Letter from the ebbf board: how can we act and what can we offer in these complex times?

ebbf is engaged in helping transform business and the economy, thereby contributing to a prosperous, just and sustainable civilization. Our transformation work is based on sustained reflection and a long-term view; it is pro-active, not reactive; events are only meaningful if and when they reveal a principle-based, lasting trend. A transformation process needs both adhering to principles and understanding changing realities, making adaptations when necessary.

We, at ebbf, are comforted by the fact that adhering to our foundational principles allows us to see through the noise of events, not to follow the current pace and to go deeper into the issues by understanding the root causes of the events. We create a welcoming environment for diverse ideas because we believe that “The shining spark of truth, cometh forth only after the clash of differing opinions”. Strengthened by principles, in a mode of constant learning and with a spirit of humble sharing, we can dedicate ourselves to our task of building, together with our friends and partners, a space of trust, mutual respect, unity, love, spirituality, and hope, where people get together to have meaningful conversations around topics of interest to them — topics whose ultimate goal is the good of the society at large. We try to engage in conversations with all groups that have the desire to contribute to the common good.

A conversation is most meaningful if it results in action. It must inspire, empower and stimulate collaboration, and allow for an ongoing process of learning and adjustments. This is what participants in our learning events have named the “what do I do on Monday?” effect. A community of practice emerges from such an approach, which together with hope and faith results in releasing the capacity of all who participate. Capacity to learn, to serve, to engage in social action and to partner with others.

What we do individually, at work, in our communities, companies or organizations, is based not only on a set of values for individual behavior but on a world view, an elevated discourse that is an integral part of our values system.

That discourse covers a wide range of topics and addresses all the issues that matter, ranging from the meaning of work, to the role of business, the purpose of wealth, the transition from a deficit mentality to a mentality of abundance, the true nature of globalization and the exploration of new patterns of society. It is a discourse that is informed and enriched by learning from all the experience obtained across the globe and not only by one — apparently prevailing — economic model.

We would like to make this discourse not only open, but attractive to all the people that are looking for hope and meaning in the midst of the present turmoil. We want to allow new perspectives to arise on, for example:

• Poverty eradication;
• Youth unemployment;
• Embracing the constructive potential of thousands of grassroots communities;
• Macroeconomics and its interplay with the life of the individual;
• Increasingly dysfunctional character of the present economic order;
• Gender Equity
• and, many other topics.

A discourse is not a destination, it helps identify the path. Treading that path requires volition on the part of all the players who want to translate the discourse into action. Volition requires hope and conviction, it entails believing that we are all human beings with capacities, sometimes hidden, and potentially gems of inestimable value who need to realize that potential. This is where accompaniment enters; we accompany one another on this path.

We desire to be responsible citizens. We intend to use meaningful conversations and dialogue as tools for finding together that path. We do not want to be yet another organization; we do not want to be the best; we do not see our success where others fail. We rejoice in everybody’s success as we do with our own. We seek to work together with all those who care about creating and living a new model and we strive to develop a language that brings all stakeholders ever closer.

baha’i-inspired global learning community, accompanying individuals and groups, to transform business + economy contributing to a prosperous civilization

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