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PRESS RELEASE ValuesQuest launches with wide-ranging debates

May 17, 2013:

An exciting new collaboration between ARC and the influential international think tank the Club of Rome will be launched at the HowTheLIghtGetsIn festival of ideas in Hay on Wye, UK, on May 27 & 28.

The ValuesQuest programme will attempt to locate the nature and role of values in contemporary society, ultimately engaging thinkers from the worlds of arts and science as well as religions and spirituality. The aim of this ambitious and wide-ranging enquiry seeks to find an answer to the vital question: how can we transform the values guiding our society to create and maintain a sustainable, equitable and fair global society? It is intended that the fruits of this search will be able to contribute, among other things, to the re-evaluation of the UN's Millennium Development Goals in 2015.

The programme was initiated by a discussion paper jointly written by ARC Secretary General Martin Palmer and Club of Rome Director of External Relations Karl Wagner (both of whom will be present throughout the launch events). As a result of their own deliberations the two authors were convinced that the topic of values is both vitally important and yet generally evaded in political and economic discussions. As Karl Wagner puts it:

Karl Wagner, environmentalist and Director of External Relations at the Club of Rome.
"Discussions about today’s problems and challenges facing humankind or an individual, be they climate change, unemployment, the financial crisis, destruction of nature, poverty, crime or the way people interrelate and live together turn rather quickly into a debate about values. Values evidently are fundamental for humans, but at the same time it seems nearly impossible to address them in any other than in a philosophical way.

Values are a topic, which many find awkward if not downright intimidating. Possibly this is because it often leads to people preaching about their own values or the lack of values in those they disagree with. Yet values are actually how we guide our way through the possibilities and problems of life. Values are the main drivers behind our societal instruments, which shape the world we live in. Our theory and practice of economy do not rest on natural laws but on the underlying values.

Values are also often so subliminal, we never realised we had them until they fell away or some crisis made us question what values we had lived by. Values are so important and fundamental that we have to find a way of addressing them, whether we consider the subject fuzzy or not. There is no way around it.

It is because of the centrality of values to the future of huma­nity and to an understanding of why we are where we are ­today that the Club of Rome has initiated a programme called ValuesQuest to explore these issues and to map out a path forward."

You can read the full press release about the launch of ValuesQuest here.

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