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WI & ebbf: Addressing the Present, Building the Future

Jun 01, 2020
An ebbf – Wilmette Institute co-sponsored dialogue series

In this series, we will examine the underlying assumptions that brought us to this current global crisis. Together, we will explore potential solutions to the vital issues that have gained new urgency at this time. We will also discuss our roles and the actions we can take to address these critical challenges and build better systems for the future of humankind. Each webinar will allow ample time for questions and answers.

About ebbf

ebbf, Ethical Business Building the Future, is a Baha’i inspired organization dedicated to building a prosperous, peaceful and sustainable global society. ebbf members are people of all faiths who are striving to apply Baha’i principles in their businesses and workplaces.


Coming Up Next: “Building Economically Cohesive Communities in the Time of the Corona Pandemic” with Jean Parker. Saturday, 6 June, 2020 at 1 pm Eastern (10 am Pacific). Register Now

At this time of uncertainty, humanity is experiencing both horror and opportunity. At the center of it all, are pre-existing economic disparities which are being amplified by current deficits in leadership and planning, and newly created economic inequalities that are expanding due to current questionable institutional responses.

This session will highlight the ways communities are building cohesion through their response to the crisis with ingenuity, creativity, mutualism and solidarity. We will briefly discuss the economic factors that threaten community cohesion then explore significant current trends that are enabling communities to innovate and transform economic vulnerability into economic cohesion. There will be plenty of time for discussion.


What is the role of companies and entrepreneurs during and after a crisis?
Saturday, May 30 at 1 pm Eastern Time

YouTube Live Stream | Facebook Live Stream

Speaker: Daniel Truran
Host: Jean Parker

Can business become the solution instead of being the problem?

Many companies are addressing current crises, trying to mitigate risks to the business and to its reputation. What could be another way and attitude that allows companies to go from being the problem to becoming the solution that we expect from them? We will share the extraordinary success that the best companies in the world are achieving during these weeks of economic crises. We will see how they manage to motivate, engage their staff and connect with their communities in a sincere spirit of service, by marshaling innovation and moral values required to lead the necessary change without limiting themselves to just “managing risks”.


Rethinking Materialism from a Feminine Leadership Perspective

Speaker: Roya Akhavan
Host: Vahid Masrour

As the world goes through an unprecedented new phase of economic upheaval, a deeper analysis of materialism as the root cause of the extremes of wealth and poverty has taken on new urgency. Such an analysis involves two fundamental questions. First, what is the difference between “materialism,” which is hazardous, and “material prosperity,” which is a worthy individual and social goal? And, second, what is the most effective mode of leadership for moving society beyond materialism and facilitating the achievement of true material prosperity? It may be argued that the best mode of leadership in pursuit of shared material prosperity would be one that reflects compassion, caring, nurturing, communal behavior, and effective communication, all of which have traditionally been associated with the feminine aspects of the human society. The participants are invited to reimagine new leadership models in the context of the emerging consciousness of the need to balance the feminine and the masculine in all areas of human endeavor, including the creation of a more equitable economic system.

Watch on YouTube
View Download PDF of Roya’s Slide Show


Collaboration through Consultation: A Powerful Tool for Building Community

Speaker: Sara DeHoff
Host: Daniel Truran

Dealing with the coronavirus pandemic is one thing, what comes next another. What do we need to be able to rebuild? Humanity is facing an incredible challenge of collaboration and coordination at all levels and among diverse populations. Consultation is an essential tool for this effort. By aiming to understand the truth of an issue, consultation enables participants to transcend their own points of view and, together, chart a wise course of action. Come join us and learn the basics of this vital approach to problem-solving.

Watch on YouTube
View/Download PDF of Slide Show


In Pursuit of Hope in a Time of Crisis

Speaker: Arthur Dahl
Host: Daniel Truran

As COVID-19 sweeps the world, fear and panic are natural responses. The world was already in a mess, and now mass suffering is impacting everyone. For young people, their future already overshadowed by the climate catastrophe, hope may seem impossible. Yet this cloud does have a silver lining giving hope, which we can explore together. My recent book “In Pursuit of Hope”, suggests ways to arm ourselves for the environmental, social and economic challenges we are now facing and those still to come. At the individual level, all the great spiritual traditions speak of trial and suffering as paths to spiritual growth and refinement of character as we fight our inner battles. From the perspective of systems science, in a globalized world in which human organization has to adapt to a new scale of functioning, a process of rapid and often chaotic change is necessary to sweep away old institutions no longer adapted to the new reality, allowing a new and better system to emerge bringing justice and sustainability. Join us to see if you leave this discussion with more hope in the future.

Watch on YouTube


Climate Change, Coronavirus, and One World: The Choice is Clear

Speaker: Gary Reusche
Host: Daniel Truran

Climate change, the coronavirus, and other global challenges will not be mitigated without a global effort. While the connection between climate change, environmental sustainability, global governance is clear in the Bahá’í Teachings, the idea of global governance is rarely considered in the wider community and is often dismissed outright. The reaction by governments and societies around the world in the face of existential threats is incomplete as global governance is not receiving the attention that is needed to resolve world problems. To the rescue come youth activists around the world who are challenging the status quo. The possibility of engaging in discourse about global governance opens up when people are concerned with solving existential issues like climate change and strategies to deal with pandemics. In this webinar, we will explore how to hold family, neighborhood, and community together in a way that establishes unity and supports youth activists. There is also more reception of meaningful discourses about global coordination in different professions that have unique expertise to support coordinated global actions based on unity. We will explore how to create a unified vision based on guidance from the Bahá’í World Center to adopt a posture of learning and engage in genuine social discourse.

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From Corporate Social Responsibility to Corporate Moral Excellence

Speakers: Nabil Elias and Jean Parker
Host: Gary Reusche

Many corporations have adopted corporate social responsibility (CSR) to reconcile the profit motive with “doing good”. They saw CSR as an application of enlightened self-interest. However, many CSR applications tend to be stand-alone programs tangential to core business activities that themselves may not be socially responsible. Some have lamented the failure of CSR incrementalism. We will explore an alternative based on elevating organizations to higher moral ground such that all their core activities are motivated by spiritual values. We will contrast assumptions underlying the current business model with those drawn from the Baha’i Revelation and invite discussion of what each of us can do to support this emerging new paradigm in business.

Watch on YouTube

Contributors

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Roya Akhavan

Dr. Roya Akhavan currently serves as Professor and Director of Graduate Studies at the Department of Mass Communications, St. Cloud State University. Her research in the field of mass communication extends into a range of related areas, including international affairs and peace studies. She has held leadership positions as V.P. for International Marketing at CVSC in China, and as Chair of her academic department in Minnesota. Dr. Akhavan is a frequent speaker on global issues at national and international forums and radio and television programs. Her most recent work is a book entitled "Peace for Our Planet: A New Approach."

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