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December 31 2007

Young Global Leaders Advance Global Dignity on a 3-Day Tour Covering Two Continents

Founders Join Others to Encourage Students to Respect Themselves and Others by Leading a Life Rooted in Dignity
 

LOS ANGELES---December 31, 2007---The Movement to promote Global Dignity (GD) got another boost this month when founders His Royal Highness Crown Prince Haakon Magnus of Norway; Pekka Himanen, Professor of Philosophy, University of Art and Design Helsinki, and silver rights leader and Operation HOPE CEO John Hope Bryant, also fellow Young Global Leaders of the World Economic Forum, participated in Dignity Day, Helsinki, Finland.

The following day Bryant participated in the second annual Dignity Day, New Delhi, India, along with co-lead in the effort Malvinder Singh, CEO and Managing Director, Ranbaxy Laboratories, Ltd, and fellow YGL. Bryant also traveled to Geneva, Switzerland where he spoke before a group of Global Leadership Fellows at the headquarters of the World Economic Forum. During his appearing before the Fellows Bryant remarked, "Sometimes you speak and you know that what you say is going to have impact; maybe because of your substance and message, and other times simply because you were before a group that knew what really mattered with regard to our collective futures."

"There are two dimensions in dignity, valuing others and valuing yourself," said Professor Pekka Himanen. "It's about respecting the fundamental human value that every human being has. And it's also about respecting your unique being."

Speaking on the Dignity Day activities, Bryant continued, "the power of such a basic principle as dignity is what makes it a fundamental and universal human right. It is in this spirit that Operation HOPE's 'silver rights' mission and Global Dignity are so perfectly aligned. HOPE works to encourage opportunity around the world, and empower each individual to believe in his or her fundamental right to dignity, respect, and financial freedom; at the root of it is dignity."

GD, an initiative of the Forum of Young Global Leaders and HOPE Global Initiatives, was launched during the annual World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland in 2006. It aims to create a paradigm shift in thinking about global challenges, and leadership; forming a fundamental new language based on universal human communication and its Dignity Principles to inspire and re-imagine solutions to world problems.

Through the use of this teaching tool, students learn how they can integrate these principles into their everyday life to help promote dignity. The 5 Dignity Principles, already endorsed by hundreds of leaders worldwide, are:

-- Every human being has a right to lead a dignified life.

-- A dignified life means an opportunity to fulfill one's potential, which is based on having a human level of health care, education, income and security.

-- Dignity means having the freedom to make decisions on one's life and to be met with respect for this right.

-- Dignity should be the basic guiding principle for all actions.

-- Ultimately, our own dignity is interdependent with the dignity of others.

The popularity of Dignity Day events, around the world, becomes increasingly apparent as Dignity Day, Finland and India were featured stories in local mainstream newspapers in both countries. Over the last year and a half, Bryant, along with other YGL's, have shared GD's five principles with students in Canada, Switzerland, India, Turkey, South Africa, the U.S. and Jordan with Her Majesty Queen Rania, amongst other countries around the world. Leaders and educators interested in sponsoring a Dignity Day in their school are invited to visit the website for GD http://www.globaldignity.org/ for more information.

About Global Dignity

Co-founded by Crown Prince Haakon Magnus of Norway, Professor Pekka Himanen, University of Art & Design Helsinki and Visiting Professor at Oxford University, and John Hope Bryant, Founder, Chairman and CEO from Operation HOPE, and the mission of the Dignity is to implement globally the universal right of every human being to lead a dignified life. It is an autonomous, non-profit and non-partisan project linked to the 2030 process of the World Economic Forum's Forum of Young Global Leaders, where young global leaders from politics, business, academia, and civil society have joined together to work for the improvement of the state of the world and people based on five principles of dignity. For more information on about Global Dignity, see http://www.globaldignity.org/.

The Forum of Young Global Leaders

The Forum of Young Global Leaders is an independent, Geneva, Switzerland-based foundation whose mission is to build a unique, multi-stakeholder community of the world's most extraordinary leaders under the age of 40 and give them a platform to collaborate and shape best practices for the future of the world. Each year, we identify and mobilize a new group of 200 exceptional men and women in business, politics, academia, the media and civil society from every region in the world. Together, they form a powerful international force for the global common good. For more information about the Young Global Leaders, please visit the website at http://www.younggloballeaders.org/

About HOPE Global Initiatives

HOPE Global Initiatives was developed out of the organization's leadership role in hosting Ambassadors and Heads of State visiting Southern California, as well as the founder's former role with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, Geneva, Switzerland, as their first ever goodwill ambassador to the United States. The role of HOPE Global Initiatives is to promote and advocate the benefits of education, financial literacy, self-reliance, economic empowerment and dignity as tools for vastly improving the quality of life in developing countries, with a particular focus on developing countries on the African continent. The role has expanded to serve underserved communities throughout the world. HOPE Global Initiatives is a program of Operation HOPE. For more about Operation HOPE and its programs to go http://www.operationhope.org/.