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Pete Lawrence - 28 Sep 2017


Forum thread :

Many people feel powerless in the face of what they see on TV or read in the news – a world in crisis, with wars and violence taking place across the globe.

But Campfire keynote speaker Scilla Elworthy has written a book for all those who want to step out of helplessness and apply their own personal skills to do something about the challenges now facing us and she will be talking about it - and other related issues - in our Campfire forum sofa session Q&A next Tuesday October 3rd (20:00 UK time)

Three times nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, Scilla Elworthy now publishes the first ever business plan for peace, based on 40 years pioneering initiatives in the transformation of conflict. Detailing 25 viable methods on international, national and local levels, the book demonstrates that war can be prevented worldwide over a period of 10 years for less than 2 billion dollars. The final chapters present the kind of actions that anyone can take: 10 that can be undertaken locally, 14 nationally and 7 actions to take internationally.

  • While war hits the front pages daily, peace is not considered sexy.

  • Yet this book packs a punch with facts and figures detailing the forces that drive war and in sharp contrast showing what can be done to stop people killing each other.

  • The total cost of scaling up all the most effective systems to prevent war over a period of 10 years would cost under $2 billion. Currently we spend $9 billion annually on ice cream.

  • Peace doesn’t have to be a distant aim for idealists: on this International Day of Peace, here’s a chance to present the facts and figures of what can be done. 

What you will learn in the book :

Why war continues...

War makes a few people extremely rich, and makes billions of people extremely poor. Every year, the world spends about $2 trillion on wars. The total value of the global arms trade alone was at least $94.5 billion in 2014. By contrast, just $10 billion would cover the cost of bringing clean water and sanitation to everyone on the planet. Those who thrive in war are not only arms manufacturers but also people traffickers, arms smugglers, money launderers, drug dealers.

How Peace can be built...

This book describes and references at least 25 proven systems that effectively prevent armed conflict and build safety at local, national and international levels. This is achieved through the methodical application of dialogue, prevention and early intervention, such as preventing the recruitment of suicide bombers in NW Pakistan. Each system is presented in detail, with examples of how it works in practice, followed by the plan of how it can now be implemented at scale.

What it will cost...

Armed conflict causes massive economic losses every year, yet peace-building and peace-keeping are grossly under-funded. The spending in 2015 on peace-building ($6.8 billion) and peacekeeping ($8.27 billion) together represented just 2 per cent of the economic losses caused by conflict. This book demonstrates that the total cost of scaling up all the most effective systems to prevent war over a period of 10 years would cost under $2 billion. Currently we spend $9 billion annually on ice cream.

Who can do it...

The current exponential rise in citizen action shows how fast humanity is evolving toward a more awakened, empathic society. The book outlines what anyone who wants to be active to prevent violence and armed conflict can do: 10 actions to take in your community, 14 actions to take nationally and 7 actions to take internationally. It addresses the self-knowledge and inner development that is essential if people are to be effective in their efforts, and provides trusted exercises to develop the skills needed in order to become inspiring builders of peaceful societies.

Scilla says "In half a century of work in the world, the most important lesson I’ve learned is that inner work is a prerequisite for outer effectiveness, for the simple reason that the quality of our awareness directly affects the quality of results produced. The story of Chris Hughes at the start of this book is a striking example — his awareness and presence of mind saved many lives that day in 2003.
The new brand of leaders that we need — those who are actually able to meet the challenges of today and thrive in the world of tomorrow — are the ones who know and live the connection between inner self-development and outer action. If we want to communicate clearly, transform conflicts, generate energy, and develop trust within our families, in our places of work or in government, our first challenge is to do the inner work."


Scilla Biog : 
Three times Nobel Peace Prize nominee for her work with Oxford Research Group to develop effective dialogue between nuclear weapons policy-makers worldwide and their critics, work which included a series of meetings between Chinese, Russian and western nuclear scientists and military. She founded Peace Direct in 2002 to fund, promote and learn from local peace-builders in conflict areas: Peace Direct was voted ‘Best New Charity’ in 2005.
Scilla was awarded the Niwano Peace Prize in 2003 and was adviser to Peter Gabriel, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and Sir Richard Branson in setting up ‘The Elders’. Scilla co-founded Rising Women Rising World in 2013, and FemmeQ in 2016 to establish the qualities of feminine intelligence for women and men as essential to use in building a safer world. Her TED talk on nonviolence has been viewed by over 1,130,000 people. Her latest book The Business Plan for Peace: Building a World Without War (2017) and her book Pioneering the Possible: awakened leadership for a world that works (North Atlantic Books, 2014) received critical acclaim from experts in the field.
Scilla is an Ambassador for Peace Direct, a Councillor of the World Future Council and patron
of Oxford Research Group; adviser to the Syria Campaign and the Institute for Economics and Peace. She advises the leadership of selected international corporations as well as students and young social entrepreneurs. Scilla is a mother, stepmother, and grandmother and loves messing about in her garden near Oxford in the UK.



More From Pete Lawrence

Welcome to the E-cosystem Victoria Wheeler
Let The Music Play Pete Lawrence
The ego of activism Pete Lawrence
Meditations Bruce Bickerton
The power of the heart Scilla Elworthy