"Visions of World Benefit & Global Responsibility: Perspectives of McGill Students

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Workshop and Brainstorming Session: Leadership and the Global Agenda in the 21st Century

Here is a summary of some of the key points we have discussed and brainstormed together in our workshop last time.

Global Complex Problems

· Half of the people, nearly 3 billion people live on less than 2$ a day.
· Nearly 1 billion people entered the 21st century illiterate; unable to read a book or sign their names.
· 1.3 billion have no access to clean water. 3 billion have no access to sanitation.
· Every 30 seconds; an African child dies of malaria. More than 800 million people go to bed hungry every day. 300 million are children.
· Every 3.6 seconds, a person dies of starvation.
· Almost 100.000 people die worldwide every day from preventable diseases and because they lack the most essential needs such as water, food, shelter, sanitation and education.
· Recently; there have been bloody conflicts and wars continuing in 56 different places in the world. Afghanistan, Bosnia, India, Indonesia, Kashmir, Kosovo, Macedonia, Middle East, Nigeria, Chechnya, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Uganda.. Floods of tears and blood still flowing in many parts of the world.

In the 21st century, our world is facing complex global scale problems: War, religious intolerance, conflict, violence, hunger, poverty, illiteracy, pollution, crime, theft, fraud, murder, corruption, immortality, child abuse, human rights violation, oppression, inequality, injustice, nuclear weapons, and global terror among others.

At the Global Compact Leaders Summit on 24th of June, 2004, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan said: “Let us be true global citizens. Let us not rest until we have truly succeeded in bringing positive change into the lives of people, and laid the foundations for peaceful, well-functioning, sustainable societies throughout the world… Rarely has there been a moment in recent history when it has been so critical for all of us to protect our common space, building on what unites us. Again, I ask, if not us, then who?”…

A Global Agenda for Positive Universal Values for the 21st Century

The need for universal common values such as peace, dialog, cooperation, compassion is recurring themes in not only in educational and non-profit organizations but also for corporations and businesses. Today’s organizations are faced with more complexities, competition, and change than at any other time in history. To effectively cope, leaders in today’s organizations need to focus on ethics, social responsibility, collaboration, chaos, innovation, creativity, adaptation, flexibility, system thinking, relationships, and leadership.

An Emerging Paradigm based on Global Consciousness

Towards the 21st century, humanity is moving in the direction of global consciousness based on shared values. This emerging paradigm is crucial in forming a world of peace, democracy, human rights, ethics, multiculturalism and dialog. Below is a list of common global values that affirm the unity of all being; affirm the interconnectedness of all, and affirm a new bottom line of love, caring, and compassion. This list indicates an emerging global consciousness based on a set of shared values:

Economic and social justice
Golden rule: Treating others as we wish them to treat us
Respect for life, freedom and human rights
Nature-friendly ways of life and ecological consciousness
Honesty and integrity
Peace and non-violence
Multiculturalism, democracy and civic education
Tolerance, dialog and respect for diversity
Cross-cultural understanding and interfaith dialog
Cooperation, compassion and charity
Global citizenship and planetary stewardship
Treating people equally without bias
Sincerity, friendship, love and sharing
Self-sacrifice, devotion and idealism
Serving humanity at large
Universal ethics, and global concern
Arts, conscious communication, reflection and conscious education,
The power of the human spirit and prayer
Spiritual practices, inner work, transcendence
Community service and social responsibility,
Inner happiness & place of the individual in the world

Academic World and Scholarship: Towards a Common Set of Values and Consciousness?

The organizational literature or scholarship has also been keeping up with this emerging trend. A literature review and a preliminary analysis reveal the emergence of a set of new approaches, models, theories, schools, and movements pointing toward an emerging global paradigm. This global paradigm is represented by the following value based approaches, movements and models:

Corporate Social Responsibility http://strategis.ic.gc.ca/epic/site/csr-rse.nsf/en/Home
Organizational Citizenship Behavior http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Organizational_citizenship_behavior
Business Ethics research http://www.businessethics.ca/
Conscious Business Movement, Stakeholder Movement, research on values in management
Social Innovation research http://www.ssireview.org/
Spiritual leadership http://www.spirit4greatness.com/
Management by virtues, principle centered leadership, management by values
Service leadership, servant leadership http://www.greenleaf.org/
Human relations movement and Humanistic psychology http://www.ahpweb.org/index.html
The art of leadership http://membership.acs.org/c/cda/cufaudefinal.pdf
Business as an agent of world benefit (BAWB) http://worldbenefit.case.edu/
Positive Organizational Scholarship http://www.bus.umich.edu/Positive/
Positive Psychology http://www.ppc.sas.upenn.edu/
Appreciative Inquiry http://appreciativeinquiry.case.edu/
Integral theory perspective http://www.integralworld.net/

Check these web sites and resources above. They offer tremendous amount of knowledge that will open up your horizons.

Although there are many terms used; it is possible to draw on the commonalities and to point out to an emerging paradigm in organizational scholarship. The most critical research frontiers for the twenty-first century revolve around values, ethics, morality, social responsibility, global sustainability, and spirituality. These organizational theories and concepts emphasize a set of universal values centered on sincerity, integrity, morality, respect, compassion, authenticity, intuition, and service to community.

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