Towards a Loving World - Leadership and Governance for Well-Being

A very successful Spirit of Humanity Forum was held for the first time online, broadcasted from Reykjavik, Iceland, from 3 to 5 June and with a welcome reception on 2 June

It was a wonderful and very much alive coming-together online of around 50 leaders and change-makers and almost 3000 watching through live stream. The theme of the Forum was explored through plenaries, dialogues, workshops and artistic expressions.

All plenary sessions are now available to view in full on our YouTube channel and also on this website, below.

Speakers and contributors

Towards a Loving World - Leadership and Governance for Well-Being

We selected the title, ‘Discovering harmony in a world of difference – spiritual resilience in practice’, to promote a shift in human consciousness towards a rediscovery of harmony as an innate property of our being; a shift that can help us to perceive difference not as a threat, but as a creative driving force for collaboration and harmony. Harmony has spiritual qualities such as love at its core, which enables us to draw parts into an integrated whole and make systems work constructively, benevolently.

When we reaffirm our spiritual bond, we can start to re-weave the broken threads of our communities and our world into wholeness. Seeking ways to rediscover harmony in a world of difference, we invited leaders and changemakers to explore how spiritual qualities can strengthen our resilience and sustain us in an inner state of peacefulness, despite pressures and fears.

Space for reflection and sharing amongst participants becomes very important. We wish to create a spiritually-charged atmosphere that promotes personal realisations and helps us all to connect with each other more deeply.

2021 Forum Panel: Visions of Global Well-Being

In this panel Gabriela Michetti Former Vice President of Argentina; President, Ser Consultancy, Yves Daccord Executive Chairman Edgelands Institute @ Harvard, former CEO of the International Red Cross, Madeleine von Holzen Chief editor, “Le Temps”; editorial director, “Heidi.news”, Amin Khosravi Urbanist, Co-founder urbz Geneva, Member of the collective "Territoire Vivant", Inés Sanguinetti Co-founder and President, Fundación Crear Vale la Pena, Myrian Castello Co-Founder, Dream Factory and Right to Dream Movement, explored How do we understand collective human well-being? What is the interconnectedness between our collective well-being and the wellness of the planet? What is the shift in consciousness needed to nurture inter-connectedness and well-being? Facilitated by Mark Milton  Founder & Director, Education 4 Peace

2021 Forum Panel: Love in Leadership and Global Well-Being

In this panel Peggy Dulany Founder and Chair, Synergos, Dr Kelly James Clark Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at Ibn Haldun University, Istanbul and Sister Jayanti European Director, Brahma Kumaris explored the role of love in leadership, how leaders may actively nurture global well-being by embracing love and ow does love in leadership and governance manifest in our shared lives. Facilitated by Mohammed Mohammed Senior Programme Officer, the Fetzer Institute.

2021 Forum Panel: Well-Being in Education

Adolescents Ella Gregory High School Graduate, UK, Ariba Hafeez Student, India and Karam Jaber Secondary School Student, Lebanon, presented their perspectives on educational transformation in dialogue with Ásmundur Einar Daðason Minister of Social Affairs and Children, Iceland. Facilitated by Dr Scherto Gill  Senior Research Fellow, Guerrand-Hermès Foundation for Peace.

2021 Forum Panel: Spirituality and Global Systems

In this panel Dr Martin Frick Deputy to the Special Envoy for the UN Food Systems Summit 2021, Nicole Schwab Co-Director, Nature-based Solutions, World Economic Forum, Zhang Lanying Executive Deputy Dean of the Institute of Rural Reconstruction of China, Southwest University, Chongqing, explored how spirituality might help contribute to shifting global systems towards becoming more sensitive to holistic well-being and healing, what our social and political institutions might characterise when leaders integrate spirituality in their approaches, processes and practices and what impact this could this have on global systems. Facilitated by Dr Thomas Bruhn  Research Group Leader, Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS).

2021 Forum Final Panel: Towards a Loving World

Thais Corral Founder of Sinal do Vale, A Regenerative Earth Campus in Brazil, Co-Founder of WEDO Women’s Environment and Development Organisation and environmental leader from the Americas, Dr Vinya Ariyaratne President of Sarvodaya, the largest Community Development organisation in Sri Lanka, and public health specialist, from Asia, E. Haifa Najjar Senator in the Jordanian Parliament, Superintendent of Ahliya and Mutran International Schools, and Convenor of Tanweer: A Societal Renaissance Movement and Integral College in Jordan from the Middle East, Father Dr Anselm Adodo Founder of Pax Herbals, An Integral Enterprise producing African indigenous medicines, and initiator of Pan-African Action Research Network for African Indigenous Knowledge in Nigeria, from Africa, Transformative leaders of 'Home for Humanity’ Earth Alliance, from diverse continents and sectors, who are collaboratively co-creating a loving world through their authentic leadership and conscious governance of their integral organisations and societal movements, Professor Alexander Schieffer Co-Founder of Trans4m Academy for Integral Transformation, Professor of Integral Development at South Africa’s Da Vinci Institute, Co-Founder of Home for Humanity in France, Europe Dr Rama Mani Founder of Theatre of Transformation Academy, and Councillor of World Future Council, Co-Founder of Home for Humanity in France, from Europe/Asia.

Opening by the Prime Minister of Iceland, Katrin Jakobsdóttir

In her opening address, the Prime Minister of Iceland, Katrín Jakobsdóttir spoke of the Wellbeing economy Countries of which Iceland is a founding member: “It is my steadfast view that the wellbeing economy and its wide-ranging values, where people’s needs are made central, should be our guiding light to a more equal and sustainable future ...I wish you a good conference”.

Excerpts from the 'A Narrative of Love' conversation series

Introduction videos to the thoughts behind the 5th SoH Forum

Well-Being before Economy

Mark Milton is the Founder and Director of the Swiss-based foundation Education 4 Peace and was part of the team who set up the Forum over 10 yeas ago, shares about our wish to support new thinking like putting well-being before economy and go beyond our egos to collaborate more.

Love in Practice

Jóhanna Vilhjálmsdóttir, Director of the Spirit of Humanity Forum and Maureen Goodman, member of SoH Forum Strategic Circle and Programme Director for Brahma Kumaris UK, share with us the great need for LOVE to be present and practised as a guiding principle in leadership.

Leadership for the greater good

Michelle Scheidt is Senior Program Officer at the @fetzerinstitute (USA), one of the main partners of the @sohforum. Fully aligned with SoH Forum's core values, the Fetzer Institute’s mission is to help build the spiritual foundation for a loving world.

The Power of Silence

Stefanía Ólafsdóttir, part of our SoH Forum team in Iceland and meditation instructor with the Brahma Kumaris, one of the Forum's partner, shares about the incredible athmosphere created at the Forum and the importance of moments of silence in the programme.

Artistic contributions

Jeg takka - I thank you

One of the most beloved singers of Iceland, Ragnheiður Gröndal wrote this song for the 5th SoH Forum. Here along with guitarist Guðmundur Pétursson.

Music for the Soul

Renara Alhoundova is a Paris-based pianist and composer with a unique gift for improvisation created this piece for the 5th SoH Forum.

A healing song

Message and music from the renowned Afro-jazz musician Pops Mohamed, in the closing of the 5th SoH Forum.

What a wonderful world

Ragnheiður Gröndal and guitarist Guðmundur Pétursson.

Opening of the 5th Spirit of Humanity Forum

Aurora Chamber Choir, which consists of Icelandic young professional singers at Harpa Concert Hall in Reykjavík.

Closing of the 5th Spirit of Humanity Forum

Aurora Chamber Choir.

Leader's and Philosopher's Dialogues

Well-Being and Love in Governance

Ingibjörg Sólrún fr. Foreign Minister Iceland and Lord Alderdice.

Service, awareness, and love in leadership and governance

Prof Azza Karam, Secretary General, Religions for Peace and Kamlesh Patel, Founder, Heartfulness.

'Love in our Midst', the meaning of Love

Anne Baring and Prof David Cadman.

Meditations - making space for Silence

Silent space, sacred space

Positive thoughts to nourish well-being

Reflective excercise