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January 01 2008

Dignity Day Anchors 2008 ‘Spirit of Service’ for World Economic Forum as Young Global Leaders Convene in Vienna with a Focus on “Making a Better World�

Global Dignity Co-founders Crown Prince of Norway, Professor Pekka Himanen, and Operation HOPE CEO John Hope Bryant, join a core group of respected leaders from Europe to teach youth the importance of living a dignified life 

 Vienna, Austria—March 31, 2008 –The campaign to promote Global Dignity (GD) was advanced this month when Young Global Leaders (YGL’s) 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, and other fellow YGL’s of the World Economic Forum, lead another round of “Dignity Day” sessions.

Working in close cooperation with the World Economic Forum to ensure that every individual has the opportunity to lead a dignified and empowered life, fellow YGL and world leading molecular geneticist, Josef Penninger organized a “Dignity Day Vienna” training session at Vienna Bilingual Middle School. Held from March 28, 2008 hundreds of students are expected to learn how to promote Global Dignity (GD) using the five Dignity Principals during the conferences.

“By sharing their personal experiences, including their successes and failures, YGL’s promote Global Dignity. This campaign encourages individuals about their right, and the right of all human beings to lead a dignified and empowered life,” said Penninger. “World change starts with one person. We want to inspire each student to be the change they want to see in the world.”

“Leading 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, said Pekka Himanen, Professor of Philosophy, University of Art and Design Helsinki and co-founder of Global Dignity. “That is the lesson we are communicating to students because ultimately, our own dignity is interdependent with the dignity of others.”

Using the Dignity Principals these youth are taught how to how to respect themselves and each other. Along with fellow YGL’s and co-founders HRH Crown Prince Haakon Magnus of Norway and Operation HOPE (HOPE) Founder, Chairman and CEO John Hope Bryant the group will continue to define and teach new and clearer understanding of universal human rights.

Through its website ( GD hosts a set of online teaching tools where hundreds of participants have signed on to the project since its initial launch. Bryant, recently appointed vice-chairman of the U.S. President’s Advisory Council on Financial Literacy, has shared the five Principles of Dignity with the children in the United States of America, Canada, India, Turkey, Rwanda, South Africa, Jordan and the Middle East and Finland amongst others. Along with fellow YGL members, the curriculum engages the audience in a dialogue about how to respect and reinforce the universal right to dignity for each human being regardless of their social and cultural circumstances.

“Operation HOPE supports Global Dignity through a partnership with HOPE Global Initiatives – our international division to support programs and projects globally. We are proud to promote, advocate, help advance Global Dignity”, said Bryant. “By formulating a globally shared dream, Global Dignity and HOPE Global Initiatives are perfectly aligned in promoting opportunity around the world, to empower each individual to believe in his or her fundamental right to dignity, respect, and freedom to make their own decisions in life.”

Shouldered by parent organization, World Economic Forum, GD is supported by hundreds of its members, which include Michael Douglas, Muhammad Ali and Peter Gabriel, who have signed onto the project since its inception in 2006.

About the Forum of Young Global Leaders
Established in 2004 by Professor Klaus Schwab, The Forum of Young Global Leaders ( is a unique, multi-stakeholder community of the world’s most extraordinary young leaders who dedicate a part of their time to jointly address global challenges and who are committed to devote part of their knowledge and energy to collectively work towards a better future. Together, they engage in the 2030 Initiative, a comprehensive endeavor, to understand current and future trends, risks and opportunities both at global and regional levels, formulate a positive vision for the world in 2030 and put forward concrete strategies and work streams to translate their vision into action.

About Global Dignity
An autonomous, non-profit and non-partisan project linked to the 2020 process of the World Economic Forum’s Forum of Young Global Leaders, Global Dignity (GD) recognizes the universal right of every human being to lead a dignified life. Based on five core principles of dignity, GD strives for positive change through a paradigm shift in thinking about global challenges, and creates a new language based on universal human communication, hoping to inspire solutions to world problems. For more information on about Global Dignity, see

About World Economic Forum
The World Economic Forum (WEF) is an independent international organization committed to improving the state of the world by engaging leaders in partnerships to shape global, regional and industry agendas. Incorporated as a foundation in 1971, and based in Geneva, Switzerland, the World Economic Forum is impartial and not-for-profit; it is tied to no political, partisan or national interests. The World Economic Forum is under the supervision of the Swiss Federal Government. For more information, visit .

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 information, visit