Around the world, Baha’i Offices of Public Information engage in social discourses - conversations with experts on topics that carry great social or economic significance in local contexts. Through participation in social discourses, Baha’i communities learn with and from key actors in their countries and share their insights gained from their community-building experience and inspired by the Baha’i teachings. Social discourses call for collaboration with individuals, groups, and organizations in a variety of social spaces where thought, public opinion, and policy take form and evolve. The aim of this activity is to contribute to the collective shaping of knowledge and attitudes needed to advance socio-economic prosperity around the world. At the international level, a non-governmental organization, the Baha’i International Community, holding a consultative status with several UN agencies, participates in discourses on human rights, women’s rights, and environmental sustainability, among others.
As of April 2022, the Public Information Office of the Baha’i Community of Armenia started an exploration of public discourses with the topic of “Agents of change - How to raise citizens that care and act towards the betterment of Armenia”. To this end, the Office met with nine experts who represented the field of education: teacher education, educational policy, secondary education in private and public sectors, experts from among local Armenians as well as international educators making their contribution in Armenia. The questions raised and discussed included: How do we understand agents of change in Armenia? What characteristics describe them? How does a person become one? What is our understanding of their importance and impact on the country?
The year 2023 opened with a series of meetings with a range of government representatives, scholars, diplomatic missions, and non-government organizations to explore the topic of human rights, including women’s rights in Armenia. As the Public Information Office continues to engage in these discourses, concept papers with observations and insights will be prepared and shared with the public, to be published at bahai.am through the year.