Pari Roundtable. Ethics, Business, and the Future

PARI, SEPTEMBER 11-13, 2009

Participants

In Pari

Mark Adams, USA

Helen Ampt, Italy

Julie Arts, Belgium

Siraj Izhar, UK

Donna Kennedy-Glans, Canada

Laurie Glans, Canada

F. David Peat, Italy

Shantena Sabbadini, Italy

Godelieve Spaas, The Netherlands

Andrew Stone, UK

 

Virtual

Flavio Bonami, Italy

Arthur Cordell, Canada

Donna Boehme, USA

Stan Thekaekara, India

Colin Tudge, UK

Ruth West, UK

 

Pari Roundtable Participants

  • Mark Adams Mark is a Certified Life Coach ( www.thelifecoachonline.com ) who has developed a method that strengthens the clients’ imagination, intuition, inspiration, and intention; the process is rooted in physics. “Quantum Leadership Advisors” is a company that he is creating to bring a message of “reciprocal responsibility” to the corporate, non-profit and government sectors through life coaching, architectural space planning and leadership training.
  • Helen Ampt, Working with complementary currencies in the Siena area.
  • Julie Arts is a consultant, working in organisations, facilitating small & bigger transitions.  She’s driven by the search for new ways to deal with some of the societal challenges we are facing. Her belief is that this new order of “ways” needs to emerge out of all existing (cultural) paradigms  and out of the collective and individual creative intentions we have and share, “ways” that serve the whole as well as the uniqueness of each cell. So, she travels around the world—physically, virtually & mentally—to meet cultures, communities, individuals; to observe and to weave; domains of interest; collective transition; collective intelligence; hosting the chaordic; organizational principles; emergence Independent consultant and trainer in the domains of creativity and change
  • Laurie Glans. holds the chartered financial analyst, chartered accountant and certified financial planning designations. Laurie spent twenty years practising tax and accounting with a large firm of accountants. A decade ago he transitioned to managing client’s money and became a vice president and shareholder with Canada’s largest investment managements company. In 2009 Laurie and his fellow shareholders agreed to sell the company to Canada’s largest bank. Laurie remains managing his client’s money and is a registered director of the investment management firm. He has been involved in many charitable boards and is active in coaching hockey. He knows nothing about quantum physics but recalls doing well with high school physics.
  • Siraj Izhar is an artist whose work connects ecology with the uses of new technology in high-density communities in various cities in Europe and India.
  • Donna Kennedy-Glans is a lawyer and businesswoman with more than 20 years of experience representing large international corporations struggling to manage integrity dilemmas at head office and on the ground in more than 30 countries (www.integritybridges.com). In 2003, she founded a volunteer organization that provides capacity building for professionals and community leaders in places like Yemen (www.canadabridges.com).
  • F. David Peat, former theoretical physicist, author and director of the Pari Center. Peat has organized dialogues between Scientists and Native Americans and between artists and scientists.
  • Shantena Sabbadini A physicist, with a connection to Eastern philosophy and wisdom. He has participated in running the Eranos conferences (Switzerland), has translated the I  Ching and the Tao Te Ching, and is the associate director of the Pari  Center.
  • Godelieve Spaas is a consultant who writes and advises about personal and organizational development in a dynamic and connected world. Her work has taken her to foster children in Brooklyn, to a citrus farm in South Africa and to a chemical plant in China. Her customers vary from DSM to Wageningen university and research center, and from high schools to the media world (VMMa).  In 2008 she published seven stories about new forms of leadership, as a result of a project involving CEO’s and artists researching that topic. This year her book “het 4 krachten model” appeared.
  • Lord Stone of Blackheath.  Former Joint Managing Director of the Marks and Spencer chain of retail stores. He writes, ‘On Corporate Structure—I have always believed that a company serves its “stakeholders” best if within its structure or “mission” it also has a concern for the wider community and ecology in which it operates—i.e. it should be “inclusive” and conscious of its effect on the planet and should act with enlightened self interest.’

‘On the Middle East—I believe that there are several conflicting “narratives” all of which are valid—and until each faction listens to and hears and sympathizes with the other—all deals and arrangements will be “hollow” and will break—there needs to be BOTH a set of pragmatic agreements and structures on how to live together temporarily for decades AND a set of sincere promises that the deep real substantive issues will all be dealt with, in time—and a process whereby these promises MUST be kept.’

Virtual—via videoconferencing 

  • Flavio Bonomi  Distinguished engineer at Cisco Systems in San Jose, California, and  Consulting Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Stanford University.
  • Donna Boehme, Principal, Compliance Strategists, former chief compliance officer, British Petroleum.
  • Arthur Cordell, Ottawa, economist and former science policy advisor to the Canadian Government. Cordell has also proposed the ‘bit tax’, a way of getting at the productivity of a networked economy. The ‘bit tax’ also offers a way for different jurisdictions to apply a sales tax to electronic commerce. His current research is centered on the ‘unintended consequences of information technology.’
  • Stan Thekaekara Established JustChange in India (www.justchangeuk.org , www.justchangeindia.com) a unique way of bringing tribal people into the global markets.
  • Colin Tudge, is a biologist with a lifelong interest in food and farming, politics and metaphysics. He is co-founder of the Oxford Real Farming Conference and the College for Real Farming and Food Culture.

 

Pari Roundtable

Discussing the role of ethical business practices in ensuring a sustainable ‘good’ society.

 Pari 11-13 September 2009

The world is experiencing radical change. What is the future role of businesses and how can they, operating through trust, ethics, values and ‘right action’ contribute to a healthy society of the future? Can we develop new languages for business? What is the role of trust and organizational behaviour in creating an open, transparent and ethical business culture?

This facilitated interactive roundtable session will explore ethical and legal dilemmas in companies, and create a dynamic discussion about future directions that are sustainable and sustaining for the population at large.

This roundtable meeting will be for businesspeople who wish to move to new thinking and explore new territory. It would also include one or two people from the arts, humanities and sciences to serve as catalysts to thinking…beyond the bottom line.

It is clear that Russia, China, India and Brazil will impact the world economy but there are other forces at work that will influence the future way of doing business. These include

  • International law and regulations and changing corporate culture governing the behavior and policies of multi-national corporations. For example, there is a growing call for transparency but there are differing definitions of what is meant by transparency and, further, how might it be achieved without compromising proprietary information and practices.
  • The global dialogue on resource use and availability along with the dialogue on global environment.There are issues of future wealth and well-being here for both the ‘haves and the have-nots.’
  • Building a shared understanding of ‘sustainable’ business in relation to our planet (the ecology of sustainability), taking into consideration the need to balance human commerce with the ecology of the sea, forests, rivers, lakes and land.
  • Discussion of the exquisite and complex interactions between the health of employees and ecological practices, including energy use.
  • Why ‘tone at the top’ is important. Consciousness is the most important factor in how we make decisions in order to go forward. Understanding the need for business leaders to be ‘present’ and ‘practicing presence/awareness’ in their lives and business relationships. True ‘ethical’ business behavior is born of the heart and not by law. We will explore the common threads exhibited by leading companies with ethical leadership success storie

 

Results

On September 10, 2009, a group of ten participants met for dinner in the small Tuscan hilltop village of Pari. They came from a variety of backgrounds: consulting, business management, development, finance, life coaching, social experimentation, science and the arts. Several of them had not met previously. They were also joined via videoconferencing with four other participants.

The following three days were spent in a highly creative dialogue. Pari provided a safe, neutral and trusting space where new ideas could be explored and fresh proposals examined. Such issues as the future and social impact of new technologies; structuring of corporations of the future; ethics and compliance, were discussed during the first two days.

By the end of the final day the group had agreed upon several action plans. One was to create a new form of company based on multi-stakeholder ownership and on the Pari dialogue model. It would involve 100 dialoguers who could be called upon to examine and explore situations faced by communities or corporations. One of the first proposals would be to have an involvement in a program to link farmers on the West Bank with a major retail chain in the United Kingdom.

Another was to develop a ‘Gentle Action Business Plan’ that would focus and develop the Pari Center’s current capacities. It was suggested that the Pari dialogue model and the spirit of Gentle Action could be valuable resources for many transformative processes, including civil society initiatives, dealing with conflicts between corporations and their stakeholders, etc. The ‘Quantum Leadership’ program devised by one of the participants could also avail itself of these resources.

An action plan was agreed upon including a meeting of the group in November to resolve the new company’s structure with legal advice and to advance the West Bank project and the project of a Pari dialogue offer to a London listed company.