Delegates at the Spirit of Humanity Forum in Reykjavik Iceland this week took part in a values assessment which asked them:
1) What values they believe are currently reflected in human governance systems; and
2) What values they would like to see in human governance systems.
Here are the results:
Leading the field by a significant margin in how delegates see current governance systems is bureaucracy. Then come short-term focus, self-interest, disjointed, corruption, elitism, power and wasted resources.
What delegates would like to see are concern for future generations, collaboration, compassion and accountability, along with long-term perspective and global thinking.
What these results show is a clear desire for long-term global thinking and a compassionate approach to dealing with the needs of future generations.
The big question this poses is: Where is this new thinking going to come from? How is this going to happen in a disjointed, elitist, self-serving, corrupt world? We cannot expect this new thinking to come from the current crop of political leaders. How do I know that? Well, I know that because in recent years the Barrett Values Centre has mapped the values of over twenty nations. The results pretty much align with what the delegates at the Spirit of Humanity Forum are saying.
Here are how citizens of four leading countries see the current cultures of their countries, and the changes they would like to see. The results from most of the other countries we have completed values assessments for are very similar.
The way citizens see the current cultures of their countries:
UK: Bureaucracy, crime and violence, uncertainty about the future, corruption, blame and wasted resources.
France: Unemployment, uncertainty about the future, wasted resources, crime and violence, conflict and aggression and bureaucracy.
Italy: Corruption, political patronage, uncertainty about the future, crime/violence, bureaucracy and nepotism.USA: Bureaucracy, corruption, blame, uncertainty about the future, wasted resources and materialistic.
What citizens want:
UK: Caring for the elderly, accountability, affordable housing, caring for the disadvantaged, employment opportunities, dependable public services.
France: Honesty, governmental effectiveness, affordable housing, employment opportunities, poverty reduction, and caring for the elderly.
Italy: Governmental effectiveness, employment opportunities, affordable housing, honesty, legal justice, collaboration.
USA: Accountability, concern for future generations, honesty, employment opportunities, caring for the elderly and effective health care.
What this says to me is what the world needs now is a new brand of political leader: Leaders who are willing to put the interests of the people they are serving above their own self-interest; leaders who care about what the people care about; leaders that are able to see past their narrow party political interests and join together with leaders from other parties to build a future that serves the needs of everyone. We need accountable leaders who display high levels of integrity and honesty. What the world needs now … in the words of the famous song writing team Hal David and Burt Bacharach … is love sweet love.