Embracing an Inclusive World
--Some Words at FLIA’s 6th Anniversary Celebration
2021 has been proven to be a milestone year for FLIA. Since the second half of last year, we have produced more than ten significant research reports, and provided multiple educational courses and resources on negotiation and comparative law for partners in the US, China, and Europe. Our research team has been expanded to more areas of the world than before and we have welcomed many additional dedicated and accomplished FLIA Scholars and Research Fellows to join and lead FLIA’s research programs. FLIA’s website has also gotten a new and fresh look! Not only that, we have continued to develop our traditional programs, such as organizing international conferences, publishing, providing reliable educational resources, and promoting global cooperation, but also, we have launched new programs, such as the multi-lingual journal “FLIA Insight” and the “Inclusive Diplomat Program” to produce more avenues to empower individuals in global governance.
I don’t intend to lavish praise on ourselves, although our teammates deserve the greatest compliment in the universe! They are the best of the best. Regardless of all these achievements, I think we still have a long way to go before we really reach an inclusive world.
What is inclusiveness? There are different understandings and opinions in different disciplines. But for me, inclusiveness means moving beyond false boundaries, thinking and acting with a holistic perspective, and validating and not devaluating any points of view that differ from mine or seem unfamiliar to me.
I was born and raised in China and spent six significant years on my doctoral study in the US. I was often asked where I stand in the wave of the political and economic conflicts between China and the US. I often ask back, “why do you see them as conflicts?” In my mind, they are really just false boundaries, rather than real conflicts. A false boundary is a fixed mindset and perspective. A false boundary is a knowledge gap. A false boundary is a human-made wall for undisclosed or inapparent reasons and purposes.
If the coronavirus sees no boundaries among sovereignty or identities, and neither the climate change nor many other global challenges we are facing together, why keep these false boundaries in our own minds and systems that stop us from collaborating on finding out the mutually beneficial solutions? I never doubt that we absolutely have the power and capability to dissolve the limits and boundaries that are imposed on us, both consciously and unconsciously.
And that power and capability is rooted in our love for the collective humanity, as the fundamental truth of this world is that we are One and we are deeply connected.
FLIA’s newly launched program, Inclusive Diplomat, has led to the discovery of so many inspiring figures and stories on how these individuals have dealt with the false boundaries in their personal and professional lives, and how they have transcended beyond themselves to a much greater world by doing so. FLIA itself is another good example of acting based on an inclusive mindset as when it comes to our team structure, there are no limits in terms of geographic locations, nationalities, ages, degrees, or any other false boundaries. One of the reasons why FLIA can keep our team united and efficient to provide high-quality work while growing and progressing as a virtual and non-salary-based team is because we set ourselves free to embrace our abundant diversity and our different potentials, and we don’t shy away from our compassion and desire for the world we want to experience, just because we might hold different opinions.
We learned from our work that when we are willing to be open and adopt a comparative view, to take into account both local and global approaches, and to accept both “right” and “left” or “right” and “wrong”, we see a much broader world. And when we see a much bigger and more open world, we feel young, full of fun, energized, and loving. That is the secret why we always say we are a young team, no matter how many anniversaries lie ahead of us!
Now, at the dawn of FLIA’s 6th Anniversary, we stand with our beautiful and fulfilling hearts and minds; we stand in front of dissolving the human-made boundaries; we stand on the frontline of a new and open history; we stand while believing that we have already made it to a real inclusive world.
Join us and tune in your density. And finally, as always, stay with us and expect more.
In celebration and in anticipation of a more inclusive world,
Founder & President, Foundation for Law and International Affairs