A Spiritual Renaissance to Build Trust and 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.

I had hoped that the common global threat would be addressed by the United Nations Secretary-General’s COVID19 Ceasefire, but there is no political will and trust for such action and cooperation among states.

Will our global civilization go down divided in decay as others did?

Or will we come together and build trust for an interdependent world?

Drawing on 30 years in the United Nations community developing and training Reconciliation Leaders to move from expert to catalyst facilitators, I work through the Institute for Global Leadership I founded after I was in New York on 9/11/01. We invite emerging and seasoned professionals to join us for coaching and training to re-examine your mission, learn new skills and perspectives for a trusting, collaborative approach for a COVID-19 world. You will learn to image, be in a 200-year present, create a sacred container, and a systems thinking worldview as part of a facilitative approach to leadership and development.

We are In a crossroads moment of institutional, social, ecological, economic and religious global history and have been restoring faith in leadership at the United Nations since 1991 for the Global Problematique, a lens to view global problems beyond siloing and the capacity of individual sovereign states to resolve alone.  The Global Problematique view allows leaders to have a worldview that makes change possible. View a presentation we made at the Academic Council of the United Nations.

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? Will we able to build trusting relationship across our divides? Join us online on October 21, 2021 when we honor and listen to Reconciliation Leader Dr. Sarah Sayeed, Director of the NYC Civic Engagement Center speak of building trusting community relationships.

I saw the inspiration of my dream of a Phoenix when I was in New York City during the World Trade Center attack on 9/11/01 as a way to enact Ecotheologian Thomas Berry’s dream of a new story and the Hopi Prophecy with Reconciliation Leaders, the program for emerging and seasoned professionals I developed at the United Nations over 30 years, redefining leadership for America and the world.

We are a world in need of leadership. Reconciliation Leaders embrace a shared moral and spiritual vision for America and our world.

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 looked at healing racism at the the Parliament of the World’s Religions in Chicago in 1995.

My dream of a Phoenix when I was in New York City during the World Trade Center attack on 9/11/01 inspired my to invite others to join my 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 my time to consider, over the years, ways to knit peoples’ hearts and minds together. In partnership with the Phoenix, my leadership and development models are especially designed to work with others to heal this divided world for the common good. I redefine political will as Rousseau did. I designed the models to build community among all people after witnessing the breakdown of nation state consensus at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992.

The Institute for Global Leadership takes actions to restore faith in leadership:

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.

  • 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). 
  • Joining A Spiritual Renaissance to Restore Faith in Leadership with Virginia Swain, founder and director of the Institute for Global Leadership.

Friends of Dag Hammarskjöld

Drawing on my 30-year commitment to the United Nations, her friendship with author Barbara Wheeler, the late Dr. Elise Boulding, Hopi Elder Thomas Banyanca, and meeting Thomas Berry and his call for a global soul, I draw on the wisdom and leadership code gained from the life of the 2nd United Nations Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld to train Reconciliation Leaders.

Listen to the words of Dag Hammarskjöld written outside the UN meditation room he built and sung as a chant by Quaker Singer/Songwriter Paulette Meier.

I join in inviting each person on this planet to find their center of stillness surrounded by silence. Dag Hammarskjöld changed the definition of peace and global security from outside ourselves to within each of us—we call this spiritual renaissance leadership from the inside out.

We invite emerging and seasoned leaders to join us to find your center of stillness surrounded by silence, reexamine your mission, learn new skills and develop a broad worldview in this crossroads moment of institutional, social, ecological and economic global history.

During these dark days of transition, I find solace in the Meditation #8 of Divine Encouragement: Living with the Presence of Hope by Collins and Wheeler, the essence of a spiritual renaissance.

If you wonder how to live in these times, rejoice in the ordinary, embrace the simple

For in these things the Spirit remains indelible. 

Be at peace with your brothers and sisters, the Earth.

Devise ways of praise which are genuinely from your heart and celebrated by your spirits.

Rejoice in your humanness, your maleness, your femaleness.

Look for the Spirit in all things and

You will see blessings flow in abundance.

Recognize the Light in the least of things.

If you would seek majesty, look to the smallest fleck of sand

For it contains the essence of All Knowing and All Love

For it, like you,

Is a substance energized by Love.

Mediation #8  Divine Encouragement: Living with the Presence of Hope by Michael E. Collins and Barbara V. Wheeler ©Xlibris 2003

For the Phoenix,

Virginia Swain


Join Us

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.

Ready to learn more?

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