Official: Radical new leadership needed

Oct. 14, 2010 at 9:30 AM
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VALENCIA, Spain, Oct. 14 (UPI) -- Business, government, and religious and other institutions worldwide need new leadership to endure severe changes ahead, a Spanish official and scholar says.

While it may not always be apparent, the world is in a "deep crisis -- not just financial, but also a political crisis, a crisis of democracy, an ethical crisis," Culture of Peace Foundation President Federico Mayor Zaragoza told the "emerging leadership" conference in Valencia, Spain.

The current crisis and impending changes will force "a radical rethink" in how most people view themselves and their interactions with others and the rest of life, Mayor Zaragoza, who is also president of the European Union's Initiative for Science in Europe and a former UNESCO director general, said in videotaped remarks made available to United Press International ahead of the Oct. 22-23 conference.

The societal changes in world view, basic values, social and political structures, arts and key institutions will "require changes in how leadership is defined and how leaders lead," conference organizer and organizational development expert Maria Elena Ferrer said.

She told UPI the changes would be revolutionary.

"People born a decade from now won't even be able to imagine the world into which their parents were born," Ferrer said.

More than just "an epochal change," the world is going through "a change of epoch," a shift from one era to another, Mayor Zaragoza said.

And the new era, with its distinctive character and practices, will need a distinctively new breed of leadership, he said.

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