The Institute for Global Leadership supports the United Nations Day call of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to restore the United Nations mandate, for a bold Covid19 Global Ceasefire in a presentation at the Annual Meeting of the Academic Council for the United Nations in June 2020. Addressing the problematic role of the United States in the UN, we’ve had dialogues for America’s growth to be a better global partner since 2017. Drawing from a rich history of presentations and practice to restore faith in humanity since 1991 and inspired by Dag Hammarskjold, we offer the perspectives, tools and techniques of Reconciliation Leaders and a spiritual renaissance for the global common ground created from the COVID19 pandemic.

About the Institute for Global Leadership

We invite 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 COVID19 world. You will also learn why historic attempts to reform the United Nations have failed. In a 200-year present, we offer opportunities for professionals 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 humanity at the United Nations since 1991 for the Global Problématique and a world in need of leadership.

Virginia Swain founded the Institute for Global Leadership in response to the tragic events of September 11, 2001. She drew on her experience in New York during the World Trade Center attacks, as well as 25 years of experience in the United Nations conceiving, developing and training Reconciliation Leaders since 1991. At the United Nations conference on the Environment and Development (popularly known as the Earth Summit in 1992) ,Virginia perceived a deep-seated need to offer Reconciliation Leaders and a Global Mediation and Reconciliation Service to the United Nations and wider world. Listen to the impact of Reconciliation Leadership as practiced by two of its graduates, Dr. Sam Onapa and Dr. Sarah Sayeed.

As a member of the Global Compact since it began, we engage its ten principles.  Additionally, we fully support the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals with special expertise in SDG16+ for peaceful societies and SDG17 for Revitalizing a Global Partnership. The United Nations Interagency Framework Team for Preventive Action at UNDP welcomed five Reconciliation Leaders as they presented Reconciliation Leaders for Sustainable Development in 2013. A plan for a Global Mediation and Reconciliation Service, a little-known global security system already part of the Charter, was presented at a speaking engagement at the Hague Appeal for Peace in 1999 and at the State of the World Forum in 1999. In an earlier series where Virginia Swain was an invited participant, the Abolishing War Series with Peace Scholars Boulding and Forsberg, she was concerned about a lack of reference to the United Nations and wrote a commentary—The United Nations, the Peacebuilding Institute and Servant Leadership.

As the Institute restores faith in leadership, emerging and seasoned leaders learn from Dag Hammarskjold and a Phoenix rising from the ashes of ground zero in Virginia Swain’s dream the night of 9/11 (see image below right) when she was in New York during the World Trade Center attacks. After 17 years of sitting with the Phoenix in meditation, Virginia invites leaders to learn, through American and global communities she creates, how to be global citizens living locally.  Many people are called to be of service—in partnership and collaboration with others—so that we can creatively participate in co-creating our destiny, in whatever language we use for our Creator. An earlier Phoenix image (left below) was gifted by Norway to symbolize the end of World War II and was placed in the UN Security Council. Unfortunately, there have been more than 400 wars since then.

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

Leadership Agility

A colleague and friend, the late Nan Merrill, author and columnist, wrote, “September 11, 2001, will long be remembered as a terrible and shocking tragedy. Forever vivid will be the memory of how our nation and the world joined in solidarity with nations and peoples devastated by war and violence.”

People, institutions and nations need maturation to work for common interest in a COVID19 world. The Institute recognizes all human beings, institutions, nations and multilateral organizations for their uniqueness, need and capacity for transformation.  Reconciliation leaders use leadership agility to assess where experts, the lowest level of leadership, could grow to become catalytic leaders.

Central to our work is healing the cycle of violence. We address the historic cycle of violence with a strategy through the Global Mediation and Reconciliation Service as seen through the visual below, reprinted with permission from the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Listen to the impact of Reconciliation Leadership by one of its graduates, Sam Onapa.

Reconciliation Leaders address the cycle of violence by helping people through the outer circle towards reconciliation—including re-humanizing the enemy, grief, acceptance and forgiveness.  

Learn about the Reconciliation Leadership Certificate Program and case studies of how the Institute reconciles protracted challenges in a Global Mediation and Reconciliation Service with the Peacebuilding Process.  We will build on our rich history for a post-9/11 world in years to come.

For a rationale of why Reconciliation Leadership and the Global Mediation and Reconciliation Service are needed for a post-9/11 world, read the following papers presented at the Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies Conference at Columbia University. Although dated, the papers present the fundamentals of the new leadership and development models in practice and policy.

Dr. Elise Boulding trained Virginia Swain in a researched methodology to image the solution to a challenge. Dr. Boulding argues that we can’t reconcile a challenge unless we can see it in our mind’s eye. Imaging plays a key role in our work. Below, participants use imaging as a way to envision a solution to climate change in one of the Reconciliation Leadership courses taught by Virginia Swain at the United Nations, called Designing and Implementing Interventions for Resistant Systems for Local, Institutional, National and Global Change. We create a timeline and action plan after the image is conceptualized (see below for group image from one of the courses).

Dr. Sarah Sayeed, Executive Director of the Civic Engagement Commission in New York City, speaks about her work as a public servant as a Reconciliation Leaderer using the imaging process.

Below is Dr. Joseph Baratta‘s image on United Nations Reform as he envisioned it in an imaging workshop in 2010. For more about Joseph, go to www.centerglobalcommunitylaw.org.

A Spiritual Renaissance* to Restore Faith in Leadership

Listen to the words of Dag Hammarskjöld written outside his meditation room, and sung as a chant by Paulette Meier: By 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.

Leadership and Development for the Global Problématique

We invite 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 leadership based on a Code of Ethics written in Politics and Conscience: Dag Hammarskjöld on the Art of Ethical Leadership by Roger Lipsey.

Roger Lipsey writes about the Code that Hammarskjold lived by that provides an ethical template for our times. Included in these are the Way of a Statesman (woman) which shows his religious quest and understanding in relation to his (her) public role; his (her) self knowledge, perseverance, patience, courage and maturity of mind. See an interview with Dr. Lipsey about Dag Hammarskjöld‘s Code for Global Ethics Day at the Carnegie Council for International Ethics 2020.

In a 200-year present, we offer opportunities for professionals to learn four levels of competency (personal, interpersonal, systemic and global) approach to leadership and development that builds on Hammarskjölds Code 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 Problématique and a world in need of leadership.

In 2001, Virginia Swain was at the United Nations in New York City during the World Trade Center attacks.  She saw a Phoenix that came to her in a dream. It appeared as our spiritual and moral essence that we had failed to cultivate and nourish, prompting us to initiate a spiritual renaissance that would take us beyond individual and group egoism—a renaissance that would help us overcome the fear and mistrust that kept us so separate and isolated from each other and from the rest of the world.

The Institute supports the call from UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to restore the United Nations mandate, for a bold Covid19 Global Ceasefire in a presentation at the Annual Meeting of the Academic Council for the United Nations in June 2020. Addressing the problematic role of the United States in the UN, we’ve had dialogues for America’s growth to be a better global partner since 2017. Drawing from a rich history of presentations and practice to restore faith in humanity since 1991 (and inspired by Dag Hammarskjold), we offer the perspectives, tools and techniques of Reconciliation Leaders and a spiritual renaissance for the global common ground created from the COVID19 pandemic.

Virginia is now being moved to provide leadership, drawing on the inspiration of her dream of a Phoenix on the night of 9/11 while she was in New York City working at the United Nations, to work with others to build a global ethic to restore faith in humanity that embraces a shared moral and spiritual vision for the world in a COVID19 panemic. through the Institute for Global Leadership she founded after 9/11.

Drawing on her longtime commitment to the United Nations through the Culture of Peace and the Global Movement for the Culture of Peace (GMCoP), her friendship with a Hopi Elder delivering the Hopi Prophecy, and the wisdom gained from the life of second UN Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld, Virginia uses the inspiration of her dream of the Phoenix to work with others to build a global culture of peace that embraces a shared moral and spiritual vision for the world. In offering a Spiritual Renaissance for Our Global Soul, the Institute for Global Leadership provides a global ethic as a resource for people to work in collaboration with the soul of the world. Through the Phoenix, we transform the current moral and spiritual leadership crisis to bring love, forgiveness and compassion to the world. The Phoenix is a bird of resurrection, rebirth and regeneration.

A mural, painted by the Norwegian artist Per Krohg in the colours and style reminiscent of a tapestry, was donated in 1952 by Norway to the United Nations. It decorates the Security Council Chamber. The mural symbolizes the changes which the world will undergo because of the efforts of the UN, and of mankind in general, to achieve peace, equality and freedom. A full view of the mural. 1/Aug/1985. UN Photo/Lois Conner. www.unmultimedia.org/photo/

The Phoenix, given as a vision of peace after the end of World War II and the founding of the United Nations, is pictured above in a mural, painted by the Norwegian artist Per Krohg in the colours and style reminiscent of a tapestry, was donated in 1952 by Norway to the United Nations. It decorates the Security Council Chamber. The mural symbolizes the changes which the world will undergo because of the efforts of the UN, and of mankind in general, to achieve peace, equality and freedom. There have been more than 350 wars since then.  Humanity has failed token the peace since the founding of the United Nations.*

As we take up the gauntlet to work with others to restore faith in humanity, we are given another chance through an intervention of the 9/11 Phoenix rising from the ashes of ground zero in Virginia’s dream. Through the intervention, we are invited to learn why we are here on the earth right now and what we can do to be of service in partnership and collaboration with others so that we can creatively participate in co-creating our destiny.  

“If we could see the entire Earth as a garden–as a living but damaged paradise, worthy of love and admiration–we could then act as gardeners, working in collaboration with the soul of the world. In this role, we could creatively participate in the cultivation of all life, and help to restore nature’s beauty, fertility and resilience where it has been lost.”

–David Fideler in Restoring the Soul of the World

As gardeners, we take action to restore faith in leadership:

The Institute’s commitment to a Spiritual Renaissance or rebirth was introduced at the Hague Appeal for Peace with vocationally-moved Reconciliation Leaders and a Global Mediation and Reconciliation Service. The work of the Institute reflects on the image astronauts have shared of the earth from space. As the late U.S. Senator John Glenn wrote, “When I circled the planet again and again, I experienced different people, different cultures, vastly different experiences and origins. Yet there is a golden thread that runs through all these expressions of individual experience that is the magic of life.” Experience what the astronauts saw in the dated but effective brief film By Wonder Are We Saved.

In their book Images of the Future, Drs. Elise and Kenneth Boulding developed an important tool to motivate behavior in the present by using images of the future, drawing on the theory that people cannot create something they have not envisioned. After imaging a positive future, one can work back into present time to realize a positive present with a timeline and concrete action steps. The Institute has used the imagining process successfully over the years to empower adults and children to live their dreams. This was a central theme of Virginia’s presentation on “Visionary Leadership” on United Nations Day in 2011.  Participants in Virginia Swain’s classes at the UN create solutions, below, they haven’t imagined before. More on images of the future can be seen at http://virginiaswain.com/Expressive+Art. Virginia gathered people from June-September 2020 to image a global awakening. The participants called it:

*Hammarskjold is widely attributed to calling for a spiritual renaissance even though his latest biographer Roger Lipsey, said he never said it. We follow his spiritual leadership example by reading his journal, Markings, published posthumously and invite others to follow his example by living out their lives from the inside out. Lipsey’s memoir, Hammarskjöld: A Life, gives a splendid and engrossing history of Hammarskjöld as UN Secretary-General.

Join Us

We invite you to join us to reexamine 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 humanity in the United Nations since 1991.

Ready to learn more?

About Virginia: