The Spirit of Humanity Forum started as an idea from a group in the Gulf State of Oman. Given its role as a peacemaker in the region, it seemed an obvious place for bringing together leaders to explore the role of spiritual values in decision-making. Iceland was also on the horizon for this work which was further explored by the Brahma Kumaris and Education for Peace. The name was chosen to reflect the deep exploration of the connection between our inner spiritual values and the world around us. Those who helped establish Iceland as the home of the Spirit of Humanity Forum were —Ingibjörg Sólrún Gísladóttir, former Foreign Minister of Iceland, Jón Gnarr, then Mayor of Reykjavík and the late Sigrún Olsen and Thor Bardðal, who were directors of the Brahma Kumaris in Iceland. With the support of the City of Reykjavik, the first Spirit of Humanity Forum took place in 2012.
Why Love Matters: Values in Governance
Following the 2nd Forum, an edited volume featuring the contributions from global leaders and change-makers on the theme of the values- based governance was published by Peter Lang Publishing. The book entitled ‘Why Love Matters: Values in Governance’ is available both on the Publisher’s website and through Amazon. Read More
Peacefulness: Being Peace and Making Peace
Following the 3rd Forum, a co-authored book, which captures the insights emerging from the SoH Forum’s dialogue series on peace and peacefulness was published. This dialogue series has been co-hosted and co-sponsored by the Guerrand- Hermès Foundation for Peace and the Fetzer Institute. Read More
What is the meaning of Spirit of Humanity?
We are all aware that human beings can behave nobly and with a generous heart, sacrificing narrow self-interest. We honour the compassion shown by those like Gandhi, Mandela and Martin Luther King in their courageous pursuit of a more just society. At a more mundane level, we appreciate, though often unconsciously, the acts of kindness that oil the wheels of our everyday lives.
And yet…we are clearly capable of behaving with selfishness, narrow-mindedness and cruelty, and experiencing much sorrow. We often become indifferent to the suffering of others, in pursuit of our worldly goals. We glorify greed, seeing it as an engine of economic growth. Most of us regularly experience shortcomings in our ability to live with qualities such as patience, tolerance, compassion and forgiveness.
What then is the true spirit of humanity?
The Spirit of Humanity Forum brings together leaders and practitioners who hold the view that the positive energy of love is the deepest, most enduring and most valuable characteristic of human nature. The aim of the Forum is to identify and share ways of improving access to this inner strength of being. It showcases practical examples of how love, compassion and a care for others can transform and truly re-humanise an organisation.