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Enhancing the Wellbeing and Prosperity of Humankind Exploring New Directions in a Time of Rapid Chan


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Title: Enhancing the Wellbeing and Prosperity of Humankind Exploring New Directions in a Time of Rapid Chan

Enhancing theWell-being and Prosperityof
HumankindExploring New Directionsin a Time of
Rapid Change
  • Arthur Lyon Dahl Ph.D.
  • European Bahá'í Business Forum (EBBF)
  • http//www.ebbf.org
  • International Environment Forum (IEF)
  • http//www.bcca.org/ief
  • 25 September 2009

The challenge for business
  • A leader in business is expected to meet
    short-term targets for growth and profitability
  • Business operates in a rapidly changing and
    globalizing world reaching planetary limits
  • How do you balance and integrate the short-term
    responsibility for business success and the
    longer-term economic, social and environmental
    risks to that success?
  • Does business share any larger responsibility for
    human well-being?

Outline of the presentation
  • A time of rapid change
  • What is the well-being of humankind?
  • Exploring new directions for the ideal company
  • The larger picture

A Time ofRapid Change
  • The economic system demonstrated it was
    fundamentally flawed, but everyone is hoping to
    return to business as usual
  • Climate change requires rapid and concerted
    action, but everyone is defending their own
  • Population growth and environmental degradation
    are reaching planetary limits
  • The information revolution is transforming human

The financial system gambled on our future and
The Casinó in Monaco
Collapse of the financial system
  • The 2007-2008 collapse of the financial system
    was due to greed, herd behaviour, and
    over-confidence in scientific approaches to risk
  • Complex statistical models do not work for
    extreme events
  • Each vulnerability was evaluated independently
  • Future projections were based on past experience
  • There was no evaluation of overall systems
  • Jamison 2008

The main danger
  • "The main danger we face is... that by late 2009
    the global economy will be perking up again
    (because the housing sectors will have bottomed
    and the unwinding of commodity prices will boost
    consumption among oil importers) and governments
    will go back to business as usual, missing a
    once-in-a-life-time opportunity to address the
    serious vulnerabilities in the worlds financial
    system which the current crisis has revealed. In
    that scenario, the next crisis would find us with
    little ammunition left. That is the real danger."
  • Augusto Lopez Claros, letter to the Financial
    Times, 4 December 2008

Where is the Economy going?Still accumulating
  • Origins in American consumer society living
    beyond its means, accumulating debt
  • Head of European Central Bank "We live in
    non-linear times the classic economic models and
    theories cannot be applied, and future
    development cannot be foreseen."
  • Derivatives over 500 trillion by 2008 (x4 5y)
  • Explosion in government borrowing European
    countries on brink of insolvency risk of loss of
    confidence in governments
  • Warnings of hyperinflation

Only a minority benefitsfrom the
unsustainablemarket system
  • All too many of these man-made
    ideologies...callously abandon starving millions
    to the operations of a market system that all to
    clearly is aggravating the plight of the majority
    of mankind, while enabling small sections to live
    in a condition of affluence scarcely dreamed of
    by our forebears.
  • (Universal House of Justice, The Promise of World
    Peace, I, p. 6-7)

Population Growth
SYMPTOM Global land grab
  • Wealthy governments and large companies are
    buying/leasing large areas of land in poor
    countries for export to ensure their own food
  • 10 m ha were bought in 2008, 20m in first half of
    2009 ( half all arable land in Europe)
  • South Korea 690,000ha and UAE and Egypt 400,000ha
    each in Sudan Saudi Arabia 500,000ha in
    Tanzania Daewoo 1.3m ha in Madagascar Libya
    100,000ha in Mali South African businesses 8m ha
    in DR Congo China 2.8m ha in Congo and 2m ha in
    Zambia, with 1 m Chinese farm labourers in Africa
    in 2009

We are alsoaccumulating massive socialand
environmental debt
  • Climate change is already worse than worst
    predictions of IPCC 2007
  • UK Chief Scientist (19 March) the world faces a
    'perfect storm' of problems in 2030 as food,
    energy and water shortages interact with climate
    change to produce public unrest, cross-border
    conflicts and mass migrations

CLIMATE CHANGEWhat the models saidIPCC 2007
Threat to Security
  • If climate change goes unchecked, its effects
    will be catastrophic on the level of nuclear
  • The security dimension will come increasingly to
    the forefront as countries begin to see falls in
    available resources and economic vitality,
    increased stress on their armed forces, greater
    instability in regions of strategic import,
    increases in ethnic rivalries, and a widening gap
    between rich and poor.
  • International Institute for Strategic Studies,
    Strategic Survey 2007 (September 2007)

Climate changeeffect on the economy
  • The Stern Report estimated the annual cost of
    uncontrolled climate change at more than 660
    billion (5 to 20 of global GDP, as compared to
    1 for control measures for greenhouse gases).
  • Climate change represents the greatest market
    failure in human history

Energyinvestment challenges
  • The International Energy Agency estimates needed
    investment in energy infrastructure at 22,000bn
    by 2030 to replace ageing capacity and meet
    growing demand (2 global GDP, 130 per person
    per year)
  • Responding to climate change would add 2,000bn

The double economic challenge
  • On current trends, ...humanity will need twice
    as much energy as it uses today within 35
    years.... Produce too little energy, say the
    economists, and there will be price hikes and a
    financial crash unlike any the world has ever
    known, with possible resource wars, depression
    and famine. Produce the wrong sort of energy, say
    the climate scientists, and we will have more
    droughts, floods, rising seas and worldwide
    economic disaster with runaway global warming.
  • John Vidal in The Guardian Weekly, 9-15 February
    2007, Energy supplement, p. 3
  • We may well do both at the same time.

Adding up the figures
  • A recent analysis of 40 years of data on human
    activity and environmental damage puts the cost
    of climate change, ozone depletion, deforestation
    and overfishing by rich nations at 47 trillion,
    more that the combined foreign debt of all poor
  • The annual investment necessary to restore the
    planet's productive resources is estimated at 93
  • The biggest shortage may be of capital to make
    investments and repair damage

This is a crisis of consumption, foundation of
the business model
  • The economy is driven by consumption
  • Anything increasing consumption was good for the
    economy planned obsolescence, aggressive
    advertising and marketing, encouraging addiction,
    carefully orchestrated changes in style, etc.
  • Information technologies and media have
    globalized this and made it more effective
  • People expect increasing purchasing power

The consumer lifestyle in danger
Risk of collapse of civilization(Meadows et al.
(1992) Beyond the Limits)
  • Business as usual Transition 1995
    Transition 2015

End of the growth paradigm
  • Is endless growth realistic?
  • Economic growth has depended on population
    growth, energy growth, resource growth and
    technological innovation
  • The first three all end in this century
  • All that is left is our brains and heart

Has business forgotten people?Is the problem
fundamentally ethical?
Business has noinherent ethical framework
  • Only statutory obligation is profit for
  • Ethics dependent on individuals, especially at
    the top
  • Globalization leaves business open to ethical
    challenges beyond national legislation

Moral Failures in Business
  • Madoff, Enron, Worldcom and other frauds
  • Transfer pricing, creative accounting, offshore
    tax havens allow escaping taxation
  • Exorbitant salaries of corporate leaders and
    bonuses of bankers
  • Corporate funding of disinformation
  • Corruption flourishing almost everywhere
  • Privatization in some countries has allowed the
    powerful and wealthy to grab assets

  • The illegal economy from organized crime is now
    2 trillion/year, or twice all the world's
    defence budgets
  • Bribery 1tr counterfeiting and piracy 520bn
    drug trade 320bn human trafficking 44bn
  • Political corruption is everywhere the vast
    majority of bribes go to people in rich countries
  • 10 of all public health budgets are lost to
  • Business participates to buy advantages, for
    efficiency, out of fear
  • This results in market failures, capital loss

The economy is rooted inself-centred materialism
  • The early twentieth century materialistic
    interpretation of reality became the dominant
    world faith in the direction of society
  • Dogmatic materialism captured all significant
    centres of power and information at the global
    level, ensuring that no competing voices could
    challenge projects of world wide economic

It has sold us the consumer culture
  • - Materialism's gospel of human betterment
    produced today's consumer culture pursuing
    ephemeral goals
  • - For the small minority of people who can afford
    them, the benefits it offers are immediate, and
    the rationale unapologetic
  • - The breakdown of traditional morality has led
    to the triumph of animal impulse, as instinctive
    and blind as appetite
  • - Selfishness becomes a prized commercial
    resource falsehood reinvents itself as public
    information greed, lust, indolence, pride - even
    violence - acquire not merely broad acceptance
    but social and economic value
  • - Yet material comforts and acquisitions have
    been drained of meaning (based on Baha'i
    International Community, One Common Faith, 2005)

The materialistic basis of economic thinking is
itself an ethical challenge
  • - we can no longer believe that there is no limit
    to nature's capacity to fulfil any demand made on
    it by human beings
  • - giving absolute value to expansion, to
    acquisition, and to the satisfaction of people's
    wants is not a realistic guide to policy
  • - economic decision-making tools cannot deal with
    the fact that most of the major challenges are
  • (The Prosperity of Humankind, Bahá'í
    International Community, Office of Public
    Information, Haifa)

The failure of social and economic development
  • - Development has been our largest collective
    undertaking, with humanitarian aims and enormous
    material and technological investment
  • - While it brought impressive benefits, it failed
    to narrow the gap between rich and poor
  • - The gap has widen into an abyss
  • (based on Baha'i International Community, 2005)

The failure of present institutions to address
global challenges
  • No politician will sacrifice short-term economic
    welfare, even while agreeing that sustainability
    is essential in the long term
  • Deep social divisions within societies and
    between countries prevent united action in the
    common interest
  • Our present economic system is incapable of
    addressing long-term issues

Like a navigator in troubled waters,an
entrepreneur has to practice adaptive management
  • but you need a vision of where you want to go

  • How do we redefine our purpose as individuals
  • and as a society
  • and move rapidly towards sustainability?

Is our purpose only material?Do we also have a
spiritual nature and purpose?How do we become
mindful people?
Redefining Individual Well-being
  • Man's merit lieth in service and virtue and not
    in the pageantry of wealth and riches. Take heed
    that your words be purged from idle fancies and
    worldly desires and your deeds be cleansed from
    craftiness and suspicion.
  • Dissipate not the wealth of your precious lives
    in the pursuit of evil and corrupt affection, nor
    let your endeavours be spent in promoting your
    personal interest. Be generous in your days of
    plenty, and be patient in the hour of loss....
    Guard against idleness and sloth, and cling unto
    that which profiteth mankind, whether young or
    old, whether high or low.
  • Bahá'u'lláh

Should we put wealthabove all else?
  • Know ye in truth that wealth is a mighty barrier
    between the seeker and his desire, the lover and
    his beloved. The rich, but for a few, shall in no
    wise attain the court of His presence nor enter
    the city of content and resignation....
  • (Bahá'u'lláh, The Hidden Words (Persian) 53)

Poverty and Wealth
  • Be not troubled in poverty or confident in
    riches, for poverty is followed by riches, and
    riches are followed by poverty. Yet to be poor in
    all save God is a wondrous gift, belittle not the
    value thereof, for in the end it will make thee
    rich in God...
  • (Bahá'u'lláh, The Hidden Words (Persian) 51)

  • The true seeker should be content with little,
    and be freed from all inordinate desire.... He
    should succour the dispossessed, and never
    withhold is favour from the destitute.
  • (Bahá'u'lláh, Kitáb-i-Iqán, p. 193-194)

Voluntary Simplicity
  • Take from this world only to the measure of your
    needs, and forego that which exceedeth them.
  • (Bahá'u'lláh, The Summons of the Lord of Hosts,
    p. 193)

What is Meaningful Work?
  • Ye are the trees of My garden ye must give forth
    goodly and wondrous fruits, that ye yourselves
    and others may profit therefrom. Thus it is
    incumbent on everyone to engage in crafts and
    professions, for therein lies the secret of
  • (Bahá'u'lláh, The Hidden Words (Persian) 80)

Work is Worship
  • It is incumbent upon each one of you to engage in
    some occupation - such as a craft, a trade or the
    like. We have exalted your engagement is such
    work to the rank of worship of the one true
    God.... Waste not your hours in idleness and
    sloth, but occupy yourselves with what will
    profit you and others....
  • (Bahá'u'lláh, Kitáb-i-Aqdas, para. 33, p. 30)

Combining material and spiritual
  • ... although material civilization is one of the
    means for the progress of the world of mankind,
    yet until it becomes combined with Divine
    civilization, the desired result, which is the
    felicity of mankind, will not be attained....
    Material civilization is like the body. No matter
    how infinitely graceful, elegant and beautiful it
    may be, it is dead. Divine civilization is like
    the spirit, and the body gets its life from the
    spirit, otherwise it becomes a corpse.
  • ('Abdu'l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of
    'Abdu'l-Bahá, 227, pp. 303-304)

Unityis essential for our well-being
  • Acceptance of the oneness of mankind is the first
    fundamental prerequisite for the reorganization
    and administration of the world as one country,
    the home of humankind.
  • (Universal House of Justice, The Promise of World
    Peace, p. 13-14)

Unity - applying the treatment
  • Laying the groundwork for global civilization
    calls for the creation of laws and institutions
    that are universal in both character and
    authority. The effort can begin only when the
    concept of the oneness of humanity has been
    wholeheartedly embraced by those in whose hands
    the responsibility for decision making rests, and
    when the related principles are propagated
    through both educational systems and the media of
    mass communication. Once this threshold is
    crossed, a process will have been set in motion
    through which the peoples of the world can be
    drawn into the task of formulating common goals
    and committing themselves to their attainment.
  • (The Prosperity of Humankind, Bahá'í
    International Community, Office of Public
    Information, Haifa)

JUSTICE - The active ingredient
  • Justice is the one power that can translate the
    dawning consciousness of humanity's oneness into
    a collective will through which the necessary
    structures of global community life can be
    confidently erected. An age that sees the people
    of the world increasingly gaining access to
    information of every kind and to a diversity of
    ideas will find justice asserting itself as the
    ruling principle of successful social
  • (Baha'i International Community, Prosperity of

We are a privileged minority
  • It is unjust to sacrifice the well-being of most
    people -- and even of the planet itself -- to the
    advantages which technological breakthroughs can
    make available to privileged minorities
  • (based on Baha'i International Community,
    Prosperity of Humankind)

Unity through Solidarity
  • - We should consider every human being a trust of
    the whole.
  • - The goal of wealth creation should be to make
    everyone wealthy.
  • - Voluntary giving is more meaningful and
    effective than forced redistribution.
  • - The distribution of the planet's resources
    should be equitably regulated.

Our material civilizationmust be moderated
  • The civilization, so often vaunted by the learned
    exponents of arts and sciences, will, if allowed
    to overleap the bounds of moderation, bring great
    evil upon men.
  • Bahá'u'lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of
    Bahá'u'lláh, CLXIV

What should be thepurpose of the development of
  • That purpose must be sought in spiritual
    dimensions of life and motivation that transcend
    a constantly changing economic landscape and an
    artificially imposed division of human societies
    into "developed" and "developing".
  • (Bahá'í International Community, The Prosperity
    of Humankind)

The true purpose of economics
  • Economics has ignored humanity's broader social
    and spiritual needs, resulting in
  • - Corrosive materialism among the wealthy
  • - Persistent poverty for masses of the world's
  • Economic systems should give the peoples and
    institutions of the world the means to achieve
    the real purpose of development the cultivation
    of the limitless potentialities in human
  • (adapted from Bahá'í International Community,
    Valuing Spirituality in Development, 1998)

Wealth creation
  • Wealth is praiseworthy in the highest degree, if
    it is acquired by an individual's own efforts...
    in commerce, agriculture, art and industry, and
    if it be expended for philanthropic purposes.
    Above all, if a judicious and resourceful
    individual should initiate measures which would
    universally enrich the masses of the people,
    there could be no undertaking greater than
    this,... for such a benefactor would supply the
    needs and insure the comfort and well-being of a
    great multitude. Wealth is most commendable,
    provided the entire population is wealthy.
  • ('Abdu'l-Bahá, The Secret of Divine Civilization)

We need new economic models that
  • - further a dynamic, just and thriving social
  • - are strongly altruistic and cooperative in
  • - provide meaningful employment
  • - help to eradicate poverty in the world

What is a reasonable salary?
  • Overstep not the bounds of moderation, and deal
    justly with them that serve thee. Bestow upon
    them according to their needs, and not to the
    extent that will enable them to lay up riches for
    themselves, to deck their persons, to embellish
    their homes, to acquire the things that are of no
    benefit to them, and to be numbered with the
    extravagant. Deal with them with undeviating
    justice, so that none among them may either
    suffer want, or be pampered with luxuries.
  • (Bahá'u'lláh to the Sultan of Turkey, Gleanings
    from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh, CXIV, pp.

Sharing Wealth
  • ...voluntary sharing of one's property with
    others... is greater than equality, and consists
    in this, that man should not prefer himself to
    others, but rather should sacrifice his life and
    property for others. But this should not be
    introduced by coercion so that it becomes a law
    and man is compelled to follow it. Nay, rather,
    man should voluntarily and of his own choice
    sacrifice his property and life for others, and
    spend willingly for the poor....
  • ('Abdu'l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of
    'Abdu'l-Bahá, 227, p. 302)

Distribution of Wealth through Taxation
  • All must be producers. Each person in the
    community whose income is equal to his individual
    producing capacity shall be exempt from taxation.
    But if his income is greater than his needs he
    must pay a tax until an adjustment is
    effected.... if his necessities exceed his
    production he shall receive an amount sufficient
    to equalize or adjust. Therefore taxation will be
    proportionate to capacity and production and
    there will be no poor in the community.
  • ('Abdu'l-Bahá, Foundations of World Unity, p. 37)

  • ...the owners of properties, mines and factories
    should share their incomes with their employees
    and give a fairly certain percentage of their
    products to their workingmen in order that the
    employees may receive, beside their wages, some
    of the general income of the factory so that the
    employee may strive with his soul in the work.
  • ('Abdu'l-Bahá, Foundations of World Unity, p.

Universal employment
  • It is the duty of those who are in charge of the
    organization of society to give every individual
    the opportunity of acquiring the necessary talent
    in some kind of profession, and also the means of
    utilizing such a talent, both for its own sake
    and for the sake of earning the means of his
    livelihood. Every individual, no matter how
    handicapped and limited he may be, is under the
    obligation of engaging in some work or
    profession, for work, especially when performed
    in the spirit of service, is according to
    Bahá'u'lláh a form of worship.
  • Kitáb-i-Aqdas NOTE 56. "to engage in some
    occupation" para.33

Well-being requires sustainable environmental
  • Sustainable environmental management must come to
    be seen not as a discretionary commitment to
    weigh against other competing interests, but
    rather as a fundamental responsibility and
    pre-requisite for spiritual development as well
    as our physical survival

It is hard to be the ideal company in a
disfunctional societyThe need today is for
visionary business leaders to relate practical
business realities to a new framework of values
Challenges to responsible entrepreneurs
  • - How can economic efficiency, profit and wealth
    creation combine with corporate social
    responsibility and respecting environmental
  • - How do we raise productivity and create

Is bigger always better?
  • What are the most appropriate scales for economic
  • Are there limits to increasing productivity?
  • Should short term always win over long term?

What about a technological fix?
  • The best "technological fix" lies in "human
    engineering" education, investment in human
    capital, development of human potential,
    sustainability across generations
  • This should include ethics/values in balance with

Business is essential to the solution
  • Innovation and flexibility
  • More financial means than most governments
  • Not constrained by political frontiers
  • But, it needs to add other goals beyond profit
    (examples Tata, Migros)
  • There is nothing incompatible between
    competitiveness and social and environmental

Competitiveness vs. Social and Environmental
ResponsibilityDahl, in Global Competitiveness
Report 2004-2005, World Economic Forum
  • Business leaders consider good governance (strict
    environmental regulation fairly enforced)
    increases their competitiveness
  • Countries with most advanced and competitive
    industrial economies also show the most advanced
    business thinking on environmental and social
  • Strong regulations allow companies to compete in
    meeting their regulatory obligations, giving a
    competitive advantage to companies that innovate
    and increase their efficiency in environmental
  • This creates new market niches for environmental

JUSTICE AND CONSULTATIONin the workplace and
  • At the group level, a concern for justice is the
    indispensable compass in collective decision
    making, because it is the only means by which
    unity of thought and action can be achieved....
  • ... justice is the practical expression of
    awareness that, in the achievement of human
    progress, the interests of the individual and
    those of society are inextricably linked. To the
    extent that justice becomes a guiding concern of
    human interaction, a consultative climate is
    encouraged that permits options to be examined
    dispassionately and appropriate courses of action
  • (Baha'i International Community, Prosperity of

Equality between men and women
  • ...the principle of the equality of the sexes is
    fundamental to all realistic thinking about the
    future well-being of the earth and its people....
    "Women and men", is Bahá'u'lláh's emphatic
    assertion, "have been and will always be equal in
    the sight of God...." A commitment to the
    establishment of full equality between men and
    women, in all departments of life and at every
    level of society, will be central to the success
    of efforts to conceive and implement a strategy
    of global development.
  • (Baha'i International Community, Prosperity of

Adaptative managementis necessary in times of
rapid change
  • Faced with complexity, uncertainty, risks
  • Define your goals
  • Evaluate the options
  • Take short-term action
  • Monitor and evaluate
  • Modify the action if necessary
  • Avoid to much rigidity

Rapid change requires a new entrepreneurship
  • We are in the middle of a major transformation in
  • The past is not a good predictor of the future
  • Change is inevitable, and the rate of change is
    accelerating, requiring adaptive management
  • Globalization cannot be stopped, but it can be
  • Institution building for international governance
    will continue
  • We can consciously work for change, or wait for
    catastrophe to force us to change
  • There will be new forms of wealth creation and
  • Creativity and innovation will be increasingly
    necessary for success
  • Values and ethics will be fundamental to social
    and economic transformation

  • Business alone cannot change the present economic
    system, and an alternative has yet to be devised.
    Governments have an essential role to play. Civil
    society organizations are increasingly important.
    And presssure must come from individuals and
    communities at the grass roots.

What kind of institutions do we need to create
wealthand provide services?
  • Public or private?
  • Commercial or non-profit?
  • Local, national or international?
  • Private intellectual property or public license
    (open source)?
  • Social enterprise, fair trade, environmentally
  • Limited liability or full responsibility?

  • Good laws and regulations not sufficient
  • Inefficient or irregular enforcement and
    corruption allow businesses to escape from their
  • Companies that want to improve performance are at
    a competitive disadvantage
  • Lack of progress at national level rebounds on
    international competitiveness
  • Therefore good governance is essential

  • Some qualities of good governance
  • Trust
  • Collaborative spirit between business and
    government public participation
  • Regulations clear and enforced fairly
  • Confidence in business that their taxes will be
    spent effectively in their common interest
  • Subsidiarity -multilevel governance
  • Adherence to international agreements

MEANINGFUL WORKThe well-being of humankind
requires eliminating poverty
  • Issues of food, nutrition, health and shelter are
    central to the challenge of providing an adequate
    standard of living for all members of the human
    family. These issues cannot, however, be tackled
    solely as technical or economic problems.
    Eliminating hunger and malnutrition establishing
    food security providing adequate shelter and
    achieving health for all will require a shift in
    values, a commitment to equity, and a
    corresponding reorientation of policies, goals
    and programs.
  • (Bahá'í International Community, Valuing
    Spirituality in Development Initial
    Considerations Regarding the Creation of
    Spiritually Based Indicators for Development. A
    concept paper written for the World Faiths and
    Development Dialogue, Lambeth Palace, London,
    18-19 February 1998)

Addressing Poverty
  • The technologies and resources exist to meet the
    basic needs of humanity and to eliminate
    poverty.... While individuals must do their
    utmost to provide for themselves and their
    dependents, the community must accept
    responsibility, when necessary, to help meet
    basic needs. Access to development programs and
    their benefits must be ensured for all. The
    economics of food production and distribution
    will have to be reoriented and the critical role
    of the farmer in food and economic security
    properly valued. With regard to health the
    physical, spiritual, mental and social well-being
    of the individual access to clean water,
    shelter, and some form of cheap energy would go a
    long way toward eradicating the problems that
    currently plague vast numbers of individuals and
  • (Bahá'í International Community, Valuing
    Spirituality in Development Initial
    Considerations Regarding the Creation of
    Spiritually Based Indicators for Development. A
    concept paper written for the World Faiths and
    Development Dialogue, Lambeth Palace, London,
    18-19 February 1998)
  • What is the role of business in this?

Well-being requires generating knowledge
  • ... the central role that knowledge plays in
    human life and human society that it is the
    process of generating and applying knowledge that
    lies at the heart of civilization.... ...social
    advancement, including economic, political, and
    social change, flows from it.
  • (External Affairs Strategy, 19 September 1994,
    prepared by an Ad Hoc Committee and approved by
    the Universal House of Justice, page 4)
  • What is the role of business in this?

Universal participation inscience and technology
  • A central challenge, therefore -- and an enormous
    one -- is the expansion of scientific and
    technological activity. Instruments of social
    and economic change so powerful must cease to be
    the patrimony of advantaged segments of society,
    and must be so organised as to permit people
    everywhere to participate in such activity on the
    basis of capacity. Apart from the creation of
    programmes that make the required education
    available to all who are able to benefit from it,
    such reorganisation will require the
    establishment of viable centres of learning
    throughout the world, institutions that will
    enhance the capability of the world's peoples to
    participate in the generation and application of
  • (Baha'i International Community, Prosperity of

Where is rapid change taking us?
A Bahá'í vision of the futureDesign Criteria for
World Order 1
  • Central principle The unity of the human race
  • Form world commonwealth
  • Characteristics
  • - all nations, races, creeds and classes closely
    and permanently united
  • - autonomy of its state members safeguarded
  • - personal freedom and initiative of the
    individuals safeguarded

Design Criteria for World Order 2
  • Structure
  • World legislature
  • - members will be trustees of the whole of
  • - control the entire resources of all the
    component nations
  • - enact such laws as shall be required to
    regulate the life, satisfy the needs and adjust
    the relationships of all races and peoples
  • World executive to safeguard the organic unity of
    the whole commonwealth
  • World tribunal to adjudicate all disputes

Design Criteria for World Order 3
  • A mechanism of world intercommunication
  • - embracing the whole planet
  • - freed from national hindrances and restrictions
  • - functioning with marvellous swiftness and
    perfect regularity.

Design Criteria for World Order 4
  • The economic resources of the world will be
    organized, its sources of raw materials will be
    tapped and fully utilized, its markets will be
    coordinated and developed, and the distribution
    of its products will be equitably regulated.
  • ?

Design Criteria for World Order 5
  • - causes of religious strife permanently removed
  • - economic barriers and restrictions completely
  • - inordinate distinction between classes
  • - destitution and gross accumulation of ownership
    will disappear.

Design Criteria for World Order 6
  • The enormous energy dissipated and wasted on war,
    whether economic or political, will be
    consecrated to
  • - extend the range of human inventions and
    technical development
  • - increase the productivity of mankind
  • - extend scientific research
  • - exterminate disease
  • - raise the standard of physical health
  • - prolong human life

Design Criteria for World Order 7
  • - sharpen and refine the human brain
  • - exploit the unused and unsuspected resources of
    the planet
  • - further any other agency that can stimulate the
    intellectual, the moral, and spiritual life of
    the entire human race.

Design Criteria for World Order 8
  • A world federal system ruling the whole earth
  • - exercising unchallengeable authority over its
    unimaginably vast resources
  • - blending and embodying the ideals of both the
    East and the West
  • - liberated from the curse of war and its
  • - bent on the exploitation of all the available
    sources of energy on the surface of the planet

Design Criteria for World Order 9
  • - a system in which Force is made the servant of
  • - whose life is sustained by its universal
    recognition of one God and by its allegiance to
    one common Revelation
  • such is the goal towards which humanity, impelled
    by the unifying forces of life, is moving.
  • (based on Shoghi Effendi (1936), The World Order
    of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 203-204)

The Next StepA Green Economy
  • An economic system that preserves and restores
    ecosystems, the backbones of economic and social
    wellbeing and essential for poverty reduction,
    while simultaneously creating new industries and
  • Environmental industries using clean and
    efficient technologies, and sustainable
    agriculture serve as major engines of wealth and
    job creation and poverty reduction.

Green Economy
  • Priority green economic sectors (UNEP 2009)
  • clean and efficient technologies, including
    renewable energy technologies and rural energy
  • biodiversity-based businesses, including
    agriculture, forestry, marine, nature-based
    tourism, etc.
  • ecological infrastructure, including nature
    reserves, protected areas, watersheds, etc.
  • chemicals and waste management, including waste
    reduction, recycling and reuse and
  • low carbon cities, buildings and transport.

Guidelines for a global ethical framework for
  • Combine economic efficiency and social
  • Altruism, create wealth for everyone to eliminate
    poverty (and increase customers)
  • Generate employment as well as productivity
  • Find business opportunities in sustainable
    environmental management
  • Work to strengthen global governance, peace and
  • Be of service to human society

The goal an organically united world
built by mindful peopleperforming meaningful
workenhancing the well-being and prosperity of
The years ahead will be difficult, but there is
reason for hope
  • Thank you
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