GCGI 2012 Oxford: A Report and Reflection- Prof. Steve Szeghi
- Prof. Steve Szeghi
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Globalisation for the Common Good Initiative (GCGI)
10th Annual International Conference
"Sharing the Wisdom, Shaping the Dream:
Reclaiming the Moral and Spiritual Roots of Economics and Capitalism"
Waterperry House, September 2-5, 2012
A Report and Reflection: Steve Szeghi, Professor of Economics, Wilmington College, Ohio, USA, GCGI Participant
From Sunday, September 2, 2012 until Wednesday September 5th, almost 100 participants gathered together at Waterperry House, of the School for Economic Science, in Oxford, England. These participants came from a myriad assortment of nations, careers, and ways of life. They were united by a common desire to build a better world, more reflective of the values of peace, social justice, care for the earth and other species, and service to the entire human community as well as the community of nature to which we all belong.
The opening addresses of The Reverend Canon Dr. Vincent Strudwick and Mr. Ian Mason, Principal of the School of Economic Science, coupled with the opening comments of Professor Kamran Mofid set the general tone for the conference. What can be done to incorporate our shared values into the policies, institutions, and structures which govern, shape, and influence the actual world in which we live? This was the common question that virtually all participants attempted to address in various ways in their talks, questions, and dialogue throughout the conference proceedings.
Waterperry House with its rich history steeped in the lore of the English countryside complete with a 12th century chapel adjoining the main house, as well as its many most beautiful frescoes and paintings, and other works of art echoed the common wisdom of many of the world religions and spiritual traditions, provided an idyllic and meditative setting for the talks and discussions of the conference. The School of Economic Science furnished many speakers, volunteers and participants and provided intellectual depth, rigor, and quality, worthy of Henry George, for whom the School of Economic Science has a special fondness.
Each morning beginning with Monday, the day started with meditation during which dozens of conference participants greeted the morning and awakened together, in largely silent reflection and personal prayer, interspersed with readings from Edward Abbey, the American Indian Poet Leslie Marmon Silko, Sufi tradition, and Baha’i readings and prayers. On Monday night in the town of Oxford, the Dialogue Society hosted a dinner for participants at a Turkish restaurant. The food was exquisite, the atmosphere delightful, and participants were informed of the numerous humanitarian efforts of the Dialogue Society.
Towards the close of the conference, participants joined in support of the Conference Declarations (the complete text is available on this website). Much in keeping with the tenor of the conference, the Declaration not only espouses the values of Peace, Justice, Service, Volunteerism, Ecology, and Respect for the Diversity of Life, it also proposes several practical steps in translating those values into action and policy.
On Tuesday evening, at Corpus Christi College, University of Oxford, the 10th Anniversary GCGI gala dinner was held during which the first GCGI Award was presented to Dr. Vladimir Ivanovich Yakunin. The award was given in recognition to Dr. Yakunin for his extraordinary and tireless work on behalf of Peace and Justice at the global level as well as his dedicated service in building a better world for future generations. Dr Yakunin was accompanied by his wife, Natalia, one of his sons and a grandson.
On the final day of the conference, in what was a surprise to the Founder of the Conference, a Special Award of Appreciation was presented to GCGI Founder, Prof. Kamran Mofid, on behalf of the GCGI family, by Profs Jamshid Damooei, Yahya, Kamalipour, and Steve Szeghi, for his steadfast devotion to building, maintaining, and nourishing the Globalization for the Common Good Initiative. His personal dedication, interest in, and dialogue with, each and every conference participant was cited as being truly remarkable and uniquely distinctive.
The Globalization for the Common Good Initiative upon completing its 10th year anniversary looks forward to continuing to grow and develop. Next year’s conference will meet in Paris, France and the year after, once again in Oxford. Conference participants look forward to a second decade during which the GCGI will continue to attract even a broader and more diverse spectrum of participants. Together people from across the globe, from diverse perspectives, cultures, religions, economic systems, can and must find ways to share and appreciate the common values of peace, justice, and ecology, and to discover how to best incorporate those values into policies and institutions. The participants of the GCGI are happy to have found a vehicle to be part of that process.
GCGI 2012 Annual Conference- The Final Programme
The Opening Remarks: Kamran Mofid
The Opening Address: The Reverend Canon Dr. Vincent Strudwick
Dr. Yakunin Receives First Globalisation for the Common Good Initiative (GCGI) Award