Messages of Greeting to the The 11th GCGI International Annual Conference
- Kamran Mofid
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Cité universitaire internationale, Paris, 25- 28 August 2013
Fred Dallmayr, Packey J. Dee Professor, University of Notre Dame, USA
Co-Chair, Word Public Forum -Dialogue of Civilizations (WPFDC)
“At the opening of your 11th International Conference, it gives me great pleasure to send you a very sincere message of support and good wishes. I send you this message as an individual who is a friend of the organizers and many of the participants of your conference. But I send it also as Co-Chair of the World Public Forum - Dialogue of Civilizations, a Forum which values highly the Common Good Initiative and considers it a trusted partner in a common endeavor.
In my dual capacity, I can assure you that, in my view, nothing is more important in the present world than the striving for the common good which finds expression in the honest collaboration among individuals, peoples and nations. Unfortunately, our world today hovers perilously close to many catastrophes and derailments: catastrophes looming in geopolitics, in global economics, in environmental spoliation, and in a host of religious, ethnic and nationalistic hostilities and conflicts. To avert these catastrophes we urgently need the collaboration of the greatest possible number of people across the world. Such collaboration, in turn, requires the cultivation of reliable partnerships between like-minded organizations and movements.
This partnership also must extend across generations. In this respect, I welcome and applaud your chosen conference theme for 2013: "Imagine the Common Good: An Intergenerational Dialogue to Inspire a Creative Leadership." Yes, let us imagine and, on the basis of our imagination, let us build a better future for our children and their children.
I know that our Founding President, Dr. Vladimir Yakunin, and the entire Word Public Forum want to join me in sending you this message of support.
Wishing you all a very fruitful and rewarding conference.”
Dr. Walter Schwimmer, Former Secretary General of the Council of Europe
Chairman of the International Coordination Committee of the World Public Forum - Dialogue of Civilizations (WPFDC)
“The “Common Good” has been an objective for many people, movements, ideologies over thousands of years. But what was claiming to be the common good was very often narrow-minded, targeted on the specific interest of peoples, nations, tribes and clans, or even classes. But there have been always creative thinkers who fostered a more general, a global view of the common good. Such a thinker, Kamran Mofid gave the idea of a global common good a new impetus. The Globalisation for the Common Good Initiative (GCGI) is bringing like-minded people together who want to foster a global common good while respecting the diversity of civilizations, cultures, nations and religions. Despite all differences mankind has much more in common that narrow-minded people think. With the conference in Paris “Imagine the Common Good: An Intergenerational Dialogue to Inspire a Creative Leadership” Kamran Mofid’s initiative is bringing together the idea of a global common good with the movement for enhanced dialogue between the various groups of our global society. The intergenerational dialogue has a special importance in that respect, as the generations of today are responsible for the living conditions of the generations of tomorrow. We should not talk about the common good for today only, but in particular of the common good for the generations to come. Unfortunately not able to attend the Paris conference, I wish all participants fruitful debates and full success, for the sake of the common good!”
Prof. Gerhard Apfelthaler, Dean, School of Management, California Lutheran University, USA
"Over the last decade, the GCGI Annual Conference has become an important part of the lives of so many – professors and students from various disciplines, administrators and members of the corporate and the NGO sector. To them, GCGI is more than just another conference, it's a place to stop and reflect, a place to inspire and be inspired, a place where bridges are built and a place where a joint vision of the world we want to live in is developed in the good academic tradition of open, intellectual discourse. Every participant, presenter or chair, discussant or audience member, must be thanked for dedicating his/her time to this worthy cause!"
Jim Kenney, Co-founder and Executive Director, Common Ground, Co-founder and Co-editor, Interreligious Insight
“While it is unfortunately not possible for us to join you in Paris, Cetta and I are thrilled with the intention and the broad design of this latest gathering of the GCGI. From the beginning, Globalization for the Common Good has been committed to interreligious, intercultural, interdisciplinary, and intergender dialogue and engagement. It's high time to add the vital fifth dimension — the intergenerational.
In critical cultural evolutionary periods like our own, we can no more afford "generation gaps" than we can live with gender inequity or ignore religious intolerance. Effective action for the common good requires deep conversation, shared experience, and the nurturing of the emerging global consensus about the stark challenges and opportunities that lie before us.
I know that Kamran and I – and so many others at the conference – believe that a new evolutionary vision is taking shape and that young leaders may now be our most precious resource. I trust that the Paris conference – like so many of our previous gatherings – will resonate with the theme of cultural evolution and the transformational dynamic, which so many of us invoke with just three letters: P, J, and S.
P — nurturing cultures of Peace and nonviolent conflict resolution,
J — striving for social and economic Justice and universal human rights, and
S — committing ourselves to lifestyles and activism advancing ecological sustainability.
Wishing you a grand gathering.”
Dr. Evelin Lindner, Founding President, Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies, and World Dignity University
“The Globalisation for the Common Good Initiative (GCGI) is one of the most important initiatives of our time. It is holding its 2013 International Annual Conference in Paris from 25 to 28 August 2013.
I would like to express my profound support to all of its participants. Humankind is currently gambling away its future. Six to nine planets would be needed to continue our present path. New visions are overdue. Our presently living generation carries more responsibility than any generation alive on planet Earth before. And you, the participants of this conference, are at the forefront.
The entire planet is our commons, and we, the human family, must become its guardians, rather than its destroyers. In order to do so, we need to draw on biodiversity and cultural diversity. From this diversity, we need to ‘harvest’ the best solutions for a dignified future that is worth living in for our children.
Where can we find diversity? We are likely to find it in the peripheries, rather than in power centres or around them, where they have homogenized everything into monocultures. Uli Spalthoff will speak at your conference about Ubuntu, an African philosophy of solidarity. Uli Spalthoff is on the board of directors of the Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies network (HumanDHS), of which I am the founding president, with Linda Hartling as its director. Also Michael Britton, who participated in other GCGI conferences, is on our board of directors. The HumanDHS network has recently launched the World Dignity University initiative.
Our work is to create a world dignity movement, a movement that continuously co-creates sustainability, both, socially and ecologically, locally and globally. We gather a global family of people who replenish our social and ecological resources and bring new visions of dignity on their way.
If we, the human family, wish to enjoy a dignified future, YOUR conference has a pivotal role to play!“
Prof. Dr. Jens Wendland, Chair of Media Theory and Economics, Faculty of Journalism, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia
“Who could have anticipated a decade ago that even civil societies would get into a crisis of their values and moral concepts. Who would have dared to forecast that an economic and social crisis would shake the foundation of economic systems and social order. The financial markets are hardly more controllable. An unhibited globalisation hollows out state constitutions and national cultures. The digitalisation of mass communication grasps nearly all areas of human living.
With his economic overview, social consciousness and intercultural knowledge Kamran Mofid has founded the Globalisation for the Common Good Initiative, over a decade ago, as a network of spiritually connected friends, which has matured into a steadily growing family. GCGI became a system of early societal diagnosis and part of a international network of NGO s. GCGI has taken up the discourse to the preservation and the advancement of human values of civil societies against the opportunism of topical politics and the devastating avarice of the financial markets.
GCGI has grown into a worldwide community addressing the fact that we live in an increasingly multi-polar world. This community will not give in to the crises, but looks for ways to overcome them. The title and programme of the 11th annual conference in Paris with a special devotion to the first generation of digital native are the best example for it. The Globalisation for the Common Good Initiative has never become one-side but thinks more and more holistically.
I am proud to be one of the GCGI Senior Ambassadors. Because I cannot come for compelling reasons to Paris, I wish much of success for the discourse. I will be present in thought –conscious of the spirituality and the friendship of all participants.”
Linda Hartling, Ph.D., Director, Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies
“On behalf of the entire Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies (HumanDHS) network, please allow me to join Evelin Lindner in emphasizing that the Globalisation for the Common Good Initiative (GCGI), under the visionary leadership of Kamran Mofid, is one of the most important initiatives of our time. HumanDHS is honored to offer our enthusiastic support of GCGI’s 2013 International Annual Conference in Paris!
We, as a global family, are in the midst of a tsunami of social, economic, educational, and environmental climate change. It is all too apparent that shortsighted, self-serving practices of the past are depleting our shared natural and social resources, the very resources we need to survive as a species. Every day the media is filled with unfolding and ongoing social, political, economic, and environmental disasters ravaging all life on this planet.
Yet in the midst of this darkening storm, a few remarkable communities of courage are coming together in innovative ways that may ultimately save the day. GCGI is one of the finest examples of a world-saving community. Like HumanDHS, the efforts of GCGI are a heroic and daring labor of love. GCGI defies the malignant monetization of human activity that is hijacking all of our personal and global relationships while it destroys our only planetary habitat.
From the perspective of HumanDHS, GCGI is one of our most treasured organizational role models, a model of compassionate, insightful collaboration leading to innovative action. GCGI is an invaluable inspiration to all of our efforts, as recently illustrated in the launching of Dignity Press and the development of a World Dignity University Initiative.
We celebrate that GCGI shares our vision of replenishing the planet while dignifying the lives of all people. Throughout your crucial conference, please know that the HumanDHS community is standing with you in unwavering solidarity and loving support!”
Prof. Luk Bouckaert, Prof. em. Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium (Center for Economics and Ethics)
president European SPES-Forum
“Being unable to attend the fascinating GCGI Conference in Paris, I can only try to give my full encouragement and support.
A good conference is always more than just an exchange of papers and ideas. It is the experience of a common belief nicely expressed in a quote of Mahatma Gandhii: "In a gentle way, you can shake the world." The quote sounds over-optimistic but in fact, looking at history, many changes in history started by small groups of committed and critical citizens taking an initiative for the common good. The GCGI is for sure one of those groups committed to building a better world for all.
The theme of intergenerational dialogue is a creative way to explore the future. But do not follow the conventional path of youngsters formulating questions to elder people knowing the answers. I believe the other way around is the more productive one. It is the task of elder people to formulate deep challenging questions that have no answers in order to give the younger generation the time to find out their answers. This was the way Socrates practiced the intergenerational dialogue. I wish you an inspiring conference.”
Nancy Roof, PhD, Founder/Editor Kosmos Journal
“I regret that I cannot be with you in person, but am sending you all good wishes in the spirit of love and cooperation that is the foundation of the GCGI. I had hoped, especially, that I could meet the inspiring youth who will be attending, to share the perspective of an elder who still feels like a youth. My message is about lifelong “youth” staying in touch with fresh and emerging evolutionary developments of the One Humanity and One Life throughout our lifetimes.
No matter what our age, we can dedicate our lives to service, and make this a lifelong commitment. In fact, one eventually finds that devoting one’s self to our own happiness alone, soon loses its glow. The jest for life is regenerated only when we learn that we are born with special gifts to be used to make a difference, all in our unique way. Our challenge is to create a new civilization based on a new worldview with spiritual values. Simultaneously we must transform all of our institutions: economics, governance, education, religion, media, science— so that they reflect our highest values.
There is no longer any youth and old age. We must continue to learn from each other, as we are all in this together—challenged with advancing the great transition to a new civilization. Please check out the Kosmos Journal website to see ways you may contribute. I wish you all a very fruitful and rewarding conference.”
Dr. Shiv Talwar, President, Spiritual Heritage Education Network Inc; Kitchener, Canada
“It is a singular pleasure and a privilege to send a message of support and best wishes to the organizers and participants of the 11th GCGI International Annual Conference in Paris.
The theme of the conference “Imagine the Common Good: An Intergenerational Dialogue to Inspire a Creative Leadership” is very topical in the current global setting of sharp fragmentation in opposing camps of “us” vs “them” where notions of human commonality and common good are alien to the majority of us. We at the Spiritual Heritage Education Network Inc. sincerely wish and hope that the conference achieves a measure of success in helping create a movement to awaken us to our shared humanity and common destiny in the global village which we all inhabit.
Humanity today is beset by large scale global problems of poverty, hunger, disease, conflict, environmental degradation, etc. And we cannot get together and collectively address these grave problems which threaten our very survival on the globe. One reason for our inability for collective action perhaps is that we are unable to shake our tribal attitudes resulting from centuries of limited identities, geographical isolation and our historicity. As a result we, on individual and community levels, are like prisoners stuck in the proverbial Plato’s cave whose world comprises only of shadows. A leader who has seen the reality and who tries to awaken the prisoners to it then is seen by them with suspicion.
May the intergenerational dialogue at your conference inspire creative leadership truly able to lead us from our tribal identities to that of shared humanity in oneness through the common ground of being!”
Dr. Michael Britton, Consulting Psychologist, Board of Directors, Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies, and the Center for Global Community and World Law
“Conscience is one of the formative gifts adults give to the young, answering their question: What must I do to be worthy of my own esteem and that of others? One kind of answer teaches the young to identify with aggression, become skilled at exploitation, and avoid being "soft hearted." At the GCGI you raise your voices on behalf of a different answer, encouraging identification with a sense of concern, compassion, generosity, love, respectfulness of everyone's dignity, and building a world together that everyone will treasure. I know many of you, I know Kamran and Violane, and I know you will all enrich each other and our world. I have great faith in you and the good you will generate together. Yours are voices that need to be heard widely and often. You teach the world to want to be good at genuine goodness. With the warmest of wishes for your success! Godspeed!”