STATEMENT OF PURPOSE : Traveling Seminar 2005
This project is funded and coordinated by the Charles-Léopold Mayer Foundation, a private Franco-Swiss foundation. It is part of a global effort, by the foundation, to increase its ties around the world with other funders and partners, as well as engage in frequent dialogues with individuals and groups who share its vision that a globalized world needs global solutions and concerted efforts to think together about the problems that we face today and will have to confront tomorrow.
The Charles-Léopold Mayer Foundation (FPH) has been focusing its efforts for the past couple of decades on rethinking the future of the planet, in effect, our future. The Lille Assembly of 2001, which gathered hundreds of participants from around the world, brought about a re-orientation of the Foundation, one which incorporated focusing on a few new areas of interest and research. The topics of the Future of governance and Ethics were among these new issues. In the meantime, the FPH continued to develop its network of ties with partners around the world through the Alliance program (Alliance for a Responsible, Plural and United World).
With the geopolitical changes that came about in 1991 and 2001, most notably with the new role and direction taken by the United States, we (at the foundation) realized that our ties with the United States were somewhat loose, especially compared with the ties we had developed in other parts of the world, such as with China, India, Africa and Latin America. Thus were started several initiatives in the past few years. Pierre Calame (Director) and Michel Sauquet of the FPH, for example, met with several American foundations with whom they subsequently worked on common projects (e.g. with the Ford Foundation on Globalization).
It is in light of the new directions taken by both the FPH and the United States that we came up with the idea of a "traveling seminar," whose purpose would be to engage in a dialogue with American citizens and groups representing various socio-professional, communal and geographic areas (with stops in NY City, Central New York State, Saint-Louis, Los Angeles). After the trip, we should move forward and develop the project in other directions, perhaps by hosting events in Europe with American participants or initiating various initiatives around the idea of cross-cultural exchanges.
The objective of this project is thus to initiate a dialogue between Americans and non-Americans on topics related to the future of governance and the place of ethics in a world that is evolving rapidly.
For this we contacted various organizations to see if they might be interested in hosting a roundtable discussion involving our group and local participants. Upon completion of the trip, we will produce a written account (monograph or book) of the seminar.