Global Events 2009: January & February

A Calendar of Events on World Change

by Carl Teichrib - Forcing Change: Vol.2, Issue 12

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Carl Teichrib




"O our God... we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You." 2 Chronicles 20:12

The purpose of this calendar is to help Forcing Change readers better grasp the scope and extent of world change. This calendar not only lists dates and places, it provides contextual information that will help you understand the movements and agendas being put into play.

Upfront, it must be noted that this calendar provides only a brief glimpse into what’s being planned. Each year, hundreds of other meetings crop up throughout the international landscape: 2009 will be no different.

Of note for this year is the emphasis on global spirituality, climate change, and the financial crisis. Furthermore, an event of considerable importance that has “fallen off the map” is back for 2009 – the State of the World Forum.

Overall, this calendar does two things:

1) It provides you contextual knowledge of events and agendas on the horizon, thereby giving you a heads-up concerning the trends for the year.

2) It gives you organizational details – as many of the event listings provide extra information designed to help you grasp some of the technical elements along with the bigger picture.

January 6-7: The Gulf Forum 2009

Where: Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Hosted by the Gulf Research Center and the Institute of Diplomatic Studies, this invitation-only event will explore the United States’ post-election relationship between Persian Gulf nations... and the new Obama administration in the US. Some of the objects includes promoting GCC regionalism, to assess the status of US policy in the Gulf zone, and to “outline parameters of a US policy in the Gulf region...

January 18-21: World Spirit Forum

Where: Arosa, Switzerland

An annual event, the World Spirit Forum is a gathering of prominent spiritual leaders who envision a planetary transformation built on New Age philosophies; the idea that Mankind will “spiritually evolve” into a universal consciousness.  [See also New Spirituality for an Awakening Planet]

January 23-27: 7th International Conference on Shamanism

Where: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

Drawing participants from all over, this event presents various shamanistic experiences and schools of thought from every corner of the globe – from Native American witchdoctors to Eastern-based practices. This conference is meant to allow shamans and spiritual seekers to network, learn from each other, and build cultural acceptance regarding the shamanistic experience.

Not sure what shamanism is? Nevill Drury, author of the Dictionary of Mysticism and the Occult, gives us some clues.

Shaman:A sorcerer, magician, medicine-man, or spirit-healer who is able to enter a trance state under will and who serves as an intermediary between people and the realm of the gods and spirits.” (p.236)

Shamanism:Pre-literate technique of gaining trance consciousness, in which the medicine-man, healer, or sorcerer undertakes a journey of the soul to encounter the gods or spirits.” (p.237)

NOTE: A host of pagan and shamanistic events are planned for 2009. Here’s a short, incomplete list of American events.

January 27 - February 1: World Social Forum

Where: Belem, Brazil

Originated in 2001, this yearly event has brought together tens of thousands of social activists and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that oppose corporate globalization. However, the World Social Forum does advocate another form of globalization, one built on a world socialist model and designed around an empowered United Nations.

January 28-February 1: World Economic Forum

Where: Davos-Klosters, Switzerland

This annual event brings together the most powerful figures in the realm of international business and finance, along with major political leaders and the heads of prominent organizations.

The theme for 2009 is “Shaping the Post-Crisis World,” with a central emphasis on the continuing global financial situation. It is expected that the suggestions and recommendations coming from this event will be geared towards tighter globalization policies. Furthermore, the World Economic Forum has developed a specific interest in regionalization as a building block to global governance. A number of other WEF meetings are planned for 2009, all tipped towards developing stronger regional power structures.

Regional WEF meetings include:
WEF Latin America, April 14-16, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
WEF Middle East, May 15-17, Dead Sea, Jordan
WEF Africa, June 10-12, Cape Town, South Africa
WEF East Asia, June 18-19, Seoul, South Korea

Two other WEF events for 2009:

WEF Annual Meeting of the New Champions, September 10-12, in China. The New Champions program is aimed at building up the fastest growing companies on the planet, with the majority coming from China and India. This program is also designed to identify and bring on board the next generation of global and regional leaders.

WEF India Economic Summit, November 8-10, New Delhi, India.

February 9-12: Integrating Spirituality and Organizational Leadership Conference

Where: New Delhi, India

Leaders from the world of business, education, politics, and religion will gather during this international event to explore the development of a global ethics for global governance. Some of the topics to be covered include spirituality and sustainable development, spirituality and organizational leadership, the ethics of climate change, and inter-religious aspects of international organization.

February 17: Global Economic Governance

Where: Brussels, Belgium

Hosted by the Centre for Economic Policy Research – a pan-European research body that caters to central banks, major corporation, and financial institutions – this meeting will examine the role of Europe in formulating new systems of global economic governance.

Many other CEPR meetings are planned for 2009, including the Fourth Annual Workshop on Global Interdependence (March 6th in Florence).

February 18-21: World Affairs Councils of America National Conference
Where: Washington, DC.

The World Affairs Councils of America (WACA) is the national umbrella organization over a host of World Affairs Councils across the United States. Birthed out of the more exclusive Council on Foreign Relations, the WACA is a public membership organization that typically appeals to individuals interested in foreign affairs. However, in many respects the WACA leadership is comprised of individuals who would be considered representative of the business and policy elite. It is, for all intent and purpose, the public arm of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Each year the WACA holds a national conference on global issues, incorporating top government officials from the US and around the world, as well as leading academics and business players. The theme for this year’s conference is, “The Global Economy: A World of Change, A World of Challenge.”

February 26-March 1: The Awakening Conference: A Voice for Change

Where: Austin/San Maros, Texas, USA

The Awakening Conference is a New Age gathering with some of the most recognized leaders in the movement, including Jean Houston (famous author who teaches on the emerging “World Civilization and a World Spirituality”) and Dan Millman (author of numerous New Age books, including Way of the Peaceful Warrior)

A second Awakening Conference is slated to take place in Mesa, Arizona, May 14-17. Both conferences seek to advance “conscious evolution” and social transformation through New Age philosophies and mystical encounters.

March 13-15: 1st International Conference on Religion, Conflict, and Peace

Where: Rochester, MI, USA

Organized by the Common Bond Institute and Oakland University, this interfaith conference will seek ways to bridge spiritual experiences and promote religious pluralism within American society. Although the Islamic experience in the United States is to be showcased, the event takes a broader approach in that it promotes global interdependence while denouncing exclusive religious truth-claims.

March 15-22: World Water Forum

Where: Istanbul, Turkey

The World Water Commission hosts this fifth World Water Forum. As an event, the Forum seeks to build international consensus regarding global water management, particularly in regions affected by water bodies that span local borders.

The work of the World Water Commission is important to watch, as the organization is striving towards global water-rights policies, waterway access strategies, and the role of water in international political developments.

March 19-21: Global Citizens in a Time of Turmoil

Where: Washington, DC.

Hosted by Citizens for Global Solutions, formerly known as the World Federalist Association, this event will examine howglobal citizens” can engage the new Obama administration regarding the advancement of international governance. The first day of this conference will include lobbying training and then visits to political representatives on Capital Hill.

March 26-27: The Gulf-Europe Strategy Forum

Where: Berlin, Germany

This invitation-only event, sponsored by the Gulf Research Center, will focus on broadening the connections between the Persian Gulf and European communities. The outcome of this event is to be a series of policy recommendations that draws the two regions into a tighter working relationship. This is especially relevant in light of the upcoming creation of the Gulf economic region under the auspices of the Gulf Cooperation Council, and the fact that the European Union has been actively involved in this development.

More will be added next month

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