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 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.

“Excluded but not Defeated” talk on 7th May

Excluded but not Defeated: The Constructive Resilience of Bahá’ís in Iran in Light of Education Denial

Wednesday, 7th May, from 7:30-9:30pm, in the Latimer Room (Old Court) of Clare College on Trinity Lane, Cambridge, CB2 1TL

In this presentation, Dr. Ghanea will explore the themes of exclusion, constructive resilience, and education access as they apply to the current political situation in Iran, where Bahá’ís and other minority groups are systemically denied human rights. She will discuss these issues in light of both historical and legal aspects, applying Bahá’í principles derived from the Faith’s scriptural texts. Her talk will be accompanied by portions of the 30-minute documentary Education Under Fire. This film addresses the denial of higher education to Bahá’ís in Iran and the need for schools to consider offering academic credit to Iranian students through distance learning programmes.
Nazila Ghanea, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of International Human Rights Law at the University of Oxford and a member of the OSCE Advisory Panel of Experts on Freedom of Religion or Belief.  She serves on the board of governors of the United Rights Group and was part of a research team investigating Religion and Belief, Discrimination and Equality in England and Wales until early 2013.  Nazila has acted as a human rights consultant for a number of governments, the United Nations, UNESCO, OSCE, the Council of Europe, and the EU.  Her publications include 9 books, a number of UN publications, and numerous journal articles and reports, including Are religious minorities really minorities?; Does God Believe in Human Rights?; and Human Rights, the UN, and Bahá’ís in Iran.  Additionally, she has published an analysis of Iran’s proposed human rights charter in EJIL Talk, the blog of the European Journal of International Law, on December 10, 2013.


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Fireside this Friday “Equality of Men and Women”

Dear Friends,

The discussion evening series at my home continues this Friday 25th May, at 8 pm, with a discussion on the topic, “Two Wings of a Bird: Equality of Men and Women.” The topic will be presented by Shivani & Lukas.

Women have been historically subjugated and oppressed. We will explore how the equality of men and women is a fundamental truth of human reality and not just a desired condition to be achieved for the good of society. We will also explore the meaning and implications of equality as a spiritual truth.

All are welcome.

With love,