Ronald L Mann, Ph.D.’s Blog

Coronavirus: Keep Your Immune System Strong

Dear Friends,

As you know, individual and national reactions to the Coronavirus are ramping up. There appears to be an increase in stress and anxiety as we are forced to change our behavior and common everyday routines. Stress and anxiety only make our situation worse as they weaken our immune system. The best advice is to stay calm, maintain good health practices, wash our hands, and keep some social distance to minimize any chance of getting or spreading the virus.

I know some people laugh at all this and think it is “just the flu.” Well, if you believe science, physicians, and the CDC, this is a little more than the common flu. It is easier to spread and has a mortality rate 10X the normal flu. Our seniors with some underlying medical issue are at the greatest risk. Those under 60 who are healthy and younger individuals do not appear to be at risk for any serious outcome. However, anything we can do to help slow the spread and keep people out of hospitals, the more we are helping our more senior citizens and protecting our health care system. Any precaution we take is really a selfless act of service for others.

Based upon people’s buying patterns, i.e. toilet paper is sold out along with hand sanitizer and the mass buying of food, there appears to be a lot of anxious behavior. The best defense we have right now is a strong immune system. Anxiety and stress will compromise our immune system and lower our resistance. There are some very simple and proven things we can do to enhance our immune system.

1. Eat well. Get rid of the processed food and eat fruits and vegetables along with protein. Cut down on sugar and excessive carbs. Keep your alcohol intake to a minimum.

2. Exercise. If you can do some aerobic exercise, great. Even walking 20-30 minutes a day will help you.

3. Meditate to quiet your mind, lower your blood pressure, calm down, and dramatically reduce your stress.

If you have training and techniques for meditation, then I hope you are using them every day. If not, you can find some great meditation instruction on my website at
These guided meditations are in MP3 format and downloadable. Here are five that I recommend to keep your stress level down and stay rested in times of need.

It is possible that we might need to spend some time in seclusion in self-isolation, quarantine, or general lock down if the spread gets too large. Many people become very anxious at the thought of being forced to isolate and lose contact with their normal worldly activities. A change in thinking can help to turn this activity from the idea of torture to one of spiritual practice.

A spiritual retreat, one in which people actually pay good money to attend, is designed to turn one’s awareness away from the distractions of the outer world to the depths of their soul. During a few days to a few weeks, a person is encouraged to take a vow of silence, refrain from watching TV, turn off cell phones, and perhaps even fast for a few days only drinking water, teas, and juice. This can be a very powerful and life changing experience. The first couple days can be a bit rough until consciousness moves within away from the surface of the ego into the soul. The reward is a state of peace and even joy or bliss. Our true nature is found within and it takes a conscious effort to discover it. Once we calm down and go within, we will find a powerful energetic force of light that can impact every physical cell.

If we are forced by current circumstances to stay home, we can turn this seemingly time of torture into an opportunity to awaken to higher states of being. How we approach our circumstance can determine the final outcome.
Here are some tools to support your journey. You can listen to samples of these programs at

Inspiration for Meditation
This guided meditation focuses upon the life force energy in the spine. The breath and mantra are used to develop concentration and redirect the life force energy away from the outer senses into the deeper and higher centers of the brain. This method is from the Yoga Tradition that works with the subtle energy in the spine. It is considered a more advanced approach to meditation and can quickly change one’s state of awareness. This meditation is used by individuals all around the world with great success!

Self-Hypnosis for Stress Release
An intensive hypnotic induction helps you to totally relax and release stress. The process focuses upon entire body relaxation and visual imagery for a safe haven in nature. The music is beautiful, the pace is slow and inviting. You will learn very useful techniques for deep relaxation.…/self-hypnosis-for-stress-release/

Healing in the Light
This guided meditation begins with the induction of a gentle trance state and then calls upon visual imagery to activate the presence of inner light. This subtle force is used to direct healing energy into the cellular structure and the immune system. Directions are also given for a direct intuitive, internal communication to discover the underlying cause for any disease process.

Stress Reduction for Corporate America
This is a short 5-minute guided meditation that you can do at work. It will help you relax your body and mind, get you focused, and create new energy. When you are busy and don’t have a lot of time to meditate, this is the program for you. It is also good for beginners who want to develop some concentration skills.…/stress-reduction-for-corporate-ameri…/

Healing in the Light
This guided meditation begins with the induction of a gentle trance state and then calls upon visual imagery to activate the presence of inner light. This subtle force is used to direct healing energy into the cellular structure and the immune system. Directions are also given for a direct intuitive, internal communication to discover the underlying cause for any disease process.

You need to have a good night’s rest. Dr. Mann creates a hypnotic induction which puts you to sleep. Suggestions are given for a wonderful, restful, healing sleep in which your unconscious will work to solve any problems you might have. Few have actually heard the end of the program.

All these products are inexpensive, however, because of the greater need we are all facing to remain calm and healthy, I have reduced the regular price by 15%. You will see the price has been marked down as being on sale.

In closing, I hope you are healthy and stay healthy. My thoughts and prayers are with you. This is a short-term issue that will be resolved. We will get through this. Do your best to stay positive and trust the Divine presence within you. The next 3-6 weeks should give us more information about how this is going.

Eternal Blessings,
Ronald L. Mann, Ph.D.



The EMPeaceLABS 2013 Conference in Jalgaon, India is about to occur. The Mann Consulting Group continues to support this 5-year program. The full details are provided in the attached PDF brochure. We have been very active in designing the Leadership Development aspects of this program along with the Leadership Academy for selected previous participants.
[gview file=””]

The Leadership Academy is a special mentoring program for individuals who have participated in previous EmPeaceLABS and have demonstrated individual initiative in creating local projects for community development and leadership development with regards to agribusiness and sustainability.

The Leadership Academy was designed as a way to further the leadership skills of these individuals through continued participation in the EmPeaceLABS 2013. They will receive more direct coaching and training, become a part of our leadership team and play a significant role in facilitating team discussions during the EmPeace LABS workshops.

You may view the various Leadership Development training videos for free. You just need to register to have access. Register Now

Here is one of the six training videos.

Bouncing Back: How to Recover When Life Knocks You Down has some great information. Here is a short piece from my discusssion with Major League Baseball catcher, manager, and coach, Buck Rodgers.

 Thoughts from Buck Rodgers

Buck had a very successful career in Major League baseball. We were talking about change and adjustment, and I asked him how he helped his players learn to adjust.  I wanted to understand his approach to coaching.  Buck offered this advice:

            “I think it was just a matter of, you sit and talk to people and show them the way you think it should be done and say, ‘What do you think about that? Does that make sense?’

“And I’ll always say—whenever I wanted an answer, I’d say, ‘I don’t want you to say yes or no to this.  This is what I think it’s going to take for you to be successful. I don’t want you to give me an answer right now. I want you to go home and think about it, and then you come in tomorrow morning and talk—but I don’t want a reaction, I want a thought process to go through this, and see if you think you’ve got a better way to be successful, this way or that way. And then tomorrow, you come in and tell me your answer, and then we’ll go from there.’ ”

            Buck’s simple process is really quite powerful.  Too many times people try to change other people. They talk louder and longer, over and over again, hoping to wear the person down and by using the power of their will to influence and change another person.  Personally, I find this style extremely obnoxious and totally ineffective.  At best, you usually get someone to passively agree and then not comply with you later on down the line. At worst, you get a strong person who argues, resists, and fights back.  What a tedious, useless waste of energy in this battle of egos!

Buck is an intelligent man who understands people.  He knows that people have to want to change if something is really going to happen. Motivating a person to change is more of an art form than simply bullying someone into behaving differently. Transformation of character comes from the inside out, not from some external, coercive force. If you force someone to change, you will pay for it later.  They will resent you, becoming openly hostile or passive-aggressive. You will certainly not generate loyalty and respect from that approach.

Buck is also skillful here because he does not ask for a response in the moment. Most people tend to react to external situations from an emotional perspective.  A knee-jerk emotional reaction is usually not the most enlightened response. Buck helps to keep the situation more low-key by creating a space where his players can go home and think it over.  He gives them the opportunity to consider his proposal and asks for their input—a sign of respect.

If you are coaching players or raising children, you first need to open the mind before change can happen. If you learn how to approach someone and facilitate a process that opens the mind to other possibilities, then you have made a great start in the change process.  Everything starts in the mind. If you can engage the intellect and create an interest in the realm of possibilities, then you have the skill to be a successful change agent. A coach or parent is a teacher, and a great teacher helps others to open their minds and experience new levels of success.

This is a great YouTube training video for Executive Coaching. This was made in Taiwan in December 2012 at the University of Culture. We were training trainers for the continuing education program. This scenario uses a situation regarding leadership transition.
Click here to view YouTube video or just view below.

Chinese Cultural University Training Group

Chinese Cultural University Training Group

I have returned from the international conference in India and want to bring you up to date.  This was a very valuable and productive experience that brought people together from India, Africa and the United States.

The main organizers from the Arizona State University were Dr. Marek Wosinski and Dr. Rimhjhim Aggarwal.  The Arizona staff did a fabulous job in making this conference a reality and were open and flexible during the week to create a very dynamic, interactive event that created a lot of inspiration and vision for the future.

Dr. Rimhjim Aggarwal at opening ceremony.

Dr. Wosinksi

Dr. Marek at opening ceremony.

We were hosted by the Jain Irrigation System, Inc. and were provided wonderful accommodations and gourmet vegetarian food at the Jain Learning Center.

Jain provides training programs for thousands of individuals each year in irrigation and agribusiness. They have a large staff and really took care of us.  No one got sick from the food or water and the accommodations were very clean. The staff was attentive and selfless.

They have a few thousand acres, which includes the Gandhi Research Institute.

Dr. Jain also built a boarding school on the property that consists of 1,000 acres.  We had many opportunities to spend time with these students and found them to be very bright, friendly and extremely well mannered.  India is education and training future world leaders.

Dr. Bhavarial Jain

The program was organized into three main components: Gandhi Philosophy, Jain Irrigation Systems, and Leadership Development. The purpose was to integrate various approaches and areas that have typically been separate: empower of women in leadership, agribusiness, food production, water conservation, non-violent approaches to peace, and leadership development. All these facets were discussed and integrated into a global approach for developing countries like India and Africa.

There is a comprehensive website at and you can join the university partnership there.  The blogs details the purpose and beginning meetings so well,  I am just quoting it here.

There is also another post at that is excellent and I encourage you to read it.

“The past century has been the bloodiest in history, and the morning news bulletins in the first decade of the twenty first century haven’t given us much hope of things getting better: conflict appears to be spreading across every corner of the known world. The developing countries across the globe are facing the forces of fragmentation and frustration on an unprecedented scale. In India, in Africa, and elsewhere in South Asia serious conflicts have arisen around issues of land, water, and food security. Every disaster, whether man-made or natural, sets back development indicators several notches, and the resultant poverty further fans frustration and more conflict. It’s a vicious cycle.

The United Nations, at the turn of the century had propounded the Millennium Development Goals, a comprehensive strategy for poverty alleviation. However, these goals cannot be attained in an environment of hostility and mistrust. But how does one break this vicious cycle of poverty, frustration, and fragmentation?

Perhaps an answer can be found in the philosophy of the greatest advocate of peace in modern times: Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, known in India as the Mahatma. For Gandhi, the key to lasting and sustainable development was to be found in the uplift of the village communities, through enabling each village community to develop and manage their resources. In Africa, as in the Indian subcontinent, it is food security that is of major concern, and the issue can be addressed through the empowerment of the farming communities.


Empowerment of farming communities for peace is at the heart of the EmPeace LABS concept. ‘Empowerment for Peace through Leadership in Agribusiness and Sustainability’- that’s the idea and the objective is the eradication of poverty in rural communities.


EmPeace LABS 2012, that kicked off on Saturday morning drew participants from Cameroon, Ghana, Gambia, India, Nepal, Nigeria, Kenya, Liberia, Mozambique, Swaziland, Uganda, and Zimbabwe as well as panelists and experts from JISL (Jain Irrigation Systems Ltd), ASU (Arizona State University), and GRF (Gandhi Research Foundation).  It’s an international leadership-training workshop that aims to develop the participants’ leadership and entrepreneurial skills, to build sustainable practices in agribusiness and water management through working sessions and ‘hands-on experiences’. This will create peaceful, prosperous communities.

EmPeace LABS aims to connect various community youth leaders, especially women, with corporations within their communities and with their local governments to co-design and implement sustainable projects, through a ‘multi-stakeholder approach.’ As Michael Crow, President of Arizona State University puts it, “We believe that through research and freely shared knowledge, we can create a socially, economically, and ecologically responsive society – a global community that understands the consequences of our actions and acts accordingly. Community led innovation can help solve food security challenges at the local and global scale. When farmers and local leaders engage in agricultural development and agri-business, communities prosper. This prosperity and stability dramatically improves long term prospects for global peace by reducing the strain on food systems, especially for the rural poor.

The speakers at the inaugural session emphasized the Gandhian values of ‘truthful engagement’ in the developmental process. Dr Marek Wosinski of UCP- SARnet, who was one of the initiators of a unique community based College of Social Work project in West Champaran, India at the site of Gandhi’s first ‘struggle for truth’ and development in rural India, said that the need of the hour was to liberate Gandhi from the textbooks and the museums and bring Gandhi into practice in the villages of Bihar. Dr Bhavarlal Jain, founder Chairman of Jain Irrigation Systems, spoke of the incorporation of values in business that would serve to empower and sustain all living creatures, and of his own group’s continuing efforts to put Gandhian principles into sustainable practice.

Justice Dr. Chandrashekhar Dharmadhikari

Justice Dr. Chandrashekhar Dharmadhikari

Justice Chandrashekhar Dharmadhikari, Chairman Gandhi Smarak Nidhi and Gandhi Research Foundation spoke about the need to incorporate truthful dealings in aspects of commerce, and emphasised that the pursuit of rampant consumption led to an unsustainable lifestyle that is ultimately destroying the earth. He expressed a hope that the young leaders who congregated at Jalgaon for the first ever EmPeaceLAB would study use their insights and enthusiasm to adapt Gandhian thinking to lead their communities and countries to prosperous and peaceful future. “

There is a lot of information about this conference on the UCPSARnet website, so let me give a more personal account of my experience.

I found the Gandhi influence very inspiring as it was integrated into everyday life. All speakers from the Gandhi Research Institute talked about sustainability in a way that made a lot of sense. Sustainability was about creating programs, businesses and relationships that would last over time because all stakeholders were valued and respected.  Relationships were grounded in honesty and people were not viewed as things to be used and resources to be consumed. The earth was regarded with respect and our human relationship with the earth was discussed as we learn to manage our limited resources for some kind of intelligent design.

The participants were very bright, dedicated and interested.  I made a great relationship with Adeyemi Damilare, a young man from Nigeria. He is very interested in connecting Coaching the Global Village with the African Union Youth Council.  We spent a lot of time meditating together and designing plans to roll out coaching for leadership development of African Youth.  He was also very interested in the BrightHeart program for children that has been initiated in Uganda.

There was a lot of interest in leadership training from a variety of countries. The team from Madagascar consisted of a very dynamic woman Zo who translated everything for her three woman team.  Zo was one of the most active participants and had tremendous leadership skills. She is very interested in continued training for young leaders in Madagascar.


Rohiit Jain is another fine young man I met. He is from northern India and has a Master’s degree in Communication.  Rather than move to the city for some kind of IT job, he has chosen to remain in his local village and create a collective farm that is successful in producing and marketing food in his area. He is creating a sustainable agricultural business helping his local community and finds great personal value in doing so. I am interested in exploring the development of a micro loan group to help him with his program. He has a successful track record, a great set of values, and is a smart guy who is worthy of trust and support.

Rohiit Jain

Rohiit Jain


One of the most personally inspiring connections I made was with Professor Ramji Singh from the Gandhi Research Foundation. As a boy, he knew Mahatma Gandhi.  Professor Singh has a remarkable aura of peace around him. For a man of eighty nine, he was in great shape. He gave a fiery talk on the life, history and teachings of Gandhi. He wanted me to go by Ram as a spiritual name in India.  He was such a brilliant intellect and a profound yogi that Dr. Marek Wosinski was moved to ask him how he could integrate both a great mind and a personal level of development that was so pronounced.  Professor Singh simply responded that during his entire life he constantly strived to reduce himself to “zero.”  He response had a strong impact on me and the entire group. He was a living model of spiritual realization and the power that results when the ego no longer is the primary principal running the show.

Professor Singh with Dr. Wosinski


I was blessed to meet and befriend another unique individual, Pape Samb. We had great fun shopping together in the local town and discussing leadership and world change. Mr. Samb is the Director for Programs for Africa at Phelps Stokes.  He has a warm, open, joyful and inviting presence.  He spoke to the entire group and especially emphasized the importance of bringing people together and being a “relationship broker.”  He also emphasized the notion of sustainability by working for the benefit of others and working with others. He was very uplifting a emphasized the important of acknowledging others. He had a very interesting approach to enhancing one’s capacity to help others:  suspend assumptions and change questions. He advised us to always be a learner in order to create better relationships, as we must understand other people’s values if we are to successfully work with them. Finally, he discussed the Global Youth International Conference that addresses core values for youth: Trust, Accountability, Reliability, Growth, Empowerment and Truth.  These are core values that will help anyone.

Mr. Samb is one of the special people out there. If you every have a chance to meet him, your life will be enhanced.

Pape Samb with Ron Mann

Pape Samb with Ron Mann

One a personal note I was especially moved to be with him because he is a Muslim.  With all the bad press that Muslims get in today’s world, it was a blessing to be with such a wonderful man with great values.

One day we had a full field trip to several farms. We saw cotton, onions, papaya, and banana farms.  The Jain Irrigation staff have food production down to a science.  They can calculate the number of fruits a plant will produce and how much water it needs to do so.  Through the drip irrigation systems they have vastly reduced the amount of water necessary for production and greatly enhanced output.  They have a vision for water sustainability to see the conservation of water as a major concern for our future.  They are interested and available to take their technology which includes solar energy into Africa. There were many very precise presentations made about their work and projects, which ranged from irrigation, food production, farm management, solar energy, water desalination and pipe production.

Banana Field Trip

Banana Field Trip

In summary, the leadership development aspect of this project was well integrated due to the strong commitment and influence of the Gandhi Research Foundation. All of Gandhi’s philosophy was compatible with our coaching approach that is founded upon relationship building and self-empowerment. This conference stressed the importance of individual creativity, responsibility, and initiative.  The participants were education and informed about the latest technologies for food production and given basic tools and inspiration for leadership development and personal empowerment. Relationships were established that will continue across Africa. Coaching the Global Village was an important component for future training and support for all participants.

There were cross cultural presentations every evening from each country. Dancing was the common language that brought joy and bonding among the participants and the children from the local school.

Evening Dancing

Evening Dancing

Group at Gandhi Museum


I have posted over 100 pictures on my Facebook page. I encourage you to take a look at them at

If you go to drronmann at youtube you will find a new video of this morning opening ceremony.  Pretty cool to see.

First day in India


India has changed a lot since my last trip here five years ago. The airport is very modern as any Western country with all the typical fashion design stores with designer goods. The roads have improved as well. New highways have been built and you don’t see so many cows on the road. It appears closer to the modern world,although that is a mixed blessing here. My local friends tell me that some people buy two bedroom condos for a million dollars and have to work so much they have no time for family or spiritual practice

My first day was very eventful. It began with the very practical: getting a local cell phone and a SIM card for my iPad. I am amazed at the low cost. I got a basic Nokia phone for $20 and a service plan for it, a sim chip for the iPad and a 3G connection for 800 rupees, that is about $15. (I am now at the Gandhi University/Gain Irrigation Campus and the connection is not as stable as it was in Delhi. Everything worked great there, but here not so much. It is 9:30 PM local time and the internet connection is great but not so good for email. I just added this on Friday evening) That sure beat AT&T international rates. After taking care of my worldly needs for high tech communication I went to the YSS. ashram. I was able to spend some time in their meditation room. Since I and Prasad, my tour guide, were the only ones in the room, I played the harmonium and chanted for an hour. I then had the opportunity to meet with the senior Swami, Amarananda. He was very sweet and gave us a waking tour. Yoganandaji’s presence was very strong there and the afternoon left me feeling very nurtured and joyful.

The next stop was at the huge ashram of Swaminarana. He was alive in 870 BC and was a Buddha/Christlike figure who became fully enlightened as a child. His property is enormous and has many different multiple shows explaining his history, mission and the legacy of India. There was a light, water and sound show outside in an area that seemed like the size of four football fields. There were a few thousand people and the spiritual vibration was very strong.

These two trips were a perfect way to prepare for the week.


I made the flight down to Aurangabad and I and 7 other people made the four hour van ride to the University. It was a typical Indian travel adventure. The road was narrow with traffic in every lane coming head on until the last moment. The last two hours were after the sunset so the added challenge of darkness created more stress for some. Some were exhausted from the long trip from Africa and slept most of the way. Others stayed awake and watched with anticipation as the cars, scooters, busses, trucks and oxen driven carts made their dance through the night. We did see one young man with a head injury on the side of the road being administered to. It is a dangerous and treacherous place to walk or drive. We were all very happy to arrive alive, safe and sound.

The few people I met on the bus were mostly from Africa. One man, David French, is from Colorado. He has an NGO working with leadership programs for youth. They all seemed extremely nice, very smart and joyful. I believe this week will be a very successful experience for all attending.


I passed on the 9 O’clock dinner tonight. It is now 11 O’clock and I am in my room which is very nice, quiet and has a private bathroom. The Jain Irrigation training center, which is hosting this event, is quite expansive, with beautiful landscaping and clean architecture. Tomorrow is a free day and the conference begins on Saturday.


It is 4:00 AM and I am wake. I can feel the immensity of the silence. I am drawn into meditation and this stillness provides an avenue for a deeper look into my inner life and the areas of my ego that are present and resist dissolving into a deeper stillness. It is impossible to just go back to sleep because it took such a great effort to get here, it seems like a waste to throw it away with sleep. An hour meditation at 4:00 AM in this pristine environment to too good to pass up. We are out in the country on the 1000 acre property of the Jain Irrigation System. They are the founding supporters of the Gandhi University. There is very little static in the subtle realms.

Friday Day:

We had a nice walking tour around the property and it provided us an opportunity to meet each other. There are many very inspired young men and women from Africa (Cameroon, Nigeria, Ghana) with a desire to learn and create avenues for business and agricultural development back home.


Adeyemi Damilare, Managing Director of Tender Heart Care Services is from Nigeria. He teaches at the University and is very eager to obtain more psychological training in coaching and leadership development. We have begun the discussion to create a program for him in which he can be certified and help others be more successful in their business development. We also began discussing the important to some universal approach to spirituality that would help people learn meditation, breathing and other skills to open their hearts, deeper their intuition, and empower them to be more effective in helping others. He was very excited to have a relationship with Coaching the Global Village and is eager to have us work with him.

As a note on coaching it is interesting that he suggest I send an email to him and outline our program. I am a big believer in developing a program based upon an individual’s needs. I suggested we talk and he tell me what he needs and what he wants to accomplish and we will design a program for him. It was the beginning of the coaching process. He was very clear that he wanted some type of certification because that is the only way he will be respected for what he has learned.

I had lunch with two lovely young women from Nigeria. We talked about women’s issues and the process of women’s development in that country. There were very positive and felt that gains were being made.

The Jain Irrigation System is an enormous corporation that is involved in many different programs, products, and projects from solar energy, food production, organic fertilizers, and irrigations systems. Their dried onions are in the pizzas at McDonalds.


My overall impression is that this is a group of very bright and eager young people. I think the next week will be very fruitful for them and I look forward to our continuing relationships over the years. There are very open to the coaching model and want to work together for support. The time here has been a lot of fun and we are only in the first day.


I am getting a lot of exercise as my room is far away from the dining hall and meeting area. It is a good ten minute walk up a steep hill. Given all the sitting on the airplane to get here, I am very happy to be able to do so much walking.

Tomorrow we have our first day. I look forward to it.


I am now on a layover in Singapore. The flight from LA was long and as I was reading Victor Frankel’s book, “Man’s Search for Meaning,” I had these thoughts about the coaching process.  I arrive in India later tonight.

Conference goals
This work is about a deeper purpose: not just about food or water. It is about developing leaders who have a vision for peace and a process to bring people together to work together for the betterment of others.
It is a coaches job to help find that deeper purpose and integrate a deeper meaning of life into our work. It is a coaches job to look deeper and help explore ways to keep aligned with our core self. A coach does not have the “answer” as such, but offers a process that leads to deeper realizations and alignment with our purpose. We help find meaning in life through a process of inquiry that reveals the truth about our nature, our purpose. We work together to stay on track and hold true to our mission.
This work demands constant introspection and an honest look into our daily progress. We must embody that which we wish to achieve. One aspect of Satya (truth) is to realize and align ourselves with our true nature. Our power to transform our environment and to uplift others comes from that deeper self. The atma , the soul. It is only human to be drawn away from this deeper alignment because of desires, attachments, and external influences. It is a process of remembering and recommitment. We choose to come back to our core self. Meaning crated by a project to help others. Collaborative work unites people in the heart.

Monday, October 8, 2012

This morning we had a planning meeting with the team from ASU that will be attending the conference. I am impressed by the quality of the people that are involved. We have a mix of students and professionals with a cross-cultural mix from Poland, India, Africa, Canada, and the United States.

The major focus of this meeting was to introduce everyone to each other and discuss the logistics of small group discussions and organizational planning. This is a very fluid process that will change each day as we discover what is most needed to achieve our goals. We currently have 72 confirmed participants from 13 countries.

Here is a summary of a couple of the people who were present. There were about 12 all together.

Dr. Rimjhim Aggarwal is from the ASU School of Sustainability and is playing a major role in the organization of the project along with Dr. Marek Wosinki.  She is from India and envisions this process as a way to develop leaders, integrating Gandhi’s philosophy, who can help promote peace in the world through agribusiness and sustainability programs.  It is a very complex program to integrate a variety of initiatives (peace work, leadership development, empowerment of women, food and water resource management).  The intent is to create a global community of mentors, coaches, and young people and use technology to facilitate this process.   She has a very peaceful presence and is very smart. She is also has a long history with spiritual practice and meditation.

Jerrie Ueberle is another member going to India.  Jerrie is Founder/President of Global Interactions, Inc., and the World Academy for the Future of Women. Global Interactions is a non-profit corporation specializing in developing international connections to promote the sharing of promising practices, technologies, and research among professional and business counterparts worldwide.

The World Academy is a dynamic and bold leadership program to empower women through the discovery of their passion, purpose and path to success, to engage in addressing the United Nations Millennium Development Goals through collaborative and inclusive partnerships. Begun in 2009 the Academy is positioned to accelerate the advancement of women worldwide uniting women and men in achieving these goals.

Robby Uppal was with us via Skype. He is the President of Visionary Investment Genesis, an Arizona based venture capital company that focuses on providing seed money for development projects and smart technology. With a background in International Commercial Law and Business Transactions, as well as Corporate Legal Accountability, he has been a policy officer for the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor for South and Central Asia monitoring India, Nepal, Maldives, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. He is also the co-founder of Solar Topps, an Arizona based Solar Energy Firm. He has been with UCP-SARnet since 2009 and has served multiple functions as an Associate Facilitator, particularly the oversight of major reorganization of both the network’s structure and growth. Currently, he facilitates public and private partnerships for UCP-SARnet.

There is a plan to video much of the program and make it available online after the event. We will interview participants as well to hear their thoughts, feelings, and impressions.

Here are the  keynote speakers:

First, a word from the Chairman of Jain Irrigation Systems, a major sponsor of this project.

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

It has been my long cherished dream to create a lasting memorial to the Mahatma Gandhi has been my ideal, my hero, my guide and in many ways my friend for the last five decades and more. For years I have wanted to pay my tribute to him for all that he has contributed to the fulfillment of my life. Unfortunately, circumstances did not allow me to do this till last month, when we formally inaugurated the Gandhi Re-search Foundation here at Jain Hills in Jalgaon.

Today I am proud to say that I am well on the way to fulfilling my dream. The Gandhi Research Foundation is established in a structure befitting the Father of the Nation. The message of the Mahatma is slowly, but surely taking root in the hearts and minds of the numerous visitors that are beginning to throng Gandhi Teerth (museum), participating in Tests on Gandhian Thought, rural development programs, dissemination of Gandhi’s teachings through lecture series and exhibitions, plays, Padayatras and Cycleyatras, seminars, workshops and, most of all, through publication and sale of books and the sale of Khadi and village industry products.

It is my earnest desire that this EmPeace LABS 2012 workshop will provide the right impetus for the five-year project of Empowering for Peace through Leadership in Agribusiness and Sustainability Eradicating Poverty in Rural Communities. This was so close to Gandhi’s heart. His everlasting desire was to make the rural community self-sufficient and empower the underprivileged.

May his divine hand guide us in this endeavor.

Dr. Bahavarlal H. Jain

Chairman of Jain Irrigation Systems’ Ltd.


Dr. Bhavarlal H. Jain

Dr. Bhavarlal H. Jain is the Founder of the Jain group of companies and Chairman of the Company. He began his business in 1963 by trading in agricultural inputs and equipment. In 1980, he commenced PVC Pipe manufacturing operations. Post 1986, he pioneered the concept of micro irrigation in India.

He has received many awards and accolades for outstanding work in agriculture including the prestigious Crawford Reid Memorial Award instituted by Irrigation Association, U.S.A. for “Significant Contribution to the Irrigation Industry outside the United States.” Three honorary doctorates have been conferred on him from different universities acknowledging path breaking work he has done for improvement of agriculture in India .


Justice/Dr. Chandrashekhar Dharmadhikari

Dr. Chandrashekhar Dharmadhikari has been a judge of impeccable moral character, and is a staunch and steadfast Gandhian, both in equal measure. In both the roles, he has been uncompromising in his belief and value systems. Justice Dharmadhikari is a living icon of Gandhian values. He has emulated Gandhian thoughts and actions in every walk of his life, may it be on the social, economic, political, legislative or religious-spiritual fronts. At a time when Gandhiji is thought to be inconsequential to the present global situation by a section of opinion makers, the iconic presence of the likes of Dr. Darmadhikari helps in building a counter opinion that it is only by following Gandhiji’s prophesies that a better, sustainable and equitable world can be rebuilt. Gandhiji’s legacy is without age. Such traditions don′t become irrelevant with the passage of time.


Mdm. Nileema Mishra

Nileema Mishra, from India, was recognized with 2011 Ramon Magsaysay Award for Emergent Leadership Nileema was born to a middle-class family in the village of Bahadarpur, Maharashtra. With a master’s degree in clinical psychology, she could have gone on to a comfortable life as an urban professional. But even as a child, Nileema was sensitive to the crippling poverty in her village. Five years after finishing her studies in 1995, Nileema returned to her village to organize Bhagini Nivedita Gramin Vigyan Niketan (BNGVN), or Sister Nivedita Rural Science Center, named after an Anglo-Irish missionary who devoted her life to helping Indian women of all castes.

The success of Bahadarpur inspired Nileema to expand her work. In less than ten years, BNGVN has formed 1,800 self-help groups in two hundred villages across Maharashtra. Its microcredit pro-gram has caused to be distributed the equivalent of US$5 million, with a hundred-percent loan recovery rate. But the most critical change has taken place in the villagers’ sense of themselves, their new-found confidence that they need not despair, that working together, they will find a way.


Mr. Pape Samb

Mr. Pape Samb assumed the position of Director, Programs for Africa and Freedom Endowment (PAFE) at Phelps Stokes in 2010 to provide leadership and vision in the development, imple-mentation and assessment of Phelps Stokes’newly created Programs for Africa Department.

Mr. Samb is a social entrepreneur focused on international development, who has over seventeen years of leadership experience in nonprofit management, program design and development, database management, fund-raising, and training facilitation.

Prior to being tapped as the Director of Africa Programs at Phelps Stokes, Mr.Samb was the Associate Development Director of Sasha Bruce Youth-work, where he supported the organization’s development and programmatic operations including writing proposals and developing and coordinating staff training programs. He also facilitated the creation of the Development Department’s strategic plan and assisted with the agency’s operational strategies.

Mr. Samb is an active member and board member of several African- and African Diaspora-focused organizations including Constituents for Africa (CFA), African American United Caucus (AAUC) Next Generation of Leaders, Vort Port International (VPI), and the National Academy of Public Ad-ministration (NAPA) Africa Working Group. He is the founder of SENEGEL, an organization of Senegalese young leaders around the world, and the co-founder of African Neoleaders, an organization for emerging leaders, and CEO of EXELEADMEN. He is fluent in English, French and several West African Languages and conversational Spanish and Arabic.


That is all for now. My next post will probably be from the airplane on my way to India. Please pray for me that all the flights are on time and it is a safe landing. Thanks so much.