FAQ

What does ISOL stand for?

ISOL stands for Integrating Spirituality and Organizational Leadership.

Why did ISOL Conferences start? When did it start?

The journey of integrating spirituality and organizational leadership started in 2002 as the outcome of the 1st International Conference on Business Social Partnership: Beyond Philanthropy organized at Indian Institute of Management Calcutta during December 4-8, 2002. The need was felt to adopt and practice spiritual leadership for a meaningful contribution to the society through CSR and sustainable development initiatives.The spiritual wisdom is the power of propulsion that can lead towards a holistic development to nullify all the evils, and ultimately will help an organization to acknowledge the welfare and good of all human beings.”

Way back in 2007, the ISOL Foundation (www.isol.asia) had launched a Series of International Conferences on Integrating Spirituality and Organizational Leadership with a mission to promote leadership that nurtures the spirit of each person in order to create harmony at workplace and society. The initiative envisages promoting compassion, love and truth at workplace in order to create non-violent, non-exploitative and sustainable organizations. . Since then, every alternate year, we have been organizing this mega event. ISOL 2015 builds on the strengths of first four conferences (2007, 2009, 2011 & 2013) and will again bring together corporate leaders, academicians, representations from governmental organizations and non – governmental organizations and other people from across the globe to systematically explore the nature, determination and implications of the spiritual dimensions of global economic development.

Is it a commercial entity?

No it is a non-profit organization.

Who are the people behind this?

This is a group of like-minded people from India and abroad. Prof. Sunita Singh Sengupta is the Founder and Honorary Convener of the ISOL Foundation, ISOL Research Foundation and ISOL Global Foundation.

What are the main activities of ISOL Foundation?

(a) Regular International Conference on Integrating Spirituality and Organizational Leadership every alternate year.
(b) Engage in rigorous research to identify the benefits of integrating spirituality and organizational leadership and to promote
research in this area both nationally and internationally.
(c) Case Development for benchmarking the system of CSR for Sustainability and Ethical Business Practices. The Foundation
further intends to innovate, develop, validate and disseminate technologies supportive of spiritual dimension of sustainable development.
(d) Theme based experiential workshops for the corporate leaders.
(e) Research Based Universal Faith Wisdom Resource Center on Leadership and its Managerial Applications
(f) Publishes a bi-annual International Journal on Spirituality and Organizational Leadership
Academy of Value Based Management is the applied wing of ISOL Foundation and activities listed under serial numbers b-f are carried out by the Academy.

What is the ethos of ISOL Foundation?

The harmony of religions and realization of the spiritual elements that bind the humanity forms the cardinal principles and the driving force of ISOL Foundation. Sri Ramakrishna Paramhamsa (1836-1886) have boldly declared after practicing all the religions boldly declared – “Joto Mot Toto Poth” (As Many Views so Many Paths)while talking about a Universal Religion based synthesis of sectarian beliefs with spirituality at its core. ISOL Foundation has adopted this key theme as its driving force and is focusing on spreading this message through series of international conferences in India and now here in Chicago.

Who is your inspiration?

In this global economy when companies have become so competitive leading to pressure and insecurity amongst the workforce the clarion call is to merge the spiritual discipline with business discipline in order to create harmony and sustain excellence. We draw our inspiration from the ‘Universal Religion’ of Sri Ramakrishna and ‘Spiritual Monism’ of Swami Vivekananda based on wisdom traditions across various faith groups.

What are ISOL Foundation and ISOL Global Foundation?

Organizations need a culture of truth and transparency to remove cobwebs hiding the truth. Such culture and systems can exist only by the commitment of the leadership to truth. The truth need to be accepted and practiced. This indeed requires courage and conviction. The worst economic recessions worldwide in decades has forced us to take a fresh look at both the current management programs and prevailing business practices. That brings us to the core of this problem – a total lack of conscience or moral bankruptcy. There is an urgent and dire need to address these issues to create a morally healthy business environment for sustainable individual, social and economic growth.

The relentless pursuit of egoistic gratification has led to the current situation of corporate greed and lack of trust amongst people. People are the strength of the organizations and the leader who integrates this understanding creates an environment where people can use their full potential, feel appreciated and grow in the process. This requires an outside – in approach. The need is to create virtue based organizational processes to bring transparency and accountability in order to create good governance practices. The virtue based governance practices is likely to build enlightened corporate citizenship behavior enabling the organizations to realize welfare and good of all human beings, planet and earth.

Integrating Spirituality and Organizational Leadership Foundation (India) and ISOL Global Foundation (USA) is an interfaith research based management education initiative. The edifice of ISOL Foundation (India & USA) is built on the synthesis of sectarian beliefs. This harmony of religion is the spirit of the Foundation. Nine Research Groups (represented in the logo of ISOL Foundation) are created to draw insights from different wisdom traditions across various faith groups and integrate it with the leadership styles for creating non-violent, non-exploitative and sustainable organizations.

Integrating Spirituality and Organizational Leadership Foundation is a registered Charitable Trust under Indian Trusts Act vide Registration No. 3717 under Section 60 dated September 3, 2009 and bears certificates of registration u/s 12A and 80G (5) (iv) of the Income Tax Act,1961; Pan Card No. AAAT17123E; 12A Reg. No.DEL IR22297 22082012 / 616, 80 G Reg. No.DEL IE24094 22082012 / 1020.

Integrating Spirituality and Organizational Leadership Global Foundation (ISOL Global Foundation) is registered as a Non-Profit Public Benefit Corporation under IOWA Non – Profit Corporation Act effective from July 31, 2015.

ISOL Global Foundation is the international headquarters of ISOL Foundation (India).

Why “Organizational Leadership”?

The conscience based moral and ethical approach to lead the people by demonstrating the virtues of conviction, confidence and courage to bring organizational transformation in both profit and non-profit organizations.

What do you mean by ‘integrating spirituality’?

Spirituality is a state of mind that expresses itself in qualities like humility, selflessness, moral courage, or in small but scintillating acts of high – mindedness. By integrating spirituality we mean creating conscience mechanisms for promoting compassion, love and truth at workplace in order to create non-violent, non-exploitative and sustainable organizations.

What were different ISOL Conferences? How many countries participated in these conferences?

(a) 1st International Conference on Integrating Spirituality and Organizational Leadership, February 8-10, 2007: Jointly organized by the Faculty of Management Studies, University of Delhi, India and School of Global Leadership and Entrepreneurship, USA at University of Delhi, India. The scholars from USA, Europe and Asia presented the papers. More than 100 papers were read.

(b) 1st International Research Workshop on Spiritual and Ethical Foundations of Organizational Development during February 5-7, 2009 : Organized by Faculty of Management Studies, University of Delhi, India in collaboration with Infinity Foundation USA and School of Global Leadership and Entrepreneurship, USA. The Conference was hosted by Pondicherry University and supported by IRCTC and State Bank of India. Scholars from USA, Europe, Asia and Middle East participated in the Workshop.

(c) 2nd International Conference on Integrating Spirituality and Organizational Leadership, February 9-12, 2009: Organized by Faculty of Management Studies, University of Delhi, India in collaboration with Infinity Foundation (USA) and School of Global Leadership and Entrepreneurship (USA). The Conference was hosted by Pondicherry University and supported by IRCTC and State Bank of India. Scholars from USA, Europe, Asia and Middle East participated in the Conference.

(d) 2nd International Research Workshop on Spiritual and Ethical Foundations of Organizational Development during October 7-9,2010: Organized by ISOL Foundation in collaboration with Department of Management Studies, IIT Roorkee. The Venue was Parmarth Niketan Ashram, Rishikesh, India. Again the scholars across the globe attended the research workshop and presented papers.

(e)  3rd International Conference on Integrating Spirituality and Organizational Leadership, February 1-5,2011: Organized by ISOL Foundation in collaboration with Faculty of Management Studies, Gurukul Kangri University, Haridwar and Department of Management Studies, IIT Roorkee. The Venue was  Gurukul Kangri University, Haridwar.

(f) 4th International Conference on Integrating Spirituality and Organizational Leadership, January 10-12, 2013:  Organized by ISOL Foundation in collaboration with Xavier Institute of Management Bhubaneswar, Odisha. The Venue was XIMB. The scholars came across the globe to attend the conference and presented papers.

(g)  2nd International Conference on Business Social Partnership : Towards Value Based Social Engagement took place during September 7-9, 2013 :Organized by Academy of Value Based Management (A Unit of ISOL Foundation)  in In collaboration with Business Ethics Centre, Grand Valley State University & IESEG School of Management, Universite Catholique de Lille, France. The venue was Kirorimal College, University of Delhi.

(h) National Conference on Spirituality For Economic Development: Insights from Swami Vivekananda, December 7-8, 2013: Organized by ISOL Foundation celebrating 150th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda. The venue was Central Institute of Hindi, Delhi Centre, Delhi.

All the conferences were conceptualized and organized by Sunita Singh Sengupta.

Who sponsored these conferences?

Our corporate sponsors were: (a) State Bank of India (b) Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (c) Indian Oil Corporation, (d) Standard Greases & Specialties Pvt. Ltd. (e) Thriveni Earth Movers Pvt Ltd (f) Jindal Steel & Power Ltd.

Our institutional sponsors were: (a) Infinity Foundation, (b) Regents University,(c) Pondicherry University, (d) Department of Management Studies, IIT Roorkee, (e) Xavier Institute of Management Bhubaneswar, (f) Business Ethics Center, Grand Valley States University, USA, (g) IESEG School of Management, Catholic University of Lille, France, (h) Department of Commerce, Kirorimal College.

Why ISOL 2015 was organized at the Art Institute of Chicago?

In the race for financial gains, modern business theories have lost touch with the basic tenets of moral, spiritual and ethical values. The values that religions have infused into humanity have been thwarted in recent years. At this crucial juncture, we need to look forward by integrating religious institutions into integrated development and applications of spirituality and ethics to develop a consensus on Human Consciousness in Management Systems.

ISOL Foundation- an initiative inspired by the philosophy of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, the Sage behind the great awakening in India in the latter part of 18th Century. His disciple, Swami Vivekananda made a landmark speech at the World’s Parliament of Religions during September 11-27, 1893 at The Art Institute of Chicago that brought the change in the perceptions on India in the western countries. As a prelude to Quasi Centenary Celebrations of famous Chicago Lecture delivered by Swami Vivekananda on September 11, 1893 ISOL Foundation (India) organized the 5th International Conference on Integrating Spirituality and Organizational Leadership during September 11-13, 2015 in the same hall (now known as Fullerton Hall) and at the same venue (The Art Institute of Chicago) with the same ethos (interfaith perspective) to discuss ‘Spirituality for Global Economic Development’. The Conference had the moral support and encouragements from the Council for a Parliament of World’s Religions, Chicago and Ramakrishna Mission & Math, Belur, Kolkata, India.

What is the goal of ISOL 2018?

Various schools of religious thoughts and philosophies emerged in the 19th and 20th Century. All of these became confined more or less to religious preaching’s, or in applying some aspects of the meditative or yogic practices for individual benefits of those who adopted those streams, Yet, India could reinvent its scientific and management systems to be applied in the nation building and in creating a harmonious coexistence among nations, which led to the need of a systematic approach to the Integration of Spirituality in Organizational Leadership and thus ISOL Foundation came into being.

ISOL Foundation as the core body instituted Vedic Foundations of Indian Management and Academy for Value Based Management thus creating avenues for the scholars from different parts of India and the world to converge and create a systematic approach in the respective areas. We at ISOL attempt to rekindle the same philosophy in the minds of people by including academicians, environmentalists, spiritualists, thinkers, scientists and representations from business houses, business associations and civil societies on the same platform– Fullerton Hall, The Art Institute of Chicago; during September 11-15, 2018 in the World Congress on Vedic Foundations of Management Science.

Is ISOL 2015 and ISOL 2018 promoting only the ideas of Swami Vivekananda?

ISOL initiatives are based on the pluralism of sectarian beliefs with spirituality at its core. It believes in harmony and is rooted in fellowship of different faith traditions to realize it’s motto “Serve humanity for prosperity.” It is a research based management education initiative which draws insights from various wisdom traditions across different faith groups and integrates with modern management practices to promote love, compassion and truth at work in order to create cohesion and harmony amongst people, planet and earth.

ISOL sources its inspiration from Swami Vivekananda who was one the first Indian to promote Indian spiritual values to the industrial world. The propagator of the Vedic global wisdom in Europe and America, the first Indian to take the scientific spirituality to the American shores was Swami Vivekananda whose words had stirred up many a souls present in World Parliament of Religions in Chicago in 1893.

Is ISOL Foundation targeting American audiences?

Being an academic and research oriented pursuit ISOL Foundation intends to create faculties and new opportunities in management education to develop self sustainable and self correcting management system. This will provide a new avenue for Indo –US Cooperation in Faculty Advancements and Improvements in the area of Management and other allied disciplines.

New world crisis is a result of the failures in the business and financial management systems, that is based on trialed and tested methodologies and principles, which so far could not produce faculties for terminal crisis management. Terminal crisis complex phenomena that emerges out of the micro factors which has no bearing on day today management, finally precipitates and surfaces in a visible form. This will be at intangible and uncontrollable propositions leading to the collapse of the systems.

It is here that we take instincts from various traditions around the world for effective structuring of human faculties – the new initiative in Integrating Spirituality in Organizational Leadership, where we look for a larger exchange with the United States Government and Institutions.

What is ISOL Award? Who can get it?

ISOL Foundation to promote integrating spirituality and organizational leadership at research and practice levels introduced ISOL AWARDS in 2011. ISOL Awards are of two different categories:

(a) ISOL Organizational Leadership Award on Spirit and Entrepreneurship. This award is intended to recognize and honor sustained levels of achievement across the spectrum of Entrepreneur endeavors focusing on sustainable individual, social and economic growth.
(b) ISOL Research Award on Spirituality and Leadership. The Award is intended to recognize and honor the efforts made in the domain of research to integrate spirituality and leadership.

In ISOL 2015 there were some more inaugural awards:

  • ISOL Award for Ethics in Business and Governance
  • ISOL Award for Corporate Social Responsibility
  • ISOL Award for Sustainable Development & Ecosystem Management
  • ISOL Women Empowerment Award
  • ISOL Community Programme Award for Indigenous Knowledge, Culture and Heritage.

ISOL 2018 thus has seven awards announced in different categories (one in each):

  • ISOL Research Award on Spirituality and Leadership
  • ISOL Corporate Award on Spirit and Entrepreneurship.
  • ISOL Award for Ethics in Business and Governance
  • ISOL Award for Corporate Social Responsibility
  • ISOL Award for Sustainable Development & Ecosystem Management
  • ISOL Women Empowerment Award
  • ISOL Community Programme Award for Indigenous Knowledge, Culture and Heritage.

Who are trinity? What are trinity awards? When did it start?

The Trinity is:

  1. I. Sri Ramakrishna: His message of the harmony of religions, based on his own realizations of the truth of var­i­ous  reli­gious paths, opened the way for a new era of mutual understanding among the world’s great reli­gions. His special message was the one­ness of existence and the divinity of humankind.
  2. Ma Sarada: She is affectionately known as Holy Mother, was at once devoted wife, spiritual companion and object of worship of Sri Rama­kri­shna. After the passing away of Sri Ramakrishna, Holy Mother became the spir­i­tual guide of the fledgling Ramakrishna Order and count­less devo­tees. She is revered as a symbol of universal motherhood, whose wisdom and spiritual grandeur remained hidden beneath her nat­ural veil of modesty.
  3. Swami Vivekananda: He was the chief monastic disciple of Sri Rama­kri­shna and the bearer of his message to the West. Swamiji, as he was affectionately known, introduced the lib­eral and universal teach­ings of Vedanta to the Western world at the World Par­lia­ment of Reli­gions in Chicago in 1893.

ISOL 2015 launched the distinguished inaugural Trinity Awards:

  1. Sri Ramakrishna Institutional Award for promoting Universal Values  of brotherhood, tolerance and service with professional excellence and practical wisdom based on moral and spiritual principles.
  2. Ma Sharda Award on Women Leadership  to Women of any age in leadership positions manifesting the highest standards of excellence in leadership by integrating the values of compassion, love and practical wisdom based on moral and spiritual principles.
  3. Swami Vivekananda Young LeadershipAward on Organizational Excellence to any male young leader (below 35 years of age), holding a position of CEO or equivalent and manifesting a strong moral and ethical approach to lead the people by demonstrating the virtues of conviction, confidence and courage for organizational transformation.
  4. Swami Vivekananda Leadership Award to a male Leader manifesting a strong moral and ethical approach to lead the people by demonstrating the virtues of conviction, confidence and courage for societal and national transformation.

How conference ideas and proceedings will reach masses, who would fail to attend conference?

There will be regular updates of the video on the conference website.

How can I support the initiatives of ISOL?

You can support our initiatives in multiple ways:

(a) Becoming an active Volunteer of ISOL Foundation (India) and ISOL Global Foundation (USA)

(b) Joining ISOL Research Groups

(c) Contribution to ISOL bi-annual International Journal on Spirituality and Organizational Leadership (January and July) and VFIM bi-annual Journal on Vedic Foundations of Management (June and December).

(d) Becoming a member

(6) Becoming a Patron / Donor

What is ISOL Research Foundation?

According to economic historian Angus Maddison in his book ‘The World Economy: A Millennial Perspective’ published by the OECD Development Center in Paris in 2001, India had the world’s largest economy in the 1st century and 11th century and in the 18th century, with a 32.9% share of the world GDP in the 1st century and 28.9 % in the 1000 AD, and in 1700 AD with 24.4%.The known economic history of India begins with Indus Valley Civilization that was the first known permanent and predominantly urban settlement that flourished between2800BC to 1800 BC and had an advanced and thriving economic system. One of the ways to search the alternative paradigms in management and leadership is going back to our roots – ancient Indian culture and traditions. Vedas are the sources of knowledge from Indian Wisdom. The Vedic principles are objective and supported by creative potential of Natural Law. It has universal application. ISOL Research Foundation is a humble initiative in this direction and is dedicated and committed to carry out researches on Indic and Vedic Studies to discover and discuss ancient business models in modern context andpromote indigenous model of management and entrepreneurship.The Foundation is registered vide Registration No. 11406 under Section 60 dated October 19, 2010. The Permanent Account Number is AAAT18467PE. Prof. Sunita Singh Sengupta is the Managing Trustee and the Chairperson of the Foundation. This is an honorary position.
ISOL Research Foundation serves the noble purpose of sustainable growth in the ecosystem through three vital wings:

1. Vedic Foundations of Indian Management
2. ISOL Center for Consciousness Studies
3. ISOL Center for Integral Healing.

What is Vedic Foundations of Indian Management?

Vedic Foundations of Indian Management (VFIM) proposes a system supporting the modern economic system by delving into the cultural intelligence of the ancient Indian wisdom tradition in an effort to seek an alternate paradigm in management science. Since the Ancient Vedic texts preserves the treasures of knowledge within, VFIM draws out the science and technology invested in the Vedic texts. With a vision to promote indigenous models of management based on four main Vedas, thisCenter carries out prolific researches and organizes national and international conferences onVedic foundations of Indian management and the relevance of Vedic texts in modernmanagement. It also seeks to promote awareness about the wisdom of ancient scriptures anddiscuss ancient business model in various concepts based on Vedic Literature and VedicManagement leading to the great enhancement of modern management and entrepreneurship.

The Center brings out a bi-annual International Journal on Vedic Foundations of Management regularly since 2013.