podium2_smallOn May 22 and 23, the Soetendorp Institute co-organized the "Wings for Rio + 20" Leadership Forum in the Peace Palace and the Royal Theater in The Hague. Around 180 leaders from business, civil society and spirituality came together to explore the connections between business and spirituality and exchange experiences and perspectives on how to make headway in the transition to sustainable development.

The participating spiritual leaders used their time together to revise and adopt a one-page summary of the interreligious statement "Towards Rio + 20 and Beyond - A Turning Point in Earth History". The declaration urges governments to seize the opportunity provided by the Rio + 20 conference to show courageous leadership in addressing the global challenges that threaten the very survival of humanity on this planet. 

The leaders were joined by Dadi Janki, the 96-years old spiritual head of the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University who gave a teaching on both days of the conference. 
blessing_dalai_lama_smallAmong the speakers were Hon. Lyonpo Dorji Wangdi, Minister of Labour and Human Resources of the Royal Kingdom of Bhutan who delivered an impressive key note address on the importance of crafting a new economic paradigm based on sustainable happiness and well-being that can be downloaded here.  

Both conference days were concluded with intergenerational feather ceremonies where young people shared their dreams for the future and elders responded to these dreams by sharing a core lesson of their life experience. 

On May 24, His Holiness, the XIVth Dalai Lama endorsed the manifesto during a public lecture that he gave in Huy, Belgium.

Feather ceremony with Dadi Janki, Most Revrd. Dr. Thabo Makgobe,
Archbishop of Cape Town, Sr. Jayanti and H.E. Lyonpo Dorji
Wangdi, Minister of Labour and Human Resources,Royal Kingdom
of Bhutan and Dutch children.

The Soetendorp Institute


Jacob Soetendorp Institute for Human Values
Van Wijngaerdenstraat 21
2596 TW The Hague
The Netherlands