Annual Ikeda Forum Celebrates Global Citizenship
by Mitch Bogen
Special to the Tribune
With nearly 250 participants from 27 countries attending via Zoom, the 2021 Ikeda Forum for Intercultural Dialogue demonstrated how technology can enhance a sense of global citizenship. The core message of the event, though, was that the essential work of global citizenship begins on a deeper, more personal level.
Called “Becoming Wide Awake to Our Wisdom, Courage, and Compassion: Global Citizenship as Action and Identity,” the forum was inspired by Daisaku Ikeda’s 1996 Teachers College address,A New Way Forward, pp. 85–96. which explored global citizenship as an aspect of our daily lives.
The Dec. 11 event featured introductory remarks from Dr. Jason Goulah of DePaul University, a presentation by Dr. Awad Ibrahim of the University of Ottawa and a panel discussion with graduate students Handrio Nurhan, Meylin Gonzales, Seonmi Jin and Archish Mittal. The forum also included breakout sessions during which participants engaged in dialogue with one another on the topic.
In his remarks, Dr. Ibrahim referred to Mr. Ikeda’s conception of the three qualities of wisdom, courage and compassion as “gifts” that enable us to reach our most fully developed level of awareness as wide-awake citizens. Dr. Ibrahim especially urged everyone to treat global citizenship less as a noun and more as a verb, “something that manifests itself every day in how we walk our talk, how we relate to other people.”
During the panel discussion, the emerging scholars were eager to discuss ways their research could be relevant for as many people as possible. They were quite encouraged by Dr. Ibrahim’s suggestion that they see their research fundamentally as “an act of love for the community,” an act whose goal is “a better future for humanity.”
—Visit ikedacenter.org for indepth coverage of the event.
|↑1||A New Way Forward, pp. 85–96.|