'Buddhist Values in Business and its Potential for Europe' was a unique and engaging international workshop in Brussels, Belgium held on 24-25 November 2012.

Partly inspired by Bhutan's Gross National Happiness, the workshop attracted 40 people from business, public, religious and academic organisations - Buddhist and non-BuddhistParticipants from outside of Europe were also welcomed.  

Objectives were to:
  • explore, discuss and agree on key characteristics of profitable business enterprises aligned with Buddhist inspired values;
  • discuss business models to support the development of such enterprises in Europe;
  • explore Gross National Happiness, its relation to Buddhism, and implications for business management;
  • put the idea/culture of Buddhist Business Management on the public agenda; and
  • create an informal working group to advance the agenda of Buddhist inspired values in entrepreneurship.
Experts who inspired, contributed or facilitated at the workshop:
  • Dasho Karma Ura, President, Centre for Bhutan Studies, Thimphu, Bhutan who is one of the key architects behind Gross National Happiness
  • Prof. Laszlo Zsolnai, Director, Business Ethics Center, Corvinus University Budapest and founder of Buddhist Economics Research Platform
  • Dr. Karma Phuntsho, Research Associate in Department of Social Anthropology, Cambridge and Founding Director of the Loden Foundation in Bhutan that supports social enterprises
  • Joel Magnuson, Ph.D., professor of economics in Portland, Oregon, USA. Internationally recognized economist specializing in non-orthodox approaches to political economy.
  • Bart Weetjens, awards winning social entrepreneur and Zen Buddhist teacher, APOPO, Tanzania
  • Dharmachari Keturaja, managing director of Windhorse:evolution which is one of the leading suppliers of giftware in the UK based on values derived from the Buddha’s teachings.
  • Zoltan Valcsicsak, founder of The Social Profit Maker and founding president of the Hungarian Bhutan Friendship Society

Participants said:

"I am grateful to have participated and met very inspiring people. They 'ignited' me to carry on working on developing this valuable topic."

"It was a fascinating weekend for me, meeting very interesting people and listening to amazing speakers. The focus groups were lot of fun and extremely interesting and useful. The only thing that could have made it better was more time…"

"I enjoyed the richness. Of people, of backgrounds, of conversation."

"The very positive, supportive and inspiring atmosphere made it possible and easy to share thoughts, ideas."

"A lot of valuable sharing during the breaks, it is really great. The case studies or models were practical and inspiring."

"This experience will stay with me for a long time and helps me articulate my true values in daily life and future business activities."

Main organizers:
Key partners:
Sponsors and supporters:
Loden Foundation | Starwoods Hotels