How should governments treat their citizens? Should states intervene to prevent injustice abroad? How can the pursuit of peace best be realized amid the reality of war? A century ago, Andrew Carnegie was already wrestling with such questions. As the march towards war began on the eve of World War One, he advocated not simply for peace, but for a "peace policy" forged upon multilateral engagement and the recognition of a common morality shared by all.
Building on our founder's bold vision for peace and a common good, Carnegie Council proposes to reevaluate Carnegie's legacy in the context of the twenty-first century's most pressing ethical challenges. As part of our Centennial celebration, Carnegie Council is undertaking an ambitious three-year project that will connect public intellectuals, business leaders, policymakers, religious leaders, students, and educators from across the globe in the joint pursuit of Carnegie's vision for global responsibility—what we call a "global ethic." Together, this diverse group of individuals will tackle difficult moral questions and think creatively about the application of Andrew Carnegie's legacy for such issues as global warming, global terror, and global financial crisis.
The goal of this intercultural collaboration is to stimulate current and future generations to think about the role of ethics in an era of growing interconnectedness. Our Centennial activities will encourage individuals to ponder not simply what ethics means within the context of their own countries, but what ethics means across countries. Through seminars, interviews, publications, multimedia, and collaborative educational projects, this transnational conversation will shed light on how shared ethical and moral values can be incorporated into action to confront international challenges. Like the work of Andrew Carnegie a century ago, our Centennial will help to redefine what it means to live in a global community.
The chair for this project is Michael Ignatieff. A distinguished academic, authority on human rights, and former national political leader, Ignatieff holds joint appointments as Professor at the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto and at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.
Ethics for a Connected World will feature four interconnected components:
- Thought Leaders Forum: Comprising leading ethical and political visionaries, this forum will explore the world's greatest ethical challenges and policy options;
- Educational Activities: Students and educators from around the world will be challenged to explore the practical application of ethics and Andrew Carnegie's legacy within their own local communities;
- Centennial Symposia: A series of high-profile international symposia in the cities that embody the tension between Andrew Carnegie's pursuit of peace and the reality of war throughout the 20th Century (Edinburgh, Hiroshima, Sarajevo, and NYC) will address competing aspects of Carnegie's legacy and their application for today's challenges;
- Centennial Publications: A Centennial history of Carnegie Council, as well as a book featuring the project's findings, will shed light on both the Council's work and Carnegie's relevance for peace in the 21st century.