The IAED Assembly brought together 600 business men and women, representatives of financial foundations and research centers, and global experts in economics to explore the role of business in world peace, and establish a cooperative global network of business experts under the banner of expanding the values of interdependence and economic equalization. Gerard Willis, co-vice chairman of the HJ Magnolia Global Foundation, served as the moderator.

The central question being addressed was “What role does business play - and should they play - in the work to realize a world of peace and sustainable development?” Corporate business has traditionally had great difficulty to reconcile the tension between a pursuit of noble goals with the need to return shareholder value.

Thomas McDevitt, chairman of the HJ Magnolia Foundation International, added that a higher order of thinking will be required from the corporate / business wealth creation sector to properly address this question.

Jim Rogers, chairman, Rogers Holdings and Beeland Interests Inc., Singapore, confidently predicted that the 21st Century will be the century of the Asia Pacific region. He predicted that “Korea will be the most exciting place in the world within the next 10-20 years due to the re-unification of the Korean peninsula.”

Neil Bush, Chairman, Points of Light Foundation & CEO, Neil Bush Global Advisors, made the case for change and the irrepressibility of growth. He highlighted seven strategies that companies must follow to be in alignment with the sustainable development goals - beginning with a true engagement from the corporate leaders themselves.

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