“The 7.3 billion people on our planet are intensely, intimately connected in ways previous generations could never have conceived”, says business journalist Rod Oram. “If a community fails, its country suffers. If a country fails, our world suffers.”
“Severe income inequality, ill health, political and social suppression and ecological disasters know no geographical or political boundaries”, he says. “It is vital that we trigger a change”.
In an address at the Christchurch Transitional Cathedral on Tuesday 13 October at 6.30pm to mark the 70th anniversary of Christian World Service Oram will challenge our community to provide resources to nurture the radical change necessary to make global inter-connectedness a strength rather than a threat.
“We need to be the sparks in the stubble”, he says, “helping to clear the ground for new growth.”
Shockwaves from local drought, famine, civil war, and economic and ecological disasters sweep out across the world. Syria is the most cataclysmic case to date. But Oram believes the global community has ample technology, finance, education and wisdom to make the change necessary.
He sees two huge challenges standing in its way. Can all societies become strong and capable enough to govern themselves well? Are all countries willing to learn how to co-operate?
Oram believes as a global community, we can address both. But it will take radical transformation. Communities will have to learn how to work together, how to draw strength and inspiration from people’s extraordinary ingenuity and how to work with nature rather than against it to enable the ecosystem on which their life depends to thrive.
The address marks the 70th anniversary of Christian World Service, the justice, aid and development agency of New Zealand Churches. Archbishop West Watson of Christchurch launched the first Christmas Appeal in 1945 to help war-torn Greece and that tradition of international cooperation and partnership has continued ever since. The first Christmas Appeal took the form of a letter sent to The Press, on the 15 December 1945.
Rod Oram will be giving his address twice. The Christchurch event is on 13 October 6:30 pm at the Transitional Cathedral, and another in Auckland’s St Matthew’s in the City at 5:30 pm on 29 October.
7 October 2015