Initiatives of Change (IofC)

Switzerland
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About

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Initiatives of Change (IofC) focuses on the vital link between personal change and global change. Our programmes broadly focus on trustbuilding, ethical leadership and sustainable living.

Recognizing that it will take more than human reason and ability to solve the problems of the world, IofC places the search for inner wisdom at the heart of its approach. When people listen to what is deepest in their hearts, insights often come which lead in unexpected directions. Many understand this experience as guidance from God, others as the leading of conscience or the inner voice. The regular practice of silence can give access to a source of truth, renewal, inspiration and empowerment.

At its core, IofC is an idea lived out each day by people around the world. Integral to it is a commitment to start with oneself, listen to others and take focused action.

Our Vision

A just, peaceful and sustainable world to which everyone, responding to the call of conscience, makes their unique contribution.

Our Mission

To inspire, equip and connect people to address world needs, starting with themselves.

Our Approach

Start with oneself: An honest look at one’s own motives and behaviour is often the start of personal transformation. Cultural and religious traditions across the world offer moral standards as guides for living. Of these, IofC singles out absolute honesty, unselfishness, love and purity of heart as benchmarks for motives and daily actions.

Listen to others: With its intergenerational, multicultural and inter-religious diversity, IofC enables people from all over the world to have honest conversations undertaken in an open spirit, building bridges of trust and community between people of similar, different, and even antagonistic, backgrounds.

Take focused action: IofC’s people and programmes work for peace and social cohesion by building trust and reconciliation across divides; for good governance by developing a leadership culture based on moral integrity, compassion and selfless service; and for economic justice and environmental sustainability by inspiring transformation of motives and behaviour.

Engaging with us

IofC works in formal organizations as well as informal groups of people who come together for a common cause. There are many ways to get engaged with our work.
• Attending a short residential conference, training or a day-long programme.
• Residential programmes of several weeks providing intensive training or internships, mainly at our centres in India and Switzerland.
• Volunteering for a programme on location, serving at one of our centres, or providing professional services at an office or from home.
• Personal gatherings in small groups for sharing and fellowship among people who have already been touched by our ideas.
• Hiring the services of our facilitators for customized training and faciliation.
Most importantly, one engages with IofC through commitment to its principles and approach in one’s daily life.
Our work is funded by a combination of individual donations, our own activities, and trusts and foundations. In most cases, there is no membership fee for individuals.

Origins and Presence

IofC grew out of the work of Frank Buchman (1878 -1961), in the 1920s. It was named Moral Re-Armament (MRA) in 1938, and changed to ‘Initiatives of Change’ in 2001.

IofC is active in 60 countries and formally incorporated in 44, operating through a network of individuals, small groups as well as larger international programmes known by their own name working under the aegis of IofC. We also partner with other organizations including the UN and various government bodies.

The ideas of IofC have inspired people to bring a change in their sphere of influence leading to a visible impact in the world, including peaceful resolution of industrial disputes; businesses adopting ethical practices for sustainable growth; reconciliation between nations and communities; dialogues between opposing factions of society; people setting right their personal relationships at home; apologies and forgiveness among people to heal wounds of the past; and so on.
Our work has always been responding to the changing needs of the world: from Franco-German reconciliation post second World War to initiatives for restoring degraded lands in Africa through reconciling conflicting tribes, or dialogues on democracy inspired by the Arab spring.

Website: http://www.iofc.org/