Michael C. Slaby works as Program Manager for the Soetendorp Institute. He holds a Master with distinction in Comparative Religion, Political Science and International Law from Heidelberg University, Germany. His Master thesis analysed the World's Parliament of the Religions in 1893 that marked the beginning of modern interfaith dialogue. His studies and practical experiences make him an expert in interreligious collaboration and dialogue, esecially on today's most urgent global challenges such as climate change, the loss of biodiversity and the global water crisis.
Michael has been actively involved in youth-led civil society initiatives on sustainable development, human rights and refugee aid on both national and international levels since his high-school years in the mid 1990ies. From 2003 to 2006, he volunteered as Earth Charter Youth Coordinator, and helped to establish the vibrant network of youth organizations that form the Earth Charter Youth Initiative. During this time he initiated the Earth Charter Youth Group Programme that has now developed into a major international programme with over 150 youth groups in more than 50 countries.
Before joining the Soetendorp Institute Michael served as Interfaith Coordinator for Earth Charter International, where he coordinated a network of some 600 faith-based organizations that have endorsed the Earth Charter. In his professional career, he looks back on 8 years of progressive project development and management within international civil society organizations.
As Michael lives and works in Heidelberg, Germany, the Soetendorp Institute cooperates with Earth Charter Germany - the Ecumenical One World Initiative, which provides the administrative base for Michael's work and employment.
Among his many tasks for the Soetendorp Institute he is taking care of the Institute's communications and websites, coordinates the the Earth Charter Task Force on Religion, Spirituality, and Ethics that is co-chaired by Rabbi Soetendorp and manages the intergenerational Feather Project. He served as main interfaith liaison during the successful series of international leadership conferences the Institute co-organized during 2012 and 2013, including Wings for Rio + 20, Wings for Earth Charter and Wings for Water. This conference was organized by the Dutch government as a multi-stakeholder dialogue on water cooperation preceding the official World Water Day Celebrations on March 22, 2013. During this water conference, Michael was the leading conceptual organizer of the meeting of religious leaders and experts.
His main focus at the moment is to manage the Global Interfaith WASH Alliance, which aims to engage the world's many faiths as allies in the global efforts of creating a water-secure world, and which has been launched on 25 September, 2013 in the UNICEF Headquarters in New York City. Michael was the project leader for the preparation and organization of this major event.
Michael lives in Heidelberg, Germany, with his beautiful wife and two little daughters.
Please visit the website of Earth Charter International to find more info on the Earth Charter Task Force on Religion, Spirituality, and Ethics.
Please contact Michael at mslaby AT Soetendorp.org