17 January 2024- At their annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, the World Economic Forum (WEF) released a “Faith in Action” report to world leaders who are gathered at the iconic event. According to the WEF press release, the report “offers examples of businesses partnering with faith-based groups to support vulnerable populations and address the world’s interconnected crises.” Among the eight case studies highlighted in the report is a new partnership between the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) and the Haribol food company. The collaboration, inspired by Vedic values, illustrates the possibility of meaningful partnerships between faith communities and the private sector to address complex global challenges.
“Global leaders cannot afford to ignore the impact of religion and spirituality on today’s interconnected challenges,” said the report, “especially given that 85% of the world’s population are religious adherents.” The “Faith in Action” report was the result of a collaboration between the World Evangelical Alliance, Bhumi Global, the Council for Inclusive Capitalism, and several other organizations working with the World Economic Forum (WEF).
The WEF is an international organization founded in 1971, bringing together political, business, and academic leaders to address global economic challenges. Known for its annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, the WEF serves as a platform for discussions on a wide range of issues, fostering collaboration between public and private sectors. According to the WEF press release, “‘Faith in Action’ highlight projects covering such topics as the environment, equitable energy transition, health and healthcare, inclusive communities, and technology governance.”
The partner company, Haribol, is a Mumbai, India–based food and beverage company established in 2020. It has carved out a unique niche by selling its products to traditional Indian and Hindu groceries globally, contributing to rural development in India, and mitigating greenhouse gas emissions through their state-of-the art technology. The company seeks to strategically partner with the 800 ISKCON communities worldwide to provide high-quality products aligned with ethical considerations, particularly in the production of dairy items sourced from protected cows. Haribol began in 2017 as a rural development initiative of the Govardhan Eco Village (GEV), before its growing partnership with ISKCON temples worldwide.
“New partnerships with business and faith groups can help accelerate the momentum we need to create a thriving and flourishing world for future generations,” said Gopal Patel, one of the report’s authors, the Co-Founder and Director of Bhumi Global, and the Co-Chair of the United Nations Multi-Faith Advisory Council.
“ISKCON, as a global organization, has a responsibility to help resolve the issues that face society worldwide, including climate change, food insecurity, global conflict, and the diminishing of spiritual values,” said Anuttama Dasa, ISKCON Global Minister of Communications, “Our tradition teaches the need to transform ourselves and our actions first. Only when we see the world and all its people and creatures as sacred can we partner for real change.”
Background feature photo by Denis Linine.
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