increasing and distributing wealth. Human well-being includes social, cultural, ethical and spiritual dimensions. The diversity and additional perspectives contributed by presently marginalized groups can, when allowed full expression and participation, enrich the community and society and add to collective prosperity. Equality of opportunity not only prevents a waste of human resources and capacities, but also opens the potential to even higher levels of social and economic well-being.”
ebbf board member Arthur Dahl from Switzerland addressed the underlining injustice, global implication, and environmental impact with holistic thinking. His inspiring comments are:
” From a systems science perspective, the Greek financial crisis is only one obvious symptom of a Western consumer economy trying to maintain itself through endless borrowing beyond any reasonable hope of reimbursement. If the growth rate stays lower than the interest rate, reimbursement is impossible. The drivers of past higher growth: cheap energy from fossil fuel, a growing workforce of young people, and resource discoveries, are all ending, while technological innovation faces diminishing returns. The banking crisis just shifted the debt problem to governments. Regardless of how the Greek crisis is handled in the short term, the global financial system is highly vulnerable. However from an environmental perspective, a global financial collapse might have the best chance of reducing fossil fuel consumption in time to save us from catastrophic climate change.”