Following the 2014 SoH gathering in Reykjavik, with its focus on love and compassion governance and all the inspiring stories that were told there, our colleagues Scherto Gill and David Cadman brought together a number of texts from Forum participants in a book entitled Why Love Matters: Values in Governance.

This book has now been published by the publishers Peter Lang and is available in either hardback or softcover. If you would like to see details of the book here is the link

It is hoped that by publishing and sharing these texts, which cover underling principles, moving from principles to action and case studies, the work of the Forum will be widely shared. The author’s royalties are being donated to the Forum.

Table of Contents

  • Foreword: Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu

  • Scilla Elworthy: The Leap in Consciousness

  • Dadi Janki: Nourishing the Soul of a Leader

  • Matthieu Ricard: The Need for Altruism

  • Stewart Wallis: A New Economic System Based on Core Human Values

  • Kul Chandra Gautam: Governance with a Human Face

  • Garrett Thomson: Compassionate Governance in Corporations

  • Jenneth Parker: Love, Compassion and Respect in Earth System Governance: The Contribution of Convergence

  • David G. Addiss: Globalisation of Compassion: The Example of Global Health

  • Mohammed H. Mohammed/Kurian Thomas: Communities and Freedom: Transforming Governance

  • Steve Killelea: Pillars of Peace

  • Polly Higgins: A New Form of Global Governance

  • Thabo Makgoba: Governance and Politics

  • Ervin Staub: Reconciliation: From Hostility and Violence to Valuing the Other, Compassion and Altruism Born of Suffering

  • Jean Watson: Caring Science

  • Heida Kristin Helgad ottir/Derek Masselink: Finding the Others: The Re-Imaging of Politics for a Brighter Future in Iceland and Canada

  • Amalyal-Moallimi/Fatima M. Al-Bishri: The Efforts of King Abdulaziz Center for National Dialogue to Promote a Culture of Dialogue and Tolerance in the Saudi Society.

Foreword by Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu

“About 15 years ago, at the Peace Centre that I gave my name to, we organised a Colloquium on Values-Based Leadership. Since then, I have been reflecting on values and governance and have come to understand a bit more about the most desirable qualities in leaders. From Nelson Mandela, for instance, I have learned that great leaders serve and lead for the sake of and on behalf of people; from his Holiness the Dalai Lama, I have learned that great leaders personify and exemplify by embodying and living the values they wish to instill in the community, in the nation; from Aung San Suu Kyi, I have learned that great leaders inspire and they invite others to share the spirit of magnanimity and purpose.

However, as South Africa continues celebrating its journey from apartheid into democracy, I am also learning that great qualities and great leaders are not enough. The future of South Africa lies in good governance. For most of us, good governance is about transparency, accountability, respect for human rights, rule of law and democracy. However, the more I observe South Africa’s processes, the more I realise that good governance is more than that. Good governance is about a vision of what it means to be human, together.

In other words, good governance is to live out Ubuntu at a global scale. Ubuntu is a South African word suggesting that humans cannot exist in isolation because we are bound together in oneness. Ubuntu means that we can become who we truly are only through our relationship with others and through others being themselves. We are interconnected. Ubuntu is the ultimate philosophy of good governance. Without Ubuntu, without love and compassion, there will be no human dignity – dignity as the result of our caring for one another which underlies other moral pillars of our societies: respect, forgiveness, understanding and justice.

At the moment, our world is threatened by terror, fear, hatred and division and equally humanity is struggling to bring prosperity and well-being to all corners of our planet. The need for a new narrative that restores love and compassion as our core values and humanness as our way of being together has never been greater. Therefore, set in the context of such a global urgency, this deeply insightful book not only points out the need for a new narrative for our humanity, but in my view, it is itself part of the new narrative. In reading the collection of articles, we are once again reassured that we are each made for goodness and that ordinary acts of love and compassion speak to the extraordinary promise that every human life is of inestimable value. As one reflects on the ideas put forward in the book, is it not more clear that if such propositions are regarded as radical, it is a sorry commentary on all of us? And yet might it be that the acceptance of these truths and bringing them to the centre of our lives is now absolutely necessary for our very thriving – together?

Love Matters: Values in Governance, despite being provocative, speaks forcefully about the emergent shift in human consciousness. These articles offer compelling exemplars illustrating that Ubuntu is not just a philosophy, but a possible reality if it is embedded in the fundamental considerations for a system of governance and leadership.

I commend the many thoughts, ideas and actions contained in this book. The wide range of different but connected aspects of our lives addressed in the book, sustainability, spirituality, community, health, well-being, economics, politics, peace and reconciliation, are helpful in enriching our understanding of values in governance.

I hope that the ‘story’ being told in this book is heard, understood and acted upon.”