During the week of May 1-4, 2011, Radhanath Swami participated in the 2011 Global Conference of the Milken Institute at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles, California. The Milken Institute is the brain-child and inspiration of Mike Milken, one of the most well-known American business magnates and philanthropists.

The Milken Institute Global Conference has taken place every year since 1998. According to the Institute’s website, the Global Conference “brings together some of the most extraordinary people in the world – from entrepreneurs and executives to philanthropists, scientists and Nobel laureates. Together they explore solutions to today’s most pressing social, political and economic challenges.

Among the participants are hundreds of CEOs from the world’s top-tier companies, senior foreign and U.S. government officials, leading figures in the global capital markets, forward-thinking academic experts, top journalists, and leaders in education, health care and philanthropy.” 

Previous participants have included former Vice President and Nobel Prize winner Al Gore, Google Chairman and CEO Eric Schmidt, renowned publisher Steve Forbes, former governor of California and famed actor Arnold Schwarzenegger, and world-famous athletes such as Mia Hamm and Annika Sorenstam.

The discussions at the annual Global Conference “delve into the issues deeply enough to produce meaningful insights. Participants don’t just debate the issues — they help move policy toward realistic solutions. Whether the challenge is market stability, energy security or health care, the Global Conference is a forward-thinking event, designed to celebrate innovation and broaden opportunity.” 

Into this unique environment, at their 2011 Global Conference entitled “Shaping the Future”, Radhanath Swami was invited to bring spiritual perspective to help shape the practical and dynamic ideas and ambitions of the attendees. Swami was asked to speak on techniques of applied spirituality, especially in the realm of meditation, and it’s relevance to leadership.

His advice was a simple challenge.  Everyone should find one hour in their day, if possible, to devote to some kind of spiritual meditation technique. He explained that this was a very important way to use their own important time, for spirituality is very relevant in the realm of leadership.

Swami added that bringing the reality of spirituality into the responsibility of leadership would insure that many of the deep aspirations they all shared to create a more holistic world-view could be brought into focus, for meditation can help to develop values of compassion and selflessness which can make anything possible.

Swami’s talk was highly appreciated, and stood out as one of the most unique presentations in a long line of historical and innovative dialogues that have occurred at the Milken Institute Global Conference.