Over the last twenty years, I’ve spent most of my time as a peacebuilding practitioner. However, I recently found myself spending more time in academia again. That got me thinking about how the ways we train young peacebuilding professionals affects the field and vice versa. Musings turned into serious thinking when I was asked to write an introductory textbook on conflict resolution and peacebuilding. It really got serious when I was asked to blurb Agniezka Paczynska and Susan Hirsch’s new book, Conflict Zone, Comfort Zone.
LinkedIn asked its regular posters to think about what it calls #BigIdea2019. I don't normally make New Year's resolutions or predictions. But here's my big wish. I'll do what I can to make it happen.
As I get read to write about where the peacebuilding world has to head next in finishing my textbook, I find myself thinking about the business world. There are groups like the Norwegian based Business for Peace which are trying to draw explicit links between the corporate and peacebuilding worlds. That’s obviously important. However, I think it’s even more important that we take some management ideas from that world and apply them to ours.
I had planned to write about ideas peacebuilders could draw from the business world until I spoke at (and mostly listened) a workshop organized the Rondine Cittadella del Pace. I was blown away and decided to put off dealing with the business world until next week. The staff along with a number of current and former students came to the United States and Canada to launch their Leaders for Peace. The idea is simple. Rondine is asking the 193 UN member states to redirect part of their defense spending toward training young leaders for peace, the way it has for the last twenty years.