Elimination of Extremes of Wealth and Poverty

The Cambridge University Bahá’í Society is delighted to host Dr. Lopez-Claros to talk about the elimination of extremes of wealth and poverty.

Income inequality has quickly emerged as a serious economic problem, with the potential to disrupt our social and political order. How to address widening income disparities is now an urgent challenge, for governments, the business community and civil society. In this talk Dr. Lopez-Claros will present a range of proposals currently being considered to alleviate the extremes of wealth and poverty. He will also explain why income inequality has an ethical and moral dimension and the contribution that the Bahá’í Faith makes to a deeper understanding of the problem and its solutions.

Augusto Lopez-Claros is an international economist with over 30 years of experience in international organisations, including most recently at the World Bank where he was director of the Global Indicators Group. Previously he was Chief Economist and Director of the Global Competitiveness Program at the World Economic Forum in Geneva. In May 2018 he was co-awarded the New Shape Prize for his work on “Global Governance and the Emergence of Global Institutions for the 21st Century” and has recently co-authored the book “Equality for Women = Prosperity for All”.

Festival of Ideas 2019

The Cambridge University Bahá’í society has organised two events this year as part of the University of Cambridge Festival of Ideas. Both events will take place on Saturday, 19 October 2019.

Educating for sustainable peace in a turbulent world

Saturday 19 October: 6:00pm – 7:00pm

University Centre, Granta Place Mill Lane, CB2 1RU

In a world increasingly destabilised by socio-political, economic and environmental conflict, is there hope for sustainable peace? A talk by Dr Sara Clarke-Habibi.

Dr Sara Clarke-Habibi has worked on peacebuilding in conflict-affected countries including Azerbaijan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Colombia, Mexico and Cyprus. Drawing on education research, Dr Clarke-Habibi discusses how our understanding of the prerequisites of sustainable peace have changed over the last half-century in response to two global processes and links these insights to a Baha’i perspective on the future of the world.

Sara Clarke-Habibi researches on education in contexts of armed conflict, forced migration and mass violence. Sara holds a PhD in Education from the University of Cambridge (UK), an MA in Conflict Resolution from Landegg International University (Switzerland), and a BA in Ethics, Society and Law from the University of Toronto (Canada). She teaches on the intersection of education with issues of armed conflict, genocide, transitional justice, peacebuilding, social healing and reconciliation.

Organised by the Cambridge University Bahá’í Society for the University of Cambridge Festival of Ideas.

Booking website for tickets (free entry, open to all): https://www.festivalofideas.cam.ac.uk/events/educating-sustainable-peace-turbulent-world

Change on the global stage: what makes an ‘International community’?

Saturday 19 October: 8:00pm – 9:00pm

University Centre, Granta Place Mill Lane, CB2 1RU

Global challenges call us to unprecedented new levels of international cooperation. Will we rise to the occasion?

Maja Groff is an international lawyer based in The Hague. She is a graduate of Harvard, Oxford and McGill Universities, and was a winner of the prestigious 2018 New Shape Prize for proposing global solutions to humanity’s problems.
https://globalchallenges.org/our-work/the-new-shape-prize/awardees

Organised by the Cambridge University Bahá’í Society for the University of Cambridge Festival of Ideas.

Booking website for tickets (free entry, open to all): https://www.festivalofideas.cam.ac.uk/events/educating-sustainable-peace-turbulent-world

Festival of Ideas talks 2018

The Cambridge University Bahá’í society has organised two events this year as part of the Cambridge University Festival of Ideas. Both events will take place on Friday, 19 October 2018.

Rethinking governance

Rethinking Governance (6-7pm)
Sean Hinton discusses new conceptual frameworks for governance that give expression to individual freedom and embody our highest aspirations.

Sean Hinton is Director of the Economic Advancement Program for the Open Society Foundations, and CEO of the Soros Economic Development Fund. He is a graduate of Cambridge University and MIT. He has served as Mongolia’s first honorary consul-general in Australia, having worked extensively in China and Mongolia. Sean has lectured around the world, most recently at Oxford University and at Stanford University for the Global Speaker Series. He is also on the international advisory board of the Bahá’í Chair for World Peace at the University of Maryland.

Register for this talk.

An end to inequality

An end to inequality? (8-9pm)
The assumption that human beings are primarily self-interested, and that our behaviour reveals our underlying preferences, has driven the progress of economics as a discipline – and thus many of the economic policies leading to the exacerbation of inequality. Professor Nava Ashraf will talk about recent research in economics questioning this assumption, and drawing it closer to what many religious and philosophical thinkers have understood about human nature – a radical change with strong implications for economic inequality, justice and prosperity. In her talk she will draw on Bahá’í perspectives on economics.

Nava Ashraf is Professor of Economics at the London School of Economics and Political Science, and Research Director of the Marshall Institute. She has been awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal for Service, and was the youngest ever recipient of the Order of British Columbia.

Register for this talk.

Both talks will take place in the following venue:
Hicks Room
University Centre
Granta Place, Mill Lane
Cambridge CB2 1RU

The talks are free and open to all, but please register using the links above so that we know how many people to expect at each talk.

Bicentenary Celebration of the Birth of Bahá’u’lláh

“The well-being of mankind, its peace and security, are unattainable unless and until its unity is firmly established.”  – Bahá’u’lláh

You are warmly invited to be our guest at a celebration marking the Bicentenary of the Birth of Bahá’u’lláh, Prophet-Founder of the Bahá’í Faith. We will celebrate at Cambridge University with a keynote speech by Sean Hinton, music and refreshments, 7:30–8:30pm on Wednesday 22nd November, William Mong Hall, Sidney Sussex College.

Sean Hinton is CEO of the Soros Economic Development Fund and a graduate of Cambridge University and MIT. He has served as Mongolia’s first honorary consul-general in Australia, having worked extensively in China and Mongolia. Sean has lectured around the world, most recently at Oxford University and at Stanford University for the Global Speaker Series. He is also on the international advisory board of the Bahá’í Chair for World Peace at the University of Maryland.

The great vision of Bahá’u’lláh is captured in the quotation: “The earth is but one country, and mankind its citizens”.  Seeking to implement the principle of the oneness of humanity envisioned by Bahá’u’lláh, we are striving to overcome prejudice and promote unity at all levels.

We hope that you will be able to join us in the celebrations. Should you require any further information, please contact us at bahai [at] cusu.cam.ac.uk.

Festival of Ideas talks 2017

Curiouser and Curiouser: A Quest for Truth

Psychologist Dulamdary Enkhtor explores the idea of truth through the lenses of neuroscience, spirituality, physics, mathematics, arts, mysticism and the Baha’i Writings.

Dr. Dulamdary Enkhtor has worked in her native Mongolia, as well as the UK, USA, Sweden, Czech Republic, Vietnam, India, Israel, Namibia, Indonesia and Serbia for a range of organisations including the World Bank, UNDP, UNICEF, and Emory University. Currently she is global organisational effectiveness consultant at Roche, Switzerland. She holds a PhD in Psychology and an MSc in Development Studies, and carried out her undergraduate studies in Social & Political Sciences and Modern & Medieval Languages at the University of Cambridge.

Organised by Sidney Inspirations Society and the Cambridge University Baha’i Society

Can Truthfulness and Integrity Be Taught and Nurtured?

Truthfulness and honesty are the foundations of a cohesive and progressive society. But can these virtues be taught and nurtured in the classroom? A talk by Geoff Smith and Nita Forouhi.

Talk and discussion, 6-7 pm. Followed by live music on virtues-based themes for those who wish to stay.

Organised by Sidney Inspirations Society and the Cambridge University Baha’i Society

About the speakers:

Geoff Smith is a Head Teacher who has introduced innovative character development programmes in UK schools. He is on the executive team of the Association for Character Education and was part of the advisory group for the ‘Framework for Character Education’, a resource for schools produced by the University of Birmingham.

Professor Nita Gandhi Forouhi from the University of Cambridge draws on the example of the largest school in the world, in Lucknow, India, inspired by Gandhi and the teachings of the Baha’i Faith. The only school in the world to have been awarded the UNESCO prize for peace education, the City Montessori School aims to impart values based education.

Festival of Ideas talks 2016

From Conflict to Compassion: The Transformation of Human Society

Movement from a world of turmoil and conflict to one of compassion and justice necessitates transformation of both society and individuals. Editor and publisher Dr May Hofman discusses how we might achieve this.

May Hofman is director of George Ronald Publishing, having worked previously for the United Nations in the Bureau of Publications of the International Labour Office. She was a founding member of the Oxford University Bahá’í Society in the 1960s, where she gained an undergraduate degree in music and a doctorate in musicology.

Jointly organised by the Cambridge University Bahá’í Society and Sidney Inspirations Society, Sidney Sussex College

The Movement of Populations: Challenging Our Assumptions

The movement of populations presents an opportunity to revisit our assumptions about human nature and the operation of society. Rachel Bayani challenges our actions and reactions to this phenomenon.

Rachel Bayani is Representative to the European Union of the Bahá’í International Community. Rachel has served as a justice and home affairs counselor to the Permanent Representation of Luxembourg to the EU, dealing mainly with asylum and migration issues, and has worked in Bosnia-Herzegovina both with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and with the peacekeeping mission. She has a law degree from the University of Sorbonne in Paris and an LLM in international law from Cambridge University.

Organised by the Cambridge University Bahá’í Society

To Light a Candle

“TO LIGHT A CANDLE”, A DOCUMENTARY FILM BY MAZIAR BAHARI

To Light a Candle

27th February at 7:00pm
Lecture Room, Hills Road Sixth Form College, Cambridge, CB2 8PE

Film duration: 55 minutes
Trailer:

Iran stops Bahá’ís from teaching and studying at university. But they do teach. And they do study.

“To Light a Candle” chronicles the lives of Bahá’ís in Iran, who have triumphed against unbelievable hardships and persecution. The Bahá’ís are a religious minority that are systematically imprisoned, tortured and killed by the Iranian government.

The Islamic regime bans the Bahá’ís to study or teach in Iranian universities. Since 1987 the Bahá’ís started the Bahá’í Institute for Higher Education (BIHE), an underground university with hundreds of students in Iran, and dozens of teachers in Iran and around the world. Through powerful interviews, exclusive secret footage shot by citizen journalists, rare archival material and letters written by a Bahá’í prisoner currently in jail in Iran, “To Light a Candle” shows how a small minority has defied the brutal systematic religious persecution through non-violent resistance and educating their youth.