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Faith and the Global Agenda: Values for the Post-Crisis Economy

Sponsor: World Economic Forum, Georgetown University
Released: 2010-01

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Published in collaboration with Georgetown University, this World Economic Forum report addresses faith and the global agenda, with a focus on the connection between values and the economy. It includes a Facebook poll of 130,000 respondents in ten countries, two-thirds of whom consider the current economic and financial crisis to be one of ethics and values. The poll results point to a trust deficit regarding values in the business world.

Only one-quarter of respondents believe that large, multinational businesses apply a values-driven approach to their sectors, while over 40% believe that small and medium-sized businesses apply such an approach.

Almost two-thirds of respondents believe that people do not apply the same values in their professional lives as they do in their private lives.

Only 54% of respondents believe that universal values exist.

Religion and faith are most likely to drive values in the United States, Saudi Arabia and South Africa. Across the respondent pool, religion and faith are also more important to older participants— only 18% of those aged 18 to 23 chose this as their primary source, whereas 30% of those over 30 chose this option.

The report also contains essays by global religious leaders including Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams and Patriarch Bartholomew, and and essay by Berkley Center Director Thomas Banchoff reviewing major developments at the intersection of religion and world affairs in 2009.