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Initiatives of Change Announces 60th Annual Summer Conferences Line Up

This summer, delegates from around the world will meet for the 60th annual summer conferences at the Initiatives of Change center in Caux, Switzerland. The conferences, under the theme of Globalizing Integrity, Personalizing Integrity, will run July 6 – August 17, 2006. For more information or to register for the conferences, please visit www.caux.ch/en/program.php. Feel free to contact Initiatives of Change (www.us.iofc.org) if you have any questions at 1156 Fifteenth St., NW, Suite 910; Washington, DC 20005-1704; p (202) 872-9077; f (202) 872-9137. For information on idividual conferences, click on the link below.

Conference sessions include:

Service, Responsibility, Leadership
Thursday July 6 to Wednesday July 12

Take part in an interactive conference addressing some of the urgent issues at the heart of today’s societies. Xenophobia, addiction, and the breakdown of family life have at their centre the question of our identity, as individuals, groups, societies and nations. Exploring and understanding who we really are – the light and the darkness, our past and present, our strengths and weaknesses – will help us to discern where and how to serve, take responsibility, and give leadership.

Tools for Change
Friday July 14 to Friday July 21

The world needs committed and skilled change agents. This session is the first in a series of annual development opportunities offered in the context of the unique Caux community. An international faculty will address theory and practice around creating and sustaining positive change. The sessions will be interactive. Participants will examine the core tools of Initiatives of Change, essential inner resources and effective professional skills. They will also select from specialized workshops such as: conflict transformation, personal spiritual empowerment, dialogue creation and facilitation, healing history, team building, communications and story-telling.

Transforming the Way Things Are: a continuing conversation
Sunday July 23 to Saturday July 29

Together with artists and lovers of the arts from many disciplines, cultures and faiths, we will explore further the concept of transformation, the kind of world we want to create and what this means for each of us as people and artists. Art and culture spring from the creative energy in all human beings: in acknowledging this, we aim to discover together the stories we want to tell through various art forms. The week will be a mixture of interactive creative workshops for everyone, discussions with artists, performances, and plenary and group conversations with an opportunity for all present to share their experiences and understanding.

Trust and Integrity in the Global Economy
Monday July 31 to Saturday August 5

Every profession and enterprise needs trust – trust between its partners and from the public. For some, the falling level of trust has become a threat to the future. New regulations or laws may be necessary, but trust is built best when we show integrity and vision for what we contribute to society. Trust and Integrity in the Global Economy offers a space in which members of the business, farming, media and accounting professions can meet among themselves, dialogue with others, and find new ways forward.

An Honest Dialogue for a Clean and Just Africa
Monday August 7 to Thursday August 17

The enduring image of postcolonial Africa depicts some heartbreaking truths, but it unfairly dominates the global North’s imagination. Even in places that are on the mend in Africa, peace, prosperity, and good order are quite fragile. So any expression of hope for Africa must face down the very real tragedies and face up to the challenges ahead. What is the way forward? Africa will not rise and flourish as a continental charity case. There is a need for honest and productive dialogue amongst African policy makers and grassroots activists, the diaspora, and their counterparts in the global North. The conference will focus on how best to develop policies that will strengthen and empower the rising generation of Africans and help tackle problems such as poverty, corruption and the challenges of trade, health and food security. Africans want to participate in mutual learning, hospitality, responsibility and sharing with the world. They have as much to offer as to gain.

Amy Lang
Amy Lang is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions at the University of British Columbia. She wrote her dissertation on British Columbia’s groundbreaking Citizens’ Assembly process, and is currently doing follow-up research on the Ontario Citizens’ Assembly.

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