A Panorama of IofC
At its core, IofC is about building bridges: between personal and global change; between the past, present and future; between the grassroots practitioner and the policymaker; between countries, cultures and people divided from each other. These bridges are built when people’s motives and living are transformed.
IofC has made significant contributions in the fields of trustbuilding and reconciliation. Conferences at its world centre in Caux, Switzerland, played a major part in the work of rebuilding Europe after WWII. IofC also played a significant role in helping Japan to work for a new relationship with her neighbours in Asia and the South Pacific in the same period.
More recently, IofC has been asked to support a major national reconciliation initiative in the world’s newest country, South Sudan, after decades of war. We have worked for the past decade in peace-building efforts in the Great Lakes region of Africa. This has included accompanying government and rebel groups in Burundi on their path towards peace. Other grassroots trustbuilding efforts include Hope in the Cities in the USA, which works towards racial reconciliation and justice, and Creators of Peace, which engages women in the work of peace building at every level of society in over 30 countries.
IofC works for ethical leadership at all levels, from the cabinet and boardroom to the home. Honest assessments of personal motivation and courageous changes in personal behaviour have long been at the heart of IofC’s core philosophy and methodology.
IofC’s conference centre Asia Plateau, India, trains over 4,000 people each year, with courses and conferences on such themes as the Heart of Effective Leadership, Ethics in Public Governance and Making Democracy Real. In Kenya and other countries, Clean Election Campaigns challenge candidates and voters to commit themselves neither to give nor accept bribes and to vote on the basis of character rather than tribal allegiance. The Harambee Leadership Programme in Africa is building on a decade of experience to launch the Workshop for Africa to train a new generation of ethical leaders across the continent. And in Eastern Europe IofC’s Foundations for Freedom programme is nearing its 20th anniversary of training young leaders.
IofC’s work has long touched both the business world and the environment. For decades, IofC led major campaigns to bridge gaps between management and labour all over Western Europe, in Brazil, Japan, New Zealand, Canada and the United States. Environmental efforts in Asia have included reforestation and anti-pollution initiatives.
Conferences on Trust and Integrity in the Global Economy take place every summer at Caux, while the Caux Initiatives for Business programme has highlighted the need for values in business in India, Japan and the financial sector in UK over the past years. Grampari, a rural development initiative in India, delivers holistic solutions for rural living, particularly in water management and sanitation. For the past two years, policymakers and grassroots activists have met in Caux to partner with UNCCD (UN Convention to Combat Desertification) and others on the issue of land degradation and will meet again over a three-day summit in July 2013. These meetings are developing into a sustained programme, Initiatives for Land, Lives and Peace.
‘The most-needed reforms in our communities and nations require levels of political courage and trust-based collaboration that can only be achieved by individuals who have the vision, integrity, and persistence to call out the best in others and sustain deep and long-term efforts. Without trust, true collaboration is unattainable.’
Founder of Hope in the Cities, Richmond, USA
‘We need sustainable development so that living standards can rise across the planet. But there is a finite end to the good life, otherwise it becomes an ever diminishing consumption-based whirlpool. The Caux Forum unapologetically seeks to inject an ethical dimension into the public policy space.’
The Honourable Kevin Rudd MP
Prime Minister of Australia, 2007-2010