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The Emerging Future conference convened leaders from around the world and from diverse regions in India.
The Emerging Future conference convened leaders from around the world and from diverse regions in India.

Emergent Future: Finding Our Compass


After his recent visit to Panchgani, India, IofC President, Professor Gerald Pillay, reflects on the Asia Plateau's 'Emerging Future' conference.

Professor Gerald Pillay's recent visit to Panchgani, India in early January was grounded in the central questions that all participants explored at the Initiatives of Change 'Emergent Future' conference: What are the main challenges facing humanity and how do we prepare to meet those challenges?

Amidst the idyllic and stimulating Asia Plateau campus, a magnetizing force for the global peace movement, Professor Pillay, in his keynote speech, likened today's challenges to that of feeling lost in a jungle. He noted that, to get out of the jungle, what we need is not a roadmap or a big plan, but a compass. 'For IofC, as it was for MRA, that compass is a moral compass that points to truth, honesty and love.'

IofC International President, Professor Gerald Pillay, delivers a keynote speech at the IofC India Emerging Future conference.

The five-day Emergent Future conference, hosted by IofC India, drew guidance from its overarching theme of 'Emergence,' a paradigm that uses community and dialogue as avenues to stronger, collaborative global solutions. To this end, the event brought together unlikely partners from around the world, including a strong presence of young leaders. 'I was especially encouraged by the commitment of so many young people to help transform their situations,' said Pillay. 'Issues of inequality, the growing alienation of large parts of our society and the ecological and socio-economic divides challenge us to build bridges and make peace. This is the core of what we as IofC can and must do.'

Participants engage in one of the conference themes, 'Realities.'

Participants of the Emergent Future conference explored sub-themes of 'Realities,' 'Hope' and 'Faith' as influences on our futures. These principles encouraged trust and honesty among attendees, who shared and listened to stories of the realities of our lives, stories of hope and reflections on the significance of faith as an anchor for purpose. The conference also welcomed Professor Rajmohan Gandhi, who gave enlightening talks that left participants inspired and optimistic.

Professor Rajmohan Gandhi speaks with conference participants.

After a full itinerary of discourse, guest speakers and music, the conference concluded with a multi-faith prayer that reflected on the confluence of Hope, Faith and Realities, leaving participants with renewed vigor, holding truth in their hearts and a heightened focus for the future. As Pillay concluded, 'The world will not change without us. We're not looking at this conference for a roadmap. We want to discover the compass.'

Learn more about the Asia Plateau and Emergent Future event.