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Initiatives of Change

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Title: Initiatives of Change  
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Subject: Moral Re-Armament, Monastic silence, Cornelio Sommaruga, Mohamed Sahnoun, Panchgani
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Initiatives of Change

Initiatives of Change
Motto Building trust across the world's divides
Predecessor Moral Re-Armament
Founded 2001,
Type Non-profit, Interest group
  • Global
Services Conferences, Campaigns
Fields Building trust
Key people
Dr Omnia Marzouk, elected President, International Association in 2012; Rajmohan Gandhi, former President, International Association; Cornelio Sommaruga, Inaugural President; Mohamed Sahnoun, Chair, Caux Forum for Human Security;

Initiatives of Change ("IofC") is a global organisation dedicated to "building trust across the world's divides"[1] of culture, nationality, belief, and background. Initiatives of Change was known as Moral Re-Armament (MRA) from 1938 to 2001 and previously as The Oxford Group.


  • Principles 1
  • Programs 2
  • Initiatives of Change International 3
  • Mountain House, Caux, Switzerland 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6


These principles are taken from those of the organization's predecessor, Moral Re-Armament (MRA), founded in 1938 by Frank Buchman. Initiatives of Change has spiritual roots but no religious affiliation, and invites "those with a faith...both to explore the roots of their own tradition, and to discover and respect the beliefs of others." [2] The name, "Initiatives of Change", was adopted in 2001, expressing the emphasis of the organization in effecting social change beginning with personal change.


Initiatives of Change programs are active in many countries. In the Janusz Korczak Association.

Initiatives of Change International

Initiatives of Change International, a Caux, Switzerland, is the legal and administrative entity that coordinates the national bodies of Initiatives of Change; It holds Special Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council, and Participatory Status at the Council of Europe. Its first President was Cornelio Sommaruga, formerly President of the International Committee of the Red Cross. He was succeeded by Mohamed Sahnoun, formerly Senior Advisor to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. In 2009 Prof. Rajmohan Gandhi, historian and biographer of his grandfather Mahatma Gandhi, was elected President. In 2012 Dr Omnia Marzouk, a paediatrician originally from Egypt and now based in UK, was elected President. In 2014 Initiatives of Change was awarded the Ousseimi Prize for Tolerance.

Mountain House, Caux, Switzerland

Mountain House, the Initiatives of Change conference centre

Mountain House, formerly the Caux Palace Hotel in Caux, near Montreux, Switzerland is the Institute's conference center. The then-derelict hotel was bought by 50 Swiss families, in 1946, and restored as a place where the warring nations of Europe could meet. In the following years thousands came, including German Chancellor Adenauer and French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman.[7] Caux saw several dramatic Franco-German reconciliations such as the one of Irène Laure and Clarita von Trott. Edward Luttwak described the work of Caux as an "important contribution to one of the greatest achievements in the entire record of modern statecraft: the astonishingly rapid Franco-German reconciliation after 1945."[8]

In the following decades Caux welcomed people from African and Asian countries moving towards independence from colonial rule. In 1956, soon after Morocco became independent, King Mohammed V of Morocco sent a message to Frank Buchman: "I thank you for all you have done for Morocco in the course of these last testing years."[9] In 1960 Archbishop Makarios and Dr Kucuk, President and Vice-President of Cyprus, jointly sent the first flag of independent Cyprus to Caux in recognition of the center's help.[10] More recently, groups of opposing factions in the Great Lakes area of Africa, Sierra Leone and other areas of conflict, have met there.

Also prominent in the center's programs have been meetings between management and unions. The Caux Round Table was launched there in the 1986, and developed a program of Principles for Business.[11]

The center holds each summer several separate sessions dealing with specific subjects, attended by both teenagers and adults. In 2008 the first Caux Forum for Human Security, initiated by Mohamed Sahnoun, brought together 300 people working for peace and human security.[12]


  1. ^ Initiatives of Change - An overview
  2. ^ Initiatives of Change - Frequently Asked Questions
  3. ^ One America in the 21st Century: The President’s Initiative on Race, p.17 & 27;
  4. ^
  5. ^ Article in the French newspaper La Croix, on 27 November 2009
  6. ^ See report of Stichting Alexander, a non-profit Dutch research and advice agency on youth participation [2]
  7. ^ Lean, Garth, Frank Buchman: A Life, Constable 1985, p382
  8. ^ Edward Luttwak "Franco-German Reconciliation: The overlooked role of the Moral Re-Armament movement", in Douglas Johnston and Cynthia Sampson (eds.), Religion, the Missing Dimension of Statecraft, Oxford University Press, 1994, pp37-63.
  9. ^ Lean, Garth; Frank Buchman: A Life, p 454
  10. ^ Lean, Garth; Frank Buchman: A Life, p 524
  11. ^
  12. ^

External links

  • Initiatives of Change global website
  • Caux official website


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