The Spirit of Humanity Forum is a global network of organisations, communities and individuals committed to help bring about change in governance and decision-making, based on core human values. The Forum creates a safe space for deeper encounter, exploration and dialogue among leaders to discover new ways to move forwards.
The seed idea for the Forum came from Ambassador Ragnar Ängeby, a former Swedish diplomat who now works globally on conflict prevention, leadership, governance and managing change. He had observed that, around the world, lasting solutions to the most bitter conflicts could emerge when adversaries reconnected with their own inner peace and compassion – with the humanity felt in the “here and now” when anger and pain about the past, and fears for the future, became even temporarily suspended.
Many working in the field of conflict prevention understood this inner power as a vital component of successful outcomes. Yet it was not easy to explain to politicians or public, Ängeby said. He saw a need to bring together those interested in this dimension of peace-building, for mutual support as well as to find ways of helping others to understand its enormous potential value.
European representatives of the Brahma Kumaris, a spiritual training organisation with a global network of centres teaching reflective practices, took up the idea and it became clear that a Forum aimed at energising our higher human values could be of benefit in many other areas of life including education, health, governance, business and finance.
Several organisations became centrally involved, including Education 4 Peace Foundation (Rolle, Switzerland), the Foundation for a Culture of Peace (Madrid), the World Servers Foundation (Sopron, Hungary, and Geneva) and the Guerrand–Hermès Foundation for Peace (Brighton, UK).
The Mayor and City Council of Reykjavik, Iceland, where the financial crash of 2008 had led people and politicians to a reassessment of their own values, decided to support the project by hosting the first Forum, which took place in September 2012. There was a second forum in 2014 and a third will follow in 2017.