“Corporate and religious worlds cannot live apart. As a religious leader, I am very interested in the way corporates run the world so effectively. That’s why I have stepped into the business world by getting a scholarship from Chevening to study Corporate Communications, Marketing and Public Relations in the UK. I thought I could be a change agent from religious world, sharing mindfulness and the Buddha’s teaching with the corporate world to maximise the profit. And as they have very effective tools, we can use their tools to better the world. It’s empowerment of both sides. Doing this will bring out the best of both worlds.”
25 June 2021
Yesterday was Buddhist Observance Day and the production team arranged by GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH) came to the Golden Mount Temple to interview Ven. Napan Santibhaddo Thawornbanjob, Chair of IBHAP Foundation, and to record a documentary on his idea, life and work. The documentary is part of the “GIZ Sector Programme Religion and Development” to support the strategy “Religions as Partners in Development Cooperation” of the German Federal Ministry for Economical Cooperation and Development. This strategy is based on the insight that a large majority of the world’s population professes a religion, and in many countries, religious actors are among the most important forces in civil society. They maintain networks that influence social developments at local, national and regional levels. The documentary focusses on the reality of the lives of people who are religiously inspired and make exemplary contribution to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The interview yesterday took place as a result of Ven. Napan’s lecture at the iDove (Interfaith Dialogue on Violent Extremism) conference. In his view, the prevention of violence has to begin by opening a space in our heart to violent extremists and trying to understand what leads them to violence. In addition, there need to be changes in social structure, paying attention to both inner and outer peace, prevention violence and retaliation by changing victims to victors, and countering negative impacts by creating positive impacts.
In terms of communicating the Buddha’s teaching to build peace, Ven. Napan highlighted the use of mass and social media in this era. One of the channels he has been using is through the edutainment show “Monks, help me!” on Workpoint TV channel.
As yesterday was Buddhist Observance Day, the production team was allowed to film the congregation of the monks during a Buddhist ritual. After they had finished the recording, the Abbot, the Most Venerable Phra Thep Ratana Muni happened to walk past. Apart from kindly giving them his kind permission to make the recording at the temple, he also greeted them warmly and offered to send them some more photos.
Stay tune for the documentary which will be publicized on GIZ website (https://www.giz.de/en/html/index.html). Meanwhile, watch a short video of the interview in the comment.
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