Engaging conversations in business

The international symposium “Towards an Alliance Between Paraguay and South Korea” held in June, 2014 is an outcome of six years of cultivating the Paraguay’s ethic which has led to social stability and political transparency.

One of the most important reasons why Global Peace Foundation engages such a wide variety of people from multiple sectors is because we know that long-term, sustained peace and prosperity requires synergistic partnerships working toward a common vision. Rather than telling people what or how to do what they should do, we engage in conversations on our fundamental, shared identity as One Family Under God.

It is from this understanding of our most essential, spiritual value and deep interconnectedness as one human family that we hope to shift the way we do everything, including – for instance – business.

So what does business as One Family Under God look like?

We can take cues from businesses and innovations that are personal; that is driven and motivated by the cause of serving rather than profiting from others.

Traditional business models have pursued profits and material gains as the motivation for doing business. But when the whole world is part of One Family Under God, our motives for business might shift from self-benefit to the desire to serve others.

Earle Dickson Band-Aids

The Band-aid is a Earle Dickson’s labor of love for his wife to help heal the cuts and burns that she would get on her hands. Credit: Totally20z.weebly.ccom

There are simple stories like the history of the now-ubiquitous Band-aids, where the inventor, Earle Dickson, was focused on addressing his wife’s constant need for dressings on her fingers for multiple cuts and burns.

A more recent innovation is a sensor designed to alert caretakers when an Alzheimer patient would wander, a potentially dangerous symptom of the disease. Then-15-year old, Kenneth Shinozuka was driven to create this from his personal family experience caring for his elderly grandfather who suffered from Alzheimer’s.

These sorts of innovations certainly have great business potential but that certainly wasn’t what drove their creators. And there are doubtless thousands of stories that attest to the power of relationships and personal experience in driving innovations that contribute to the greater good.

Social entrepreneurship, social innovation, impact investing, corporate social responsibility and the like are all efforts headed in the right direction. Yet, they still need both the broad, moral vision and the global, ethical framework to make sure they continue to create solutions that address the enormous challenges that lie ahead.

When businesses and organizations have a common vision, operating on universal principles and shared values to under-gird their individual efforts, the actual impact of such ventures is exponential.