Conference Earth - A decade of action


The Economics and Spirituality Conference

During the last few decades, a radical change has occurred in man's awareness of himself. In simple terms, we have, over the millennia, translated ourselves from "oneness to aloneness". The truth is that all life on the planet is connected. This newly acquired state of aloneness and alienation causes considerable discomfort. The conference attempts to understand what we have become and illuminates our future potential.

The problems of overpopulation, environment and resource depletion seriously endanger continued successful human habitation of our planet. The Conference calls for spiritual, ecological and holistic world views, derived from perceptions of connectedness and interdependence.

We need people from commerce, primary and secondary industry, who will deliver presentations which will energise out entire global community to develop "new ways".

We live in a culture divided against itself and separated from the natural world, The dominant belief of the Developed World is based on the control of nature and resources through the rigour of economic power. There is a need to restore the balance between the masculine and feminine principles and between humanity and nature, that we may recreate a sense of wholeness. There is also a need for people to work in a mutually supportive communities whilst valuing and preserving human uniqueness and diversity. The new era needs to use the creative power of the people by respecting the common ground of humanity, understanding the interconnectedness of all life, enhancing female and male creativity and opening the global heart of humankind.

On a personal individual unique basis our personal wholeness of sovereignty is expressed by understanding and integrating:

1. our relationship with the material physical universe,
2. our expression of our uniqueness, creativity and selfhood,
3. our connectedness with the ultimate principle and life force of the universe, and
4. our realisation and expression of the multi-dimensionality of human experience.

The global crisis of values and attitudes can be solved if we accept the following conditions:

1. we are suffering and are aware that we are,
2. we recognise the cause of our ill being,
3. we recognise that there is a way of overcoming our ill being, and
4. we accept that in order to overcome our ill being we must follow certain norms for living and change our present practice of life.

We as unique individuals and key Humanists, Economists and Peace Makers have to change society. We cannot rely on anybody else. We have to look carefully at all aspects of society - local and global - and then attempt to do tangible things and create practical projects that can change our situation

Herman Kahn Founder Hudson Institute

We have a choice in determining the future scenarios we face in the futureClearly, the first task is to gain acceptance of a more reasonable view of the future, one that opens possibilities rather than forecloses them. We believe that current prophets of peril are making forecasts that could indeed be self-fulfilling. (refer to http://www.hudson.org/)

Corporate Social Responsibility

The international economic system creates damaging inequalities between rich and poor, and fuels climate change and environmental degradation.

Globalisation is not as a spontaneous event of economic and technological significance, but a deliberate strategy to place finance at the centre of our communities - whether local, national or global. This strategy, has proved disastrous for the environment and for billions of people in poor countries. It now poses a threat to people and households in the West, as well as to corporations and governments.

Globalisation's great achievement - falling prices for labour, good and services - will make it more difficult for individuals, households, governments and corporations to repay the debts acquired through financial liberalisation. Ordinary people have been lured into a quagmire of debt and deflation. A finance-centred economy has led to a dramatic increase in inequality, both within and between countries. (refer to New Economics)

We need to redefine "wealth" and "progress": to judge our systems and economies on how much they create the world we actually want in terms of value. wellbeing . happiness and eco sustainability, rather than how much money they generate.

This means redefining wealth to focus on increased well-being and environmental sustainability rather than just on having and consuming more things.

To do this we need to develop new ways of measuring progress and new forms of exchange or currency, for example bartering or tithing. We also seek to harness enterprise to achieve social and environmental goals through for example community banks and through transforming markets.

In the developed and developing World the needs of disadvantaged people and communities are paramount and we need to create practical ways to change, through for example, tools for local economic renewal and ways to address problems with access to finance.

Corporations are often entrenched in a short-term, profit-driven business cycles. We need to look at the overall framework of the market and its institutions, and ways of changing the behaviour of individual firms.

The current financial system looks for short term gains without realising that we live in a World with finite resources. Short term gains are causing the Ecological Global Crisis we see around us and have no real perspective on the kindof future we are creating for future generations. Particularly ion the developed World the ecological footprints of individual countries The "Footprints of Nations" report of theThe Earth Council for the Rio+5 Forum compares the ecological impact of 52 large nations, inhabited by 80 percent of the world population. It also showed to what extent their consumption can be supported by their local ecological capacity. One key finding is that today, humanity as a whole uses over one third more resources and eco-services than what nature can regenerate. In 1992, this ecological deficit was only one quarter. The Ecological footprint is the biologically-productive area required to continuously provide resource supplies and absorb wastes of a particular population given prevailing technology The reort stated that The footprint numbers point to unequivocal equity implications. They reveal the extent to which wealthy people and countries have already "appropriated" the productive capacity of the biosphere. In fact, based on the conservative assumption that the wealthy quarter of humanity consumes three quarters of all the world's resources, this wealthy quarter alone already occupy a footprint as large as the entire biological capacity of the Earth.

Millions of us in the West are running up huge ecological debts: from the amount of oil and coal that we burn to heat our houses and run our cars, to what we consume and the waste that we create, the impact of our lifestyles is felt worldwide. Whilst these debts go unpaid, millions more living in poverty in the majority world suffer the burden of paying dubious foreign financial debts.