Report Finds 'Global Values Gap'
January 22, 2010 – Only one-quarter of people in a worldwide survey believe large, multinational businesses apply a values-driven approach to their sectors, according to a new report by the World Economic Forum (WEF) produced in collaboration with Georgetown.
The report, Faith and the Global Agenda: Values for the Post-Crisis Economy, includes a Facebook survey of more than 130,000 people in 10 countries.
"More than two-thirds of respondents see the current economic and financial crisis as a crisis of ethics and values as well," says Thomas Banchoff, director of Georgetown's Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs. "The results point to a global values gap."
Almost 40 percent of those polled chose honesty, integrity and transparency as the value most important for the global political and economic system; 24 percent chose others' rights, dignity and views; 17 percent chose preserving the environment; and 20 percent chose the impact of actions on the well-being of others.
Published in the run up to the Forum's Jan. 27-31 annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, the report includes a preface by Georgetown President John J. DeGioia and Forum executive chair Klaus Schwab, as well as essays from leading religious figures including the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.
"The economic and financial crisis is an opportunity to rearticulate the values that should underpin our global institutions going forward," says DeGioia. "The world's religious communities are critical repositories of those values."
DeGioia will be in Davos later this month to participate in WEF's Global Redesign Initiative, an effort to promote new systems of global cooperation.
"Our present system fails to meet its obligations to as many as 3 billion people in the world," says Schwab, who is also founder of WEF. "Our civic, business and political cultures must be transformed if we are to close this gap."
The report also features a year-in-review essay that analyzes the main trends in religion and world affairs over the course of 2009, including violence directed against religious minorities and President Barack Obama's opening to the Muslim world.