Sunday, January 16, 2005 (All day) to Wednesday, January 19, 2005 (All day)

Bernard Margueritte, President of the ICF, was the opening speaker of the media panel in the second WSF World Spirit Forum, held from 16 to 19 January 2005 in Arosa, Switzerland. The theme this year was 'Open Your Heart - United Responsibility'. The WSF World Spirit Forum is an annual world congress for spiritually oriented leaders and participants from various fields such as science, economy, religion, culture, society and sports. The WSF World Spirit Forum defines itself as an independent but complementary event to the World Economic Forum in Davos.  

Bernard Margueritte sends this report on the conference:

I have rarely seen so many bright and dedicated people, often leaders of NGOs, many of them young, assembled in such a small place for three days.

The main topics of discussions (apart from the role and mission of the media, the ICF session) were the need of tolerance, of reconciliation, of social justice inside in each country and worldwide, of a move from the neo-liberal globalization toward a globalization with a human face, of a new European identity and above all the need to see all the people to whom moral and spiritual values matter working together to make this world a better place to live in. Ultimately, was it stressed again and again, everything will depend on the willingness and capability of each one of us to start this revolution within his/her own heart.

A very strong role was played in Arosa by young leaders from all parts of the world, who presented to all the participants their own session, telling in a very personal way about their work for the good in all continents. The moderator of the Youth session was Simon Cohen, who happily is becoming more involved with the ICF.

The keynote speech was delivered by Prof. Radermacher, who launched the idea of a “Global Marshall Plan” and is working with the Club of Athens, the Club of Rome and the European socio-economic Forum. He spoke eloquently and forcefully about the need to counter the liberal globalization and to reduce inequalities in the world.

Other participants included Gundula Schatz, vice-mayor of Vienna, and in charge of the Waldzell Institute, bringing together Nobel price winners to try to define new ways for the world; Prof. Prabhu Guptara, director of the Wolfsberg Development Center; Colin Morley, director in London of “Intentional Marketing” and whose motto is “change the world by changing yourself”; Andras Laszlo, a Hungarian working in Brussels with his organization “Eurovisioning” to help “redesigning Europe in the Third Millennium”; Nina Mueller, a German journalist living in Zurich, who wants to work to promote “positive news”; Ashok Gangadean, professor of philosophy engaged in Pennsylvania in the Jewish-Christian-Muslim dialogue and host of a TV program on PBS.

Happily the presentation of the ICF (we had our own session) was enthusiastically received and many people said they want to sign the Sarajevo Commitment (I asked Simon Cohen to read it in full at the plenary session and it got a strong applause). In fact, the most satisfying thing may be that all so many of those great people pointed out that they would like to be in touch with the ICF.