EXIT’s fourth panel within the Conscious R:evolution platform, entitled “Building a Value-Based Society”, had the panelists inviting young people, through an inspiring conversation, to discover their values and while following those values, hear their inner voice more clearly and thus find their personal compass. By following that path they are contributing to the collective transformation of consciousness, and to a society in which people will want to live.
The panelists were:
• Richard Barrett – author, value leader and founder of the Barrett Values Center, the world’s largest value organization that has valued over 50 nations, tens of thousands of companies and hundreds of thousands of individuals around the world;
• Thomas Bjorkman – philanthropist, social entrepreneur and co-author of the book Nordic Secret, which talks about the efforts of Scandinavian countries to build a society based on the values from the late 19th and early 20th century, which resulted in their current level of development;
• Slavica Squire – the first NLP trainer in Serbia and the founder of the first NLP Institute and Coaching Academy in the region of Southeast Europe. The NLP Leadership Summit declared her leader of Southeast Europe in the field of NLP education, and the ANLP rated her NLP Institute as the best example of an NLP-based business in the world.
The host of the discussion was Nikola Jurišić, senior cultural expert at McKinsey, specialized in building value-based systems, with global experience at the organization, state and society levels.
The panelists agreed that the first step towards building a society based on values is an individual’s personal choice or decision. Society only changes if individuals change their way of thinking. By changing the mentality of each one of us and starting with a personal change, instead of trying to change others, we contribute to the global change. The panelists place hope in the younger generations, recognizing their desire to find meaning, purpose and value.
Richard Barrett pointed out that his center’s research indicates that most people are not aware of their actions’ and behavior’s effect on others and the whole planet, and that our thoughts and beliefs affect our physical and mental health. Becoming aware of the above mentioned, means caring about how our thoughts and beliefs affect our actions and behavior, which in turn affects primarily our physical and mental health, and then consequentially, our environment. Working on ourselves helps us to achieve this through inner maturation, development of consciousness and finding our inner compass. Barrett also invited all interested individuals to join his Humanity Awareness Initiative and participate in a free Barrett Academy course called “Building a Values Driven Life”.
That is exactly what the Scandinavian nations did 150 years ago, according to Tomas Bjorkman. At the panel, he shared a part of Scandinavian history from 1850s when so-called Folk Schools were started, at which time the broad masses commenced a period of personal development which lasted for 6 months. These schools were often isolated in nature, creating an ideal context for personal growth. At one point, there were over 325 of these specialized schools in Scandinavia, which helped over ten percent of the entire Scandinavian people go through their six-month program and find their personal compass. The “Nordic Secret” book contains a detailed historical description of this most successful experience of “building a values-based society” in the past 200 years. This history has been forgotten even by the majority of Scandinavian people and both because of that very reason, and in order to share the “Scandinavian Secret” with other countries, Thomas participated in the writing of the book “Nordic Secret”.
Slavica Squire emphasized the importance of this type of conversation for young people to find out about all the possibilities, pointing out that she has noticed that they often abandon their dreams because “rational” people from their environment tell them to stick to a safe life and to follow a socially accepted pattern – school, work, marriage, children and finally death. She also called on young people to invest their time in personal development and learn about themselves, to discover their values, set their life goals and follow them as guiding stars through life in order to discover their power. The panel ended with the panelists agreeing that each one of us is on their own personal path of growth and evolution, and that only by following that path we can change the entire society.