A Spiritual Renaissance to Restore Faith in Leadership
“Civilizations perish when they can’t respond to challenges with creativity,” wrote historian Arnold Toynbee.
Toynbee studied 21 civilizations, and in his twelve volumes of The Study of History developed a model of tracing their birth, growth, and decay. Throughout, he held that authentic religion and spirituality give civilization its vitality. When religious and spiritual groups decay, the civilization falls. Toynbee feared the West was perishing after the tragedies of the two world wars. The United Nations was our hope, but it was conceived in member state self-interest 75 years ago, the death knell of a world needing cooperation. There have been nearly 300 wars since its founding. It was hoped that the common global threat would be addressed by the United Nations Secretary-General’s COVID19 Ceasefire, but there is no political will for such action and cooperation among states.
Will our global civilization go down divided in decay as others did? Or will we come together as one?
The Institute for Global Leadership’s call for a spiritual renaissance is a call to revive our global spiritual vitality to act together for the common good and save our civilization from decay. Will the political will of the people (as defined by Rousseau) save us from self-interest and possible extinction?
We have been building a model of development for 30 years facilitated by Reconciliation Leaders called the Peacebuilding Process of Reconciliation to Develop Political Will. Begun in 1991 with Celebration of the Children of the World: A Model for Building Global Community, where the denominational church becomes the societal church in a parallel development strategy (Rothauge) to strengthen the United Nations, the model was developed over three decades; for example A Global Liturgy at the the Parliament of the World’s Religions in Chicago in 1995.
Virginia’s dream of the Phoenix when she was in New York City during the World Trade Center attack on 9/11/01 inspired her to invite others to join her to revive our global vitality by “responding with creativity” and developing a mandate to work with others to build a global ethic to restore faith in leadership. Sitting with the Phoenix for 17 years in meditation allowed Virginia time to consider, over the years, ways to knit peoples’ hearts and minds together. In partnership with the Phoenix, her leadership and development models are especially designed to work with others to heal this divided world for the common good. Virginia defines political will as Rousseau did. She designed the models to build community among all people after witnessing the breakdown of state consensus at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992.
The Institute for Global Leadership takes actions to restore faith in leadership:
- Training Reconciliation Leaders through a basic and advanced certificate program for competency at four levels: personal, interpersonal, systemic and global. Reconciliation Leaders facilitate positive change in local, national and global challenges through the Peacebuilding Process of Reconciliation. They are taught to develop the will of the people through Rousseau’s definition of political action (Master’s Thesis, Lesley University 1993).
- Utilizing the Global Mediation and Reconciliation Service and the Peacebuilding Process of Reconciliation to Develop Political Will, Reconciliation Leaders offer a resource for UN Charter Chapter VI, pacific resolution of disputes (nonviolent approaches), for conflict at all levels of society.
- Joining Friends of Dag Hammarskjöld: A Spiritual Renaissance to Restore Faith in Leadership*
- Reading Virginia Swain’s book, My Soul’s Journey to Redefine Leadership: A New Phoenix Rises from the Ashes of 9/11. This book is a chronicle of the spiritual journey which underlies and informs her life and work. It also offers readers the opportunity to write their own spiritual memoir through end-chapter questions and exercises
Friends of Dag Hammarskjöld
Drawing on her 30-year commitment to the United Nations, her friendship with author Barbara Wheeler, the late Dr. Elise Boulding, Hopi Elder Thomas Banyanca, and the wisdom and leadership code gained from the life of the 2nd United Nations Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld, Virginia saw the inspiration of her dream of the Phoenix as a way to enact Hammarskjold’s leadership code, the Hopi Prophecy and to work with other Reconciliation Leaders to build a spiritual renaissance* that embraces a shared moral and spiritual vision for America and our world.
The Institute invites emerging and seasoned leaders to join us for coaching and training to re-examine your mission and learn new skills and perspectives for a Reconciliation Leadership approach to a spiritual renaissance in a COVID-19 world. You also will learn to be in a 200-year present, to learn a new approach to leadership and development as well as a broad systems-thinking worldview. In a crossroads moment of institutional, social, ecological and economic global history, we’ve been restoring faith in leadership at the United Nations since 1991 for the Global Problematique, global problems beyond the capacity of sovereign states to solve alone. We are a world in need of leadership.
We invite you to join us to re-examine your mission, learn new skills and develop a broad worldview in this crossroad moment of institutional, social, ecological, and economic global history. We have been restoring faith in leadership in the United Nations since 1991.
- Virginia Swain, Founder and Director, Institute for Global Leadership
- Founder, VirginiaSwain.com
- Author, VirginiaSwain.com blog
- Director and Co-Founder, The Center for Global Community and World Law
- Formerly in Consultative Status at the United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs