Global Dignity Co-Founders and Archbishop Desmond Tutu to Give Closing Remarks
on Dignity at Davos Annual Meeting
DAVOS-Klosters, Switzerland – January 29, 2009 – John Hope Bryant, Operation HOPE (HOPE) CEO and founder, traveled this week to meet with world leaders and corporate chiefs to participate in the 2009 Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Bryant, along with fellow YGLs and Global Dignity (GD) co-founders, will join Archbishop Desmond Tutu and others in a special teaching session aimed at helping to solve world problems, while connecting with every person’s common need for respect and dignity.
Global Dignity co-founders H.R.H Crown Prince Haakon of Norway, Professor Pekka Himanen, a leading philosopher and author, and “silver rights” entrepreneur John Bryant empowered and inspired more than 250 youth at the Swiss Al pine School, shaping their futures through dignity during the 39th Annual World Economic Forum. Dignity Day, Davos also featured global leaders Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, Finnish President Tarja Halonen, business mogul Richard Branson, and Miss Universe South Africa 2008, Tansey Coetzee, and 40 YGLs. The session was further enhanced by a performance from music icon and international humanitarian, Peter Gabriel.
Undeniably, the movement for Global Dignity has swelled with the growing support of communities beyond the YGL and WEF. In October of 2008 the first Global Dignity around-the-world was held, with some 16 countries, in addition to a message from astronaut Richard Garriott as he circled the global from other space, each site participating simultaneously in a lesson on the importance and the interdependence of dignity and respect for others and in our own lives. Since Global Dignity was conceived in 2005, thousands of students around the globe have been taught and began to share the Five Dignity Principles.
Bryant, who also sits on the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council for Financial Empowerment, was asked to participate as a presenter during the Annual Meeting, and was invited to make comments for the closing ceremony. Bryant shared his ideas on the new catalyst for inner faith dialogue, “At the end of the day, as a result of this global economic crisis, there will be more legislation and more regulation, but there will not be a mortgage police, or consumer lending police, watching over individuals and families as they make the most critical and pressing decision of their financial life. Individuals must become their own best protector of their family’s assets and financial well-being. Accordingly, the only mid-to-long term strategy with “legs” and real potential for change is a massive cultural shift wherein financial literacy becomes a part of the basic global value system. It is crit ical to incorporate financial literacy education and financial literacy empowerment, or what I call financial literacy 3.0, into future economic reform discussion and recommendations, to ensure that individuals have the tools to empower themselves. Confident, informed individuals will be the foundation of long term global stability, and financial literacy is the path forward to sustainable levels of consumer confidence.”
His work as founder of Operation HOPE and as a voice for the underserved landed Bryant a role as vice chairman of the bi-partisan U.S. President’s Advisory Council on Financial Literacy, appointed by then President George W. Bush in 2008. The Council now proudly serves the current Administration and America’s 44th President, Barack Obama. The work of Bryant and HOPE has also been highlighted by Congresswoman Diane E. Watson, Ph.D, in House Resolution 65, recognizing work to “raise awareness about the importance of financial and economic literac y,” particularly in these economic times. Through his nonprofit, Operation HOPE, Bryant has empowered more than one million people with “silver rights,” helping them to move up the ladder to the next level of financial independence.
Record numbers of participants from business, government and civil society converged in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland this session, for one of the most important Annual Meetings ever held by the World Economic Forum. The five day meeting, themed “Shaping the Post-Crisis World” addressed solutions for current world challenges such as climate change and the restructuring of global institutions and financial architecture.
The Forum of Young Global Leaders
The Forum of Young Global Leaders is an independent, Geneva, Switzerland-based foundation whose mission is to build a unique, multi-stakeholder community of the world’s most extraordinary leaders under the age of 40 and give them a platform to collaborate and shape best practices for the future of the world. Each year, we identify and mobilize a new group of 200 exceptional men and women in business, politics, academia, the media and civil society from every region in the world. Together, they form a powerful international force for the global common good. For more information about the Young Global Leaders, please visit the website at www.younggloballeaders.org.
About Operation HOPE, Inc.
Founded in 1992, Operation HOPE is a Los Angeles-based global nonprofit, and social investment organization providing fi nancial literacy, credit counseling and management, computer training, lending services and inspiration to the economically disadvantaged. Operation HOPE has assumed the responsibility of piloting the Silver Rights Movement towards making free enterprise and capitalism relevant to all underserved communities. HOPE Global Initiatives is the international division of Operation HOPE dedicated to promote and advocate the benefits of economic empowerment as a tool for vastly improving the quality of life in developing countries, with a particular focus on developing countries on the African continent. The role has expanded to serve underserved communities throughout the world. For more about HOPE and its programs to empower the underserved, visit www.operationhope.org.
About the World Economic Forum
The World Economic Forum is an independent international organization committed to improving the state of the world by engaging leaders in partnerships to shape global, regional and industry agendas and the parent organization of the YGL. Incorporated as a foundation in 1971, and based in Geneva, Switzerland, the World Economic Forum is impartial and not-for-profit; it is not tied to any political, partisan or national interests. More information available at www.weforum.org.
About Global Dignity
Global Dignity is an autonomous non-profit, non-criticism and non-partisan project. The mission of the Dignity Project is to implement globally the universal right of every human being to lead a dignified life. This is a paradigm shift in thinking about our global challenges, a new language and a mindset to approach issues of poverty, peace, and progress. Global Dignity is linked to the 2020 process of the World Economic Forum where young global leaders from politics, business, academia, and civil society have joined toget her to work for the improvement of the state of the world and people (the group ranges from Presidents of African countries to socially conscientious business leaders such as the founders of Google, from leaders of the most influential civil society movements like Make Poverty History to leading academics and cultural figures of our time; for more information, visit www.globaldignity.org