Historical Background
Caux Forum & Caux Conference Centre

BACKGROUND & GENERAL INFORMATION

In 1946, around one hundred Swiss families and individuals managed to put together one million francs to buy the former luxury hotel Caux-Palace, which had gone bankrupt and served as a home for internees and refugees during World War II, in order to create "a home for the world".

This international conference centre has since played an important role in the post-World War II reconciliation in Europe, between individual citizens as well as countries such as France and Germany, in the decolonisation processes of Tunisia and Morocco and elsewhere, in the relationships between industrialists and workers, and other peace processes.

Today, Initiatives of Change (IofC) implements diverse projects all over the world and continues to be engaged in sensitive reconciliation activities.

PURPOSE

Initiatives of Change (IofC) believes that many of the world’s problems – and their solutions – are rooted in human nature. Fear, hate, greed and indifference perpetuate injustice, poverty, conflict and environmental destruction. Yet it is also in human nature to be compassionate, courageous and creative. People can live the change they wish to see.

Top of Rochers de Naye
IofC hence focuses on the vital link between personal change and global change, and aims to inspire, support and equip people to play their part in building a better society.

Nearly every year since 1946, over 1300 participants from all over the world gather in Caux, attending one of the international conferences held during the summer. A special characteristic of these conferences is the community life of the assembly. Participants are invited to join communities of between 12 and 20 people in which topics can be discussed in an atmosphere of trust and mutual respect. These groups also take part in the running of the house (dining-room service, vegetable preparation, cooking, housekeeping, etc.). The conferences always include plenaries, seminars, lectures and cultural evenings, with simultaneous translation. There are also various opportunities for outdoor exercise. Looking out over Lake Geneva from an altitude of 1,000 metres, the centre can accommodate up to 400 people.

More about the history of the Caux Conference Centre.