Universal values to inspire better quality solutions

New challenges — new solutions

The financial crisis was unforeseen by most of the best experts and policy makers. It developed quickly and may still have many unexpected consequences. Regarding the ecological crisis we seem unable to agree a consensus on how real it is, or how to coordinate an effective and appropriate response. Religious, cultural and national conflicts occupy our imaginations without leading to constructive solutions. While we agree that current challenges require extensive rethinking on how to deal with ecological, economic, social and political issues – at the local, regional and global levels – we remain ineffective in responding strategically and sustainably. We seem rabbit-like, mesmerised by the glare of impending uncertainty and further crisis, unable to get it together.

Despite the indecision, or rather because of it, people, business and nations strain under the consequences of recent events. Plainly speaking, we are outsmarted by the new complexities – the scale of change is broader, faster and more uncertain than before. Regardless of the degree to which this change affects us individually, it is clear that we need to contain the problem, limit the risks and craft working solutions quickly.

This is true for nations, public institution and businesses at every level who are forced by circumstance to find solutions to the financial crisis, changing consumer behaviour, radical innovation in technology, and the effects of a globalised market. All of it forces a monumental collective rethink.

The search for new quality

The complexity of these challenges is reflected in the diversity of proffered solutions. Some urge for a reduction of complexity and the increase of control and regulation; while others attempt the realisation of fundamentally new paradigms. Regardless of perspective, any workable solution should be simple, practical and flexible if it is to be effective.

We now need solutions of a new order. Solutions that ideally do not increase complexity or have a further detrimental effect. The new order of solution must be holistic, sustainable and ‘ensure the survival to the seventh generation’, as expressed by indigenous peoples.

This new order of solution requires a different character and quality. It will not be achieved by deepening or increasing our use of existing modes of analysis, which have arguably contributed to the current malaise. Rather, we need to broaden our scope, take responsibility for events and deepen our intuitive response to the needs of people, societies and nature. This requires reflection on and access to, the best available knowledge.

Universal principles – a new inspiration

Cranmore Foundation aims to identify and connect to the best we have to offer ourselves: knowledge from the world’s wisdom traditions. In doing so it identifies knowledge that may serve as universal principles for effective action in business, government and organisations.

Today much of that wisdom is hard to discover and develop because it is phrased in religious or cultural terms. The way we talk about other cultures — often from a political, economic, aesthetic or social viewpoint — prevents us from turning it into useful inspiration. We seem to have lost the language to unlock their underlying values.

The goal of the Cranmore Foundation is to identify universal principles or values in the wisdom literature of different cultures and carefully phrase them in modern terms so that they may then contribute to better solutions for the challenges of modern life and business, government and organisations.

The Foundation is of the opinion that wisdom traditions contain more than simple answers or quaint cultural distinctions. Our research suggests that wisdom traditions demonstrate a holistic quality and depth of thought that modern thinking lacks. The Foundation’s premise is that the core values found in Indian-Vedic, Chinese, Islamic, Christian or indigenous traditions would offer universal benefit when interpreted beyond the solely religious context of personal development into a more universal, functional domain.

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