By World BEYOND War, April 30, 2023
World BEYOND War Education Director, Dr. Phill Gittins, recently helped to design, chair, and/or facilitate a variety of global events, both online and in-person:
Hybrid Second Annual International Conference on Religion, Culture, Peace, and Education (Thailand)
Dr Gittins chaired an online session that was part of the Hybrid Second Annual International Conference, on Religion, Culture, Peace, and Education, which brought together representatives from academia, civil society, business, and related sectors from around the globe.
He chaired a session on Improving Intergenerational Dialogue and Action for Peace and Security.
The session was a collaborative effort between members from The Commonwealth Secretariat, Youth Fusion, Youth for Peace, and World BEYOND War and featured prominent youth leaders and youth-focused organizations including:
- Vanda Prošková, LLM. Youth Fusion – Czech Republic
- Emina Frljak, BA. Youth for Peace – Bosnia & Herzegovina
- Taimoor Siddiqui, BSc. Project Clean Green – Pakistan/Thailand.
- Mpogi Zoe Mafoko, MA, The Commonwealth Secretariat – South Africa/UK
The conference was organised by the Department of Peace Studies (DPS) Religion, Culture, and Peace Laboratory (RCP Lab) and International College, Payap University (Thailand) In Cooperation with Mennonite Central Committee (MCC), Consortium for Global Education (CGE), and Consortium for Global Education (CGE) Research Institute (RI).
Leadership and Small Business Program for Indigenous Communities (Argentina)
Dr. Gittins was invited to facilitate the first workshop of a seven-month transformative programme that aims to cover a wide range of issues – from emotions, conflict resolution, and care for Mother Earth to entrepreneurship, technology/informatics, and diversity.
His session explored the topic of ‘Emotions & Leadership’ and included a discussion of the importance of emotional intelligence for people, peace, and the planet as well as a future imaging activity that aimed to help contextualise and frame the developmental journey that 100+ business owners/professionals from Argentina are embarking on together!
This programme (“Leadership and Small Business Program for Indigenous Communities – Aborigines of Argentina towards more sustainable economic development”) is a collaborative venture between the Universidad Nacional de Jujuy, United4Change Center U4C & EXO S.A. – Soluciones Tecnológicas and will feature guest speakers and experts from different parts of the world.
Online course on Polarisation (Bolivia)
Dr. Gittins helped co-design and facilitate the first module of a three-module online course focused on addressing polarization and related issues. The aim of the module was to help set the scene for what is to follow in the course and to explore ideas related to power and conflict. Throughout the module, participants move from looking at ideas of power over to power with, focusing on practices of power within and engaging with related concepts such as peace, conflict, and violence.
Polarisation is a complex issue that impacts people, places, and populations around the world. Polarization can manifest and show up in many ways including global/local, North/South, non-indigenous/ indigenous, left/right youth/adults, state/civil society, among many others. This is especially true in Bolivia – a country that is both divided (and united) in many ways. This is why the ‘UNAMONOS’ (let’s unite) is both important and timely – a new large-scale project aimed at making a positive contribution to this widespread issue in Bolivia and beyond.
Part of this work includes the development of a new online course. The course will feature experts from Bolivia and elsewhere and span three modules: Understanding Yourself; Understanding your Environment and Understanding Human Societies. It will provide opportunities for participants to strengthen their capacities in a wide range of issues including tribalism and identity, collective and intergenerational trauma, moral and political positionality, radical curiosity, social media and algorithms, first aid, humor as a self-defense tool, and Fake News.
The project and course are funded and implemented by Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES), Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS), and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH (The German Agency for International Cooperation).
In-person Youth Peace Camp (Bolivia)
Dr. Gittins led the co-creation and facilitation of a four-day Peace Camp (23-26 March 2023), with the support of facilitators from partner organizations.
The camp brought together a diverse group of 20 young leaders (18 to 30) from across six different departments in Bolivia to build a solid foundation in peacebuilding and dialogue – that they can bring back to their professional settings, communities, and personal engagements with others.
The camp was designed to co-create participatory and experiential learning experiences where young people could learn and improve the skills needed to build bridges between different peoples/cultures, address polarization, tackle conflict, and promote peace, understanding & respect. Monitoring and evaluation processes indicate that participants ended the camp with new knowledge, connections, and interactions as well as meaningful dialogues and the development of new ideas for action moving forward.
This camp is an initiative by Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) in Bolivia.