Leading the audience in a guided meditation session, Ricard inspired them with true-life stories about how loving-kindness meditation and altruism can trigger real change in the world.
Addressing the world’s most urgent challenges, such as climate change, economic inequality and social injustice, he added that altruism is a pragmatic answer to the pressing issues of the 21st century. “In the short term it allows for caring economics, in the medium term it can reduce inequalities and address social injustice and in the long term, it will allow future generations to care for the eight million species on our planet,” he said.
"Our beautiful planet is in urgent need of a strategy that focuses on a qualitative life that achieves sustainable harmony by remedying inequalities and achieving social justice, as well as caring economics that balances financial, social and environmental prosperity,” he said.
Ricard also held a session at the Global Dialogue for Happiness, which served as a curtain raiser to the World Government Summit 2018. Bringing together experts, government officials and representatives of international organisations, the dialogue is the holistic umbrella for global happiness and wellbeing, discussing ways to help governments achieve the happiness and wellbeing of their people.
The humanitarian, bestselling author and translator for Dalai Lama highlighted: “Sometimes people picture happiness as an endless succession of pleasant experiences. This is a recipe for exhaustion. Happiness is a way of being – the more you experience it, the more it reinforces itself. The antidote to hatred is by filling your mind with benevolence.”
Matthieu Ricard is a French writer and Buddhist monk who resides at Shechen Tennyi Dargyeling Monastery in Nepal. Growing up among the personalities and ideas of French intellectual circles, he received a Ph.D. degree in molecular genetics from the Pasteur Institute in 1972, and then decided to forsake his scientific career and instead practice Tibetan Buddhism, living mainly in the Himalayas. Ricard is the author of eight best-selling books on happiness and altruism, and a board member of the Mind and Life Institute; he received the French National Order of Merit for his humanitarian work.
Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the World Government Summit 2018 runs from February 11 to 13 at the Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai. The landmark event convenes more than 4,000 participants from 140 countries, including heads of state and governments, as well as top-tier representatives of 16 international organizations.
Hosting more than 130 speakers across 120 interactive sessions, WGS 2018 features five distinct forums that examine the challenges of vital sectors for the future with a view to finding the best resolutions for the greater global good. Furthermore, over 20 specialized global reports spanning key sectors and topics of the summit are being launched during the event.