At the unusual set of holiday parties I normally attend, this year’s discussions have all been about how to best deal with the threats to democracy and security that the election of Donald Trump and the rise of the new right in Europe have led to. I kept hearing two tough questions which I have been thinking and worrying about for decades. How, on the one hand, do we effectively say “no” to the policy mistakes and injustices we see happening all around us? How, on the other hand, do we do so in a way that allows us to work together with at least some of the people we disagree with so we can find constructive solutions to [...]
About Chip HaussChip Hauss is Senior Fellow for Innovation and Board Member Emeritus at the Alliance for Peacbuilding.
Last week, I joined over 400 people in Bogota for the 2017 Build Peace conference. It was the fourth "edition" of this annual event which has gotten bigger and better each time. Originally created to explore the intersection between peace and technology, the conference has moved beyond that to include the arts and broader questions of social change. This year, we focused on "making paper count" which is an obvious issue in countries like Colombia where an agreement has been reached but there is plenty to do before peace truly takes hold. All too often, agreements don't last. Indeed, by some counts, half of all agreements fall apart and the parties are back on the battlefield within five years [...]
Round number birthdays are always a good time to reflect on the past and ponder the future. Given who I am, that means thinking about the political times we are in, how we got there, and what we could do about it. For just about everyone I know and wherever we live, these are not good times. So, it made sense for me to think about the political past, present, and future in the week when I simultaneously turned 70, launched www.charleshauss.info, and agreed to do a core peacebuilding textbook. In these and the other projects I’m working on, my goal is to encourage as many people as I [...]
Last week, I had the privilege of participating in the first of five working conferences on the State of American Democracy held at my beloved alma mater, Oberlin College. It was organized by the college's rock star level professor, David Orr, a long-time climate change expert who has realized that the problems we face run far deeper than the environment and extend to the ways we govern ourselves at all. So, David assembled an amazing team of analysts and activists from the left and right to begin figuring out what we could and should do to address a set of issues that long antedated last November's election and only have been exacerbated since. We heard from well-known experts from [...]