"This is an adventure such as has never been tried before," announced Andrew Carnegie. It was 3 PM on February 10, 1914, and he was addressing 29 of America's greatest religious leaders, who were assembled in his living room.
With these bold words, Carnegie launched the Church Peace Union, the organization now known as Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs. Carnegie always thought big. He expected the group to not only prevent World War I, but to put an end to war forever.
Almost 100 years later, wars are still with us, but Carnegie Council continues to think big. Just as the organization's founding members sought to include moral values in political decisions worldwide, it is the Council's premise that incorporating ethical concerns into international affairs is essential for more effective policies.
In the spirit of Andrew Carnegie, Carnegie Council serves as a nonpartisan, educational resource for international affairs professionals, journalists, educators and students, business people, and the attentive public. And with today's technology and the rise of social media, it has a global outreach that surpasses even Mr. Carnegie's wildest imaginings.
Leading up to its Centennial in 2014, the Council has formed a Global Ethics Network, consisting of educational institutions such as the universities of Oxford and Oregon; public thought leaders such as Canadian statesman and scholar Michael Ignatieff; and Global Ethics Fellows—scholars around the world from Cairo to Copenhagen. The goal is to provide a platform for people worldwide to advance the discussion of ethics in international affairs. Now in its initial stages, this Network will continue to grow long after 2014.
The Council will also collaborate with sister institutions in the Carnegie family as they mark their Centennials around the world. For example, in June 2012, the Council will host the Carnegie UK Trust Meeting in New York City, entitled "Global Rules, Local Rulers."
To manage the Global Ethics Network, Carnegie Council is delighted to welcome back an old friend and colleague, Devin Stewart. From 2010 to 2012, Stewart directed three major programs at Japan Society, the leading Japan-focused nonprofit in North America. As part of the senior management team, he supervised the coordination of departments to respond to the March 11 earthquake in Japan and the dispersal of $12 million in funds raised for disaster relief and reconstruction.
Other milestones on the road to 2014 include a symposium entitled "Re-imagining a Global Ethic," featured in the Spring 2012 issue of the Council's journal, Ethics & International Affairs. The lead essay is by Michael Ignatieff, with responses from five Global Ethics Fellows. Watch for it online in early April at www.ethicsandinternationalaffairs.org.