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A Call to Our Guiding Institutions

is offered with the understanding that those who helped to craft this document and those who choose to endorse and implement it are themselves—like all human beings—influenced by the very institutions addressed here. And because all of us, as social beings, participate in one or more of these institutions, each of us therefore shares responsibility for their endeavors and effects.

This document reflects the collective wisdom of the many thoughtful persons from within each of the guiding institutions who have participated in its drafting—leaders, scholars, workers, teachers, executives, activists, and others. We are deeply indebted to the hundreds of women and men from around the world, young and old, of diverse religious, cultural, and professional backgrounds, who have participated over the past three years in the shaping of this Call.

We envision a world in which
...the diverse religions, spiritual paths, and cultures are recognized and respected;
...religious and spiritual communities exist in harmony;
...the pursuit of justice and peace is nurtured by religion and spirituality and by dialogue between religious and spiritual communities;
...religious and spiritual teachings on wisdom, love, and compassion are prized;
...service is seen as an essential, uplifting religious or spiritual act;
...the Earth and all life are revered and cherished.

We envision a world in which
...universal human rights and responsibilities, grounded in funda- mental ethical and moral principles, are upheld;
...the structures of power are accountable to and serve the needs of all generations;
...our leaders are worthy of public trust;
...peace within and among nations is the rule and not the excep- tion;
...the great decisions in human affairs are made with a thoughtful care for the future of the planetary community.

We envision a world in which
...our productive activities are creative and vital and give meaning to our lives;
...high moral standards and trustworthiness guide all interactions in the marketplace and the workplace; ...economic, social, and physical well-being is not the exception but the normal human condition; ...agricultural policies, labor relations, industrial development, and commercial exchange are just, harmonious, and culturally enriching;
...agriculture, industry, business, and investment are conducted with constant thoughtful regard for the vitality and fragility of the Earth and all life;
...the essential needs of all are met in a manner that can be sus- tained well into the future.

We envision a world in which
...learning, as a singularly enlivening human pursuit, is available to all;
...intergenerational learning is cherished;
...ethical, moral, and spiritual questions are an integral part of academic and civil discourse;
...the world’s ethnic groups, cultures, and religious and spiritual communities are taught lifelong about each other in such a way that each becomes appreciative of the other;
...every human being has the opportunity to grow in personal and intellectual responsibility and committed service to the entire community of life;
...understanding and reverence for the vital yet fragile Earth pro- vides the groundwork and incentive for sustainable living.

We envision a world in which
...the stories and images that matter most are those that enrich understanding, deepen responsibility, and nurture personal growth amid development;
...the networks of communication and modes of artistic expres- sion that link diverse peoples, regions, and ways of life are characterized by integrity and mutuality;
...the arts and communications media play an active, thoughtful role in enabling a much wider discussion and more profound analysis of the most critical issues and decisions facing the human community;
...the sacred stories, symbols, and wisdom of the world’s reli- gious and spiritual traditions are broadly disseminated and cherished.

The Call to the SCIENCE & MEDICINE
We envision a world in which
...we wisely explore the mysteries of life;
...our various systems of knowing enhance one another;
...access to knowledge and to the healing arts is not a privilege but a right;
...our methods of seeking the truths of existence and well-being draw us together (rather than separate us);
...humanity is enhanced by technology, in a manner consistent with our responsibility to the rest of the Earth community.

We envision a world in which
...all peoples of the Earth have an equal voice and an equal claim to be heard;
...each person has an undeniable claim to universal human rights, complemented by a personal moral responsibility based on care for others;
...each person has a right to the fulfillment of basic human needs, balanced by a personal ethical obligation to share;
...national and regional concerns for equality, security, prosperity, and sustainability are informed by a truly global perspective;
...any resort to arms to resolve a dispute is understood as a moral failure to engage in heartfelt dialogue;
...the regional and the global do not subsume but supplement and sustain the local;
...people from across the planet, from all walks of life, come to see themselves as world citizens.

We envision a world in which
...freedom of association is assured and encouraged; discourse is cherished and cooperative common action is nurtured;
...”public life” is understood as broader and more fundamental than government, which exists by the will of the people and for the sake of the society;
...societies are constituted and reconstituted through a multitude of voluntary associations that give voice to all;
...conversation about values and visions is a highlyregarded and well-protected element of public life;
...the generations and genders speak and listen to each other with mutual respect, at home and abroad;
...every society understands how to listen and to learn as alterna- tive perspectives and courses of action are presented, dis- cussed, debated, and implemented.