Scilla Elworthy: Can our Values Shift in Time to Save the Planet?

Our world faces multiple crises, and attempts to address them are not working. We live in a world that is miserable and frightening for most of its inhabitants. Many of the rich are not happy, while the rich/poor gap gets wider. The richest 300 people in the world now have more wealth than the poorest 3,000,000,000 – that is nearly half of humanity. And we are ruining our planet at such a rate that sooner than most people can imagine, large parts of it will become uninhabitable. Einstein said that no problem can be solved from the consciousness that created it. So we are clearly in need of a shift in consciousness to enable us to resolve the global problems facing us.

In Scilla’s book Pioneering the Possible: awakened leadership for a world that works, one of the elements of this shift entails a radical revision of values. This evening she will present 10 values or norms that have governed our (western) actions for centuries, and which have contributed to the state of the planet today. She will then propose for discussion the kind of values that could enable better decisions that could get us out of the mess we’re in.

SCILLA ELWORTHY PhD founded the Oxford Research Group in 1982 to develop effective dialogue between nuclear weapons policy-makers worldwide and their critics, work which included a series of dialogues between Chinese, Russian and western nuclear scientists and military, for which she has been three times nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. She founded Peace Direct in 2002 to fund, promote and learn from local peace-builders in conflict areas; Peace Direct was voted ‘Best New Charity’ in 2005. Scilla was awarded the Niwano Peace Prize in 2003, and was adviser to Peter Gabriel, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Sir Richard Branson in setting up ‘The Elders’. She co-founded Rising Women Rising World which advises the leadership of selected international corporations and teaches young social entrepreneurs; her latest book is Pioneering the Possible: awakened leadership for a world that works (North Atlantic Books, 2014), and her TED talk on non violence has been viewed by over 930,000 people.

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