BIC Brussels: Finding ways to stay in touch
BRUSSELS — During this unique period, when online communications are being used more than ever by social actors to exchange ideas, the Brussels Office of the Baha’i International Community (BIC) has launched a quarterly newsletter to share more widely insights emerging from its efforts to contribute to contemporary discourses in Europe.
“Establishing a newsletter seemed timely in the context of limitations to social interaction,” says Rachel Bayani of the Brussels Office. “It serves to synthesize key insights and questions that are emerging in prevalent discourses and seeks to connect our collaborators with the breadth of topics being addressed. The newsletter is one way to include more people in conversations and to build joint understanding with them.”
Over the past ten years, the Brussels Office has been coordinating the efforts of Baha’is to work with the European Union, Council of Europe, and other European organizations.
The Office’s approaches and contributions are based on Baha’i principles, explains Mrs. Bayani. “They not only inform the ideas that our Office contributes to discussions, but also our posture in consultations on vital questions. We are here to jointly explore with others how concepts related to global prosperity, justice, and our interdependence can be applied to social issues in the European context.”
It also hosts gatherings of its own on broad themes such as the role of religion in European society and on other issues of pressing concern in Europe, such as the use of inclusive language and even the development of artificial intelligence. These gatherings are being increasingly noted as forums where new approaches and new thinking can emerge.
In the first issue of the newsletter, the Brussels office offers initial reflections on the global health crisis. “Within the span of a few months,” the Office writes, “our global society and systems have been tested in new and profound ways. A widespread discourse is emerging regarding the next stage of our collective lives. … it is necessary to revisit and assess the fundamental principles guiding our current system of global governance. This will require a profound reexamination of the attitudes and assumptions which currently underlie it.”