What does it take to launch a social movement?

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Reflections from the Global Values Summit

Posted by Karin Miller on October 5, 2016

“The heart that breaks open can contain the whole universe.”

In this one sentence Joanna Macy speaks to the power of what occurs when individuals embrace their vulnerability and join together to embrace love over fear. This was my experience and for the last 10 years I have been sowing the seeds of this vast internal transformation. I have shared the outcomes of this process in my recently published book, Global Values: A New Paradigm For A New World and am now watching the momentum materialize before my eyes.

While there are many other positive values that people share, I use these 10 specific values to tell the story of unity consciousness: unity, community, life, freedom, connection, sustainability, creativity, empowerment, choice, and integrity. Naming these values can serve as a powerful tool for engaging people in joint efforts for social transformation.

People coming together around a shared vision and values

On September 10, 2016 at the Inner Light Center in Salt Lake City, Utah, a multi-faith group of individuals joined in dialogue to address the fundamental challenges of our time. Organized and hosted by Reverend JoAnne Casey, the Global Values Summit propositioned heart-opening questions and asked participants to explore ways to build such values into their lives, work, and communities.

The Global Values Summit was the outcome of one person’s attempt to unite a community around a shared vision and values. Rev. Casey initiated a Global Values book study group and asked participants to reflect on how such unifying values reach across cultural, religious, and political boundaries. As the group’s enthusiasm grew, so too did Rev. Casey’s. I became excited about bringing even more people together to work towards a larger values-based community. I was all in!

Personal stories animate collective purpose (guided discussion and educational resources help too)

At the Summit, I shared my vision for Global Values as well as the story of how I transformed my own life from one of fear, anxiety and depression to one of love and connection with others. By transforming my reality, I began to sense how social transformation might also be achieved.

I realized that values-based movements (environment, justice, peace, etc.) are all rooted in a unity perspective. We all have the capacity to contribute our personal narrative of working towards unity consciousness and when we share these experiences with others, we get to watch, as I did, the emergence of a new world of possibilities. Joanna Macy calls this "active hope".

The Global Values Handbook was developed in anticipation of the Summit to support this work and help individuals and groups explore how to manifest Global Values in their own lives. The Handbook contains an overview of the 10 Global Values and the principles behind them, questions for contemplation and discussion, personal affirmations, and envisioning for a world that reflects such values.

Application of new ideas in the many sectors of society

Rev. Casey lead the group in the exploration of various "Realms of Application" of Global Values and initiated discussion on how such values can spark innovation within the many sectors of society (e.g., business, arts, science, spirituality, health, education, technology, environment, and government). For example, we discussed the introduction of meditation into schools and prisons, finding win-win solutions in international relations, the use of shared values in inter-faith discussions and collaboration.

Participants left feeling energized by the tangible possibilities that adopting Global Values offers. Through the values, they felt the real possibilities to enrich their lives while building the foundation for a spiritually fulfilled, socially just and sustainable human presence on this earth.

Collaborative effort and joint contributions

The Global Values Summit was a true collaborative effort. I witnessed how collaboration inspires and fosters hope and how these ingredients support people in asking hard questions of themselves and others. Accepting an invitation to collaborate opens up more than just a door, it opens up your heart in profound ways.

We can do this together

How do we launch a social movement to transform the world? What I learned from this initial Global Values Summit is that it comes down to collaborative effort around a shared vision and values. We must listen to each other and communicate effectively and empower each other to contribute their gifts to the process. We must take initiative like Rev. Casey did and, when we see an opening, explore it and dive in.

If you are inspired by the possibilities Global Values offer and are interested in organizing an event, please let me know. The Global Values book is available, the Handbook is complete and I’m ready to go. Let’s do this together!

In unity and collaboration,


Karin Miller
Author, Global Values: A New Paradigm For A New World
Initiator & Catalyst, Our New Evolution (ONE)

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