This page describes my recent activities month-by-month, starting with the most recent, with links as relevant to other parts of my sites and to online resources. For a summary of my interests, and what I am doing in different organizations, go to the INTERESTS AND ORGANIZATIONS page.
August 2023. The month got off to a good start with a climate and environment seminar at the Association of Bahá'í Studies - North America conference on 4 August, where I contributed (virtually) to a panel on "Youth-Adult Collaboration for Climate Social Action". On 10 August I helped to organize a webinar for the G20 Interfaith Forum on the need for better legal protection for climate refugees. A special project in my chalet forest in the middle of the month was finding a way to rebuild the middle trail which was blocked in January by four fallen oak trees, just before a surprise visit by my daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren to celebrate my birthday, and a chance to walk through my forest.
Rebuilt forest trail under fallen trees; me with visiting grandchildren
For my coming junior youth class in the fall, given the re-emergence of war, I prepared a simplified version of "The Promise of World Peace" in five lessons. I also prepared a lecture on the state of global ecosystems for the CSEND Summer School in Geneva on 24 August, and my classes on public discourse for the Romanian Summer School at the end of the month.
July 2023. This was a productive month, starting with a virtual talk on 6 July for the Women's group of the UN Association of the United Kingdom on "Eliminating Poverty for Equity and Sustainability", and a final book club session on 8 July to respond to questions about our book an Global Governance. On 10 July I spent the morning in Geneva at the Quaker UN Office Summer School on Sustainable and Just Economic Systems, where I provided a values-based perspective on "Reframing economic systems and paradigms". The Bahá'í summer camp in the Paquis neighbourhood of Geneva invited me to speak to their children and junior youth on creating a healthy environment. My blog on The Debt Bubble was published by the International Environment Forum (IEF) on 14 July. On 17 July I participated in the legacy session of the University of Bristol (UK) research project on Transforming Education for Sustainable Futures (TESF) for which I have been an advisor for the last four years. It supported 67 grassroots projects in India, Rwanda, Somalia and South Africa. My blog for the Global Governance Forum on "Climate Change and World Economy: When an Irresistible Force Meets an Immovable Object" was published on 19 July and republished by the IEF. Also on 19 July my son and grandchildren from Quebec came to visit me at my chalet, for which I did a lot of work cleaning up the trails through the forest of fallen trees. With the heat wave over Europe, my chalet in the forest was much cooler than my apartment in Geneva.
Forest trail problem; cleared of fallen trees; me with visiting grandchildren
I discovered that the UNEP Islands Web Site that I had created many years ago had finally disappeared, so I recreated most of it from diskette backups on my personal website as it has archival interest. On 23 July, the Association of Baha'i Studies - UK, Environment Special Interest Group invited me to present on "A Baha'i contribution to public discourse." Returning to my chalet on 28 July, I discovered that an extreme thunder storm had passed over a few days before, with several large trees down across the road to my chalet, fortunately already cut up by the municipality. At the chalet itself, a large treetop 9 metres long with several branches and a full crown of leaves was blocking my driveway up to 1 metre from my chalet, and another large branch had fallen on the other side of the chalet as well. It took me three days to cut them up and clear everything away.
Large treetop fallen across my driveway
June 2023. I started the month contributing to UNEP's Horizon Scanning exercise looking at future probabilities, and began a two-month supervision of an intern at the Quaker United Nations Office looking at alternative economic paradigms and measures beyond GDP for environmental justice and sustainability. On 10 June the three authors of our book on Global Governance had another book club session to discuss the last quarter of its contents. I went to Madrid on 16-19 June for another meeting of the expert group preparing revisions to the UN Charter, when we also visited Toledo (see separate page), which I had not seen since 1961. On 21-25 June I participated in another retreat at the Domaine de la Garde near Bourg-en-Bresse on the theme of our spiritual garden, where I presented on "Spiritual Gardens in the Bahá'í Tradition".
Toledo with part of our group; Toledo; La Garde, me with Kathlene and Margareta
From 26-30 June I went to Villars-sur-Ollon in the Swiss Alps to participate in the meeting of the Climate Governance Commission, for which I am on the Steering Committee, as well as the Villars Symposium with 120 teenagers for intergenerational dialogue on global governance and sustainability. We went for an Alpine walk to the Lac des Chavonnes, which was a bit challenging for someone over eighty. Another sign of ageing was my car failing its inspection and requiring repairs, but then it is a 1996 model that still runs well. At my chalet, there is a lot of work to catch up on with trail and forest maintenance, but that keeps me active.
May 2023. My blog Why has environmental governance failed? GREED was posted on 7 May. Another blog on Microbial extinction is happening was posted soon after. On 12 May I contributed a Bahá'í perspective to a meeting at the World Council of Churches in Geneva on Caring for the Earth, Transforming Lives: Linking Faith and Natural Regeneration. Also on 12 May, the Global Governance Forum released an article Thinking about the Summit of the Future which I co-wrote with Amanda Ellis on two themes in the HLAB report, global environmental governance and gender equality. With colleagues at ebbf-Ethical Business Building the Future, we prepared a report on our journey to prepare Approaches to Global Solidarity Accounting, and I drafted a paper on Global Solidarity Accounting for Business for discussion at the ebbf Annual Conference in Lisbon, Portugal, on 18-20 May. Fortunately, I was not re-elected to the ebbf Governing Board after 22 years of service, but was appointed instead to its Advisory Council.
ebbf Annual Conference, Lisbon, 2023
scenes at the ebbf conference, including my learnshop
Travel to Lisbon turned out to be a nightmare, as both flights were cancelled at the last minute with no alternative provided. I had to buy a new ticket on the same airline going to Lisbon when they said none was available, and on the return had to stay overnight at the Bahá'í Centre in Lisbon, reaching home a day late. Building on our work on accounting, I prepared a new page on the IEF website on Accountability as an approach to the failures of implementation and political will in so many international environmental agreements. On 30 May I moderated a webinar for the G20 Interfaith Forum working group on religion and environment which I chair, on Spirited Seas: Science and Spirituality, an Interfaith Exploration of the Environmental Consequences of Deep Seabed Mining. In my rare opportunities to go to my chalet in the forest, most of my time went to cutting up the trees that windstorms this winter blew down across my meadow and trails, finally allowing me to mow the high grass around the chalet.
Fallen tree cut in my forest to clear trail
April 2023. From 6-17 April I went to the Netherlands for the Justice Conference and other activities. To be climate-responsible, I took the train, but all the trains in Germany were late and missed their connections, so with complex re-routing I arrived very late, including having to take a bus for the last part of the trip to the Netherlands. The same problem of missed connections happened on the return. My keynote at the Justice Conference was on "Environmental requirements for planetary governance". I also spoke to a Bahá'í youth fireside in Nijmegen, took part in the second session of a U.S. virtual book club review of "Global Governance and the Emergence of Global Institutions for the 21st Century", and another book discussion for the UN Association in Vienna, met with Ph.D. students at Wageningen University on how the UN functions, spoke to a group of junior youth on "In Pursuit of Hope", attended a youth lunch to discuss nature and spirituality and 'Abdu'l-Bahá's book "Secret of Divine Civilization", and presented the BIC statement "One Planet, One Habitation" to the local community where I was staying with Sylvia Karlsson-Vinkhuyzen and family. My weekly classes with Sylvia's son Erasmus about Knights of Bahá'u'lláh continued weekly as usual. I prepared a blog on the unfolding food crisis for IEF. My webinar interview Commemorating Earth Day was released on 22 April. Teaching in the Wilmette Institute course on Agriculture and Food ended in mid-April, followed immediately by the start of the course on Climate Change. On 23 April I attended the worship at Quaker House in Geneva, followed by a presentation on "Climate, Sustainability, Values". On 24-26 April I participated in the legacy conference of the Transforming Education for Sustainable Futures research project at the University of Bristol (UK) for which I have been an advisor, speaking on a panel. They have led very successful co-research with local communities as full partners in India, Rwanda, Somalia and South Africa. Following on the March meeting in a Geneva neighbourhood, I attended a discussion of social actions for community improvement, leading to a project for a community garden. The UN High Level Advisory Board on Effective Multilateralism released its report, "A breakthrough for People and Planet" on 25 April, and it cited the paper on a Global Environment Agency that Sylvia and I had prepared for the Climate Governance Commission as the source for its recommendations on environmental governance, linking to the IEF website. I prepared extracts of the HLAB report for the IEF website. This was also discussed at the Frontiers Forum on 27-28 April. Another of my blogs on The climate crisis and mental health was posted on the IEF website on 29 April.
March 2023. The month started with a family reunion in Ormes for my grandson Luca's birthday on 4 March. On 6 March, I was asked to make a one minute contribution at an event at the UN Commission on the Status of Women. Since IEF is accredited to the Convention on Biological Diversity, I was able to provide an expert review of a new draft IPBES report on how to make a fundamental transformation in society, which will be very important when it is completed next year. On 16 March I led a neighborhood discussion some Baha'is organized on "Bien Vivre à Genève" (Living well in Geneva). The Coalition for the UN We Need organized a civil society process to prepare for the SDG Summmit in September and the Summit of the Future in 2024, where I participated in working groups, a European regional meeting, and a Global Futures Forum on 20-21 March. My blog for the Global Governance Forum on the new High Seas Treaty was published on 20 March. At my chalet, another windstorm blew two trees across the road up to chalet, another big tree across my upper trail, and two large trees broken half-way up into my meadow and in the lower forest. I attended an information meeting by my municipality on road works in my neighborhood over the next two years to replace the old sewer system. I also recorded an interview for Baha'i Blog, posted for Earth Day on 22 April.
February 2023. This was a busy month for teaching, with my three OPOH classes and the start of the Wilmette Institute course on Agriculture and Food, where I am faculty. We also started contributing to a monthly book club studying Global Governance and the Emergence of Global Institutions for the 21st Century. I also followed the reporting on a big University of Bristol project on Transformative Education for a Sustainable Future (TESF) in Rwanda, South Africa, Somalia and India, with creative approaches to the different challanges in each country. I prepared bogs on "Global Governance Failures: Warnings by the Secretary-General" on the Global Governance Forum website 21 February 2023, modified as Confluence of Crises: Warnings by the UN Secretary-General", blog on the International Environment Forum website 21 February 2023. I also had a letter published in the journal New Scientist, "Why a space sunshade isn't such a bright idea", on 4 February 2023. After the rainy January, there was a major drought in February, with no rain in over one month. At my chalet, the big effort was to cut the branches on the big trees that fell in January and rebuild paths around them. There is a photographic record here. At the end of the month I participated in the EPCD Council meeting in Madrid hosted by Federico Major, where I presented concept notes I prepared for the ECPD Conference and Youth Forum on Belgrade in October.
January 2023. My regular activities for various organizations continue this year, including presiding the International Environment Forum (IEF), serving on the ebbf Governing Board, member of the steering committee of the Climate Governance Commission, and chair of the Religion and Environment Working Group of the G20 Interfaith Forum. I started a new project with a high-level group preparing text for UN Charter Revision, with a meeting in Madrid 20-23 January, as well as a guided tour of the Prado Museum. The project on Global Solidarity Accounting to measure human and environmental well-being held a general meeting on 26 January to assess progress over the last year. I prepared materials to study the Baha'i International Community statement One Planet, One Habitation (OPOH) in four 90 minute classes for the IEF, and started three classes for the two halves of the planet and the new IEF Youth Team, to run to March. My weekly class for a junior youth in the Netherlands on Baha'i geography has taken off, first with 'Abdu'l-Baha's Tablets of the Divine Plan list all the countries and islands to be opened to the Faith and how they were opened in subsequent plans including the Ten Year Crusade 1953-1963, followed by descriptions of each country and island and the story of the first Baha'i to go there and become a Knight of Baha'u'llah. They are available on my website. One very special event for me was the receipt of the doctoral thesis of Oxford Rhodes Scholar Marco De Jong on the development of Pacific environmentalism. One third of the research material (20,000 pages) came from my archives, and it begins with my work in the region in the 1970s, and ends with my drafting the islands section of Agenda 21 in 1992, making me the subject of historical research. It is a beautiful story of the resilience of indigenous island values in the face of political and scientific colonialism. At my chalet in France, there was a lot of rain, and some windstorms blowing down trees. One fell across the road up from my chalet to the farms above, and it took me two days to cut through it and unblock the road. At the end of January, I found that an old dead oak tree on the land above, a meter in diameter, finally fell across my property, uprooting three other large living oak trees which knocked down further trees, completely blocking the trails to the west half of my land.
Fallen trees with old oak at the top of my property; blocked trail; uprooted trees
December 2022. This was a relatively quiet month with my usual activities for the International Environment Forum, the pleasure of creating new children's class materials on Bahá'í geography, and time at my chalet in the forest. I drafted a chapter on UNEP work on oceans for a book of civil society perspectives. On 8-9 December I joined a meeting in Geneva on Earth Trusteeship. We had a lunch on 16 December of all the Bahá'ís involved in international organizations in Geneva. Two Bahá'í friends important in my life passed on: Mahchid Fatio from Nyon, Switzerland, for whom I had given many fireside talks in past years, and Jean Sevin, a long-time friend in New Caledonia, a reminder that many of my generation are reaching the end of their days on earth. The month ended on a high note at the Swiss Bahá'í Winter School in Leysin in the Alps, where 360 participants including 40 children and as many junior youth gathered for joy and classes in French, German, English, Persian, Arabic and Russian (for the Ukrainians), including my Geneva grandchildren and other family members.
Swiss Bahá'í Winter School group singing; in class
November 2022. On 5 November I contributed A Bahá'í Perspective on Love to a virtual meeting of the Triglav Circle. Oxford Rhodes Scholar Marco de Jong , who visited me in July, discussed with me the last chapters of his dissertation covering my preparation of the small islands section of Agenda 21. The main event of the month was preparing for and then travelling to India 14-24 November for ten days with Augusto Lopez-Claros and Joshua Lincoln for the Global Governance Forum (see separate report), with 15 presentations in Lucknow to 2,800 high school students, several universities and a conference of chief justices of the world, and 7 talks in New Delhi, mostly at universities, as well as an interview by famous Indian TV journalist, Vikram Bahl, for his programme Global View. My interview, titled by the journalist “Are humans also an endangered species?”, was broadcast nationally and can be viewed on YouTube and followed as a podcast on Spotify, Apple podcasts and Google Podcasts.
Speaking at Indian Institute of Management; panel at PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry: Augusto Lopez-Claros, Joshua Lincoln, Arthur Dahl, Kazem Samandari
October 2022. Most of my October activities were part of continuing responsibilities: teaching in the Wilmette Institute online course on sustainable development, meetings of the International Environment Forum (IEF) Governing Board, the Climate Governance Commission Steering Committee, the ebbf Learning Team and Governing Board, the expert council of the University of Geneva Certificate of Advanced Studies in Sustainable Development, and the UNESCO Chair on Education for Sustainable Living's partner meeting. My weekly online children's class continued. On 13-14 October I participated in the first meeting of the WHO People-Planet-Health Action Board to represent unheard voices advising policies at WHO. 21-24 October saw me traveling to the European Center for Peace and Development in Belgrade to chair the 10th ECPD Youth Forum with youth from 29 countries. After the Youth Forum I was invited to an amazing piano concert where, after the virtuoso Japanese pianist presented a world premier composition, the piano had recorded the performance and played it again all by itself. For the IEF I started leading a study group online to explore the recent IPBES Biodiversity Values Assessment, the first time an official intergovernmental scientific advisory body has looked at biodiversity values including the intangible spiritual and indigenous relationships to nature.
September 2022. At an evening on-line sharing of recollections of the 1963 Bahá'í World Congress in London, England, I contributed some photos and memories of that historic occasion, the first large gathering of nearly 6,000 Bahá'ís from all around the world. I was again faculty for the Wilmette Institute course on Sustainable Development and Human Prosperity, and prepared some class materials for older children and junior youth on the wonderful Bahá'í International Community statement One Planet, One Habitation. A good Bahá'í friend invited me to the headquarters of the International Federation of the Red Cross the day its garden and forest were opened to the public to integrate it into the local community, a first for an international organization. On 21 September I joined a local expert on sustainable development for a public meeting in Geneva on A quoi ressemblera le bien vivre à Genève en 2031? (what might a good life be like in Geneva in 2031?) where, to my surprise, materials from our global solidarity accounting project were distributed (in French) to all those attending. On 25 September I presided over the online International Environment Forum General Assembly. I went to Acuto, Italy on 28 September-2 October for an ebbf - Ethical Business Building the Future governing board meeting and retreat to develop a nine-year plan for ebbf.
ebbf retreat at Acuto
August 2022. The highlight of the month was a family reunion in Mexico 1-7 August at Akumal Bay Beach south of Cancun with four generations (wife, children, grandchildren, great grandchild) to celebrate (slightly early) my eightieth birthday. We experienced animals in a monkey sanctuary, swam in cenotes, visited the Aktun Chen Nature Park and the Tulum Mayan sacred site, as well as enjoying the beach and pool.
Arthur with monkey; Arthur in hammock waiting for the more adventurous
Arthur's 80th birthday party; Arthur and son Alex who made it all possible
Work on our Global Solidarity Accounting continued, adding a community conversations approach.
July 2022. From 3-8 July, Oxford Rhodes Scholars Marco de Jong and KDee Aimite stayed with me at my chalet to research in my archives on the emergence of Small Island Developing States and my preparation of the Oceans, Coastal Areas and Small Islands chapter of Agenda 21 for the 1992 Rio Earth Summit. Marco photographed 6,000 pages of documents to add to the 14,000 pages of my Pacific archives already copied in Samoa, 1/3 of his total research. On 11 July we had a family picnic on a Lake Geneva beach for my granddaughter's birthday. On 20 July I recorded a podcast with Ian Hamilton of the external affairs office of the US Bahá'í community. On 23 July I spoke on climate change for a discussion group at the Greenacre Bahá'í school in Maine. I went to Denmark on 25-30 July for the Danish Bahá'í Summer School at Kerteminde on Fyn, where I gave the main course on Preparing for public discourse with lectures on the environment, social justice, economic justice, peace and global governance, and discourse in local communities, as well as evening presentations on Mark Tobey and the Dedication of the Baha'i temples and two meetings with the youth.
June 2022. The first big event of the month was the United Nations Stockholm+50 International Meeting where the International Environment Forum organized events as its 26th Annual Conference.
Stockholm; Swedish Parliament
The morning of 1 June the Bahá'í International Community organized an event in the Swedish Parliament on Global Environmental Governance: Ethical Foundations and Practical Proposals and launched its new statement One Planet - One Habitation. Immediately after I was recorded in a conversation with Erik Halkjeer, the editor of the magazine Swedish Nature that published a profile of me in April. In the afternoon we collaborated in Interfaith Prayers for the success of Stockholm+50 near the Swedish Parliament. On 2 June the UN Environment Management Group held a side event with heads of UN agencies where I was the first invited to comment, as a veteran of Stockholm 1972. As an example of sustainability, I wore the same jacket as in 1972.
BIC event in Parliament; EMG event (I am in last row second from left)
On Friday 3 June the IEF organized a virtual event Global
Systems Accounting Beyond Economics where I was a panelist. Our Global Governance Forum collaborated with the Global Challenges Foundation on Saturday 4 June in an all day consultation where I moderated a session on reform of the multilateral system. Our IEF event on Saturday 4 June was on Empowering Local Sustainable Communities. On Sunday 5 June I was again a panelist with several youth on Intergenerational
Perspectives on Visions for the Future. We then participated in a feast at the National Bahá'í Centre.
At the Academic Council of the UN System annual meeting in Geneva on 23-25 June, I was asked to speak in a session on Human Rights and Global Governance, and was co-author on a paper with Sylvia Karlsson-Vinkhuyzen. I went to Lisbon on 27 June-1 July to participate in the UN Ocean Conference 2022. The same week, in a pre-recorded presentation for the Eco-Social Summit, Wendi Momen, Jenna Nicholas and I spoke on Rethinking the role of business: an exploration offered by three ebbf members.
May 2022. Planning speeded up for our International Environment Forum Annual Conference as a series of associated events at the UN Stockholm+50 International Meeting at the beginning of June, commemorating the Stockholm Conference I attended in 1972. On 11-16 May I went to Lisbon for the ebbf-Ethical Business Building the Future governing board meeting and Annual Conference, where I organized two workshops on our global systems accounting project and gave the closing keynote on The Power of Unity. Working groups continued to advance on the accounting project, until I left for Stockholm on 31 May.
April 2022. Following the nine working groups on different dimensions of my global systems accounting project continued during the month, and I revised the basic working paper at the end of the month. I started a new series of children's classes on the Baha'i Administration, and was faculty again for the Wilmette Institute online course on climate change. On 6 April I gave a webinar on Climate Change - Navigating the Urgent Transition Toward Sustainability for the Wilmette Institute and the Graduate Theological Union, and on 7 April another webinar on Climate Change, Global Pollution, Biodiversity: Can We Turn the Corner? for the Cambridge Festival (UK) organized by the Cambridge Bahá'í Society, as well as presenting our Global Governance book at the University of Hong Kong on 8 April. The leading Swedish nature magazine published a profile on me as a veteran of the 1972 Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment. I went to the Netherlands 15-22 April, first attending the Justice Conference, where I gave the opening keynote on Global Systems Accounting Beyond Economics, and then visiting my good friend Sylvia Karlsson-Vinkhuyzen and her family, where I spoke to one group on the Baha'i artist Mark Tobey and spirituality in art, shared with a group of academics on indigenous relationships with nature in the Pacific, spoke to a group of students in Utrecht on "The Ethics of Hope: values as positive drivers for a sustainable future", and gave another talk on "Disintegration and Integration". I also gave a webinar for the Baha'i Institute of Higher Education in Iran on 19 April on Improving Global Environmental Governance: Some ways forward. There was also a beautiful Global Baha'i Conference in Geneva, one of 10,000 in the world, on 22-24 April, where I had a rare chance to catch up with many friends, and my own daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren. In a short visit to my chalet at the end of the month, I could not get the lawn mower started, so I had to cut the long grass with a scythe.
March 2022. A lot of my time went to assisting the ten working groups taking forward our project on global systems accounting. The secretariat for the June Stockholm+50 International Meeting included me in their working group 1 meeting on 10 March. I also participated in an ebbf event on gender and climate change for the UN Commission on the Status of Women on 14 March. The Convention on Biological Diversity has accredited the International Environment Forum (IEF), so I was one of the observers at their March negotiating session in Geneva. With the pandemic receding, my social life picked up a little, attending my grandson Luca's birthday party, and a Naw-Ruz dinner at my friends the Stendardo's. I was also able to finish Ruhi books 11.2 with a local group and 14.1 with the IEF Governing Board. At my weekly children's classes with the son of friends in the Netherlands, we finally finished 52 sessions on the travels of 'Abdu'l-Bahá in the West, all now available on my website at http://yabaha.net/dahl/Bahai.htm#Children, so next month we start a new series on the Bahá'í Administration. I could occasionally escape to my chalet in the forest, cutting a few extra trees and working on the road drainage, where on 12 March I was shaken by an earthquake of 4.2 magnitude centred in the Alps to the south. My blog on Challenging Assumptions of Old Business Models for ebbf-Ethical Business Building the Future was posted on 9 March; another blog on Challenging Economic Assumptions Driving Climate Change for the Global Governance Forum was posted on 20 March, also on the International Environment Forum website; my letter on Coral gardening is a stopgap worth having was published on 5 March by New Scientist Vol.253, No.3376, p.32. A big project that I have worked on for the Global Governance Forum on a Global Catastrophic Risk Index: Putting Risk on the Agenda was launched on 24 March at an event "Rethinking the UN" where I also spoke on "Climate change and a better format for global environmental governance". On 28 March I spoke on "A Bahá'í approach to the environment and social justice" at an event for the University of Gloucester (UK). At the end of the month I recorded a video on Rethinking the role of business on a panel with Wendi Momen and Jenna Nicholas by ebbf-Ethical Business Building the Future, for the New Eco-Social World Congress.
February 2022. The leading Swedish nature magazine Sveriges Natur interviewed me for a feature profile From Stockholm and Back, as a veteran of the 1972 Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment, for their April issue before the Stockholm+50 international meeting in June, and they sent a photographer to make some portraits in the botanical garden. A lot of my time was spent on various inputs to the June meeting, including planning events by the International Environment Forum in collaboration with local Baha'is, and the Baha'i International Community. I am also an advisor to the UN Environment Management Group on the UN system report to Stockholm+50, and have been able to contribute some inputs to the official report. On 6 February I made a video contribution to a symposium in Turkey organized by the Ecumenical Patriarch of the Orthodox Church. For my family, I had Zoom exchanges with my Canadian grandchildren and with brother Greg and Emi. On 15 February I contributed virtually to a faith leaders roundtable for Jubilee for Climate UK, speaking for 10 minutes on "A Baha'i-inspired perspective on social justice". The recording of the 2-hour discussion is at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nHWVqJluI9w. On the 16th I gave a virtual lecture to an International University in Geneva course on "Ways Forward: Drivers and Barriers", and on the 19th my webinar for IEF was a discussion of approaches to pollution accounting. There have been many working group meeting on different dimensions of global systems accounting, with considerable enthusiasm for the new approach. My paper "Filling a Critical Gap in Global Environmental Governance" was published on the IEF website and by the Global Governance Forum.
January 2022. My first project in January was to prepare finally a complete photo album of all the works of the wonderful Baha'i artist Mark Tobey that belonged to our family, 130 in all. This was my birthday present to my granddaughter Alie in Canada, who is already a published book illustrator at age 13. The governing board of ebbf - Ethical Business Building the Future met virtually on 7-8 January, and on 13 January I started teaching as faculty in the Wilmette Institute course on Baha'i Perspectives on Agriculture and Food for the next 8 weeks with 60 participants. For World Religion Day on 13 January, the Baha'i communities of the French departments of Haute Savoie and Savoie south of Geneva asked me to contribute to a virtual webinar on Nature et Spiritualité depuis 100 ans. On 22 January, the International Environment Forum (IEF) asked me to repeat my webinar from December on "The accelerating environmental crisis: a 60-year perspective". Other activities of the month were an IEF Governing Board meeting and planning for our next conference at Stockholm+50 in June, meetings of the ebbf learning group and the G20 Interfaith Forum working group on Religion and Environment which I chair, updating my paper on Global Systems Accounting, and teaching my weekly online children's class on the Travels of 'Abdu'l-Bahá. At the end of the month the UN Environment Management Group asked me to join an informal advisory group on the UN paper for Stockholm+50.
December 2021. The activity on Global Systems Accounting picked up in December, with ebbf hosting on 8 December a webinar for me to explain the concept, as well as a web page on Co-creating a global systems accounting, a way forward for post COP26 sustainability action, to follow a series of working groups on different dimensions of the proposal. This has allowed me to update the basic working document several time with further detail on the different kinds of accounting (the link is the same). This work will clearly continue for some months. Other activities were a lecture on 3 December to a sustainability course at the International University in Geneva on "The accelerating environmental crisis: a 60-year perspective", which I repeated as a webinar for the Baha'i Institute of Higher Education in Iran on 25 December. On 7 December I spoke on an interfaith panel at Maison de l'Arzillier in Lausanne, giving a Baha'i perspective on "Les religions face à l'urgence climatique et la protection de la nature". We had planned a week-long trip to India to talk on global governance, but it was cancelled by the pandemic. I prepared a book review for a friend, Thomas Legrand, of his book Politics of Being: Wisdom and Science for a New Development Paradigm. There was less time at my chalet with the cold weather, and heavy snow and wind brought down several trees across the road that made it hard to leave. I was able to do a little work in the garden and forest, and clean the gutters. I went to my granddaughter Laleh's birthday, only to discover at the door that she had just tested positive for Covid, so could only wave good-bye. The end of the month was the Swiss Baha'i Winter School online, and then the excitement on 30 December to receive the message of the Universal House of Justice outlining the coming Nine-Year Plan for the Baha'i Faith around the world.
November 2021. With the UN Climate Conference COP26 continuing through the first two weeks of November, and our 25th IEF Annual Conference organised as a series of events the first week, there was hardly time for anything else. I spoke on "Bringing environmental governance to the global level" on Tuesday 2 November and on "The existential threat to coral reefs" on 4 November. A complete report of the IEF conference with links to the videos of all sessions is on the IEF website. The paper I wrote with Sylvia Karlsson-Vinkhuyzen on Towards a Global Environment Agency for the Climate Governance Commission was published on 6 November. I also had two blogs on our activities at COP26 published on the site of the G20 Interfaith Forum: Interfaith start to COP26, and Interfaith Action in COP26 Week One. The Bahá'í community of France posted online my paper on Nature et Spiritualité (in French).
One result of following the climate change conference so closely was some deep reflection on what was fundamentally wrong with our global system and how it might be fixed. Sleeping (on not sleeping) on this for a few nights led me to the conclusion that our materialistic economy and accounting system with GDP measuring the flow of money through the system as the sign of progress was at the heart of the problem, simply creating more wealth for the rich. But we could not abandon it without proposing a better replacement. So I imagined a whole new concept of global systems accounting using other “currencies” then money, such as the carbon cycle for climate change, and other accounts for important dimensions of sustainability, that could create negative incentives for increasing debt and encouragement for more sustainable alternatives. This started as a simple blog and grew into a paper on Global Systems Accounting Beyond Economics. The initial responses were very positive, and ebbf has scheduled a webinar on this for 8 December.
The momentum for Stockholm+50 is also picking up. The UN Environment Management Group (EMG), that coordinates the whole UN system and has its secretariat near me in Geneva, invited me to keynote in its Stockholm+50: 2-part Roundtable Nexus Dialogue, with the first part Taking Stock of Our Responsibility and Opportunity on 23 November, and the second on Foreseeing the Future of our Responsibility and Opportunity, where I spoke, on 30 November. I shall probably also help to prepare the final summary UN report to the Stockholm+50 Conference next June. It is likely that there will also be some role for veterans of the first Stockholm conference as well. In preparation, I wrote up and posted the story of my participation for the Bahá’í International Community in the 1972 Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment. On 25 November I was also interviewed by a youth concerning UNEP @ 50. There was a little time for nature, both with the beautiful autumn foliage in the park in Geneva where I walk almost daily, and in the forest around my chalet. I also took part in a community tree-planting activity for an experimental urban micro-forest in Geneva near me.
Another year-long project to commemorate ‘Abdu’l-Bahá was the series of youth/children’s classes about the Travels of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, which I finally finished a few minutes before the centenary of His passing, with 52 classes combining the story of His travels, quotations from how he taught, and photographs. There was also the opportunity to follow the dedication of the Bahá’í House of Worship on Tanna in Vanuatu, giving my long-standing ties with that wonderful country, and of course the events around the centenary commemoration of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá on 25-28 November.
October 2021. As expected, this turned out to be a very busy month, with frequent meetings of the planning team for the International Environment Forum (IEF) conference at the end of the month, my weekly children's classes, and meetings of the ebbf learning group. I was also asked to chair the working group on Religion and Environment of the G20 Interfaith Forum. On 1 October I participated in a World Council of Churches online discussion of degrowth, sharing ideas for alternative indicators. On 11-14 October I traveled to Stockholm with Augusto Lopez-Claros and Maja Groff to participate in the New Shape Forum of the Global Challenges Foundation. On the 12th we presented the first version of the Global Catastrophic Risk Index that I have been advising for the last year, and on the 13th I presented our proposals for a Global Environment Agency based on our paper with Sylvia Karlsson-Vinkhuyzen for the Climate Governance Commission published in November. I was also asked to join a brainstorming on Stockholm+50 next year and on the UN SGs proposal for a Summit for the Future.
In the studio for the New Shape Forum
I joined a visit on 16 October to the site of a planned "green way" (voie verte) crossing my town very near my apartment, and then I had dinner with my old friends the Stendardo's whom I had not seen for 18 months because of the pandemic. The next day I gave a virtual talk at the Parliament of the World's Religions on "Coral Reefs as a Model for Humanity" (presentation) but a technical issue prevented my slides of reefs from being shown. On 22 October I joined a climate march in Geneva calling for action at COP26 (see separate page). The ECPD Youth Forum was held in Belgrade on 23-24 October, and I was asked to chair (virtually) the opening session and give a keynote on "Building Forward Together" on Saturday, and to present conclusions at the closing session on Sunday. On 23 October I also participated virtually in a session for Just Peace Month in The Hague, where the three authors of our book on Global Governance shared what it was in our lives that led us to write such a book together. The Club of Rome invited me to participate in their annual meeting on 27 October. Other activities during the month included reviewing part of the dissertation that an Oxford Rhodes Scholar is writing on the development of environmental thinking in the Pacific which features my work there, and consulting with the Baha'i World Centre on community engagement. For some recreation at my chalet, I cleared the branches remaining from the large tree that fell in my garden in September, and dug out the weeds in the drainage channels along the road to my chalet after the borders were mowed for the first time in two years. Finally the big day arrived for the IEF 25th Annual Conference in association with the UN Climate Change Conference COP26 in Glasgow, starting with the IEF Annual General Assembly on 30 October, where I was again elected to the Governing Board, and the opening session of COP26 and an Interfaith vigil and Talanoa Dialogue on Sunday 31 October. For the rest, and a report, see November (above).
September 2021. Activities picked up again. On 1 September I led a webinar for the G20 Interfaith Forum on its environmental policy brief, and was asked to chair its working group on religion and environment. I tried to follow online some of the sessions of the IUCN World Conservation Congress. On 15-19 September I traveled for the first time in 18 months, flying to Italy for the ebbf - Ethical Business Building the Future reflection meeting and governing board meeting at Acuto. I spoke in a webinar on "The nexus between Climate Change, Faith and Science" organized by the All-Africa Conference of Churches, the Baha'i International Community Addis-Ababa Office and the United Religions Initiative, speaking on "Climate Change and Global Warming: A Bahá'í Perspective. I also contributed (at a distance) to a retreat at La Garde (France) on Everyday Spirituality, speaking on "Oneness of Humanity: Bahá'í Spirituality". My weekly children's classes with Erasmus started again and we continued to follow 'Abdu'l-Bahá's travels in America. I made another discovery in my old agendas, this time a detailed chronology of my participation in the UN Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm in 1972, representing the Bahá'í International Community. After a final proofreading, the book "Perspectives on the Bahá'í Faith" with my chapter on the environment has gone to press and should be out early next year. Another paper on Pacific indigenous values and deep sea mining on which I am a co-author was also revised for publication. The Wilmette Institute course on sustainable development started again, and I continue to teach in it although I have stepped down as lead faculty. The course uses my book "The Eco Principle" as its principal text. The month ended (literally) with a crash, as a very large tree from the forest above my chalet, 23 meters tall, with a diameter of 50 cm and multiple trunks, came crashing down across my front garden while I was working inside, missing my chalet by 3 meters, and creating an impenetrable wall of trunks and vegetation 4 meters high across my driveway and the road outside. I was trapped for two days, until a municipal employee was able to come out and cut it up. It will still take a long time to clear away the branches and store the logs for firewood in future years.
The fallen tree across my front garden; the road completely blocked by the fallen tree
August 2021. Summer was relatively quiet before the big events of Autumn. The most important event was three days spent with my grandchildren at my wife Martine's home at Ormes, including playing with my grandson Luca (4) in the garden, and giving my granddaughter Lia (9) a lesson she requested in biology about photosynthesis and greenhouse gases. They also celebrated my birthday. In going through old agendas, I found that I had taken detailed notes on the talks that Hand of the Cause Mr. Faizi had given at the 1969 International Youth Conference in Samoa, so I was able to complete the photo album I had made of that conference with a record of how he taught the youth. I worked on revisions to our paper on a Global Environment Agency. At my chalet, there was finally a dry period when I could mow the lawn and meadows before the autumn crocus come up.
July 2021. One of my July projects was to resurrect the long-forgotten journal of my first long Baha'i travel-teaching trip to the Far East and Germany in August-October 1966, combined with the pictures I took at the time. On that trip I helped to record the stories of one of the first Baha'i travel-teachers who greatly impressed me, Agnes Alexander, whose story I have also now documented on line. I have been collaborating with the environmental group of the G20 Interfaith Forum, and participated in an online webinar on 14 July on the 2030 Agenda and its environmental goals. They also posted on their website my blog for the coming COP26 climate change conference. I continue to retreat to my chalet in the forest to be close to nature, get some exercise and concentrate on projects, but there was a distraction when the Tour de France bicycle race passed through the village just below my chalet.
Tour de France bicycle race passing through Frangy 3 July 2021
June 2021. I recorded a 15-minute talk for a high-level Forum on UN Sustainable Development in China on 1 June as part of the Global Health Forum 2nd Conference, at the request of the European Center for Peace and Development (ECPD). The big effort in June was finally finishing and submitting on 18 June the report that I was contracted to write with a colleague for the Climate Governance Commission on the creation of a Global Environment Agency or similar institution. We reviewed all the major proposals for the reform of global environmental governance since the creation of UNEP in 1972, described the ideal functions that would make for effective governance, showed how they could be incorporated into a Global Environment Agency, and suggested the best ways forward. I also participated in a bahai.chat programme on 12 June about our global governance book, which is now online at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SitrXs3a7Bg. The Rhodes Scholar writing his dissertation on environment in the Pacific is trying to figure out how the region went from indifference to strong support for a regional environment programme, which was exactly what my work was all about. His research is helping me to relive a whole period of my life. Going to my chalet continues to be my main escape, even though I keep working there as well. I was finally able to mow the lawn, and to cut up two large trees that had fallen last year across my meadow, and just missing my tool shed. Now I have logs to split for firewood for next winter.
May 2021. ebbf - Ethical Business Building the Future held its annual conference virtually on 14-16 May. I gave the opening keynote on The challenge of becoming the source of social good, now on YouTube, and as a member of the learning group prepared some discussion topics for breakouts on Sunday. I was reelected to the ebbf Governing Board. On 19-20 May the Global Challenges Foundation organized its 2021 New Shape Forum, presenting the work of its Climate Governance Commission, where I helped to lead discussions on our work. On 21 May I published a blog on The poison of materialism and the elixir of spirituality relating recent research on connections between trees in a forest to my own research interests. My Baha’i children’s class for a brilliant nine-year-old boy in the Netherlands continued every week. We are following ‘Abdu’l-Baha on His travels to the West and shall probably continue until the centenary of His passing in November. All the classes are posted on my website at http://yabaha.net/dahl/Bahai.htm#Children. I could finally return to my chalet on 6-10 May. The “lawn” of weeds was 30 cm high, but I could not get my lawn mower started (dead battery), so I began mowing with a scythe, but with the return of rain it was too wet to continue. There are thousands of tree seedlings coming up in the garden and meadows, which I shall have to pull out by hand before the forest returns everywhere.
April 2021. My major effort in April was the research for the paper on a Global Environment Agency that I have been contracted to write for the Climate Governance Commission, with Sylvia Karlsson-Vinkhuyzen at Waginingen University in the Netherlands. On 1 April I was interview by Lea Hogg on Malta Television. At the Justice Conference 2-5 April, I spoke on "A systemic approach to global governance". The Baha'i Institute of Higher Education in Iran invited me to lecture on "Why should we as Baha'is be concerned about critical global environmental issues?". I was scheduled to give a fireside in the UK on "Agnes Alexander, early teacher of the Baha'i Faith in the Pacific" but it was cancelled at the last minute when the organizers were asked to concentrate on their local communities (see the July 2021 report above). With the fiftieth anniversary of the UN Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm coming up next year, I published a blog on 15 April Stockholm+50, some reflections since I was there. On 21 April the Quakers of Geneva invited me and Joachim Monkelbaan to give them a Zoom introduction to the Baha'i Faith. For Earth Day, bahaiteachings.org published my Reflections on Earth Day, a Half-century of Environmental Action on 22 April 2021. On 30 April, the Strong Earth Youth Summit, commemorating Maurice Strong, invited me to make a video contribution with my memories of working with Maurice Strong. With the pandemic, I was unable to go to my chalet in France for the whole month, remaining stuck in my Geneva apartment with regular walks in a nearby park.
March 2021. The International Environment Forum, in partnership with a number of other organizations, submitted a proposal to the United Kingdom COP26 secretariat to organize a side event on "Strengthening Global Climate Governance". We shall only hear in May if it has been accepted. I gave another webinar fireside for the Hammersmith and Fulham community (UK) on "Global Governance and Sustainability". I participated as a panelist in a Geneva round table for Green Faith Action Day. ebbf organized a panel for the UN Commission on the Status of Women on "Sustainable Development Goals: A Business Value" to which I contributed. The Science Alliance for Valuing the Environment (SAVE), Ohio, USA, asked me to give a webinar on United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: A Blueprint to Achieve a Better and More Sustainable World. I presented a fireside for the Baha'is of Slovakia on "In Pursuit of Hope in a Time of Crisis". My book review Inside UNEP about Maria Ivanova's The Untold Story of the World’s Leading Environmental Institution: UNEP at Fifty, was posted on the IEF website. As a member of the Religion and Environment Working Group of the G20 Interfaith Forum, I published a blog For Nature's Sake: A Moral Compass for the SDGs in Viewpoints on the G20 Interfaith Forum website, 19 March 2021. After several month's work with my good friend Virginie Tilot, I was a co-author on a research paper Traditional dimensions of seabed resource management in the context of Deep Sea Mining in the Pacific: Learning from the socio-ecological interconnectivity between island communities and the ocean realm published in Frontiers in Marine Science, section Marine Affairs and Policy, 8:637938. doi:10.3389/fmars.2021.637938. I submitted Educating for the Future We Want as a contribution to the Great Transition Network discussing "The Pedagogy of Transition: Educating for the Future We Want" on 29 March 2021. I also participated in a Global Governance Forum Advisory Group meeting. At the end of the month, I began to have serious problems of balance and dizziness, which reminded me that I cannot put off ageing and need to prepare for it.
Going to my chalet was always a welcome break. In early March, the Scilla lilies carpeted the far end of my forest.
Scilla lilies blooming in my forest on 6 March
The end of the month marked my last visit to the chalet before the French Government instituted a 10 km limit on travel away from home to try to control the pandemic.
February 2021. With the ebbf Governing Board, we started to study the Baha'i Ruhi book 13 on social action, with a very rewarding exchange. I prepared a commentary on "The Economics of Biodiversity: The Dasgupta Review" published by the UK Government on 2 February 2021, The Dasgupta Review in a Bahá’í perspective. The Hammersmith and Fulham community (UK) invited me to give a webinar fireside on "Environment and Spirituality". I also gave the closing lecture for the International University in Geneva sustainability course on "Ways Forward". After following an interesting webinar on 4 February 2021 about the project "Reweaving the Ecological Mat: Toward an Ecological Framework for Development in the Pacific Islands", I prepared a report for the IEF Reweaving the Ecological Mat. The Baha'i International Development Organization at the Baha'i World Centre invited me for a virtual consultation about the International Environment Forum. I participated in a panel discussion on bahai.chat on Navigating the Double Epoch: Thoughts on Changing Humanity's Current Plot Line by Hugh Locke. To support the researcher on the history of environmental action in the Pacific, I have begun to scan my slides from my years there starting with Samoa, and and created a web page Pacific Islands in the 1970s. I also completed my COVID-19 vaccination this month.
January 2021. Life continued largely online for the first part of the year. I prepared an essay for the Global Governance Forum on Why Education is Key for the Sustainable Development Goals, on Global Governance Forum Website, 19 January 2021. From January to March I was faculty for a Wilmette Institute online course on Agriculture. On 23 January, the Triglav Circle held an online consultation on the common good and social justice, where I presented a paper on "Global common good, global governance and global material and spiritual transformation". I shall be accompanying the ECPD Youth Forum Network all through the year, up to the next Youth Forum in October. My continuing collaboration with the Oxford Rhodes Scholar researching the origins of environmental thinking and action in the Pacific Islands continues to bring back memories. He photographed 14,000 pages of my Pacific archives that I gave to SPREP in Samoa. I lectured for the Baha'i Institute of Higher Education in Iran on "The Accelerating Environmental Crisis: A 60-year Perspective". My children's classes for the son of a friend in the Netherlands continue every week. We have started a series on the travels of 'Abdu'l-Bahá to the West in 1911-1913 which will go on for most of the year. At my chalet, a number of trees have fallen across paths or onto my meadow, so clearing them may take most of the year but will provide adequate firewood.
December 2020. The month began quickly with a meeting to discuss faith-based indicators for possible proposal to the G20, and the opening lecture for a course at the International University in Geneva. The first weekend was the Complex Coherence Conference for the Planetary Balance Foundation in which I spoke in a panel on "A Systems View of Governance", and then gave the first International Environment Forum webinar on Global Governance and Sustainability. There seem to be almost daily online events on governance, climate change and other urgent issues. As part of my continuing project to organize my photo archives, I was able to update my web page on my homes and gardens throughout my life, including the homes important to my children and raising my family. On 20 December the Association for Baha'i Studies - United Kingdom economy special interest group invited me to speak on The Economy of Nature - learning from nature about better economic systems (23 minutes) and questions and answers (30 minutes), using coral reefs as an example of how an economy should work (see poster). For the Swiss Bahá'í Winter School at the end of the year, I taught a workshop (in French) on environment and spirituality.
November 2020. Life seems to speed up rather than slow down with semi-confinement and everything online. Geneva Peace Week was 2-6 November, for which the Baha'i International Community prepared a presentation on Renewing Peace: Governance Befitting an Evolving World featuring Augusto Lopez-Claros, Maja Groff and myself, with an article on the Bahá'í World News Service.
Video discussion; on the Bahá'í World News Service
On 8 November I gave a virtual O.Z. Whitehead (UK) fireside talk on the BIC statement on A Governance Befitting: Humanity and the Path Toward a Just Global Order. The Paris Peace Forum was on 11-12 November, and on 14 November I gave a fireside in French for the Quebec Baha'i community on "Crise sanitaire: une opportunité écologique". With two other IEF members we recorded a video Baha'i Blog with Rainn Wilson on The Spirituality of Climate Change which was released on 3 December along with an audio blog. The Université populaire d'Antony, near Paris, asked me to speak on "Les défis planetaires de la durabilité" on 26 November, followed by a similar talk for a nearby community association the next evening. Then there were all the interesting online events to watch, and all the planning meetings and other continuing activities to fill every day. For my weekly children's class, I started a series on the Baha'i Houses of Worship, with the Wilmette House of Worship and my participation in its dedication in 1953. This pushed me to start sorting and scanning the thousands of slides I took with my family over the last 50 years. I am involved in several research projects, including on indicators of indigenous values for biodiversity for IPBES, another on how Pacific Island cultures may be impacted by deep-sea mining with two papers on which I am co-author, and a new project for the Climate Governance Commission on proposals for a Global Environment Agency.
October 2020. This was a busy month, starting with the ebbf – Ethical Business Building the Future intensive virtual Impact Retreat on 2-4 October. I then followed the conference on Faith for Nature led from Iceland on 5-7 October, with high-level participation from all faith traditions, where my friend and IEF board member Halldor Thorgeirsson chaired the Declaration drafting group. From 12-16 October I participated in the World Congress on Public Health, and spoke in a sub-plenary on “A Systems View of Public Health”. The Bahá'í International Community launch of their statement for UN75, A Governance Befitting: Humanity and the Path Toward a Just Global Order, included a video clip from me along with many others. For the European Center for Peace and Development, in Belgrade, I prepared the concept note, oversaw the organization, and presided over their Youth Forum on “Acting on the Earth Charter” for two days on 24-25 October with participants from all over the world including Costa Rica, India, Nigeria, Finland and Australia. The forum started with keynotes by Federico Mayor, former Director-General of UNESCO, Francisco Rojas, Rector of the University for Peace in Costa Rica, Nobel Peace Prize laureat Ouided Bouchamaoui of Tunisia, and myself, before I led a workshop on “Living the values of the Earth Charter”. Other workshops and presentations followed. I also joined a Triglav Circle meeting for 3 hours of discussions on Harmony with Nature, where I presented on “Religion and environment versus nature”. Together with a Zoom meeting of our Wilmette Institute class on sustainable development, and a fireside with IEF member Ashiyan Rahmani speaking on his research among Fijian women illustrating the harmony of science and religion, I spent 18 hours on Zoom over the one weekend.
September 2020. The Wilmette Institute course on Sustainable Development and Human Prosperity, for which I am lead faculty, started again for 12 weeks. At the three-day UN75 Global Governance Forum on 16-18 September, I was one of the speakers for the launch of our Global Governance book. I again spoke at an Interfaith Climate Conference organized on 24 September by the US Baha’i National Center. On 27 September, the Agriculture Working Group of the Association for Baha’i Studies – North America, asked me to speak on The Global Sustainability Challenge: A Systems View of Agriculture.
August 2020. I took part in several events preparing for an online UN75 Global Governance Forum, and organized the General Assembly of the International Environment Forum online. There was also a meeting of the Advisory Board of our new Global Governance Forum.
July 2020. The International Environment Forum held its 24th Annual Conference as a virtual event in partnership with the Bahá'í Academy in Panchgani, India, on 11-12 July on the theme Education for Social Cohesion in which I gave a presentation on Inclusive Development and Spiritual Indicators of Development (from 3:07:20 to 3:21:15). You can read the paper here. For the O.Z. Whitehead Fireside in England, I spoke on 19 July on The pandemic as an environmental turning point. On 30 July, Baha'i Blog published an interview with me about my book In Pursuit of Hope.
June 2020. The Malta television broadcast for World Environment Day, 5 June, included an interview of me with Lea Hogg (12 minutes). On 6 June I gave a webinar for the (virtual) Justice Conference on the processes of disintegration and integration, Turning Point in the Transition, (1 hour). I also started an online children's class for 8-year-old Erasmus Vinkhuyzen in the Netherlands, on The World Order of Bahá'u'lláh. It was only at the end of the month that I could return to my chalet for the first time in 3 months, where everything was overgrown.
Overgrown lawn and chalet covered in vines
May 2020. On 3 May the French Bahá'í community asked me to give a webinar on Un tournant dans la grande transition ?, and on 4 May I spoke on "La crise sanitaire, une opportunité écologique" for a Bahá'í teaching project in Luxembourg. For the ebbf - Ethical Business Building the Future virtual international conference on 14-17 May on Rethinking Success, I gave the opening keynote on Unity: Indicator of True Success (starts at 21:15) and another keynote (twice) on Rethinking what will create successful global governance (1:05:00, starts at 7:30). The strict lockdown ended in mid-May, but given my age-related vulnerability, most of my activities continued online. On 31 May I gave a fireside for Augusto Lopez-Claros in Washington, D.C., on "Covid, Climate, Collapse: Is There Any Hope?".
April 2020. During the continuing Coronavirus pandemic, when we were confined to our residences except for essential shopping and exercise close to home, I walked every day to the nearby Parc des Franchises to see a little nature (see separate page). I am also giving more and more webinars on topics like global governance and In pursuit of hope in a time of crisis. The Wilmette Institute course on climate change, in which I am faculty, started in April and continued through May.
Parc des Franchises, Geneva, for my daily walk
March 2020. With the start of the coronavirus pandemic, travel seemed impractical for the indefinite future, and my activities became virtual. The frontier with France closed, so I could not go to my chalet. Our International Environment Forum is already largely a virtual organization, so it continued to function and I posted news items and blogs regularly there. In mid-March I participated on line in the UN Economic Commission for Europe Regional Forum on Sustainable Development, when the physical meeting in Geneva had to be cancelled.
February 2020. I went to the Netherlands in early February for a research project at Wageningen University on values-based indicators of indigenous peoples relationships to biodiversity.
Indigenous representatives from the Amazon, Mexico and Kenya
I also helped with gardening at the Bahá'í temple site.
Gardening on Bahá'í temple land
At the end of the month I spent a weekend in Madrid for a meeting of the Advisory Group for the Global Governance Forum that we have created to take forward our proposals for the reform of the international system (see separate page).
January 2020. The year 2020 got off to a quick start with a meeting at the University of Bristol, United Kingdom, 5-8 January, to prepare a research project on transforming educational systems for a sustainable future in India, Rwanda, Somalia and South Africa, for which I am on the Advisory Group.
Research meeting at University of Bristol
January also saw the publication by Cambridge University Press of the book that I have written with August Lopez-Claros and Maja Groff, "Global Governance and the Emergence of Global Institutions for the 21st Century". We hope that its 545 pages of proposals for the reform of the United Nations system will contribute to efforts towards peace and sustainability.
The book is available as open source or for order from Cambridge University Press.
December 2019. December started with a colloquium of leading specialists on the science of complex systems in Stockholm, Sweden (see report on IEF web site), and rough cut video on You
Tube (35 minutes, I am at 12-13 minutes and 33-34 minutes) .
At the end of the month I participated in the Swiss Bahá'í Winter School in Leysin.
Winter school music; games with my daughter and grandson Luca; our workshop in English
November 2019. I went to a five-day seminar at Walenstadt, Switzerland, for the commemoration of the bicentenary of the Birth of the Báb, and participated in the Paris Peace Forum on 12-14 November, also speaking at a Bahá'í exposition for the bicentenary, and meeting with the International Science Council.
Paris Peace Forum at La Villette; PPF; Baha'i exposition
October 2019. This was a busy month, starting with an ebbf-Ethical Business Building the Future retreat at Acuto, Italy, before going on to Stockholm for meetings at the Global Challenges Foundation.
ebbf retreat at Acuto; filming an interview with Augusto Lopez-Claros for a film on global governance
Then in mid-October I was invited to Malta by the Bahá'í community to contribute to their activities, including university lectures, TV and press interviews, a commemoration of the bicentenary of the Birth of the Báb, and a public forum on the Sustainable Development Goals.
Valletta, Malta; Forum on Sustainable Development Goals
At the end of the month I went to Belgrade for the European Center for Peace and Development (ECPD) annual conference and Youth Forum, for which I had prepared the concept note and chaired the Youth Forum. The ECPD named me Visiting Professor.
EPCD Conference keynoters; conference participants; me as rapporteur
ECPD Youth Forum; me named Visiting Professor
September 2019. My only September trip was to La Domaine de la Garde, near Bourg-en-Bresse, France, for a retreat on everyday spirituality and food.
The week of climate strikes 20-27 September saw me participating in three events, a demonstration at the Place des Nations in Geneva on Friday 20 September, a march through the center of Geneva on Friday 27 September, and a national climate march in the Swiss capital Bern on 28 September which drew 100,000 people.
Bern, Swiss capital
August 2019. I participated in the French Bahá'í Summer School near Angers.
I then spent a week with the Stendardo family at their summer home in Tuscany near Pisa, Italy.
July 2019. I took the train to Durbuy, Belgium, for the Baha'i Summer School where I gave a talk.
Summer School group photo; me in a discussion group
June 2019. After my return from Scotland, I went to the Czech Republic and Bulgaria for my brother Greg's family reunion at the Townshend International School graduation of his youngest daughter, and a visit to the Vitosha Nature Park above Sofia.
Greg Dahl's family at Townshend School; my nephews and families in Vitosha Nature Park
June concluded with a Triglav Circle meeting at the Chateau d'Ettevaux in the centre of France.
Chateau d'Ettevaux; Triglav Circle meeting
My new book "In Pursuit of Hope: A Guide for the Seeker" was published in mid-June and can be ordered from George Ronald.
May 2019. I participated in the ebbf - Ethical Business Building the Future conference in Geneva, Switzerland.
I then set out on a long Bahá'í teaching trip to Scotland from 20 May-12 June that took me to 22 communities in 22 days from Dumfries in the South to the Shetlands in the North, and from Aberdeen in the East to Isle of Skye in the West. I spoke mostly on global challenges for the 21st Century to all kinds of groups from churches and schools to the Scottish Parliament. This video is available at the Scottish Parliament web site.
Aberfeldy, Scotland; Shetland Islands: Orkney Islands
Meetings in Dumfries, Stirling, Kirkwall (Orkney) and Lerwick (Shetland)
April 2019. I spent 12 days in New Zealand for the International Environment Forum (IEF) 23rd Annual Conference, including events in Auckland and co-sponsoring a sub-plenary at the World Conference on Health Promotion in Rotorua (see report on the IEF web site.
Lake Rotorua; hot springs; redwood walk
Conference opening; Baha'is Sione (conference organizer) and Tuhoe Tu'itahi and Arthur Dahl; speaking at Browns Bay
Then I went to the Netherlands for the 2019 Justice Conference on issues of racial justice, truth, migration and governance, and some lectures at Wageningen University and in Amsterdam (see report on IEF web site).
March 2019. I joined over 5,000 others for the student march for climate action in Geneva on 15 March.
Then I participated in the UNECE Regional Forum on Sustainable Development at the Geneva International Conference Centre .
On 22 March I met with Ambassador Jazairy, Executive Director of the Geneva Center for Human Rights Advancement and Global Dialogue his office to sign a MoU on behalf of the European Center for Peace and Development - UN University for Peace, based in Belgrade. See their press release.
Ambassador Jazairy and Arthur Dahl
Finally, I made a short trip to Paris to speak on human rights and environment at Sciences Po.
February 2019. On 1-3 February I went to Porto, Portugal, for a joint meeting at the University of Porto of the Common Home of Humanity working group and our working group on Global Governance for the 21st Century, both supported by the Global Challenges Foundation, whose New Shape Prize we won last year. We also had an opportunity to visit the old city.
Opening ceremony in the aula of the University of Porto; Augusto Lopez-Claros; city of Porto
In mid-February we had to travel to Stockholm where the Global Challenges Foundation organized the review of our governance proposals by an external panel of experts.
January 2019. I gave a talk for World Religion Day in Thonon-les-Bains, France, and the opening keynote for the model UN at the French university Sciences Po in Dijon.
December 2018. The year concluded with the Swiss Baha'i Winter School in the alpine village of Leysin.
November 2018. I was in Paris on 8-13 November for a meeting of our working group on Global Governance for the 21st Century, where we participated in the Paris Peace Forum), and I gave two presentations at the National Baha'i Center and one at Sciences Po (see report on the IEF web site).
I then went on to London to speak in the Houses of Parliament and for a group of youth at the National Baha'i Centre.
October 2018. I was invited to give a keynote at the International Conference on Spiritually-based Management Models in Athens, Greece, on 11-14 October, and had a chance to visit the new Acropolis Museum.
For the European Center for Peace and Development (ECPD) International Conference on "A New Concept of Human Security" in Belgrade, Serbia, on 27-29 October, I was asked to prepare the concept note, serve as rapporteur, and chair a two-day youth forum immediately after.
September 2018. In early September I participated in a retreat at the Domaine de La Garde, near Bourg-en-Bresse, France, on "Everyday spirituality and our economic behaviour".
The Global Challenges Foundation invited the working groups following up on its New Shape Prize to a working meeting on 18-20 September in Hamburg, Germany.
The ebbf fall gathering in Acuto, Italy, on 20-23 September was focussed on considering future activities.
August 2018. I went for a day to Paris to visit the exposition "Water Lilies: American abstraction and the last Monet" which included a painting by my favorite artist Mark Tobey.
Place de la Concorde; Tuilleries Gardens; the Seine River
In mid-August I went to Angers, France, for the French Baha'i Summer School in a vacation village designed by Le Corbusier's studio.
My class; evening music; Le Jardin de l'Anjou where the summer school was held
July 2018. In mid-July I participated in the United Nations High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development in New York to support International Environment Forum activities and attended several other events, including at the Baha'i International Community (see report on the IEF web site).
United Nations; PERL/IEF workshop; youth panel at Baha'i International Community
June 2018. I spent 10 days with my brother Greg and his family in the Czech Republic; was a panelist on religion and migration at the World Conference on Religions, Creeds and Value Systems: Joining Forces to Enhance Equal Citizenship Rights, at the United Nations Palais des Nations in Geneva; and participated in the Triglav Circle meeting in central France on Science, Technology and the Human Spirit.
Czech Republic; World Conference on Religions; Triglav Circle
May 2018. I went to Bonn, Germany, on 6 May to participate in the Talanoa Dialogue at the UN Climate Change Conference, representing the Baha'is and the International Environment Forum.
Talanoa Dialogue Photo by IISD/ENB | Kiara Worth
In mid-May I gave the closing keynote at the ebbf-Ethical Business Building the Future annual conference near Geneva
My final keynote; reelected to the ebbf Governing Board
At the end of the month I attended the New Shape Forum in Stockholm on reforming global governance, where the proposal that Augusto Lopez-Claros, Maja Groff and I had submitted for the New Shape Prize took first place among 2,700 entries..
April 2018. After returning from the Netherlands, I was off in mid-April to Honolulu, Hawai'i for the 7th International Conference on Environmental Future: Humans and Island Environments (see separate page).
East-West Center; conference; Waikiki
This was followed by a visit to Montreal and Quebec) to see my son and his family.
With my son and grandchildren by the river; sunset over the St. Lawrence River; family in Quebec
March 2018. March started with the UN Economic Commission for Europe Regional Forum on Sustainable Development, in Geneva, where I represented the International Environment Forum.
We also had a family gathering in Ormes, France, for my grandson Luca's first birthday. Then I lectured to a visiting group of Basque NGOs at the International Catholic Centre of Geneva, as well as for the Sustainability Week at the University of Geneva.
In late March I went to the Netherlands for a lecture at Wageningen University and other talks, and to give a keynote talk at the 2018 Justice Conference at de Poort Conference Centre.
February 2018. In mid-February I went to Toulouse, France, to give a TEDx talk at the INPENSEEIHT of the University of Toulouse. The video is on line at https://youtu.be/gP4Kr2cYxdQ.
January 2018. Much of my time this year will be devoted to writing parts of a book on global governance with two friends. I also lectured to the University of Geneva course on Sustainable Development to 2030, on the origins of the concept of sustainable development. On 21 January I spoke at the World Religion Day celebration in Thonon-les-Bains in France.
December 2017. I participated in the Swiss Baha'i Winter School in the beautiful Alpine village of Leysin, with over 280 participants of all ages from many countries.
Mountains around Leysin, in Valais; Swiss Baha'i Winter School; youth performance
November 2017. On 8 November, the Geneva group of ebbf - Ethical Business Building the Future organized its own commemoration of the Bicentenary of the birth of Bahá'u'lláh at the historic Athenée with five participants in their activities who are not Bahá'ís sharing their reflections on the message of Bahá'u'lláh.
On 21 November I spoke at the celebration of the 25th anniversary of Charles University Environment Center in Prague, Czech Republic
Central square of old Prague; me with founder of Environment Center Bedrich Moldan and his wife
I was in Nairobi, Kenya, on 30 November to participate in a UN Environment Consultation meeting on engaging with Faith-Based Organizations.
UN Office in Nairobi; some participants in the consultation
October 2017. October was a special month, with the celebration of the bicentenary of the birth of Bahá'u'lláh, the founder of the Bahá'í Faith. In Geneva, the commemoration was held at the University of Geneva, with representatives of many faiths, and personal reflections on the impact of Bahá'u'lláh on individuals' lives.
Representatives of many faiths praised Bahá'u'lláh; personal reflections on Bahá'u'lláh; reading from Bahá'u'lláh by my daughter Agnès (granddaugher Laleh watching)
Before that I went to Bucharest, Romania, for an ebbf - Ethical Business Building the Future event on "spirituality in business".
ebbf event; one of the presentations; me with Marika and Mika Korhonen from Finland
The last trip of the month was to Belgrade for the annual European Center for Peace and Development conference and Global Youth Forum.
ECPD Conference in Belgrade City Hall; me as co-chair at the conference
ECPD Global Youth Forum; keynote speakers 2015 Nobel Peace Prize Dr. Ouided Bouchamaoui, youth co-chair, Dr. Federico Mayor, former DG UNESCO
The autumn colours were a delight this year around my chalet in the forest, and even the chalet was decked in gold..
September 2017. I went again to the Domaine de la Garde near Bourg-en-Bresse, France, for a gathering on art and spirituality, and also spent two days in Paris for a Partnership on Education and Research about Responsible Living (PERL) thinktank meeting at UNESCO on its future priorities.
Chateau de la Garde; discussing art and spirituality; me with our hosts
August 2017. I visited my brother and his family in Bulgaria, and then spent a week at the French Bahá'í Summer School south of Angers.. .
July 2017. I joined the Triglav
Circle in the Nievre in central France to discuss rurality and agriculture. We met in one chateau and visited another. Later, with my son and grandchildren from Quebec, we visited the Puy
de Fou park in the Vendée region of western France, and spend a day in Paris, after which I visited the Louvre museum.
Chateau de Poussignol; Triglav Circle; Chateau de Quincize
Puy de Fou park with historical spectacles
Paris and the Louvre
June 2017. I made a short trip to Basel, Switzerland, for the opening of an exposition of Mark Tobey's paintings, including four of my own. Later in the month I spent 12 days with friends in Pontedera, Italy, helping in their beautiful garden, and went for a day to Venice for the Mark Tobey retrospective at the Guggenheim.
Old centre of Basel; Rhine River; Mark Tobey show
Garden in Pontedera; canals in Venice
May 2017. My main activity was the ebbf - Ethical Business Building the Future spring event near Geneva, where I gave the opening keynote.
Part of the audience; giving my keynote; the newly elected ebbf Governing Board
At my chalet in the forest, I built a new trail along the upper boundary of the western end of my property, which I had previously not been able to reach.
April 2017. My travelling started again with a week in the Netherlands to attend the Justice
Conference/21st IEF Conference and to give several other talks, including one at Wageningen University (see also IEF
Conference group photo; the IEF panel; lunch with friends
On Earth Day, 22 April, I joined hundreds of scientists and supporters of science who gathered on the lakeside in Geneva to March
Marching for science on the Geneva lakefront
January-March 2017. Again, writing has been my major activity, experimenting with an Internet web format for my new book for young people, preparing another book chapter, and working on some World Bank projects. In January I gave two lectures to the University of Geneva Certificate of Advanced Studies in Sustainable Development, on the origins of Sustainable Development, and on the 2030 Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals. We also had an ebbf - Ethical Business Building the Future governing board meeting in Geneva. Even with no travel planned until April, life continues to be busy with an increasing number of activities that can be conducted over the Internet.
December 2016. Since I had a hip-replacement operation on 2 November, I planned for several months without traveling, and could not even drive for almost two months. It was a chance to catch up with writing, including chapters for several academic books, telling, for example, the story of the initial work at the UN on indicators of sustainable development. I did attend the Swiss
Baha'i Winter School, 26-30 December, since it was held a short distance from Geneva.
Swiss Baha'i Winter School at Chavannes-de-Bogis with 200 of all ages attending
October 2016. October was the busiest month of the year. On 7-9 October I organized the 20th International
Forum annual conference at Nur University in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia, on the topic "Implementing the Sustainable Development Goals as communities and individuals". See the report on the IEF
Part of the audience at the IEF Conference at Nur University; panel session; central plaza in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia
The next weekend I was one of 5,000 to attend the dedication
the Baha'i House of Worshop in Santiago,
Chile, where I made a short presentation for the Swiss Baha'i Community. This was the fourth such dedication that I have attended, after Wilmette (1953), Panama (1972), and Samoa (1984).
The new Baha'i House of Worship for South America; part of the audience at the conference; finding old friends from New Caledonia
Then I participated in the Baha'i
Autumn Camp in La Chapelle d'Abondance in the French Alps for the fourth time, and gave a presentation on the artist Mark Tobey and the Santiago dedication, since a painting by Tobey inspired the architect to create a temple of light. Finally I went to Belgrade for the annual conference of the European
Center on Peace and Development, where I gave a paper.
The Baha'i autumn camp; my presentation; Frederico Mayor speaking at the ECPD conference
September 2016. In early September, I participated in an interfaith
retreat on everyday spirituality at the Chateau de La Garde, near Bourg-en-Bresse, France, and in late September spent two weeks again with my friends the Stendardos helping with the gardening at their vacation home in Pontadera, Italy.
The interfaith retreat in France; meeting in the garden of the chateau; me with the Stendardos in Italy
August 2016. Most of August was spent writing my next book, completing a first rough draft. The last two weeks, I visited my brother Greg and his family in Hluboka, Czech Republic, where he moved so his children could go to school there. We visited Hluboka Castle, and also went to nearby Ceské Budejovice to give papers at the 3rd International Symposium on Ethics of Environmental Health.
My brother Greg and I; Hluboka Castle; the symposium
Speaking at the SDG workshop in Geneva; Baha'i Summer School near Angers, France; preparing for youth encounters in Geneva
May 2016. In mid-May I went to Milan for the Spring event and Annual General Meeting of ebbf
- Ethical Business Building the Future, on the theme "Consultation, beyond decision-making, a tool for learning". I was again elected to the ebbf Governing Board.
Plenaries and workshops at the ebbf learning event
Vision Gulf Business Conference; my first keynote; the closing panel with fellow ebbf members Wendi Momen and Bayan Salmanpour
April 2016. The first week of April I returned to Pontedera, Italy to help my friends with their new house and garden, and then in mid-April I had a week in Arendal, Norway, for a UNEP writers' sprint to draft new guidelines for Integrated Environmental Assessments.
IEA workshop; Arendal, Norway
On 27 April I spoke at a high-level workshop in Geneva on Implementing the Sustainable Development Goals with experts from academia, international agencies and civil society organizations that an IEF member organized.
IEF member Joachim Monkelbaan opening the workshop; part of the audience
March 2016. My only trip in mid-March was to the Netherlands for a week for lectures and participation in a Baha'i-inspired conference on Justice.
A gathering before one of my lectures; the Justice Conference; giving my keynote
February 2016. In mid-February I was invited by the international student organization AIESEC to participate in their International Presidents Meeting in Marrakech, Morocco, and to give the opening keynote in their Global YouthSpeak Forum on the Sustainable Development Goals. ebbf - Ethical Business Building the Future was featured as a global Partner.
House and small part of the garden; working in the garden; sunset from the house
I also represented the International Environment Forum at the Geneva
Engage conference about using the Internet to increase participation in international meetings.
At my chalet in the forest, I completed building a trail down to the lower western corner of my property.
December 2015. This busy month started with the UN Climate Change Conference (COP21) in Paris, where I led an International Environment Forum delegation of 11 and spoke in 3 side events in the Climate Generations area and one at the intergovernmental conference. The IEF report is at https://iefworld.org/cop21, and more photos in my photo
album. I have written up one paper on "Personal
and professional accountability: an ethical challenge".
Part of the IEF team; an IEF panel and part of the audience; another IEF co-sponsored event at the Netherlands Pavilion
I also caught up with old colleagues with the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) that I founded 35 years ago.
Three heads of SPREP, outgoing Director-General David Sheppard, incoming Director-General Kosi Latu, founding Coordinator Arthur Dahl; dinner with Baha'i friends; IEF team
I was also able to visit the apartment where 'Abdu'l-Baha, the son of the founder of the Baha'i Faith, stayed when he first went to Paris in 1911 (see separate page).
Apartment near the Eiffel Tower; me in the apartment; first floor apartment
Shortly after my return from Paris, I was off to Fudan University in Shanghai to join a group of Baha'i researchers in various fields to plan future research strategies (see separate
Our group of researchers from the Netherlands, Norway, Germany, Switzerland, England and New Zealand; at Fudan University; the Shanghai waterfront
The month ended with the Swiss
Baha'i Winter School in Leysin in the Alps.
The village of Laysin; out for a walk with friends; some of the 215 participants
November 2015. In mid-November I went to Brussels for a EESC/UNEP/EEB Conference on the Sustainable Development Goals, giving a presentation on Europe and the 2030 Agenda: Regional Assessment, and at the end of the month I made a short trip to Vienna for a research meeting on education for sustainable living. I prepared a paper for UNEP on values and sustainability education, and spent a lot of time planning events that the International Environment Forum will put on at the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris in December. At the end of the month I took part in the Peoples' Climate March in Geneva with about 5,000 others calling for action at the Paris conference.
Speaking in Brussels on the SDGs; the Vienna workshop on education for sustainable living; Geneva Peoples' Climate March
October 2015. October was a busy month, but not always with time to take pictures. It started with the ebbf - Ethical Business Building the Future annual conference in Barcelona. The second week I went to Frankfurt to give a talk on the implications of climate change for society and the economy, before continuing on to Davos, Switzerland, for the World Resources Forum and a meeting of the UNEP International Resources Panel where I was an invited consultant. At the end of the month I returned to Belgrade for the annual conference of the European Center for Peace and Development and presented a paper on "The Sustainable Development Goals and their implications for the Western Balkans".
Keynoting at the ebbf annual conference in Barcelona; the ebbf Governing Board; informal discussions
The autumn colours around my chalet were beautiful this year, and provided a welcome change from all my travels
September 2015. I gave a Wilmette Institute webinar on "The Transition to Sustainability" on 6 September. The University of Geneva Global Environmental Policy Programme held its Executive Summer School the first two weeks of September. I was one of three panelists for a public Policy Dialogue on implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (video on https://vimeo.com/138195156), gave two morning lectures on ethics and environmental policy, and chaired the final discussion on the science-policy interface. Then I went to UNEP headquarters in Nairobi for the GEO6 authors' "book sprint" to write the regional Global Environment Outlook assessments in a week. At the end of the month I was busy initiating the organization of three events for the International Environment Forum as part of the December UN Climate Change Conference in Paris, after approval was received from the secretariat.
The United Nations Office in Nairobi campus where I used to work is set in extensive gardens, with buildings separated by lawns and trees
June 2015. June started with a UNEP workshop in Baku, Azerbaijan, that I facilitated.
. . Views of Baku, Views of Baku, and the opening of the UNEP workshop
I then spent a week at the Domaine de la Garde near Bourg-en-Bresse, France, on nature and spirituality, with representatives of various religions.
Chateau de la Garde, where the group gathered for a week on nature and spirituality; one of the sessions
Then I left immediately for Haifa, Israel, for consultations and an opportunity to visit the Baha'i
and gardens at the Baha'i World Centre.
The month concluded with the Global
Forum in Geneva, where I represented the International Environment Forum.
Prof. Christoph Stückelberger, founder of GEF; part of the audience; address by the Mayor of Geneva, Madame Esther Alder
February 2015. On 10 February, I was invited to lecture to the Geneva CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) Meetup at one of the more prestigious Geneva hotels. The topic was "The
impact of climate change on the global economy" and led to a stimulating discussion. Then I spent a week at the French Baha'i Winter Camp in La Chapelle d'Abondance in the French Alps (see separate
page), where I gave two courses, before going at the end of the month to Madrid for lectures at the EOI Business School on "40 Years of International Sustainability Governance", the Nehal Foundation, and the Baha'i community of Madrid on "Ecological and Economic Principles for a New World Order".
Lecturing to the CSR Meetup in Geneva; part of the audience; lecturing in Madrid
French Baha'i Winter Camp, La Chapelle d'Abondance
Chalet Olinga; view down into the valley; lecturing at the Winter Camp
January 2015. With no international travel, this was a relatively quiet month alternating Baha'i activities, work on different projects in Geneva, and time at my chalet continuing the construction of new trails in my steep ravine. We had a meeting of the ebbf (Ethical Business Building the Future) governing board, and a successful one-day event on gender diversity in Geneva. The University of Geneva/UNEP MOOC (massive open online course) on Climate Change Adaptation for Small Island Developing States, to which I contributed 8 lectures on the special problems of SIDS, started on Coursera on 26 January with 8,000 participants.
I continued trail making despite the cold weather, and finally reached the bottom of the ravine (more details at trail
Trail construction down the steep ravine near my chalet on a 45° slope, with 7 switchbacks to the bottom
December 2014. The big news was the arrival of my granddaughter Laleh in Geneva on 20 December.
I also prepared a report for UNEP on integrating the Sustainable Development Goals into their European work programme, which you can download at http://yabaha.net/dahl/papers/Dahl2015a_UNEP_ROE.pdf.
Trail construction in my ravine continued, reaching more than half way down the steep slope by the end of the month.
Carving a trail down a 45° slope taking advantage of trees and other natural features is an interesting challenge
At the end of December, I helped to organize and attended the Swiss Baha'i Winter School in Einsiedeln, Schwyz (see separate
November 2014. I spent 10 days in Bulgaria over Thanksgiving visiting my brother and his family and celebrating the twins' sixteenth birthday.
Joyce, Emi, Gregory and Mina Dahl; my brother Greg and family; the twins Joyce and Gregory at sixteen
I also had chapters published in two academic books: "Putting
the Individual at the Centre of Development: Indicators of Well-being for a New Social Contract" in Transitions
to Sustainability, and "Sustainability and Values Assessment in Higher Education" in Sustainable Development and Quality Assurance in Higher Education: Transformation of Learning and Society. For more details, see my bibliography.
October 2014. The month opened with the ebbf - Ethical Business Building the Future annual conference in Barcelona, and ended with the European Center for Peace and Development international conference in Belgrade.
I was reelected to the ebbf Governing Board; downtown Belgrade; the Danube and Sava Rivers from Belgrade Fortress
I finished a report for the World Bank on Equality of Opportunity for Global Prosperity, designing a census of national discriminatory legislation, and started again teaching in the University of Geneva Certificate of Advanced Studies in Sustainable Development.
As the fine weather continued, so did my trail building down the ravine next to my chalet.
Trails down the ravine at my chalet; under construction on a steep slope with tree trunks for support; autumn colours in front of my chalet
September 2014. I was unable to attend the 3rd UN Conference on Small Island Developing States in Apia, Samoa, much to my regret, but I did have substantive inputs to the conference. In addition to the UNEP report on Emerging
for Small Island Developing States that I helped to write earlier this year, the UNEP Global
Outlook (GEO) for Small Island Developing States was launched in Apia on 2 September, including major parts that I drafted at the authors' meeting in July.
The nice weather encouraged me to start building another trail through the forest near my chalet, along the side of a steep ravine. Trail
making has always been on of my favourite activities.
On 21 September I took part in the People's
March in Geneva, in support of the big march of 400,000 in New York.
The front of the Geneva People's Climate march in the city centre, along the lakeside, and at the Palais des Nations
Then I visited my son Alex and his family in Quebec, including participating in the Quebec
Baha'i Summer School.
The Gagnon-Dahl family in Quebec
Quebec Baha'i Summer School
At the end of the month, my brother Greg and his family from Bulgaria visited Geneva. They came for lunch and a walk at my chalet in nearby France, and breakfasted with my daugher Agnes and family.
The Greg Dahl family at my chalet
In July 2014, I gave a paper on "Healing our relationship with nature" at the International Peace Seminar in Walenstadt, Switzerland.
International Peace Seminar; Walenstadt
I also took part in a week-long UNEP author's meeting in Geneva to prepare the Global Environment Outlook (GEO) for Small Island Developing States, to be launched at the UN Conference in Apia, Samoa, in September.
Then I flew to California to join my brother Greg and his family for two weeks on the Monterey Peninsula where we grew up, hiking in some of the beautiful natural areas.
Greg Dahl family in California; at Point Lobos; in Carmel Valley
In June 2014, I went to China for the first time to give a paper on "The
ethics of hope: values as positive drivers for a sustainable future" at the Global Research Forum on Sustainable Production and Consumption in Shanghai.
Global Research Forum on Sustainable Production and Consumption; Fudan University
I also gave a paper on "Humanity and nature" at a small Triglav
Circle meeting near Neuchatel, Switzerland, and was the closing speaker on "Ethics for a sustainable economy" at an Ethics Expo in Mantua, Italy.
Triglav Circle; Mantua, Italy
The UNEP foresight report on Emerging Issues for Small Island Developing States, to which I contributed, was published in June.
Titles for Talks
Some topics on which I give public talks, and examples of presentations
Publicity Materials (biosketch and photos)
Order Global Governance from Cambridge . Order In Pursuit of Hope from George Ronald or Kindle version from Amazon
Global Governance also available in Open Access from Cambridge, or as e-book from Amazon
Eco Principle can be ordered from George Ronald. Click on cover for pdf of either title