Short Reflections on a Most Hopeful Day

I was fortunate to be facilitating the Masterclass: ‘Hope – a crucial factor for people, work and the Economy’ in Antwerp run by the Institute for Leadership and Social Ethics and the Erasmus Happiness Economics Research Organisation. 

It was a day of rich content and engaging, invigorating conversation – far too much to capture in one blog.  But here are 3 reflections:

  1. We should broaden Diversity to include Fields of Study.

Age, stage, gender, background – we are rightly quick to consider a variety of these valuable in business.  However, at this Masterclass there was an addition: we were psychologists, church leaders, academics and theologians, along with business people, discussing the topic of hope in society. Bringing diversity of thinking into one room was invigorating and led us to conversations that were more varied and challenging than if we were only business leaders addressing the challenges of hope for our organisations and companies.

  1. Embody the hope you want to see.

Over 90% of conversations end with the same energy with which they started. This backed up another fact I have found: that the person with the strongest energy in a room, whether positive or negative, leads the tone for the whole room.  Hope is not mainly conveyed in one’s actions but in who you are and how you come across.

  1. Push into Hope as it broadens and builds

Hope is needed in such a cynical age in our institutions, our businesses, our society.  It is a serious topic for serious times – a foundational building block for our collective future.

…this story was shared to prove there is always hope:  A young woman in Liberia during the Civil war saw her father rounded up and shot; she survived the shooting because her father fell onto her as he died.  Subsequently she was in a mediation meeting where the group was asked to complete the sentence ‘Conflict is…’ in a positive way.  It came to her turn in the room… ‘Conflict is an opportunity for peace’ she said.  If she is able to say that, then there is hope for us all to find in any situation.

Alex Lloyd Davies

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