The inspiration and direction of the NED Foundation is based on the following perceptions:
- That the earth and the human species, are facing a crisis, in which their survival as healthy living entities is now threatened as never before in recorded history.
- That, in order to face this crisis, we all individually need to make use of our potential for inner growth. Only through the maturity gained by continual engagement in this, can we become effective - for the genuine, long-term benefit of ourselves and the world we live in.
Implied in this is the need for cross-awareness between all religions and personal growth disciplines, whilst retaining the essence and unique power of each. We particularly need a new global spirituality, especially for those for whom the traditional approaches no longer have appeal. One that is relevant to the modern secular world, and offers effective solutions to the growing malaise of meaninglessness, which dis-empowers all our personal and social endeavours.
- That, above all other social theories and experiments, the principle of citizen involvement as expressed in the historic development of "Democracy" and "Co-operation", must be the primary impulse for our next evolutionary step. This principle needs to permeate and guide all areas of group and social activity - political, commercial and cultural. This principle expresses at human level, the larger principle which governs all life - that of ecology.
As a key factor in our species' survival and growth-evolution, and for the purposes of meaningful life as distinct from short-term emergencies, we need to move beyond traditional style 'leadership': i.e., beyond past allegiance and willingness for the imposition of a single individual's vision - enacted through highly energetic single mindedness; to engaging in the slower, more frustrating yet more enduring, organic methods of a broad based participatory learning process. Here decision making, responsibility and 'consequence-awareness', become an intended mutual reality. This implies a shift from 'top-down' militaristic, short-term efficiency, to 'ground up' involvement of all of us, both in facing reality together and as well in maintaining group-cohesion. This we see as the primary task, with learning, meaning and long-term effectiveness as the ultimate aim - our particular current engaged 'activity' is seen merely as the means. Thus personal development, within social and cultural development, becomes elevated as an equal and integrated component of human purpose. In this way society can become both personally meaningful and collectively effective.
- As an essential underpinning of these responses, we all need to attend retreats and workshops, as pragmatic personal experiences which allow us to regularly view our material goals and objectives from 'outside'. Such review needs to become a routine part of our personal, social and work life.