Saturday, August 22, 2009

Inter-civilizational Youth Engagement Program 2009 (IYEP3)

THEME: "Ethics and the Global Economic Crisis: Pointers for the Future"

Humankind is facing one of the gravest economic crises in the last one hundred years. What are the main causes of this crisis? How is it related to moral values and ethical principles? What are the strengths and weaknesses of existing economic systems when it comes to resolving the current global economic crisis? How can young people in particular help to find solutions which will ensure a sustainable, equitable economy that will serve the interests of the vast majority of humankind in the world of tomorrow?


It is because the crisis has a profound bearing upon the youth that we have made it the theme of our IYEP this time. We want young people themselves to provide new, creative ideas on how we can overcome the crisis and what sort of economy and society they would like to see in the future.

The 5 day workshop

The event is to be organised as a Global Café workshop. Each workshop will focus on one of the areas outlined below with the final day’s event being a culmination of the outcomes of all 4 days.

The Causes of the Global Economic Crisis.

What are the primary causes of the crisis? Was the sub-prime mortgage crisis a symptom or the cause of the crisis? How did financial deregulation contribute to the crisis? What is the connection between the de-linking of the gold standard and the dollar and the present crisis? To what extent is the present crisis a repudiation of market based economics? Or, is it a defeat for neo-liberal capitalism? Has the global economic crisis exposed the inherent flaws in capitalism itself?

Ethics and the Crisis.

The global economic crisis has been described widely as a crisis that reveals the potency of greed and selfishness in present-day economic practices and institutions. Is this true? How did greed --- a common human failing --- become institutionalised and legitimised in both the national and the global economy? What is the impact, and what are the consequences, of greed as a social vice for the vast majority of the human family? How has the economy reinforced self-centredness or selfishness as a trait? What are the spiritual and moral values that have been eroded by dominant, conventional economic norms?

Reflections on Prevailing Economic Philosophies and Systems

Having examined the weaknesses in the capitalist system, let us now ask: what are the strengths in that system and in its underlying philosophy? How has capitalism evolved over the centuries? What are the dominant forms of capitalism prevalent today and what are their strengths and weaknesses? Are they relevant at all in the search for solutions to the present crisis? What positive role can socialism play in the current global economic crisis? What are the strengths and weaknesses of the different forms of socialism that have evolved since the second half of the nineteenth century? What led to the decline of socialism and socialist systems in the last 30 years? What were the positive and negative characteristics of societies and economies inspired by religious ideals in past centuries? What has been the track record of contemporary efforts to establish societies and economies on the basis of religious principles and practices? Would religion be able to help humankind overcome the present global economic crisis?

Pointers for the Future.

What are the important steps that should be taken today to ensure that a global economic crisis of the magnitude we are facing today will not recur in the future? What are some of the new global structures and some of the new global and national policies that should be put in place in order to ensure sustainable, viable national and global economies in the future? How would the positive elements from capitalism, socialism and religion contribute towards this new economic order? What would be the role of a universal spiritual-moral vision of social justice and human dignity in sustaining this new order? How can the youth of the world help to shape a new global economy guided by this universal spiritual-moral vision?

The Agenda

Day 1:

  • Speaker 1: Introduction to the Global Economic Crisis
  • Speaker 2: Introduction to Causes of the Global Economic Crisis
  • Discussion

Day 2:

  • Speaker 3: Introduction to Ethics and the Crisis.
  • Discussion

Day 3:

  • Speaker 4: Introduction to Economic Philosophies and Systems
  • Discussion
  • Evening Public Debate (Tentative)

Day 4:

  • Speaker 5 : Introduction to Alternatives for the Future
  • Discussion
  • Day 5 : Presentation of various groups’ discussions
  • End.

It would be ideal to have participants from different continents and economic systems.
During the discussions by the participants, the resource person (speaker) in the relevant subject area should be present for the group to ask questions and get information they may require for their deliberations.


The workshop hopes for a number of outcomes which will encourage and inspire the youth of today to participate actively in shaping the economic future of their respective societies and indeed, the destiny of the human family as a whole.

  1. News and analyses of the workshop on websites, blogs and other such channels of communication.
  2. Establishment of networks amongst like-minded youth groups in different parts of the world.
  3. Public campaigning on specific concerns related to the global economy.

Application Instructions

Who can apply
• Young scholars, NGO workers, Peace and Human Rights activists, youth leaders,
researchers, who are active in civilizational dialogue, peace studies or interfaith programs.
Age 21-25.
• Preference will be shown to applicants who can demonstrate how this Program will directly
benefit them, their organization or academic institution in developing dialogue programs at
local, regional and/or international level.
• Proficiency in English is required. If you are accepted you will be required to participate fully
in the, discussions and role plays in English.
• Please do not apply if you do not have strong English skills.

How to apply
• By 31 August 2009, send completed application form, resume/CV, essay on your role in
the economic crisis, with a letter of recommendation and passport photo to:

IYEP3 Secretariat
International Movement for a Just World (JUST)
3 Jalan 11/9, Seksyen 11, 46200 Petaling Jaya
Selangor D.E., MALAYSIA
Tel: 6 03 7960 3207
Fax: 6 03 7960 3245

• This form may be submitted by post, or e-mail
• Applications will be acknowledged on receipt. Applicants will be notified of the outcome of
selection soon after the closing date.
• Participants are responsible for arranging and funding their round-trip travel from home
country to Malaysia. No request for financial support can be considered. Participants are
expected to seek financial support from their own organization and /or other foundations.

Registration Fee
There is no Registration Fee, the organisers will cover food, accommodation, transportation within Malaysia and all program materials.


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