- Posted October 16, 2013 by
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The First Time Ever in ASEAN Global Thai Business LeadersIncorporate Moral Capitalism As Key Driver for Sustainable Development
More than 1,000 Thai and global business executives, experts and the civil society took part in the grand event to jointly seek pathways for Thailand and the world to drive sustainable development in alignment with the globally recognized Sufficiency Economy Philosophy (SEP) and the Tenfold Kingship Virtues of Thailand. The afternoon Global Dialogue featured an innovative, effective format of World Café for hosting large group dialogue and the ‘Socratic Dialogue’ process popularly used at Harvard University to reach a conclusion attained by consensus.
Former PM Anand Panyarachun, UNICEF Thailand Goodwill Ambassador and Chair of the Conference cited in his opening remarks three global crises of worsening environmental changes, ill effects of unbridled capitalism, and chronic hunger suffered by one in eight of the world population. “A mindset based on core-values shared among the responsible parties in managing sustainable development institutional frameworks and addressing inequality is of pressing importance,” said Anand.
Dr. Noeleen Heyzer, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, affirmed that no country or region can succeed without governments, business, and people embracing a new spirit of human solidarity, shared responsibility, and mutual benefit. "The new global partnership for sustainability and inclusion is centered amid four transformative shifts,
First: A far-reaching vision anchored in human rights and universally accepted values–especially the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the Millennium Declaration.
Second: Concise goals and targets to realize the priorities set by the agenda.
Third: A global partnership for development to mobilize means of implementation.
Fourth: A monitoring framework for tracking progress and mutual accountability mechanisms for all stakeholders, which bring together the interests of people and planet,” she reiterated.
Prof. Gayle C. Avery, Director of the Institute for Sustainable Leadership, discussed how the ‘honeybee’ leadership values, which are highly consistent with Thailand’s SEP and concepts of moral capitalism, lead to successful business outcomes, while contributing to sustainable development efforts for people and the planet.
Avery referred to the diametrically opposed principles of ‘locust’ leadership solely focusing on efficiency, cost cutting, exploiting people, despoiling the environment, and depleting resources for short-term results. “Honeybee leaders and their associates consider the consequences of every decision and action on multiple interest groups, trying to avoid negative impacts on the enterprise, its people, the environment, society and the planet’s diminishing resources,” she illustrated her concept.
Endorsing concepts of justice among generations as being vital for sustainable development, Prof. Michael J. Sandel from Harvard University said he sees the notions of civic virtue, the common good, the obligations to others as people in a free society, the moral limits of markets, and moral engagement as the best approach to achieving justice.
Famed author of “What Money Can’t Buy,” which offers an eloquent argument for morality in public life, Sandel sounded a wake-up call of concerns that the global village has shifted from having a market economy to being ‘a market society,’ turning the world into mere commodities. “Do we want a society where everything is up for sale? Or are there certain moral and civic goods that markets do not honor and money can’t buy?” he posed a crucial question to the awed audience.
M.R. Disnadda Diskul, Chairman of the Board of the Royal Initiative Discovery Institute, revealed how royally initiated projects help people to help themselves under the auspices of area-based community development of a “three-step model” of survival, sufficiency and sustainability. “We learn firsthand about their real problems and provide survival solutions, so we can embark on larger issues of rural communities,” he added.
The afternoon ‘Global Dialogue’ session was broken out into five groups using the innovative format of World Café and ‘Socratic Dialogue’ process and moderated by renowned experts in each field. Abstracts of the five groups are:
Group Session 1: “Challenges in Global Sustainable Development Efforts” tracked the progress of SD efforts and framed the direction ahead. Participants took stock of research and accumulated field experience, and re-crystallized the SD working paradigm to meet the burgeoning challenges facing future generations.
Group Session 2: “Identifying and Tackling Obstacles to Sustainable Futures in the Business Sector” built on Prof. Avery’s plenary discussion of the contrast, business outcomes and societal progress arising from ‘honeybee & locust’ leadership values. Using a highly interactive process, participants sought answers to a practical question: “How can we transform these ingrained obstacles to become enablers of a sustainable future?” and developed concrete initiatives for challenging each obstacle after the conference.
Group Session 3: “Mindsets for Sustainable Development” explored the principles of ethics encompassing utilitarianism, categorical moral reasoning and Aristotelian moral deserts, and discussed the significance of John Rawl’s powerful theory of justice, its application and the relevance of H.M. the King’s SEP.
Group Session 4: “Features and Challenges in Area Based Sustainable Community Development” learned from the unique features of the Thai SD approach, shared solutions across actors and sectors, and focused on overcoming the obstacles and challenges in scaling up community based approaches to the national level.
Group Session 5:“Measuring and Monitoring Sustainable Development: Guiding Global Development through Strong Evidence” discussed the current efforts to measure and monitor sustainable development. Global experts provided guidance on how the world could benefit from having a strong measurement framework to guide global sustainable development.
Source: For more details, please visit www.SDglobaldialogue.com