Newsletter

Applying Spiritual Principles to the Technology Industry

Jun 29, 2020

Course: Promoting Moral Excellence in Business (2020)

The course on Promoting Moral Excellence in Business helped me develop an attitude of learning around this topic. Although there are many organizations out there with similar diversity goals, their core operating principles are not necessarily rooted in the unity of mankind. As a result, applying a transformative framework is still very new and experimental. A collective approach also plays a crucial role in setting the foundation for a unified, sustainable business model.

It is reassuring to have a set of accepted values that we can turn to in times of uncertainty. One way I can apply these concepts is to take the time to discuss and assess the values of the individuals or organizations I may be working with closely over a long period of time. This will set the expectations around conduct, as well as provide a trusted guide for decision-making processes. The topics around effective coaching methods were quite insightful to me too. I did not realize that coaching is being researched as a science, but I am glad to have found a credible resource to draw from. I was particularly attracted to the discovery that focusing on weaknesses is a destructive mentoring approach. Research is also critical. In the past, throughout my high school and even college studies, I would usually treat the research phase of a project as insignificant. I was mostly trained to find things that strictly supported my view, as opposed to clearing my mind of all biases and looking at every angle to find a more holistic truth. Now, when I give a presentation or facilitate a discussion that uses my association with the Bahá’í Faith as a measurement of credibility, I dedicate a significant amount of time to the research phase and gathering the data needed to confidently carry out the project.

Although I have a general understanding of how to apply the perspectives in this course to my field of work, there is still much to learn that requires more action-oriented initiatives. To begin this process, I am planning to give a presentation, or to facilitate a discussion, around the topics and the research from this course to an audience of my peers in the technology industry. One challenge – besides the more limited number of spaces due to the COVID-19 pandemic – is that opportunities to facilitate are mostly open to those in positions of leadership. Additionally, moderation is also limited to a particular style that is reflective of the “old” framework. Much time is spent editing the presentation to tailor it to the expectations of the audience, but the new norm of virtual calls and meetups may actually be an advantage as it provides more accessibility. Hopefully, this trend can create the space that fosters an atmosphere where elements of a more constructive framework can be experimented with.

Contributors

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Shaba Rahavi

Shaba is a Bahá’í living in Portland, Oregon with a background in teaching, filmmaking, and tech. She currently works as a Software Engineer at a consulting company building solutions for higher education institutions conducting medical research. In the past, she has directed and produced several media projects, including a web documentary series featuring youth from Oregon who are dedicated to serving their communities (Grassroots), as well as a collaborative music video between musicians, filmmakers, artists and a group of middle-school youth in Portland to write, record, and film a music video that reflects the concept of unity in diversity (One Sun). Shaba is involved in various community-building activities that are focused on fostering the capacity within individuals to become protagonists of transformation in the material and spiritual lives of society. These grassroots, neighborhood based activities are a constant source of inspiration for the elements of a constructive framework that she strives to apply to her work in the technology industry. Through the practice of consultation, accompaniment, universal participation and an overall belief in the oneness of humankind, she hopes to attract and to invite others into the learning process of building an ever-evolving framework for social and economic justice.

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