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What can we do to minimize what divides us and emphasize what unites us as world citizens?   A first step is to better know each other and understand our situations and challenges.

In the last few weeks, we have witnessed several tragic events with terrorist attacks in Orlando, Florida,  Istanbul, Turkey, Baghdad, Iraq, Dhaka, Bangladesh, and Jidda and Medina, Saudi Arabia.  Experts warn us that such attacks can happen anywhere, at any time, as they are often uncoordinated actions carried out by radicalized individuals acting alone or with a few like-minded associates. In light of this situation, one question that needs to be considered and answered is how do we prevent people from becoming radicalized to the point that they carry out such atrocities?  What should we, as Rotarians and world citizens be doing if we are serious about establishing lasting peace in the world?  

Matthew Taylor, the Chief Executive of the RSA, believes the answers to the challenges the world faces today lie in effecting a 21st Century Enlightenment. Specifically he calls for an increase in empathy - both on an individual level and on a societal one.  He maintains that increasing "empathic capacity is important to achieving a world of citizens at peace with each other and with themselves."  

In this short video (11:08 minutes), Taylor explains the ideas behind the RSA’s new strapline and ponders how organizations such as his can be involved in the effort to advance a new era of enlightenment.

(If you cannot see the video below, click here).


"Never doubt that a small group of committed citizens can change the world, indeed it is the only thing that ever has."  --Margaret Meade


From the RSA website:

The RSA is a charity dedicated to finding innovative, practical solutions to today's social challenges. Through its ideas, research and 27,000-strong Fellowship it seeks to understand and enhance human capability so we can close the gap between today's reality and people's hopes for a better world.

The mission of the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce) is to enrich society through ideas and action.

We believe that all human beings have creative capacities that, when understood and supported, can be mobilised to deliver a 21st century enlightenment.

We work to bring about the conditions for this change, not just amongst our diverse Fellowship, but also in institutions and communities.

By sharing powerful ideas and carrying out cutting-edge research, we build networks and opportunities for people to collaborate - creating fulfilling lives and a flourishing society.

RSA allows non-commercial dissemination of their videos in accordance with their open access license.


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