Beppe Robiati’s closing talk at ebbf’s #rethinksuccess annual conference

My mind goes back to the 1990 when 19 people from different countries met together in France on the Mont Blanc in Chamonix.

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ebbf’s first annual conference held in summer of 1990 in Chamonix

The idea was to start up an Association to help managers apply ethical principles in their profession in order to have a better performance in their own activities.

In those days a seed had been put into the soil and after so many years a big tree has grown and ebbf has become a GIANT tree giving business people good tools and instruments focused on ethical behaviour and important values.

I Want to remember three important friends of those days who contributed immensely in the birth of the association: Mr John Huddleston a director of the International Monetary Fund , Jeff Mondsheim a director general of the First National City Bank and George Starcher the host of the meeting and original founder of ebbf.

In this ebbf annual conference the subject rethinking succes is at the centre and I see from the pictures shared on the screen there are a lot of young professionals : these young people are the key of the future. Do not be shy, do not be afraid of the future and be coragious.

Of course we cannot forget the times we are living . This is a special time where no one could have imagined the kind of changes that the coronavirus is bringing into people’s daily lives or in their business activities and for how long we will have to co-habit with it. But this event gives us a big chance to redefine success.

So a strong reflection can be made on the topic:

Over the past 100 years there have been events that should have made us think:
two world wars, several global financial crises that have affected the entire world economic system, a huge migration of millions of poor people in many parts of the world, terrorism attacks everywhere, climate changes and pollution of the environment at incredible grade, increase of poverty to a non acceptable level, concentration of the planet’s wealth into the hands of a minority of the population , and so on .

We never have reflected on these crises; we did not reflect on the consequences of these crisis, and now a small invisible virus is teaching us that the structure of the society at large it is not adequate to solve global problems with 200 national policies in operation.

200 are the Nations of the world and each one of them is proceeding independently from the others while the virus is an international wirus and it does not look at geographical borders, it does not look at the color of the skin, genders, religions, wealth or poverty, different political systems, precisely because it moves quickly, without passport, on the entire planet and has shown this humanity he is able to attack the people and the structures at any level.

And it finds us unprepared in the structural systems on which the society is based today.

Our society did not learn that it was important, very important, to develop a global structural system with global laws, global executives, global economic system and global institutions.

Now we are paying heavily for this our under-capacity.

I hope that the governments, the institutions, the inhabitants of the planet are learning that this is the time to start to move TOWARDS A NEW WORLD STRUCTURAL SYSTEM.

So we have to rethink that our success will be such, only if the entire planet will benefit from it.

The question that resounds from many sides is: will we make it? and if so, how?

The answer can be yes: YES but with some conditions:

First condition: The new scenario of the pandemic drama that fell upon us, is the best opportunity, for our Western capitalist, liberal and profit oriented system to be questioned.

Second condition: Western, liberal, extreme capitalist, heavy materialist style of life, is based and oriented only to consumption and profit, to enjoyment and to the claim of rights to indulge our lower impulses and passions, and in my opinion should be revised

Third condition: are we ready, as a western society, to change the way in which we have been living in the last Century? If yes, can we accept, that we have to work hard to change it?
And also, are we ready to accept that we will not see the results of this transformation? And again are we ready to believe that this it is not only possible, but necessary and inevitable?

How can we think that such a deteriorated social system, up to the point to destroy the planet itself , that we host and use, can face the challenges of a “de facto globalized world”, without barriers, borders, empowered with technology and information unimaginable a few years ago?

The whole scene is ready for the BIG JUMP: the recognition that humanity is a unique living organism, composed of interdependent elements so that the well-being of the one descends from the whole, and the health and wealth of the whole depends on the interaction between the individuals.

We need to acquire awareness of our essential nature, which is not only made of “flesh”, but also and above all, of intelligence, of inner qualities, gems of inestimable values, abstract skills, mutual service and respect.

These inner qualities, these spiritual virtues, must be taken out from ourselves and offered to society at large in a humble way.

All of us understand what these gems of inestimable value are:

love, humbleness, generosity, friendship, being interested in the needs of the community and not only in our own, beauty etc.

But we also need a social order based on fairness and justice, without which no real unity is possible.

No profit, no economic growth, no success of a company or of a society, can be imagine without putting women and men, and generally, human beings, at the center of the picture.

The new values ​​of the era are precisely universal education, equal dignity, human rights, opportunities and protection for every human being.

And finally a world government system that capitalizes the cultural, historical, political, artistic and ethnic heritages that make our planet a garden luxuriant and attractive for the variety with which it is enriched.

And as many still fail to accept, we must realize that man alone cannot make a qualitative leap, because the future is immensely greater than our thoughts and our miseries.

We need to lean on enlightened minds, high inspirations, hidden energies that emerge from the darkness of our ignorance. This is why in 1800 a Nobleman with the title of Baha’u’llah has come to give us vision, instruments and hope to realize these goals.

The responsibility that everyone has, is the ability to distinguish what is useful and what is harmful, in the sole interest of the collective good. This is what our free will consists of, and this is the real meaning of rethinking success.

ebbf and its members are good tools to walk together in this direction.

Love to each one of you


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