Sufficiency Economy Philosophy Zoom Round Table – Tuesday, May 7

Please join us at 8:30 am (CDT) on Tuesday, May 7, for a Zoom round table with two insightful colleagues – Patrick O’Sullivan and Vasu Srivibha – to explore the Theravada Buddhist approach to, if you will, moral capitalism.

Their article on stewardship and the sufficiency economy philosophy – known in Thailand as the “SEP” – was published in the February issue of Pegasus.  You may read the article here.

Vasu is my colleague at the Sasin School of Management in Bangkok and Patrick has taught there, as well.

The SEP was the exceptional contribution of His Late Majesty King Bhumibol to his people, a proposal for equilibrium and sustainability in our economies – personal, family, communal, regional, national and international.

I was once privileged to have a long audience with His Majesty years ago, as he was starting to develop his framework for having restraint and taking due care in our lives.  I was quite impressed with his sincerity and his dedication in getting it right.

Please join us for a cross-cultural consideration of optimizing our lived experiences.

To register, please email

The event will last between an hour and hour and a half.

Caux Round Table Book Club for 2024: Books and Dates

I have been discussing with our staff and some fellows and interested participants the value to our network of starting a book discussion club in 2024.

Since the formidable works of Adam Smith and Karl Marx, our understanding of capitalism and its alternatives – and of economics, sociology, psychology, politics – has been formed by books.  Those who don’t (can’t) read are at a great loss for not having many contextualizing frames of meaning and narratives with which to think about and rationally act in our world.  They know little about how we got here, what is shaping our lives and where we might go.

Every week or so, it seems to me, there appears one or more new books with relevant contributions to our assessments of the past, present and future.  Too many for me to keep track of.

As we learn from books, we also learn from each other.

We will meet once a quarter by Zoom to discuss a book which has been selected for us to read.

Somewhat haphazardly, we propose these four recently published books:

Power and Progress: Our Thousand-Year Struggle OverTechnology and Prosperityby Daron Acemoglu and Simon Johnson
Why Empires Fall: Rome, America and the Future of the Westby Peter Heather and John Rapley
The Civic Bargain: How Democracy Survivesby Brook Manville and Josiah Ober
Mandeville’s Fable: Pride, Hypocrisy and Sociabilityby Robin Douglass

The times and dates of the discussions are:

-9:00 am (CST) Thursday, February 15 – Power and Progress
-9:00 am (CDT) Wednesday, May 15 – Why Empires Fall
9:00 am (CDT) Thursday, August 15 – The Civic Bargain
9:00 am (CST) Friday, November 15 – Mandeville’s Fable

We will send a notice of meeting and reminders before each date so that you may register to participate.

If the discussions prove fruitful, we can consider adding books and discussion sessions.

I hope this initiative meets with your approval and that you might want to participate.

Please let me know any thoughts you might have on making this initiative as rewarding as possible for participants.

Cultivating a Better Understanding of AI: An In-person Round Table with Fellow Micheal Wright on April 2

We are delighted to invite you to an in-person round table presentation on the latest developments in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and its potential applications across research and strategy development at 5:00 pm on Tuesday, April 2, at the Landmark Center (room 326) in St. Paul.  The session will be led by our colleague, Michael Wright, CEO of Intercepting Horizons, a seasoned executive with over 30 years of experience across various sectors, including public, private and nonprofit and a fellow of the Caux Round Table.  He is also the author of two patents in micro-fluidics and two books, The Exponential Era and The New Business Normal, both on management and technology.

Michael is a values-driven leader and innovator who is passionate about leveraging technological convergences to shape future business landscapes.  He has a diverse background in industries, such as software, IoT, semiconductor equipment from lithography to test and AI-based strategic foresight and business development.  He has also chaired the SEMI Industry Strategy Symposium and received the IABC Excel Award for Leadership.

In this presentation, Michael will provide an overview of AI, including key terminology, types and use cases, with a particular focus on strategic foresight.  He will share insights from his experience working with AI and highlight its potential to transform industries and drive sustainable growth.

We believe this presentation will be of great value to you and will stimulate engaging discussions on the future of AI and its implications for businesses and society.

Registration, with light refreshments, will begin at 4:30 pm.

Cost to attend is $15.

To register, please email

The event will last between an hour and hour and a half.

I Don’t Know about God, But is Higher Education Dead? Please Join Us February 1 on Zoom

Given the high-profile, recent scandals in higher education (Harvard and Claudine Gay come to mind), is it, in the West, still higher education? As Nietzsche might ask, “Is higher education dead?” If so, what is it and what can we do about it?

Please join us at 9:00 am (CST) on Thursday, February 1, on Zoom to discuss.

To register, please email

The event will last about an hour.

What Happened in 2023 and What Does it Mean for the Long Run? Please Join Us on the 28th on Zoom

One of the mantras of sustainability, ESG, climate change advocacy and corporate social responsibility is long-termism over short-termism.

So, when things happen – presidents elected, inflation erodes well-being, wars are started, wars slog through stalemate and soldiers die, inventions come on line, companies go bust, families quarrel, cultures clash – are these just passing episodes of no account or are they making history?

Ralph Waldo Emerson resented that “Events are in the saddle and ride mankind.”  Are not events largely the products of human minds?

Please join us at 9:00 am (CST) on Thursday, December 28 on Zoom to reflect on what has happened to us during the 12 months of 2023.

Are we happier, better off, in worse shape or what?  What did the year set in motion for our futures?  Was it determined by our past?  What was the role of human genius and human error?

We would like to hear your thoughts.

To register, please email

The event will last about an hour.

Please Join Us for In-person Round Table over Lunch December 19 to Discuss Safety in Our Schools

Please join us for an in-person round table over lunch at noon on Tuesday, December 19, at the Landmark Center in St. Paul on safety in schools and student character development with Ambrose Russell.

Ambrose is a member of the Minnesota Character Council. Ten years ago, he founded the Inner Hero Organization to work with youth in schools on becoming community leaders.

As “bad” behaviors when someone harms another become more and more to the fore in our communities – theft, assault, unsafe schools – we look for causes and for solutions.

Where public schools are concerned, one response, now questioned by many, is to place police or other law enforcers in schools.

But if the cause of “bad” behavior is a failure of character, the weakening of the moral sense, succumbing to fears and insecurities, the rise of self-referential values and disparagement of the “other,” then should not these causes of “bad” behavior be addressed, rather than responding to behavior as only symptoms?

What could be the constructive deployment of ethics in our schools to improve their safety for all students?

Cost to attend is $20 per person, which you can pay at the door.

Box lunches will be provided by Afro Deli.

To register, please email

The event will last between an hour and hour and a half.

Moral Perspectives from Bangkok and Tokyo: Please Join Us on Zoom on November 9

Please join us on Zoom at 9:00 am (CST) on Thursday, November 9, for a briefing on my discussions in Bangkok and Tokyo on bringing forward the middle way taught by the Buddha and similar perceptions of balance and harmony, which underlie Shinto philosophy.

To register, please email

Relatedly, some reflections on following a “way” will be included in the October issue of Pegasus, which will be available shortly.

The event will last about an hour.

What Has Happened to Us? Please Join Us for Lunch on the 26th

When we say the words “mental health,” our thinking likely automatically goes to things like depression and suicide.  But the fact is that being mentally healthy matters to all of us.  And let’s be honest here, that seems to be more of a struggle lately than it has been in the past.

All the news these days seems to be bad news.  From climate catastrophes, to deep political division, to warring nations, to a worldwide pandemic, it seems all we find everywhere we look is reasons to feel bad.  Suicide rates are up almost across the board.  Closer to home, the free online questionnaire offered by Mental Health Minnesota led to 10,700 mental health screenings in 2022 and they’ve already exceeded 18,000 screenings in the first half of 2023.

But, there is some hope.  While suicide rates are up in general, they actually fell 8.5% among 10–24-year-olds.  And mental illness is increasingly viewed as not something filled with shame, but an illness like most other chronic conditions, one that can be accepted, treated and lived with.

Please join us for an in-person round table over lunch at noon on Tuesday, September 26 at the Landmark Center in St. Paul for an in-person round table to discuss mental health and its importance to the times we find ourselves in.

Registration and lunch will begin at 11:30 am.

Cost to attend is $20, which you can pay at the door.

Lunch will be provided by Afro Deli.

To register, please email

The event will last between an hour and hour and a half.

Expanding the Global Dialogue: Please Join Us on the 29th on Zoom

Our 2023 Global Dialogue took place on July 26 and 27 in Caux, Switzerland.  A brief report has been sent to you.  The themes that emerged out of the Mountain House discussions are of such general importance that we would like to expand the discussion to include others in our network who might improve our thinking.

Thus, we would like to invite you to join us at 9:00 am (CDT) on Tuesday, August 29 on Zoom for you to contribute your thoughts and observations, drawing on your experiences and concerns for our global future.

To register, please email

The event will last about an hour.

The Durham Report: How Can We Improve the Integrity and Accountability of Federal Investigations? – Tuesday, August 15

Recent revelations about Hunter Biden and his agreement to accept responsibility for failure to pay tax on his income has diverted attention away from John Durham’s report on the FBI, the Department of Justice and the investigations of Donald Trump for “collusion” with Russia.

In John Locke’s “Second Treatise on Civil Government,” use of the government’s police powers to persecute political rivals was cause for removal of that government and its replacement by another.

In the Declaration of Independence, one of the abuses of power on the part of King George III, an abuse which justified termination of his rule, was: “He has made judges dependent on his will alone, for the tenure of their offices and the amount and payment of their salaries.”

Under the Caux Round Table Principles for Government, public office, such as held by employees of the Department of Justice and the FBI, is a public trust:

Power brings responsibility.  Power is a necessary moral circumstance in that it binds the actions of one to the welfare of others.

Therefore, the power given by public office is held in trust for the benefit of the community and its citizens.  Officials are custodians only of the powers they hold.  They have no personal entitlement to office or the prerogatives thereof.

And justice cannot be provided if the rule of law is ignored:

The civic order and its instrumentalities shall be impartial among citizens without regard to condition, origin, sex or other fundamental, inherent attributes.  Yet, the civic order shall distinguish among citizens according to merit and desert where rights, benefits or privileges are best allocated according to effort and achievement, rather than as birthrights.

The civic order shall provide speedy, impartial and fair redress of grievances against the state, its instruments and other citizens and aliens.

The rule of law shall be honored and sustained, supported by honest and impartial tribunals and legislative checks and balances.

Please join us for an in-person round table over lunch at noon on Tuesday, August 15 at the Landmark Center in St. Paul for an in-person round table consideration of the state of justice in the U.S. today.

Joining us will be Matt Bostrom, a Caux Round Table fellow and former sheriff of Ramsey County, to share his reflections on contemporary law enforcement best practices.

Registration and lunch will begin at 11:30 am and the event at noon.

Cost to attend is $20, which you can pay at the door.

Lunch will be provided by Afro Deli.

To register, please email

The event will last about an hour and a half.