Weaving threads of change
Weaving threads of change: meeting of minds and hearts at conclusion of Caux ‘trust and integrity’ conference
by Yasin Choudhary and Sophie Durut
‘Who is leading in Caux?’ asked Louie Gardiner, management consultant from Scotland, at the concluding plenary session of the Caux TIGE conference (Trust and Integrity in the Global Economy), on 23 July. ‘We all are. We all are leading the spirit of Caux,’ she answered. She presented conference results alongside Dr Glenda Eoyang, founding executive director of the Human Systems Dynamics Institute, from the USA. They encouraged the conference participants to share how the conference went for them and what they are going to take from it.
The pair identified a set of ‘seed behaviours’—shared characteristics amongst the audience which emerged as a result of the various conference interactions. For instance, one of the core values that many realized, individually and collectively, was to ‘give and receive, serve and be served’, they said.
After a short exercise of personal reflection, participants were invited to share comments on how the conference had impacted them personally. One participant said: ’I have been enlightened and encouraged by the spirit of Caux. I realised that I can make a change and that it has to start with me.’ Another said: ‘One thing I have learned through this week is that the uncommon ground between all of us is the mind and the common ground is the heart.’
These semantics were further explored through group discussions during which a common statement stood out: ‘Caux is a place to let go your identity.’ Explaining this, Gardiner said that constructive discussions are hatched in places where the ego is put aside to make place for equality. 'By letting go of their identities during their interactions, where professional positions did not matter anymore, participants have managed to consider each person as an actor of change. For some, the Caux conference has been an opportunity to work on certain values such as forgiveness or solidarity. By focussing on the spirit of Caux, each participant could find what seed behaviour he or she could relate to the most,’ she remarked. Other ‘seed behaviours’ which the duo identified included: taking responsibility; taking time for quiet reflection; drawing on resources; sharing and learning from every interaction; and turning judgement into curiosity, considered by the participants as the hardest challenge to overcome. This was followed by a presentation about the Caux Hub, a meeting place where participants could share decisions for further actions, and a brief summary of the results achieved in the conference’s six work streams.
Glenda Eoyang expounded on the fact that Caux conferences are a chance to go beyond a ‘global mind’, where everyone connects their ideas, in order to reach a ‘global heart’. One important point raised by the audience was how to feed into and expand the Caux network. As Mike Smith, head of business programmes at IofC, UK, put it: ‘We have to favour a continuation of TIGE and the values it stands for. We need to keep connecting the dots and bring people together. Let us connect the saints and correct the sinners, bearing in mind that there is an element of both in each of us.’
Encouraging the participants to take this newfound network to a new level, the two speakers invited them to share ideas of projects that they are currently engaged in or are planning to start; and what they could offer to, and what they needed from, other participants. Numerous projects and ideas were presented and a host of new collaborations were founded.
For instance, Jeremy Liyanage from Melbourne described his efforts to reconcile warring communities in the town of Mannar in northern Sri Lanka through his organization Diaspora Lanka. He said: ‘We are currently working upon the peaceful repatriation of Muslim refugees to Mannar who were displaced as a result of communal strife during the last decade and who are now returning with deep anger and resentment. We are desperately trying to change the relationship between the Muslims and Tamils here and establish long-lasting trust. It is a very challenging project and requires work on a lot of different aspects. What I can give is a network and knowledge, and youth mentoring for young people, and what I need is financial resources for training programmes, planning and management support.’
In the end, everyone concurred that the challenge ahead will be to conceive how Caux-inspired projects can hand over to the next generations. TIGE 2012 ended with many participants finding a new resolve in their hearts.
Download in PDF the Caux Spirit Seed Behaviours Louie Gardiner says she 'observed at play during the Caux Forum for Human Security and which we made explicit to support the community participating at TIGE.'
|Caux Spirit Seed Behaviours 2012.pdf||248.75 KB|