Swami Vivekananda had an extraordinary vision of total human development as the basis of society, education and business.
This vision put man’s development and the unfoldment of human possibilities at the center of all three – industry, education and society.
This vision has many implications:
One, the distinction between the “world of knowledge” (education), the world of action” (business, industry, trade & commerce), and “the world of values” (culture, ethics & human concern) ceases to exist.
Put another way, knowledge, action, and values must be integrated wholly in our vision of total development.
- Business must be imbued with knowledge and values
- Education must be imbued with the desire to create practical individuals who combine effectiveness with values; and
- A Society with a deep foundation of values will see growth in both knowledge and prosperity
Two, it means that the quality of our people determines simultaneously the quality of education, business and society.
Thus, if we invest in the ideal of human excellence, then automatically there will be an improvement in the educational system, in the growth of trade and industry, and in the quality of public and private life seen in our society.
Three, it also means that the artificial distinctions between business, education and society need to be broken down.
- It means that business cannot avoid taking responsibility for the quality of education in our society and the state of society itself.
- It means that academics cannot sit in ivory towers, and must use the resources of the university system to create innovative solutions for both business and society.
- And it also means that society can ill-afford to allow mediocrity and a narrow selfishness to dominate the motives of those in business or educational system.
It is important to explore and articulate the new integration of business, education and society – to appreciate the challenges and to awaken to the possibilities that such an integration will create.
It is through this dialogue that a new language of total human development will emerge in contemporary society.