3rd Spirit of Humanity Forum

Chora Connection director Karen Blincoe participates in the 3rd Spirit Humanity Forum at Iceland from April 26-29. She will be a part of a panel discussing spirituality, sustainability and transition. More about the conference:

Caring for a World in Transition

Building a Foundation for a Loving and Peaceful world

A global platform

The Spirit of Humanity (SoH) Forum www.sohforum.org offers a global platform for leaders and change-makers seeking to contribute towards a lasting transformation in the world in which core human values such as love, respect, solidarity and compassion become integrated in our decision-making and relational processes, enabling systemic change in organisations, communities and nations. This is part of our ‘duty of care’ for the Earth and for Humanity at large.

The Forum focuses on spirituality in leadership, and explores new forms of governance underpinned by care, respect, trust, dialogue and relationships.

As partners of the SoH Forum, we see this work as a way to serve the world and as a pathway for our own learning, growth and transformation.

Reykjavík 2017

The third SoH Forum, to be held on 26-29 April 2017 in Reykjavik, will focus attention on the urgent necessity of building and strengthening our global societies and communities as part of our duty to care for and support a world in transition, including caring for ourselves, for each other and for planet Earth.

Integration of outer and inner approaches to creating a peaceful world
We have observed that in the transition towards a new paradigm there are movements and initiatives that centre on structural reform, social justice, human rights and equalities in the world, the ‘outer’ expressions of peace, and there are those that stress tranquility and the contemplative life, the ‘inner’ experience of peacefulness. It hence requires us to better integrate these two approaches to creating a loving and peaceful world.

Reykjavik, Iceland 26 – 29 April 2017

Caring for a World in Transition Building a Foundation for a Loving and Peaceful world

Today’s world is in transition, and there is a growing and widespread understanding of the need for interconnectedness, harmony and peace in the world. For this reason, the Spirit of Humanity Forum (SoH) seeks values-based approaches to governance in our private and public lives. In the words of Swedish Ambassador Ragnar Ängeby, one of the Forum’s founders, “the lasting improvements to the world’s conditions require a change of consciousness that will strengthen our ability to live by the highest values intrinsic to our humanity.”

Sacredness in being human and in nature

Underlying the notion of care is also a recognition of the sacredness in being human and in nature, and of the interdependence between humanity and the planet. This recognition involves a spiritual dimension which can enable us to open ourselves to the divine and to transcendent realities.

To live from the “Inside-out”

Thus SoH Forum Reykjavik 2017 will encourage leaders and change-makers at all levels to explore what it means to live from the ‘inside- out’ as well as the ‘outside-in’, and how this relational way of being supports a global transformation from fear and separation towards love and wholeness.

Exploration

The kinds of questions we wish to discuss at Reykjavík 2017 include:

  • In strengthening this spiritual foundation, how might leaders help transform processes of governance in different sectors of society?
  • How might our ‘duty of care’ and a growing collective consciousness change decision- making processes in ways that express more love and foster compassion for each other and for the planet?
  • How might leaders nurture themselves and others in order to sustain the spiritual foundation for a caring society?
  • In what way might spiritual communities around the globe help shift human consciousness from fear and separation towards love and wholeness?
  • How do we ensure our actions are shaped by our inner values and clear purpose?

Dialogue, reflection and learning

To do so, the Forum will enable space for dialogue, listening, contemplation, heartfelt enquiry and common learning. Participants are invited to share, inspire and be inspired and to collaborate in enacting a new narrative of caring for a world in transition.

Similar to previous SoH Forums, Reykjavík 2017 will feature a wide range of activities, including: inspirational narratives, dialogic round-tables, experiential workshops, personal sharing, contemplative reflection, informal conversations and rich Icelandic cultural and artistic experiences.

SoH Forum Reykjavík 2017 welcomes leaders, practitioners, professionals, thinkers and change-makers from diverse fields including the following:

▪ Education and Social Work ▪ Health and Health Care
▪ Science and Environment
▪ Business and Economy

▪ Politics, Peacebuilding and Conflict Transformation

▪ Arts, Culture, Media and Sports

We hope that the Forum will once again serve as a place of inspiration and understanding, leading to formative ideas about effecting changes, renewed practical work and a greater realisation of the central place of spiritual values in our global society and in our relationship with nature and the planet as a whole.

BACKGROUND

The Spirit of Humanity (SoH) Forum initiative was established in 2010 by respected individuals and five founding partner organisations: Brahma Kumaris, Iceland; City of Reykjavik, Iceland; Education 4 Peace Foundation, Switzerland; Guerrand-Hermès Foundation for Peace, UK/France. It has so far organised two successful events in Reykjavik, Iceland in 2012 and 2014. The Fetzer Institute, USA and Pure Land Foundation, UK have since become partners. Reykjavik was chosen as the venue of the Forum as it is aiming to become a global capital for peace.

The 1st Forum (SoH 2012) entitled “Resetting the Compass – Creating a Landscape of Possibilities” brought together 120 leaders from various fields who explored the potential of higher values and spirituality in empowering effective decision- making at all levels. The Höfđi House was chosen for the opening reception for its symbolic value as the site where the historical summit with Presidents Reagan and Gorbachev set in train the events that brought an end to the Cold War.

The 2nd Forum (SoH 2014) under the theme of “The Power of Love and Compassion in Governance – Sharing Actions for Effective Change” explored the potential of core values in bringing about lasting change through governance and leadership. The aim was to reconceptualise systemic change through the lenses of values-based practices. It brought together 230 participants, including Heads of international organisations, scientists, business leaders, artists and spiritual teachers, who presented concrete examples of values- driven work in society.

Participants of both SoH Forums generally agreed that they felt inspired, nurtured and supported in pursuing values-based work in their private and public lives and that they appreciated the connections with other individuals and organisations throughout the Forum.

Why Love Matters: Values in Governance

Following the 2nd Forum, an edited volume featuring the contributions from global leaders and change-makers on the theme of the values- based governance was published by Peter Lang Publishing. The book entitled ‘Why Love Matters: Values in Governance’ is available both on the Publisher’s website and through Amazon.

Currently, a co-authored book which captures the insights emerging from the SoH Forum’s dialogue series on peace and peacefulness is being developed. This dialogue series has been co-hosted and co-sponsored by the Guerrand- Hermès Foundation for Peace and the Fetzer Institute.

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