Monday, June 1, 2020

Towards a humane world

People from over 30 countries took part in ‘Towards a Humane World’, an international conference convened by Initiatives of Change International and IofC India at Asia Plateau, India, in February. The conference focused on four themes:

Democracy: How do we make democracy real in the face of increasing populism, extremism and polarization?

For complete speech, click here 

Sustainability: How do we speed the process towards a sustainable global society, tackling the environmental crisis and bridging economic divides?

For complete speech, click here

Inclusivity: How can we work for a society where all feel included and able to contribute?

For complete speech, click here

Trust: How do we heal broken relationships and rebuild trust?

For complete speech, click here

Familiar faces, such as Rajmohan Gandhi, and newcomers to Asia Plateau, such as Ethiopia’s Chief Commissioner of Human Rights, Daniel Bekele, gave their perspective on these vital concerns. Each plenary speaker had some valuable wisdom or unique insight to share – the full text of which can be found on intranet site!

Workshops enabled participants to go deeper into related topics and provided an opportunity to engage with other participants. Themes ranged from ‘Smart Citizens in Democracy Processes’ to ‘Nurturing Consciousness’ and from ‘Sustainable Business’ to ‘Accompaniment – a key to sustained changemaking’.

The driving force behind the conference was the belief that the global challenges we face cannot be left to leaders alone. Our society is a collective responsibility, and we can only make a difference if we work together. IofC maintains that a key to effectiveness is the inner change which frees us and equips us to be changemakers.

Arguably the most important component of ‘Towards a Humane World’ was the community groups, which offered safe space for the deeper, and often difficult, conversations to occur. Reflective silence and the help of a facilitator gave each person the confidence to share what was weighing on their heart and mind. Mealtimes gave participants, speakers and facilitators the chance to share informally over food or through working on the service shifts assigned to their community.

The conference brought together many different perspectives, both on the themes of the day and on how IofC can remain relevant in an ever-changing society. The concluding feeling was one of vibrant enthusiasm for collaboration and further discussion.

View the full report to learn more about the experience at Asia Plateau.