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Today, in many places in the world, Global Dignity Day is being celebrated with Young Global Leaders, role models, and volunteers speak and facilitating a discussion around the idea of dignity. Global Dignity is the organization that three brothers-from-different-mothers, Professor Pekka Himanen of Finland, HRH Crown Prince Haakon of Norway and myself, created during our time as World Economic Forum, Young Global Leaders. 

During this time, we fast became friends and would discuss many subjects happening through our home countries and beyond but we always came back to the importance of everyone having dignity. In 2006, we created the organization Global Dignity with the belief Dignity is the very foundation of our humanity. Dignity is universal. Dignity is also the source of human rights. 

The vision for Global Dignity is to work to empower people with dignity. Seven years later, Global Dignity Day has grown to teach almost half a million people in more than 70 countries the vision of Global Dignity the vision and principles, stated below.

The concept of global dignity includes the following five principles:

  1. Every human being has a right to lead a dignified life.

  2. A dignified life means an opportunity to fulfill one’s potential, which is based on having a human level of health care, education, income and security.

  3. Dignity means having the freedom to make decisions on one’s life and to be met with respect for this right.

  4. Dignity should be the basic guiding principle for all actions.

  5. Ultimately, our own dignity is interdependent with the dignity of others.

Today, I will be teaching Global DIgnity to students at Nava College Prep Academy in Los Angeles, but today would not be possible without Professor Pekka Himanen of Finland and HRH Crown Prince Haakon of Norway and their vision, passion and hard work, and belief that dignity is the right of everyone.  


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