Protect the Planet
On Thursday, October 19, 2017 at the Conference Room of the Faculty of Economics of the University of La Sapienza (Pole Pontine Headquarters), a conference was held entitled: To Protect the Planet: Increasing recycling, avoiding waste. Rational and environmentally sustainable use of plastics.
The conference had the ISSE and the Rotary Club of Latina among the proposers and was sponsored by the City of Latina. Four classes of high school students from the High School Ettore Majorana and Galilei-Sani High School attended the conference with great enthusiasm, for about 90 participants. The ages of the students ranged from Class II to IV. Many students had already done or were doing extra-curricular activities on plastics and related issues.
After the initial greetings of the various Organizing Authorities, the Rector of the University, Assessor for the Environment, a Professor of the University and, after the break, an ISSE delegate presented different reports.
The meeting was divided into two parts: before the break, the problem of plastic was seen from the point of view of recycling, its typology, regulations, direct and indirect damage to man and to marine ecosystem. In the second part, the issue was addressed from the point of view of the human being and his relationship with other similar people and with the environment, in general. This was the presentation that most captured the students' attention, despite being the last one of the day.
Presentation started with a video that synthesized a speech that Robert Kennedy gave at the University of Kansas in 1968, in which he reflected on the meaning of wealth and what counts in the life of each person. Then a general consideration was made on happiness and on how it is essentially linked to the inner dimension of each one of us and not to the external dimension, as it is currently believed. True happiness is a virtue ("In virtute posita est vera felicitas" Lucius Annaeus Seneca). Our life has an incomplete "semi-circle" dimension because our mental attention is too directed towards the externalities, of which we are slaves, and lacks the interiority, which makes us free.
Many modern consumes and many lifestyles are not sustainable today because we are experiencing a period of great demographic growth. Some behaviours have a negative effect on the planet not only because they are wrong, but also because they are common to so many people. The common attitude of using and throwing, if generalized, leads to a world that resembles a large dump.
In this already existing situation, it is enough to see the large plastic islands that have recently formed in the oceans, the only alternative is a change of mentality, an education that leads us to a journey from I to we. In this perspective, the problems we are facing, both the ecological and the crisis of human values, are resolved together with a profound change of attitude. This change must start with each one of us, following the principle that we must represent the change we want to see in the world.
"Sow a thought and you will reap an action; sow an action and you will reap a habit; sow a habit and you will reap a character; sow a character and reap a destiny ".
In this respect, the teaching of putting a "ceiling on desires" is crucial. We waste money, food, time and energy. Reducing all this waste could contribute to the well-being of so many people, in a very concrete way. In fact: the world has enough riches to satisfy the needs of all, but it certainly does not have enough to satisfy the greed of even a single man.
Second European Managers Conference in Italy
It was one of these typical Italian spring weekends that the organisers of the ISSE Institute South Europe and of the ESSE Institute North Europe had chosen to invite for the Second European Managers Conference from the 9th until the 10th of April 2016 in Milan.
In spite of a strike in Greece and Italy 35 managers and interested came together under the motto
‘Managing Change and Growth through Human Values & Spiritual Leadership‘
in ‘Mother Sai’, the conference centre of the Italian SSIO. On both days the participants coming from Norway, Holland, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Greece, Croatia and South-Africa intensively worked in discourses und workshops on the three main topics of the conference, which in addition was attended by a representative of the Italian government in Rome and the major of the region Varallo Pombia:
- Creating awareness for the need of a value based management
- Exchanging experiences of implementation
- Establishing a platform for spiritual management
The invited CEOs and managers Manfred Müller-Gransee from Germany, Markos Lyras from the United Kingdom and Thomas Rohland from Holland spoke about their experiences in implementing a management structure based on the five Human Values Truth, Righteousness, Peace, Love and Nonviolence in their companies. In two further discourses the trainers of the ISSE Institute George Bebedelis und Vassiliki Stephanides from Greece deepened the understanding of the concepts of the two values Truth and Righteousness. Afterwards these new insights were worked out together with all participants in several workshops, before a panel discussion and a brainstorming about how to proceed in this important topic in future ended this valuable meeting in Italy.
At the end all participants were very grateful to the Italian hosts who managed to prepare a wonderful and remarkable frame with their selfless service for this conference.
Glimpses from the conference can be viewed here