GCGI Our Journey of Hope was Founded at an International Conference
in Oxford in July 2002
We live in difficult and troubling times, facing unprecedented global challenges in the areas of climate change and ecology, finance and economics, hunger and infectious disease, international relations and cooperation, peace and justice, terrorism and war, armaments and unprecedented violence. It is precisely in times like these – unstable and confusing though they may be – that people everywhere need to keep their eyes on the better side of human nature, the side of love and compassion, rather than hatred and injustice; the side of the common good, rather than selfishness, individualism and greed.
People need to see that there are serious alternatives to the world’s present failing policies, rules and institutions, and that there are like minded global citizens who share a vision of hope and common values that can lift them out of the deep sense of powerlessness and despair that is now affecting so many parts of the world.
I firmly believe that, in these dark and challenging times, when we are all in search of ways to heal our wounded world, we can nurture and nourish the healing power of our journey of hope within ourselves, and help to cultivate it and share it with each other. Our Journey of Hope is about many things. It is about challenging the norm. It is about volunteerism and service. It is about serving our communities, our world, and caring for our planet, our home. It is about finding out more about ourselves than we ever imagined possible. It is about having a dream. It is about a mission and our vocation in life. It is about believing in our journey and stories. It is about hope.
From darkness to light, from despair to hope: The Story of Our Journey of HOPE
Photo: Bryan Ricketts
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only…”
With these prophetic and timeless words, Charles Dickens begins his famous 1859 novel, A Tale of Two Cities, a story about a time of chaos, suffering and despair — but also about happiness and joy…
I couldn't have found better words to describe the times we are living in. Times of polarised and opposite forces pushing for a new world order to appear. Times of chaos, uncertainty, instability, hopelessness and anxiety, and at the same time transformation, spiritual revolution and evolution. We are at the verge of a turnaround, a seachange, a moment in history where it can all go one way or another and the outcome will be so confusing and radically unpredictable.
However, whilst we are not given to know the whole story behind everything, every event, and action that is going on, or will be going on, at least we can choose which side of it to look at or which path to choose, by becoming a seeker of truth.
Twenty years ago I decided to choose optimism and hope and to see sparks of kindness, compassion, love, friendship, and genius in every person and situation. Thus, I chose the path of the common good… to change global anxiety and hopelessness and turn them into positive action.
Seeking Wisdom and Truth and Giving Thanks for Blessings and Miracles
A Life so Lived is to Seek the Essence of the Common Good
GCGI is our Journey of Hope and the Sweet Fruit of a Labour of Love.
‘The best, like water,
Benefit all and do not compete.
They dwell in lowly spots that everyone else scorns.
Putting others before themselves,
They find themselves in the foremost place
And come very near to the Tao.
In their dwelling, they love the earth;
In their heart, they love what is deep;
In personal relationships, they love kindness;
In their words, they love truth.
In the world, they love peace.
In personal affairs, they love what is right.
In action, they love choosing the right time.
It is because they do not compete with others
That they are beyond the reproach of the world.’
- Lao Tzu, legendary Chinese sage
‘It is hope that can give meaning to life and which will give us the courage to
continue on our way into the future together.’
And this is why the 20th Anniversary of our GCGI offers the occassion to celebrate who we are and what we do. Our journey of hope has been our vision and mission, our values to build a better world, a world of wisdom and beauty, peace and justice, fairness and kindness, caring for our Sacred Earth and Mother Nature.
The Story of the GCGI
Portrait of a Great Journey for the Common Good
Guided by the principles of hard work, commitment, volunteerism and service; with a great passion for dialogue of cultures, civilisations, religions, ideas and visions, at an international conference in Oxford in 2002 the Globalisation for the Common Good Initiative (GCGI) and the GCGI Annual International Conference Series were founded.
The Globalisation for the Common Good Initiative Annual Conference series have ranged far across the world through Oxford, Saint Petersburg, Dubai, Nairobi/Kericho, Honolulu, Istanbul, Melbourne, Chicago, Paris, Thousand Oaks, California, and Lucca, Tuscany.
The GCGI conferences have created and continue to create an ever-widening international community of scholars, researchers and experts, forging links and establishing dialogues across national, cultural, religious, and academic boundaries, and putting into practice the movement’s core philosophy: that globalisation need not be defined merely in terms of impersonal market forces, but can be a power for good, building spiritual bonds that can unite humanity and bring different cultures, civilisations, faiths and academic disciplines closer together.
Today the GCGI is considered a leading progressive think tank, producing cutting-edge research and innovative policy ideas for a just, democratic and sustainable world. For the last 10 years, GCGI has helped shape the progressive thinking that is now the political centre ground. Independent and radical, we are committed to combating inequality, empowering citizens, promoting social responsibility, creating a sustainable economy and revitalising democracy. Best known for our influential work on Globalisation for the Common Good, Business Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility, Value-led Economics and Business Education, Ecology, Environment & Sustainable Development, Interfaith Dialogue and more, we now have significant cooperative projects with a number of universities, think tanks and civil societies in many countries around the world.
What the GCGI seeks to offer- through its scholarly and research programme, as well as its outreach and dialogue projects- is a vision that positions the quest for economic and social justice, peace and ecological sustainability within the framework of a spiritual consciousness and a practice of open-heartedness, generosity and caring for others, by encouraging us all to know and to serve the common good.
The GCGI is a non-profit making initiative with no formal income, capital, seed money, or endowment. It has no bank account, cheque book, team of fund-raisers and accountants. This self-sustaining funding mechanism has been a key lynch pin of our independence and integrity. At no point in our history has the GCGI been so reliant on external sources that if external funding is removed, the GCGI cannot continue.
The most precious capital that the GCGI has had is the calibre of its friends and supporters, including the universities that have hosted its annual conferences, and more, which with their love, trust and goodwill have committed themselves as partners in shared vision, to support the GCGI in a spirit of moral, spiritual and intellectual collaboration to further its work.
Reflecting on our shared journey for the common good, it is amazing to me that twenty years have gone by so quickly. What began as a simple idea to share the practical wisdom of the common good, dialogue, friendship, love, generosity, kindness, and more has blossomed into an internationally recognised non-profit organisation that has become a leading resource “inspiring people to do great things for the common good”.
From the very beginning, I knew that we would succeed, if we could reach-out to everybody around the world and be an all volunteer network of individuals, while approaching our growth organically and focusing on our vision and mission.
As you might imagine, in the initial days when we began sharing our vision of doing things for the common good, we were met with a great deal of scepticism, apprehension, and thankfully, some warm embraces and love. We were energised by all of those early experiences and continued to find ways to build ideas, programmes and initiatives around our main message and theme of Globalisation for the Common Good.
Perhaps our greatest accomplishment has been our ability to bring Globalisation for the Common Good into the common vocabulary and awareness of a greater population along with initiating the necessary discussion as to its meaning and potential in our personal and collective lives.
In the last twenty years and so, similar to all those who have taken a similar value-based-journeys of self-discovery, I, too, have also realised that, “From the great oceans, vast plains and highest mountains that sustain our fragile and vital ecosystem, to our village friends and city dwellers that bring meaning to our common journey, we are quickly realising that everyone and everything is interconnected and interdependent.
With each passing day, it is also increasingly evident in every corner of our world that great change is upon us and that by standing together in mutual respect, honour and dignity for one another, we will answer this call with creative, viable and sustainable solutions.
We must take the necessary steps now to reach out to our fellow humans and extend our hand in forgiveness, acceptance and genuine friendship. Our choices shall be made from compassion while embracing the richness of our amazing diversity. The love and acceptance we have for ourselves will be the source of our strength to assist others. Together we can and will make a difference through love.
These necessary changes may challenge us to the depths of our courage and test the very essence of our personal character, yet with each ensuing breath we shall remain in love and this love will be the very basis of a new era of peace and abundance, equality and goodwill for all”.
In short, at Globalisation for the Common Good Initiative we are grateful to be contributing to that vision of a better world, given the goals and objectives that we have been championing since 2002. For that we are most grateful to all our friends and supporters that have made this possible.
I sincerely hope that we may continue this loving and hopeful journey together and share a common belief in the potential of each one of us to become self-directed, empowered, and active in defining this time in the world as an opportunity for positive change and healing and for the true formation of a culture of peace by giving thanks, spreading joy, sharing love, seeing miracles, discovering goodness, embracing kindness, practicing patience, teaching moderation, encouraging laughter, celebrating diversity, showing compassion, turning from hatred, practicing forgiveness, peacefully resolving conflicts, communicating non-violently, choosing happiness and enjoying life.
Prof. Kamran Mofid, Founder, Globalisation for the Common Good Initiative (GCGI)