State of the Community 2017: Opening Remarks

Sonia Dhillon Marty, President, Dhillon Marty Foundation


Civic Values

Today’s technology is overloadings us with data, factual or fake. But factual data sliced differently can lead to a very different conclusion thus impacting our values. People act on the values they hold. Therefore, the values individuals weaves the fabric of their society, and vis versa the social and political systems develop the DNA of its individual members. If one person holds the value of not to cheat and but other people around him have no problem of cheating, this one person will not survive the system.


Critical Thinking

If the goal of the modern societies is to build an environment that allows an individual to live a fulfilling life while maintaining a sustainable ecosystem on this earth.


Democratic World Society

Democracy can take on many systems of government as long as it upholds the core vales: legal equality, political freedom and rule of law which is not only for majority, but also provides equal protection to the minorities. We are striving for global culture of peace, not hate or war.

As the “three fundamental principles” and the “basic determinants of democracy”, Bühlmann (et al., 2008) identify the following key concepts: equality; freedom; and “control”. They summarize: “… we define freedom, equality and control as the three core principles of democracy. To qualify as a democracy, a given political system has to guarantee freedom and equality. Moreover, it has to optimize the interdependence between these two principles by means of control. Control is understood as control by the government as well as control of the government” (Bühlmann et al., 2008, p. 15).

David Campbell points out in “The Basic Concept for the Democracy Ranking of the Quality of Democracy”.. whether North American scholars are more inclined to emphasize the criterion of freedom, and Western European scholars more the criterion of equality?

Your Most Important Role in a Democracy: Thinking for Yourself Vanessa Urch Druskat states: The tendency for us to ignore the influence of the situation on our behavior is so common that it is referred to by social psychologists as the “fundamental attribution error.” That is, we attribute our own (and others’) behavior to values, personality or rational choice when, in fact, it’s our emotional reactions to cues or stimuli in situations that usually have the largest influence on our behavior and decisions.
Therefore, health of Democracy is dependent on its citizens. Our mission is to enable the citizen to build their critical thinking, so they can maintain and strengthen democratic societies.