February 26, 2009

Conscious Leadership and Beyond

As Director of Leadership and Capacity Development at the United Nations, Monica Sharma is pioneering Integral approaches to whole systems transformation and leadership development worldwide. Dr. Sharma designs large-scale programs of child survival and maternal health in poverty stricken nations.

Her work is documented to have touched over 4.5 million lives directly and some 130 million people indirectly. Dr. Sharma is also an avid mediator and spiritual practitioner – who met Jiddu Krishnamurti at the age of 6, and the Dalai Lama at the age of 7.

Dr. Sharma's work is making sure that an explicity integral sensibility is involved at the highest levels of global decision-making. Integral Praxis is proud to feature the following amazing article by Dr. Sharma. Enjoy:
Conscious Leadership at the Crossroads of Change

By Monica Sharma

The past fifty years have seen unprecedented global development and, at the same time, have revealed unspeakable human suffering and deprivation of truly epic proportions. This paradox of progress and persistent poverty is a defining feature of the early twenty-first century. The next fifty years will show whether the world can come together as one, resolving the many seemingly intractable problems we now face, or continue to muddle through from one crisis to another, never really solving the interdependent problems of humankind in a definitive and sustained way.

In 2006 a billion-plus people—one in six—live in extreme poverty, on less than a dollar a day, and each day is a life-and-death struggle for them. They do not have the resources to stay alive, let alone thrive, in the face of chronic hunger, illness, and ecological hazards in a world that otherwise has the means to feed everyone, tackle disease, and create a safe environment. The ever-widening gap between the rich and the poor has resulted in human suffering and violence on an unimaginable scale.

More than forty countries are scarred by violent conflict. Three million people die of AIDS every year, and 40 million live with the virus. Eleven million children die every year before their fifth birthday. More than 100 million children of primary school age are not in school. At least 1.2 million children are trafficked worldwide—that is more than 3,000 a day, and most are exploited in the sex industry.

In the face of these grim realities, there is now global consensus within the development community on what needs to be done, defined in a series of consultations and summits that culminated in the Millennium Development Goals, an expression of a shared vision of global development. These time-bound specific goals seek to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, achieve universal primary education, promote gender equality, reduce mortality, combat HIV/AIDS, and ensure environmental sustainability. In our globalized world, the challenges we face are interconnected.

At the same time, these goals are necessary but not sufficient until we see the global problematique as a symptom of one fundamental, deeper-rooted crisis—our individual and shared mind-set, where psychological and cultural forces reign. Only then we can begin to mount a more integral and profound response that will move us forward in a sustainable way.
Read More (PDF): Here

1 comment:

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