Humanitarian Dr Lyly Rojas is teaching the culture of peace to business students at the University of Applied Sciences and Technology in Vienna, Austria. Her challenge to future business leaders is to make waves in the corporate world and drive a culture change.
In the current economic climate, her message to the business world is particularly poignant. “I don’t think of the financial recession as a financial crisis, but as a human crisis,” she states. Rojas explains “The current economic situation is a consequence of the way the business world has conducted itself; economic greed has eroded the quality of human life and unraveled many of society’s structures. Now is a transformational moment”.
Rojas understands firsthand the importance of a culture of peace. She was born amidst political turmoil in Nicaragua and their political views and economic conditions forced her parents to flee to the United States. Her childhood experiences greatly influenced the humanitarian direction of her life. Consequently, both the United Nations (UN) and the Vatican have used her as a consultant. Rojas also spent a harrowing time in Kosovo as a consultant for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).
Turning her attention to future business leaders, Rojas’ aim is to make peacemakers of her students by showing them alternatives to adopting the predatory and aggressive nature of the corporate environment. She maintains there is an alternative to the caveman mentality, to the bullying and domination that prevails to maximize profit and get ahead in the business world. Rojas is promoting a culture shift.
“We are in our minds, not in our hearts. We buy clothes made by Taiwanese slaves and chop down 2,000-year-old trees. We don’t need more knowledge about problems; we know how to solve them,” she explains. “What we need is encouragement that we will prosper without greed.”
She gives her students the example of how child slavery relates to the business world; she tells them about the dresses that child slaves make in a far off land and companies sell for €4,000. In response, her students’ develop projects to change this. “Can you imagine how this makes me feel?” she asks excitedly. “Students come from different countries. Some are children of politicians and will have influence when they return home.”
Whatever the background and nationality, Rojas explains that students need to learn to get along with each other and deal with conflict in a constructive manner. She provides them with the tools to realize this through assigned tasks; case studies, cross-cultural simulation and group projects, some based on her time with the UN. “Some students refuse to work together because of nationality; men team up against women and some students from former dictatorships ask ‘can’t we bribe people?’. The experience is about finding a collaborative point,” she reveals.
Rojas’ teaching method is a holistic one; she wants to see a shift in her students from the automatic, impersonal “I’m a business person” to “I’m an ethical, thinking, feeling person who conducts business”, an ability to know themselves in order to be better leaders. She says: “I hope the feedback is ‘we are better at conducting business and we are better humans all around’.”
posted by Amanda_TWW on 11/ 2/2009 4:45 pm | COMMENTS (2)
The topic which Dr. Lily taught to the students is appropriate nowadays. If we observe around us, there is already less peace. It's a very good idea that there are still people who are concerned of teaching peace to others. Anyway, in connection with the peace topic, our country wouldn't have peace unless we are suffering from crisis so maybe the first thing we must do is to solve this problem in order to attain peace. We are aware of course of the crisis happening around us and to worsen it there goes also the climate change, but of course all of these have solution. If you need a small loan to float you until payday, and can't get the help from a bank because of bad credit, you could look into short term loans for bad credit. Like any other financial tool, you have to be cautious and responsible with short term loans for bad credit, as it isn't free money. However, if you're looking for just some emergency money to take care of an unexpected expense, that's exactly what they are for. If you need the help quickly, plenty of lenders can take applications over the internet or phone, with no credit checks, and no faxing needed. It can be easy to get short term loans for bad credit, but you must be responsible.
posted by xavier12345 on 11/ 4/2009 3:23 am
Thank you very much for posting this article. I have recently been dedicating my efforts to bring about peace at my work environment, and would love to share my story which illustrates how difficult that process can be. It's been an up-hill battle at great personal cost and a fantastic story of how an underdog can make a huge positive impact in the work place. My story continues to unfold today and I strongly believe that my experience can be used as a business case study and would love to discuss the details with Dr. Rojas.
My conclusion so far; inner-peace must be the foundation upon which positive change in the work place can flourish. Be the change you want to see in the world, make that your mantra and watch the miracle unfold.
posted by Cyril on 11/12/2009 6:32 pm