What is FORUM from Business Connect ?
A common space within the marketplace; a place to catch up with the news, to meet with friends, to do business and to stop and talk about the important issues of the day was a staple feature in ancient society: The Greeks called this space the Agora, the Romans called it the Forum. Some form of collective debating and decision making seems to have been an important part of life not just in the Greek and Roman world but of virtually early societies.
It is this kind of space that we have tried to recreate in Forum.
Forum will bring together leaders and interest groups from across the sectors to discuss the pressing public issues of the day and to form a common and harmonious vision for tomorrow.
Why we think such a space is essential to the fabric of a healthy and fair society:
The nature of inclusion / exclusion
The nature of news media includes and excludes voices and opinions by defining the "normal" and the "realistic", the political process excludes some voices and privileges others, business and technology can be a force for inclusion or a force for privilege.
The value of listening
One of the things we can contribute to the common good is to hold space, and really listen to what different people have to say. This can sometimes mean asking the questions that push their arguments to their logical conclusions. Good ideas should be those which stand the acid test of careful scrutiny.
The possibility of community
Community has at its heart the fact that life is shared to a greater or lesser degree in common. Sharing life in common is all about finding nonviolent ways to distribute the good things in life – time, effort, land, resources, honour and value.
The magic of conversation
Speeches only serve to convince the already convinced, but genuine conversations transform all of the participants. If we can hold conversations that are genuine, truthful and open then we create the possibility of human transformation.
The effect of hospitality
When people come together to share a meal, then something happens at a very deep psychological and anthropological level. Shared food is the basis of human reconciliation. Christians believe that the sharing of food provides a mythic echo of the primordial meal in which the first humans shared a meal of fruits and vegetables with God, and celebrated the essence of life and an appreciation of what was good. They also believe that the sharing of a meal with strangers sits at the heart of our sacramental life together, evoking a sense of God's incarnate presence. Christians believe that the pouring out of our life to others is both the easiest, cost-free thing we can do and also the costliest, tough thing we can do as individuals and communities.