December 3rd, 2013. Professor Tu Weiming Receives GTF 2013 Award for Excellence in Cultural Understanding
Global Thinkers Forum (GTF) 2013 was recently held on December 3rd and 4th in Athens Greece. Tu Weiming, tutelary member of the Institute of International Philosophy (IIP) and Director of the Institute for Advanced Humanistic Studies at Peking University, received the award for Excellence in Cultural Understanding. The forum consisted of three parts: the opening ceremony and panel discussions, GTF 2013 Awards for Excellence, and the Global Thinkers Forum Workshop.
The non-profit Global Thinkers Forum (GTF) is a platform to create intercultural and innovative dialogue and bring current and future leaders together to discuss governance, society, progress and the future. GTF has been created to reframe discussions about governance to further include a global perspective. This year’s theme was Leadership and Collaboration. More than 50 world’s leaders and scholars attended the forum, including Mr. Yiorgos Kaminis, the Mayor of Athens; H.E. Mr. Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, High Representative for the UN Alliance of Civilizations; and Professor Tu Weiming, Director of the Institute for Advanced Humanistic Studies at Peking University.
Athen’s Benaki museum witnessed the forum’s opening ceremony at 9 a.m. on December 3rd. After that, the first panel which consisted of Daniel R. Fung, Senior Counsel Des Voeux Chambers; Dr Heinrich Kreft, ambassador of German Foreign Ministry; Tu Weiming, Lifetime Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Institute for Advanced Humanistic Studies at Peking University; and Athanassios G. Platias, Professor of Strategy at the University of Piraeus, discussed on the matter of globalization’s requirement for future leaders.
Professor Tu Weiming emphasized that the idea of globalization should not be limited to the process of modernization during the past 200 years. It should also include the process of cultural globalization besides economic globalization. This approach to diverse human interactions reframed the debate away from globalization as just a result of Western imperialism, to instead appreciate a process of multilateral exchanges and influences. Prof. Tu further suggested that with the rise of new powers like China, Brazil, Russia, India, etc., the world now certainly no longer operates in an East versus West paradigm. Due to the multifaceted nature of the current world, one also centered on information, Prof. Tu urged that leaders must operate as public intellectuals who emphasize cooperation, responsibility, harmony, and not just the enlightenment values of individual rights. More specifically, he suggested leaders now need a few key qualities. They should possess both technical and cultural competence, be able to distinguish data and information from knowledge and wisdom, have cognitive, emotional, and most importantly ethical intelligence, and lastly embody a shift away form crass materialistic perspectives towards ones that include deep spiritual values. Problems concerned about leadership and collaboration have also been fully discussed in the other panels.
GTF 2013 Awards for Excellence took place on the evening of December 3rd. Professor Tu Weiming was given the Award for Excellence in Cultural Understanding by Yiorgos Kaminis, the Mayor of Athens. Mr. Yiorgos Kaminis offered high praise for Tu Weiming’s contribution to the development of cultural understanding. “Not many philosopher can achieve the influence that the lifelong work of Professor Tu Weiming has attained. He devoted every day to the promotion of openminded civilization dialogue. This reminds me of the famous Chinese philosopher Confucius, who dedicated himself to promoting the understanding and communication between kingdoms, scholars, and ancient leaders, which is exactly what professor Tu Weiming has been working on in the modern world.” Stated Mr. Yiorgos Kaminis.
Tu Weiming expressed his gratitude to the Global Thinkers Forum and considered the award as an motivation for his future work on the spiritual humanism of Confucianism. Scholars and leaders highly appreciated Professor Tu’s sharing his knowledge of Confucianism. Mrs. Elizabeth Filippouli, founder and CEO of Global Thinkers Forum, even expressed her wish to bring the Global Thinkers Forum to the Peking University in the future.
Mayor of Athens
Prof. TU Weiming
（Reprinted from Xinhua Net）
ATHENS, Dec. 3 (Xinhua) — A forum aimed at bringing together innovative minds and aspiring leaders to discuss progress and excellence in governance was held in Athens on Tuesday.
The main theme of the nonprofit think tank group Global Thinkers Forum of this year was ‘Leadership and Collaboration for Success’.
The event, joined by H.E. the High Representative of UN Alliance of Civilizations Dr Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, celebrated personalities who create positive change by delivering innovative answers to some of the world’s key challenges in government, business, technology, society and the Arts.
Among the guests was Lifetime Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Institute for Advanced Humanistic Studies at Beijing University, Tu Weiming who was honored with the Excellence in Cultural Understanding.
Professor Tu, who has been appointed as a member of the United Nations’ “Group of Eminent Persons” and UNESCO to facilitate the “Dialogue among Civilizations” pointed out the importance of dialogue in leadership.
“I am very pleased and honored to receive this award on cultural understanding. My conception is that dialogue is based upon the ability to listen, because confronting someone who is radical different may broaden our own horizon and our self understanding and appreciation. Dialogue should never be used as a method to worship, or simply to make a statement, but to listen to others through communicating, learning and living”, professor Tu told Xinhua.
Given the current economical and social circumstances globally, the main message of the forum was that leadership has to stay in touch with its human capital and the challenges of a world that is constantly changing.
Daniel Fung, Senior counsel Des Voeux Chambers, highlighted how collaboration plays a significant role to a leader, as it helps the leader realize that an individual cannot change the course of history or make whatever he or she thinks is right.
“The only way to move forward, to change for the better is to have a support, a help, a collaboration of others, in other words of your society or maybe the international community”, Mr. Fung told Xinhua.
The Global Thinkers Forum is an international gathering of successful leaders from all over the world who meet to discuss improvements in leadership and achieve positive change.