Spring Theme for the Kindle Project Blog: Conflict Transformation

Apr 07, 2011

Spring is a time for transformation. Trees are blossoming, the earth is warming, and the days are getting longer – a perfect time for us to explore a subject we have been passionately studying for many years. Conflict Transformation, for us, is an essential element in the efforts of building peace in a lasting, sustainable and non-violent way.

Peace is not just the absence of violence. It is the willingness to acknowledge that conflict will always exist, but it is how we handle it that matters. The theories of Conflict Transformation urge us to approach conflict non-violently and to work through them holistically and with empathy. In the coming months we will be highlighting some truly amazing people and projects in hopes of shining some light on this immensely important field.  We are excited to be able to share with you inspiring work from some of our grantees as well as others who are using various forms of conflict resolution, management and transformation with fierce commitment and wisdom.

To help introduce this theme, there is no better person to turn to for an explanation of this field than the father of Peace Studies himself, Johan Galtung – founder of TRANSCEND: A Peace Development Environment Center. For us, the TRANSCEND mission is in direct alignment with how we approach this subject, and in turn, it will be the lens through which we are viewing much of our content in the following months.

Below you’ll find an interview with Galtung from Al Jazeera’s One on One with Riz Khan. It is an excellent introduction to Galtung’s work and philosophies. It also gives a glimpse into his personal psyche and how he has stayed so active in his work throughout the years. Below, you will also find the mission statement for TRANSCEND.

Thanks to the epic Galtung…

 TRANSCEND Mission Statement

TRANSCEND has as its mission: To bring about a more peaceful world by using action, education/training, dissemination and research to transform conflicts nonviolently, with empathy and creativity, for acceptable and sustainable outcomes.

  • By peace we mean the capacity to transform conflicts with empathy, without violence, and creatively — a never-ending process;
  • By transforming conflicts we mean enabling the parties to go ahead in a self-reliant, acceptable and sustainable manner;
  • By without violence we mean that this process should avoid any cultural violence that justifies direct or structural violence;
  • By with empathy we mean the ability also to understand the conflict the way the parties understand the conflict themselves;
  • By creatively we mean channeling conflict energy toward new realities, accommodating the parties and meeting basic human needs.
    (via: http://www.transcend.org/#tpc)