Eva Joly is an amazing woman who I am proud to call a friend.
As a result of her work in Iceland after its catastrophic crash in 2008 an institute has been established to develop the ideas of which she is such a powerful proponent. I am pleased to be on the Institute's Advisory Board with Björk, Helena Kennedy, Edgar Morin, Yoko Ono and Ann Pettifor.
The world is in transition. The ongoing financial crisis has exposed how large-scale corruption has brought the world to the brink of collapse and threatens the social contract.
In her book, JUSTICE UNDER SIEGE, Eva Joly writes ;
“The nature and size of corruption facing us have no equal in the history of democracy. With the financial globalization of the last 20 years, we have shifted to a whole new dimension. The current large-scale corruption is a radically new phenomenon; it is no longer individual, but systemic and is profoundly undermining our political system."
The challenges our societies are faced with are on an unprecedented scale. New ideas on how to respond to these challenges are being scrutinized and debated.
The aim of the Eva Joly institute is to help improve and strengthen this debate with an emphasis on:
- a better understanding of how widespread and systemic corruption has eroded the social contract
- raising awareness of the role of secrecy jurisdictions in facilitating corruption and tax evasion
- ways to strengthen openness and transparency in government and in society in general
- new ideas in economic thinking that support equality and sustainability
- raising awareness of the importance of the role of the individual as an active citizen
According to the French philosopher Henri-Louis Bergson, “great political mistakes almost always come from the fact that men forget that reality shifts, that it is in continual movement. Out of ten political mistakes, there are nine which consist of simply believing to be true that which has ceased to be”.
We are at a time where it is more important than ever that we all, as individuals and citizens face “that which has ceased to be” and actively seek new solutions. By her example Eva Joly has shown that we all have, each in our own way, the potential to render the world a little better.
The aim of the institute is to support efforts by individuals, organizations and learning institutions who want to promote these ideas and make them accessible to the general public.
I wish the Institute well. It's a powerful beacon for good in a country that needs to recover its moral compass and in a world where the principles Eva embodies need to return to mainstream normality.