Speech of Jón Gnarr at the inauguration of the Spirit of Humanity Forum
Spirit of Humanity Forum
Opnunarræða í Hörpu
Fimmtudagur 10. apríl 2014 kl. 9.00
Mr. Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, president of Iceland. Other distinguished guests.
Welcome to Reykjavík.
We are truly honoured to host the Spirit of Humanity Forum again here in our city. I am also happy to say that Reykjavík has many things to offer you, as it has in relatively few years grown into a popular and lively cultural destination. But Reykjavík is not only a city of international dimensions. It is still friendly. It is still peaceful. And we intend to keep it that way. I do hope that your experience of Reykjavík will be that of a city that welcomes you with love and a warm embrace.
But why are we here? Why does Reykjavík participate in Spirit of Humanity?
The short answer is that we think it is very important to work for peace and human rights - for all people. You can say there were three main things that caught our attention when first introduced to the project in 2010.
Firstly, it is the aim to focus on spirituality as a driving force in the lives of individuals, communities and nations. A force to bring about positive changes.
Secondly, it is the intention to create a universally respected forum that regularly brings together influential international leaders. Individuals that wish to focus on the higher human values and spirituality in decision-making.
Thirdly, it is the will to use our ability to work together with care, kindness and respect - in order to find solutions to the challenges the world is facing.
Leaders in all parts of the world must realise that there is need for a changed mindset in order to make necessary changes. The forum here in Reykjavík is a great venue to discuss the paths individuals and communities can take in order to grow and bring about these changes. It is also meant to encourage us to take a stand and act in a way that contributes to a better future.
The first Spirit of Humanity Forum was held in Reykjavík in 2012. Back then we talked about resetting the compass and creating a landscape of new opportunities. We talked about transforming politics and revising values.
This year we focus on exploring the potential of love and compassion in bringing about effective change through governance and leadership.
But what does this really mean? How can love and compassion in governance work in real life? How can we change and what should we change?
I have a suggestion.
We live in times where global warming is by far the biggest threat to human existence. We sometimes tend to forget this and think only of so called opportunities. In Iceland we may even think global warming will bring us better weather. This is of course because we can never really rely on good