Pari Roundtable meeting
Ethics, Business and the Future
Pari 11-13 September 2009
On 10 September a group of eleven participants met for dinner in the small Tuscan hilltop village of Pari. They came from a variety of backgrounds: consulting, business management, development, finance, life coaching, social experimentation, science and the arts. Several of them had not met previously. They were also joined via videoconferencing with four other participants.
The following three days were spent in a highly creative dialogue. Pari provided a safe, neutral and trusting space where new ideas could be explored and fresh proposals examined. The discussion focused on such issues as the future and social impact of new technologies on society and ecology; the structure of the corporation of the future; the development of effective strategies to foster ethics and compliance; and how these could all combine to create the changes we need for a sustainable and equitable future.
A striking by-product of the discussion was the shared awareness among the participants of an extraordinary asset: the Pari dialogue model itself and the spirit of Gentle Action that imbues it. It was felt that this model could be a valuable resource for many transformative processes, including civil society initiatives, dealing with conflicts between corporations and their stakeholders, and generally promoting new pathways that are ethical, sustainable and profitable.
Out of this awareness and the buoyant constructive spirit developed over the three days several linked projects arose. The core idea is to create a new company to link the Pari Center to potential users of the Pari dialogue model in the corporate world and in civil society. The company itself should embody the spirit of the process, distributing its profits among both shareholders and stakeholders, including a fund for the environment.
The fundamental asset of the company will be a group of dialoguers who could be called upon to examine and explore situations faced by communities and corporations and to foster a creative dialogue among all concerned parties. The dialoguers will participate in the ownership of the company.
We have several other projects in mind, including facilitating the dialogue between corporations and charities on specific projects in the developing world and dealing with the widening gap between native people and the global economy.
An action plan was agreed upon including a meeting of the group in London in November in order to resolve the new company's structure with legal advice and to advance the West Bank project. In relation to this, we have started to plan a visit to the West Bank in the near future.