In this issue, we include country rankings for accumulation of social capital.
We also have two pieces from our editor, Rich Broderick, on how the Caux Round Table principles can help us recover from the coronavirus and a reflection on the insights of Hannah Arendt on the 1930s and 1940s.
I would be most interested in your thoughts and feedback.
We have moved our office to the Landmark Center in St. Paul, Minnesota.
The Landmark Center was built in 1902 as a federal courthouse. The exterior is pink granite ashlar with a hipped red tile roof, steeply pitched to shed St. Paul’s snows and enlivened by numerous turrets, gables and dormers with steeply peaked roofs; cylindrical corner towers with conical turrets occupy almost every change of projection. There are two massive towers, one of which houses a clock.
The interior features a five-story courtyard with skylight and rooms with 20-foot ceilings, appointed with marble and carved mahogany finishes. Its Richardsonian Romanesque is similar to the Old Post Office Building in Washington, D.C.
In 1972, a group of determined citizens saved the building from the wrecking ball and restored it to its previous grandeur. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places and reopened to the public as Landmark Center in 1978. Today, it serves as a cultural center for music, dance, theater, exhibitions, public forums and hosts countless special events. Owned by Ramsey County, it is managed by Minnesota Landmarks, a not-for-profit organization.
Landmark Center also houses Anita’s Cafe, Landmarket Gift Shop, five gallery spaces and a number of St. Paul’s premier arts and culture organizations.
Our new address is: 75 West Fifth Street, Suite 219, St. Paul, Minnesota 55102.
Secondly, as around the world we are getting accustomed to using Zoom and other internet platforms for meetings, we would like to convene round tables using such technology.
Zoom and similar technologies are particularly well designed for a global network like ours. At minimal expense, we can convene thoughtful leaders from around the world. The internet, sadly, does not permit the personal exchanges, formal and informal, of gathering in a place, such as Mountain House in Caux, and which lead to new friendships and deeper learning from one another at tea breaks and during meals.
Our plan for these round tables is to propose topics and set reasonable dates and times for the discussions. At first, I think we should open them to a limited number of participants. We would ask those interested in participating to RSVP, with the first 25 to register to be admitted to the session. We will send invitations to those so registered. If a larger number would like to participate in that discussion, we would then consider convening a separate session later to accommodate their interest.
We now are thinking about a series of round tables on 1) the most important lessons learned from the coronavirus pandemic and 2) on the application of our principles going forward, as we adjust our global community to living with the virus and its potential mutations for some years to come.
We would like to have our round tables facilitate the drafting of proceedings on the topics discussed for subsequent distribution.
Please send us your suggestions regarding how best to structure such events and what topics you believe should be tabled for consideration by participants.
We live now in very trying times, which may continue for some time. Quite timely comes Klaus Leisinger with a book on the art of leadership. The Caux Round Table for Moral Capitalism is very honored to be authorized by Klaus to publish his new book, The Art of Leadership.
There are many trite phrases about the need for leadership in trying times: “When the going gets tough, the tough get going;” American philosopher William James advocated national service to serve the common good as the “moral equivalent of war.” “Be not afraid of greatness. Some are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon ‘em.”
In his book, Klaus sets forth a practical agenda for every person to put into effect leadership skills. Klaus transposes the personal ideals which Erich Fromm notably articulated in his book, The Art of Loving.
Professor Jeffrey Sachs has written an endorsement and Professor Ulrich Lehner has kindly written a trenchant foreword. Prof. Lehner was Chairman of the Supervisory Boards of Deutsche Telekom and Thyssen-Krupp.
In addition, Klaus has written a commentary on the requirements of good leadership, which you can read here.
Klaus is one of the best minds I know in business ethics. He is a Professor of sociology at the University of Basel. He worked for Novartis and served for many years as the Director of the Novartis Foundation, where I first met him. Klaus has advised the U.N. Global Compact and Hans Kung on ethical principles for global application.
Even though we are all right now caught in the webs of prevention and precaution seeking to stop the transmission of the coronavirus, we should not be so consumed with what is immediate that we forget to plan ahead.
We plan to hold a dialogue at Mountain House in Caux, Switzerland on Monday, October 19, 2020, to mark the 25th anniversary of our Principles for Business and consider what should be done next to hone their efficacy. The dialogue is sponsored by Initiatives of Change, which manages the conference center at Mountain House for most worthy purposes, enhancing the prosperity, sustainability and moral courage of our global community.
Antoine Jaulmes of Initiatives of Change and Brad Anderson and Tunku Abdul Aziz, our Co-Chairmen, and I join in sending you notice now of the proposed dialogue.
In this issue, we include an article on public interest capitalism and going beyond return on equity, the proceedings of our recent round table on climate change and a piece on Earth as a stakeholder by Patrick Rhone of our staff.
I would be very interested in your thoughts and feedback.
Our colleague Alan Fine is making digital copies of his book, A Familiar Place: The Path Forward, available for no cost until March 26th.
Alan has written me saying he is doing this “to help people get perspective during this critical time and hopefully to start an important broader dialogue on life meaning, leadership, constructive societal engagement and positive political, economic and social change.”
Alan teaches at the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota.