“A different world cannot be built by indifferent people.”
I have been reading these disturbing reports with great sadness:
“One in 12 UK teenagers self-harms and one in 10 is clinically depressed. Between 2010 and 2014, the number of girls aged between 10 and 14 admitted to hospital for self-harming in England increased by 93%. The statistics support my own observations, as a clinical psychologist treating young people for mental health conditions, that this is a problem on the increase. When I look at the world through their eyes, I see levels of competition and performance anxiety unknown to my generation. Outside school, our body-obsessed, share everything culture subjects them to new forms of scrutiny. Who’s got the most “followers”? Whose selfie or video got the most likes? Body-shaming, cyberbullying and sexting can happen to them on their mobiles wherever they might be, robbing them of a place of safety.”…
13th GCGI International Conference and the 3rd Joint GCGI and SES Forum
Why Values Matter
The Power of Purpose and Values: The Path to a Better World
Wednesday 31 August- Sunday 4 September, 2016
Hosted at Waterperry House, Nr. Oxford
Building a better world, the world of values in the interest of the common good is indeed a holistic journey. It encompasses all our relationships in our daily lives, from how we interact with each other, across diversity, to how we care for the planet and steward our resources and how we relate to a faith or spiritual values and envision a future bigger than ourselves. Our Conference this year, similar to the previous ones, will take participants on a journey into building and co-creating the better world we are all yearning for.
What does it mean to be human? What does it mean to live a life of meaning and purpose? What does it mean to understand and appreciate the natural world? ...To forge a more just society for the common good? In what ways are we living our highest values? How are we working to embody change we wish to see in the world? What projects, models or initiatives give us the greatest hope?
How can we do well in life by doing good? How can we become agents of change for the common good? How to spark a new public conversation framed around human dignity and the common good? Human beings have explored these many questions of value through religion, philosophy, the creation of art and literature, and more. Indeed, questions of value have inaugurated many disciplines within the humanities and continue to drive them today. Questions about values and valuing are fundamental to being human, but rarely are the subject of explicit public reflection. The Conference will explore how values-led action can be a resource for renewal.
Please see the link below to discover more about our forthcoming Conference, theme and sub-themes, submitting abstracts, registration, fees, travelling to Waterperry House, the GCGI Award and the Gala Evening: GCGI-SES Joint 2016 Conference
First written on 11 April 2011
Updated on 9 November 2015
Small is Beautiful:
The Wisdom of E.F. Schumacher
16 August 1911-4 September 1977
"Perhaps we cannot raise the winds. But each of us can put up the sail, so that when the wind comes we can catch it."
- E. F. Schumacher,Small Is Beautiful: a study of economics as if people mattered
Kamran Mofid- (Written in appreciation of E.F. Schumacher and in celebration of his centenary)
It is 38 years since the publication of a slim volume of articles and essays titled Small is Beautiful: Economics as if people mattered. The year 1973, as Martin Hodgson writing in the Guardian has noted, was a timely one for radical environmental thinking. The first UN conference on sustainable development had been held the previous year, and soon after, within months of each other, Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and the UK Green party were founded.
Small is Beautiful rapidly became a bestseller and the ideas that Schumacher popularised helped shape modern environmentalism, development theory and the global justice movement.
Equal parts economic analysis, spiritual tract and radical manifesto, the book reflected the contradictory nature of its author - a patrician academic who was also passionately interested in Eastern philosophy. What bound his work was a central belief that modern society had lost touch with basic human needs and values - and in doing so had failed both the planet and its people.
In the name of profit and technological progress, Schumacher argued, modern economic policies had created rampant inefficiency, environmental degradation and dehumanising labour conditions. "Ever bigger machines, entailing ever bigger concentrations of economic power and exerting ever greater violence against the environment, do not represent progress: they are a denial of wisdom. Wisdom demands a new orientation of science and technology towards the organic, the gentle, the non-violent, the elegant and beautiful," he wrote.
The remedy he proposed - a holistic approach to human society, which stressed small scale, localised solutions - flew in the face of economic orthodoxies of the time: "I have no doubt that it is possible to give a new direction to technological development, a direction that shall lead it back to the real needs of man, and that also means: to the actual size of man. Man is small, and, therefore, small is beautiful."