International Society for Universal Dialogue
We the Members of the International Society for Universal Dialogue, in order to investigate and articulate the basic principles of universality systematically, rationally, and comprehensively—working to promote a world-wide understanding of these principles, striving to help generate universal world-consciousness towards the gradual emergence of a decent world order, and aspiring to actualize the highest and richest human values in art, science, politics, education, and social life—do agree to declare the following statement as the constitution of the International Society for Universal Dialogue.
The official name of the society shall be “The International Society for Universal Dialogue” to be incorporated in the state of Maine, USA.
Scholars, especially philosophers, from all the countries of the world without exception, are entitled to membership in the Society without any discrimination on the basis of sex, race, color, nationality, religion, sexual preference, or social class. The democratic way of thinking and acting shall be the guiding principle of all decisions which determine the plans and projects of the Society.
The ISUD acknowledges that it was the idea of Universalism that gathered the Society together in Warsaw in November, 1989; and further acknowledges and honors its close relationship with the publication Dialogue and Universalism which provides a forum in which all members of ISUD have the opportunity to communicate and exchange their views.
1. The main purpose of the Society is to promote, in theory and in practice, the ideals of universality as the most effective means for the gradual realization of a decent, peaceful, and just world order. To achieve this purpose, the members of ISUD shall try—by means of scholarly work, regional and international conferences, as well as personal and collective work —to explore and share important areas of human knowledge and experience.
2. More specifically, the purpose of the Society is to evoke and invigorate a global consciousness; that is, the existential awareness that all the peoples of the world belong to one species, the human species, and accordingly have the same fundamental stock of needs, aspirations, and capacities. This involves the recognition that these needs, aspirations, and capacities cannot be adequately realized under conditions of selfish competition, violence, and exploitation but under conditions of peace, cooperation, and freedom. It also involves recognition of the responsibility to other species, and to the preservation and restoration of the health and beauty of all eco-systems on the planet.
1. The Society shall be administered by a body of governors called the Board of the International Society of Universal Dialogue (ISUD); and it shall operate in concert with this Constitution, and with the decisions made by the ISUD General Assembly that meets prior to the tenure of a new Board.
2. The Board includes an executive committee composed of four officers: Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer; and it also includes a body of other members that number no fewer than six and no more than twelve. (So the full Board shall be no fewer than ten and no more than sixteen, including officers.) Board members are elected for one cycle (normally two years) to serve in a particular Board position, and have the possibility of being re-elected to one additional term in the same position. However, there must be at least one intervening cycle for a Board member to be reelected another time for the same position.
(In some circumstances these term restrictions may be waived by vote of the General Assembly so as to sustain regional representation and support the growth of the Society.)
3. All members of the Board shall be elected at the General Assembly by a majority vote. Only those who are actually present at the General Assembly are eligible for election.
4. The General Assembly is composed of those members of the ISUD who personally attend the periodic world conferences held by the Society—usually every two years. The General Assembly meets in sessions that coincide with the periodic world conferences.
5. Decisions by the General Assembly shall be reached by a majority vote, except for amendments of the Constitution, for which a two-thirds majority is required. The competence of the General Assembly includes all questions relating to the activity of the Society that are put before it in the usual manner.
1. The Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer shall be voting members of the Board. In the event of a deadlock (tie vote) with respect to some matter in the Executive Committee, the matter shall be referred to the full Board for discussion and decision.
2. The Chair and Vice Chair of the Society have the responsibility of administrating all the decisions and actions of the Society, and of doing so in consultation with other members of the Executive Committee, in ongoing consultation with the full Board, and in keeping with the decisions of the General Assembly. They shall, moreover, oversee all the Society’s activities and present a report to the Society at each general meeting. <> They, as well as every member of the Society, are entitled to make any recommendation that may serve the interest of universality.
3. The Chair and Vice Chair of the Society are the main administrative officers of all the organs, or chapters, of the Society; they are also ex officio voting members of all the committees of the Society. They have the authority to delegate tasks which are essential to the work and progress of the Society, and to authorize the expenditures of the Society within the scope of the budget. They supervise the preparation of the ISUD World Congress, preside over it during the whole of its duration, and chair the sessions of the General Assembly.
4. The Chair and Vice Chair shall do their best to further the immediate and long term objectives of the Society in their regions and shall stay in touch with the Board concerning all matters which affect the cause of universality. They should also work with the Site Coordinator concerning the organization and management of the next World Congress.
5. The Secretary is responsible for taking careful minutes of all Executive Committee meetings, all Board meetings whenever they occur, and General Assembly meetings. Such minutes should be shared with the Board in a timely manner for discussion and approval.
6. The Secretary has the responsibility for relaying all the news which matters to the Society. The Secretary also has responsibility to maintain an accurate membership list and to manage communications. Any questions or proposals which the society members might have should normally be addressed to the Secretary.
7. The Treasurer shall be considered the custodian of the treasury of the International Society for Universal Dialogue and must keep accurate records of all the financial transactions of the Society in compliance with its tax exempt status under Section 501 (c 3) of the Internal Revenue Code, and shall file the required forms with the Internal Revenue Service in the USA. Moreover, he/she shall make special efforts to contact Foundations and Organizations, which are sympathetic with the goals of universality, in order to support and lend financial assistance to the regional and international meetings.
8. The Treasurer, or any officer authorized by the Chair, shall sign checks and authorize disbursements on behalf of the Society and complete the financial transactions of the Society. A record of the authorization and/or instructions from the Chair for this purpose must be retained. When prior approval is not possible, amounts over $500 must be reported to the Chair immediately.
9. The Treasurer must keep exact records of all expenditures, and must present a report of all the credits and debits of the accounts of the Society at each international meeting; and must, between international meetings, also maintain a transparent budget with respect to the Board. To this end, the Treasurer must maintain copies of all credits, receipts, invoices, paid out checks, bank statements (etc.), all of which must upon request be made available to an Auditing Committee.
10. An Auditing Committee of at least two ISUD members will be chosen by the ISUD Board. The Auditing Committee will carry out an audit once a year by the end of each September; and this Committee will be given access to any and all ISUD financial documents they request. The results of such audits will be shared with all current Board members.
1. The Board, under the guidance of the Chair, shall be responsible for arranging the agenda of the international meetings of the Society and shall do all it can to promote the purposes of the Society and keep its momentum alive and dynamic. It shall also advise the Chair on all matters relating to the operation and growth of the Society; and for this purpose the Board must be kept informed by the Executive Committee.
2. The position of Site Coordinator will be appointed by the Chair in consultation with the Executive Committee.
3. Working with the Executive Committee and in close cooperation with the Chair, the Site Coordinator will be responsible for taking a lead role in the organization and management of the new World Congress.
4. If vacancy occurs in the list of officers on the Executive Committee, the Chair, with the informed consent and advice of the Board, can temporarily fill the vacancy with another ISUD member. But if the Chair is, for some reason, unable or unwilling to fulfill this function, the Board shall have the authority to fill this vacancy and shall do so by majority vote.
5. The Board shall, in consultation with the Secretary, authorize cooperative programs or activities with other organizations.
6. Membership in the Society requires the payment of dues. Membership dues can be paid during the biannual international meetings of the Society or sent to the Treasurer.
1. The election of all the officers and Board members of the Society by the General Assembly shall be done by a majority vote of the ISUD members present.
2. New members of the Board and the Executive Committee shall be nominated by the Board. The Board will normally nominate one or two candidates for the Executive Committee positions. Nominees will also be accepted from the floor at the General Assembly.
3. The names of the new members shall be published in the official membership list and posted on the ISUD website, for the information of all interested parties.
To protect the Society in future years a procedure for evaluation and removal from office after due dialogue is outlined in this Constitution. If any member of the ISUD Board should persistently violate this Constitution in any significant way, or act in a way that seriously jeopardizes our Society, that member will be subject to a process of potential removal. In such a case, the full Board (except the member facing removal) will fully discuss via e-mail (or in person if possible) all the various reasons a given member might face removal. All such correspondence must be shared with the full Board, except the member facing possible removal. Within two weeks of the initiation of such discussions, the member facing possible removal must be fully informed of the reasons for possible removal, and be asked to make a response if desired within one week. Any such response must be shared with all others on the Board, and discussed by them. Then within another week, a vote should be taken concerning removal of the member. A two-thirds majority of the full Board (less the member facing removal) is necessary for removal from office.
This ISUD Constitution was amended and subsequently adopted by vote of the General Assembly
of the XI World Congress ISUD on July 15, 2016 in Warsaw, Poland.