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Monthly Archives: November 2019

NOMINATIONS NOW OPEN FOR 2020 GLOBAL BUSINESS & INTERFAITH PEACE AWARDS

27 Nov, 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 2, 2019

Contact: nominations@religiousfreedomandbusiness.org

Awards to be Presented at the 3rd Biannual Dare to Overcome Business Festival in Tokyo 

(GENEVA, CH) – In an effort to recognize and support global leaders in business and industry who are taking concrete action to advance interfaith understanding, religious freedom and peace in the workplace and marketplace, the UN Global Compact and the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation announced today the opening of nominations for the 2020 Global Business & Interfaith Peace Awards.

Held in conjunction with Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, the Awards highlight current or former CEOs who have demonstrated leadership in championing respect for faith in one of the following four categories: Core Business; Social Investment and Philanthropy; Advocacy and Public Policy Engagement; and Partnerships and Collective Action.

“The Global Business & Interfaith Peace Awards demonstrate the important role business leaders play in fostering interfaith understanding, religious freedom and peace. These leaders are making a difference toward a more tolerant, respectful and peaceful world. Their efforts are an inspiration for other business leaders,” said Religious Freedom & Business Foundation President Dr. Brian Grim.

“Religion and business are not contradictory forces. They are an alliance for understanding. Employees who feel their faith is respected in the workplace are more likely to be healthy, productive members of the workforce and society. We look forward to recognizing this year’s honorees in Tokyo,” Grim stated.

Past award recipients include Ernst & Young UK Chairman Steve Varley (UK), Former Dell Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Ingrid Vanderveldt (US), CEO of Future Pipe Industries H.E. Fouad Makhzoumi (Lebanon), CEO Shinework Media Jonathan Shen Jian (China), Founder and Chairman Iraq Britain Business Council Emma Nicholson, Baroness of Winterbourne (UK and Iraq)  and former CEO of Tejari H.E. Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi, (UAE), among others.

The 2020 Awards will be held at the Shinjuku Park Tower Hall, Tokyo, on August 25, 2020, coinciding with the opening of the 2020 Summer Paralympic Games. The awards presentations will be part of Dare to Overcome, a global business, arts, and peace festival in support of the Paralympic Movement and people with disabilities.

Deadline for nominations is February 29, 2020.

Video from past award ceremonies and additional information regarding the nominating process can be found at https://religiousfreedomandbusiness.org/awards-2020.

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Religion hits the Inc. 5000: RFBF President Brian Grim quoted by Inc.

24 Nov, 2019

Check out how an entrepreneurial company focused on software for churches made the Inc. 5000 list of the fasting growing companies in the US (RFBF President Brian Grim provided background for the Inc. story).


The Inc. 5000 is a guide to the 5,000 fastest-growing privately held companies in the U.S.

One of those companies is Flocknote, a popular text- and email-messaging service that’s exclusively focused on religious institutions. The Dallas-based company — profiled this month by Dan Whateley at Inc.com — was started by Matthew Warner 10 years ago had $2 million in revenue last year and registered at No. 1,520 on the Inc. 5000, an annual list of the fastest-growing private companies in the U.S.

Quoted in Inc., Matthew Warner notes that 10 years ago churches didn’t have a software budget, but now many of the larger ones spend thousands.

Indeed, the the worldwide market for church management software is expected to grow by hundreds of millions of dollars, according to the London-based research firm TechNavio.

TechNavio notes that “Numerous churches are increasingly adopting church management software to efficiently and smoothly manage daily operations such as managing membership emails and databases. The use of software leads to a higher accountability and saves time by organizing the information in a more accessible, user-friendly, and comprehensive manner. Additionally, it also enhances communication and improves management of financials. The adoption of church management software also regulates the room and facility schedules and records the deployment of volunteers. Such benefits of church management software will drive church management software market growth in the coming years.”

Like many traditional brick-and-mortar businesses, congregations are adapting their practices to keep people engaged and coming back. The need has become particularly urgent, as the Pew Research Center notes in its most recent Religious Landscape Study that an increasing number of Americans–Millennials in particular–say they do not subscribe to any organized religion.

“Millennials are so much less likely to go to church than their parents or grandparents,” says Brian Grim, a former senior researcher at the Pew Research Center who now serves as president of the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation. “One thing I’ve really been impressed with is that faith groups are not static,” he says, adding that religious communities need to respond to this reality.

Read Dan Whateley’s full article here.

World Intellectual Property Organization in Geneva – Site for Business & Interfaith Peace Awards Nominations Launch

23 Nov, 2019

The World Intellectual Property Organization in Geneva — on the occasion of the annual meeting of the UN Global Compact Business for Peace platform — is the site for the launch of the 3rd Biennial Global Business & Interfaith Peace Awards search for nominations.

The UN Global Compact and Religious Freedom & Business Foundation invite you to nominate your company’s CEO for the 2020 Global Business & Interfaith Peace Award. The Awards salute concrete and innovative actions taken to advance interfaith understanding and peace. Nominees must have launched or spearheaded policies, programmes or initiatives that contributed to increasing interfaith understanding and peace in the workplace, marketplace and/or local communities. The awards recognize business leaders – current or past CEOs – who have demonstrated leadership in championing interfaith understanding and peace in one of the following 4 categories:

  • – Core Business
  • – Social Investment and Philanthropy
  • – Advocacy and Public Policy Engagement
  • – Partnerships and Collective Action

To nominate a CEO:

Complete the 2020 Global Awards Nomination Form and email the form and/or direct questions to nominations@religiousfreedomandbusiness.org.

  • Deadline: 1 February 2020.

The Global Business & Interfaith Peace Awards salute CEOs committed to advancing interfaith understanding and peace worldwide. These global awards are presented biannually by the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation (RFBF)  in cooperation with the UN Global Compact (UNGC) on the eve of the Summer and Winter Paralympics. Previous CEO nominees and recipients come from companies as diverse as Ernst & Young (EY), Hyundai, Kimberly, Berkshire Capital, and former Dell entrepreneur in residence Ingrid Vanderveldt.

The 2020 Awards will be held at the Park Tower Hall, Tokyo, 25 August 2020, which is the opening of the 2020 Summer Paralympic Games and final day of Dare to Overcome, a global business, arts, and peace festival in support of the Paralympic Movement and people with disabilities.

This is the third biannual Global Business & Interfaith Peace Awards. The inaugural awards were given the day before the opening of the Rio Paralympics in 2016. The 2018 Awards were held the day before the opening of the PyeongChang Winter Paralympics. At the 2018 Awards, awardees held high level meetings on Korean peace at the Presidential Blue House and with the Mayor of Seoul. Delegates from the conference were also welcomed by senior politicians at the Korean National Assembly (Parliament), where RFBF President Brian Grim was awarded the Main Prize at the World Peace Prize Ceremony.

Religious Freedom is Good for Business, and Vice Versa

9 Nov, 2019

Brazil: RFBF affiliate president speaks at Faithforce Brazil

9 Nov, 2019

The Religious Freedom & Business Foundation, through its affiliate in Brazil, was invited by Salesforce’s Faithforce in Brazil to conduct an interactive event with local employees about faith in the workplace. The event took place on November 7th at the office in São Paulo.

Ricardo Cerqueira Leite, the President of the Brazilian Religious Freedom & Business Foundation affiliate was the keynote speaker.

Such event is part of the initiative of Faithforce group at Salesforce. The event followed the roundtable model, in which information was provided by RFBF with regards international scenario on restrictions on freedom of conscience and belief so participants could add their own view, experiences and how the business community can take the lead to reduce those restrictions.

Ricardo Cerqueira Leite noted that “this event illustrates what companies can do to support religious diversity and inclusion in the work place.”


One of the newest and the fastest growing Equality Groups at Salesforce is Faithforce. Founded in 2017, Faithforce has over 2000 members in 12 regional hubs across 5 continents and is growing fast.

Faithforce is the interfaith employee resource group at Salesforce focused on celebrating, supporting and fostering understanding of our global faith and spiritual diversity through inclusive and educational events and initiatives.

Faithforce champions faith diversity & inclusion, interfaith & intersectional collaboration and allyship across the company. The goal of Faithforce is to cultivate a culture of empathy, respect and belonging at Salesforce for people from all faiths, backgrounds, traditions and worldviews. All are welcome.

View Sue Warnke’s comments at the Religious Diversity & Inclusion in the Workplace Symposium, Worldwide Headquarters of Texas Instruments, May 6, 2019, cosponsored by TI and the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation.

Brian Grim Briefs USAID on Middle East Religious Freedom Business Roundtable

9 Nov, 2019

Washington, DC, 31 October 2019 – This week, Brian Grim, the president of the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation (RFBF) briefed USAID’s Middle East and North Africa group on RFBF’s partnership with the Bahrain-based King Hamad Global Centre for Peaceful Coexistence (KHGC) to promote and advance religious freedom, economic development, and peace and prosperity around the world.

The announcement follows the U.N. General Assembly’s “Global Call to Protect Religious Freedom” session, convened by U.S. President Donald Trump and U.N. Secretary General António Guterres, and the U.S. Administration’s recent launch of the International Religious Freedom Alliance, the first international body of its kind focused on promoting religious freedom.

Bahrain’s IRF Business Roundtable initiative was also inspired by the first-ever Business Roundtable on international religious freedom held this September 25th at the Harvard Club in New York City, cohosted by Ambassador Sam Brownback, the U.S. Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom, with Dr. Brian Grim, President of the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation ,and Mr. Bruce McEver, Founder and Chairman of Berkshire Global Advisors.

The aim of the new initiative is to form to a coalition of businesses for the protection of religious freedom, specifically encouraging the private sector to protect people of all faiths and beliefs in the workplace.

“Bahrain draws from a rich history of people of all faiths coming together in the marketplace,” said Dr. Grim, RFBF President. “As such, we are honored to work with the King Hamad Global Centre for Peaceful Coexistence as our first Business Roundtable partner in the Middle East region.”

As part of the MoU, the KHGC has committed to establishing both a regional multi-faith International Religious Freedom (IRF) Business Roundtable and a country-level roundtable in Bahrain. The gatherings will bring together business leaders to address regional and global challenges and opportunities in advancing religious freedom in the workplace and marketplace.

“In the Middle East, we have seen firsthand how religion can be at the heart of conflict,” said HE Dr. Shaikh Khalid bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the KHGC. “However, in Bahrain, we have also been lucky to turn religious differences into learning opportunities for nurturing peaceful societies. Through the IRF Business Roundtables, we are excited to share our experiences with the rest of the world.”

Principles undergirding the agreement include:

(1) Affirmatively agree with Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which provides a common point of departure and a common understanding from which to build.

Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.

(2) Commit to condemn and reject any religious violence or violence targeting civilians.

(3) Support and promote the Corporate Pledge on Religious Diversity and Inclusion.

(4) Be accountable to fulfill the Corporate Pledge by completing the Corporate Religious Diversity Assessment (CRDAtool.org).

 

Business 4 Peace: Bridging the Gap with Human Rights

9 Nov, 2019

GENEVA: Nov. 27, 2019

Alongside the UN Business and Human Rights Forum, the 2019 Business 4 Peace event will be a key convening for those seeking to advance responsible business in areas facing multi-dimensional risks and in areas of conflict.

This half-day event will bring together a range of stakeholders to think creatively and strategically about how the private sector can positively contribute to the building of peaceful societies.

RFBF President Brian Grim will be participating and officially announcing that nominations are open for the 3rd biannual Global Business & Interfaith PEACE AWARDS, which salute CEOs committed to advancing interfaith understanding and peace worldwide. These global awards are presented biannually by the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation (RFBF) in cooperation with the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) on the eve of the Summer and Winter Paralympics. Previous CEO nominees and recipients come from companies as diverse as Ernst & Young (EY), Hyundai, Kimberly, Berkshire Capital, and kathy ireland worldwide.

The 2020 Awards will be held at the Park Tower Hall, Tokyo, 25 August 2020, which is the opening of the 2020 Summer Paralympic Games and final day of Dare to Overcome, a global business, arts, film, and peace festival in support of the Paralympic Movement and people with disabilities.

This is the third biannual Global Business & Interfaith Peace Awards. The inaugural awards were given the day before the opening of the Rio Paralympics in 2016. The 2018 Awards were held the day before the opening of the PyeongChang Winter Paralympics. At the 2018 Awards, awardees held high level meetings on Korean peace at the Presidential Blue House and with the Mayor of Seoul. Delegates from the conference were also welcomed by senior politicians at the Korean National Assembly (Parliament), where RFBF President Brian Grim was awarded the Main Prize at the World Peace Prize Ceremony.

Ban Ki-moon (former UN Sec. Gen.) gives keynote at 2nd Global Business & Interfaith Peace Awards

This pioneering peace initiative was started by RFBF and as a collaboration with the the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC). The Awards began after H.E. Ban Ki-moon established the Business for Peace platform in 2013 within the UNGC, the world’s largest corporate member organization committed to the Sustainable Development Goals, which notably include SGD 16 (Peace) “Promoting peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, providing access to justice for all and building effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.”