Cultural Studies & Gathering of Elders

The International Center for Cultural Studies and the World Congress of Ethnic Religions hold joint meetings in India every three years. The last gathering was in early 2015 and generously hosted by the Sri Swami Ganapathi Sachchidananda Ashram in Mysore . True Dharma Frank Tedesco gave a presentation on Buddhist Compassionate Action in Korea and the United States.  A brief statement of topics explored at the conference follows:

The theme of the meeting was Universal Wellbeing: Sustaining Nature, Culture and Communities. In collaboration with the World Congress of Ethnic Religions, the event was also a Gathering of Elders-leaders and scholars- from over 100 ancient living cultures.

How is the current era of globalization impacting social and economic inequality, politics, religious freedom and propagating borderless nations?. Previous catalysts for globalization resulted in promotion of certain values like colonial mindsets, industrialization and consumerism. The current catalyst for globalization is the Internet. The conference deliberated on how living ancient cultures can adapt and contribute their wisdom and knowledge to our rapidly changing world. What kind of leadership needs to be promoted to achieve universal well-being?

The conference featured the following sessions:

Globalization: History suggests that every cycle of globalization brings a profound transformation. Those who embrace globalization seem to do better than those who do not. The current globalization process is accelerating. The conference investigated how living, ancient communities can engage and benefit from this change.

Technology: The power of accessible knowledge may help living ancient cultures leapfrog the slow, incremental development that characterized the industrial era. However, these communities have to realize the power of technological revolution in a way that is both intelligent and collaborative.

Leadership: Ancient cultures have not succeeded in communicating their vision of life to the world at large. Though discrimination and suppression by vested interests is to blame in part, there have not been adequate support to foster leadership in youth, women and the marshalling of external resources.


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