Podcast Episodes

Episode Summary
Andrea Bartoli: Seek What Unites, Not What Divides

In this episode, Susan interviews Dr. Andrea Bartoli, someone who takes important professional risks to get good work done. Dr. Bartoli is currently Dean at Seton Hall School of Diplomacy and International Relations and an incredibly brave, intelligent and collaborative soul. He has been part of peacemaking initiatives in Mozambique, Guatemala, Algeria, Kosovo, Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Burma/Myanmar, East Timor, Colombia, and has been an advocate of innovative processes to build common ground in the university systems in which he has spent most of his professional career.

In this podcast, he tells the story of his contribution in Mozambique to bring about the end of a 16-year civil war. This work, he says, was the most important and formative of his long career in the field of peacemaking. Instrumental to the success of the endeavor was a strong belief that, in spite of the huge challenges, peace was possible. As Dr. Bartoli says, “Peace is always possible. This must be repeated over and over in situations where you do not see the possibility of peace. . .If peace was possible in Mozambique, then it is possible in Syria, Afghanistan, it is possible everywhere.”

The story of Mozambique started simply – giving assistance to just one friend. That friend, in turn was connected to expanding systems of people, ultimately to an entire country and then, by way of example, to the world. Dr. Bartoli reflects how “each of us has a daily decision to make regarding how we use ourselves to evolve systems to a more harmonious and constructive place.” And, he says, “I think that the human spirit is much stronger than war, much stronger than violence. I think that violence and war are mistakes, collective mistakes, of not applying yourself to the discipline of seeking what unites and not what divides.”

Towards the end of the interview, Dr Bartoli talks about the importance of innovative process choice in peacemaking and diplomacy and, similarly, in the “diplomacy” required to run large complex systems such as universities.

There is a lot of learning in this episode. You many want to listen closely, and listen twice.To play the episode, click the image to the right or download below.

Show Notes

Episode Summary
Aldo Civico: Working In The Fire

In this episode, Susan interviews Aldo Civico, cease-fire negotiator, peacebuilder and, in the words of George Mitchell, “one of the most innovative leaders in the field of conflict resolution. Aldo talks about how his Austrian grandfather, a resistance fighter against Hitler during WWII, planted the seeds in him to do this work – a man who lived for something bigger than himself. He recounts his professional journey of being inspired by life coach Tony Robbins particularly Robbins’ work with a live conflict on 9/11 using tools such as performance psychology, neurolinguistic programming (NLP), etc. In that experience, Aldo realized that the “Getting to Yes” and conflict resolution frameworks could be radically deepened to create lasting shifts for his clients by incorporating more of these kinds of tools.

Aldo shares with humility one of his early stories of traveling to a warzone in Colombia with the mind-set of “expert” from New York and realizing that he had to throw away all of his notes, re-connect to his purpose of service and listen deeply to the group he was working with. His tale is a great one of adapting quickly to the power of storytelling and simply staying with participants — with deep listening, no agenda or manipulation –to allow the power of story to unfold.

Aldo shares his experience in building rapport with perpetrators of some very dark crimes and understanding how the capacity for violence lives in all of us. He also talks about the need to change the landscape and narrative from “let’s get ISIS” and shares a beautiful image of a young German pianist whose response to the recent violence in Paris was to put his piano on a truck and travel overnight to play Lennon’s “Imagine” for an outdoor audience.

He talks about his vision of the future of conflict resolution work and how building capacity in urban communities to live conflict resolution principles will probably have maximum impact.

There is a lot of learning in this episode. You many want to listen closely, and listen twice.To play the episode, click the image to the right or download below.

Show Notes

Episode Summary
Harrison Own: Opening Space for Peace and High Performance

In this episode, Susan interviews Harrison Owen the celebrated creator of Open Space Technology which was “channeled” through him, he claims, because of the presence of good gin as well as past inspirations from a village where he lived in West Africa that handled differences by sitting in a simple circle. Open Space has been used in more than half of the countries on earth in what has been a 30+ year experiment in what Harrison observes as the “natural occurrence of peace and high performance.” In this episode, Harrison talks about how Open space evolved and why he thinks it works in high conflict situations. He describes some specific applications – the first, to a conflict between government agencies and Native Americans about where to build a highway on tribal lands and, the second, a meeting of 50 Israelis and Palestinians in Rome who were at polarized odds. “One of the interesting things that struck me early on (about Open Space) is how hugely conflicting people who had spent a considerable amount of time trying to deal with a particular issue would, for whatever reason, find themselves in an Open Space and, more often than not, come out hugging and kissing – problem solved.” In his typical fashion, Harrison provides insight in just about every sentence he utters including reflections on why Open Space isn’t used even more widely than it is given its consistent effectiveness.

Show Notes

 

 

Episode Summary
Gabrielle Kluck: Ombudsing In UN Peacekeeping Missions in the Sudan Region

Gabrielle Kluck is now the Ombudsman for the UN’s World Food Programme in Rome. I caught up with her in this episode as she was winding down her tenure Ombudsing in the Sudan Region of Africa. Gabrielle gives a first-hand account of working in the pressure-cooker of war-torn peacekeeping operations in S. Sudan, Darfur and earlier in Kosovo. She provides a vivid account of the context of hardship duty stations and then tells a story of working a conflict between an international and national staff to engage parallel issues at the group and systemic level. She also shares generally the ways her work builds collaboration internally in order to more effectively build an external peace in the region.
Show Notes

 

Episode #11

Mel Duncan: “Third Side” Interventions into the Heart of Deadly Conflict

In this episode, Susan interviews Mel Duncan, the Founding Director and Director of Advocacy and Outreach of Nonviolent Peace Force (NP) which provides unarmed civilian protection in the world’s most deadliest of conflicts. In this moving account of the power of “the third side”, Mel talks about those who put themselves in harms way, both nationals and internationals, in conflicts in S. Sudan, Colombia, the Philippines and elsewhere. Mel also talks about how 90% of current victims of current warfare are women and children. Rape, for instance, has become a central strategy of most violent conflict today and NP has tremendous success in stopping further atrocities as Mel describes. He reflects on the origins of NP, as well as his own life path to begin this work when first challenged by a Sufi teacher to “enter the heart of his enemy and work from a place of unity”. He was then further inspired to continue by his stay with Thich Nat Hahn at Plum Village in Southern France.Show Notes

 

Episode #10

John Horgan: The End Of War

In this episode, Susan interviews longtime Scientific American writer John Horgan who, drawing from the scientific evidence, counters the conventional wisdom that war is inevitable. John summarizes many of the points in his book that support the conclusion that, biologically speaking, we are just as likely to be peaceful as violent. War is not preordained, and furthermore, it should be thought of as a solvable, scientific problem. John summarizes what we know about human history – that the evidence of violent conflict between humans is just not there for 99% of human history. He makes a strong case for why we should be optimistic that ending war is attainable and what we might focus on to make that happen.

Show Notes

 

Episode #009

Loretta Raider: Interventions to Quell Election-Related Violence in Sierra Leone

Susan interviews Loretta Raider, a seasoned practitioner of organization development, conflict resolution and large group processes. In response to severe election-related violence, Loretta gives a detailed account of a multi-faceted approach to working throughout Sierra Leone using parts of Future Search, Open Space, conflict resolution and other methodologies to pre-empt future violence. Subsequent elections were peaceful and, while it is hard to be sure of the reasons, it is easy to assume that Loretta and her partners’ work contributed to that outcome. Loretta also talks about more recent initiatives to build positive change and peace in communities throughout Sierra Leone during the Ebola crisis and recovery period.

Show Notes

 

Episode #008

Zachary Metz: Peace Writ Large, Peace Writ Small

In this episode, Zach describes his extensive experience in different conflict-affected societies from Iraq to East Timor. Our conversation focuses on the conventional wisdom in the field that interventions must be systemic – “peace writ large” – if they are to be effective, and contrasts that thinking with the question of whether smaller initiatives – “peace writ small” — can make a profound difference, particularly in pervasive, intractable conflict. Zach tells a specific and very moving anecdote about an event in 2005 Iraq in which a single intense interchange between participants embodied many of the identity group tensions in the war-torn country, while shifting the group to a different and much more cohesive place.
To play the episode, click the image to the right or download below.
Show Notes
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Episode #007

 

An Insider’s View of the Evolution of UN Peacebuilding Initiatives

Susan interviews Gay Rosenblum–Kumar, a seasoned United Nations veteran, about her early career as a U.N. peace observer in South Africa and her later initiatives to co-develop the U.N.’s system of Peace Development Advisors (PDA’s). She provides examples of PDA initiatives in Ghana and Guyana, offers keen insight into the evolution of the peacebuilding field inside the U.N., and talks briefly about her most recent work with GAAMAC on genocide prevention.To play the episode, click the image to the right or download below.
Show Notes

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Episode #006

 

Sowing the Seeds of Peace in Public Schools

Join host Susan Coleman as she interviews Ava Bynum, the 23 year-old Executive Director of Hudson Valley Seed (and Coleman’s daughter). Ava talks about what kids learn when they build gardens and grow vegetables – skills like cooperation, patience and an understanding of the natural processes of life that nurture peace. Bynum also talks about how school gardens can be a focal point for collaboration and building communities beyond the classroom.

Show Notes

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Episode #005

 

Peacebuilding Approaches, Training to Team Coaching

Join Susan Coleman as she interviews Krister Lowe, an organizational psychologist, Leadership and Team Coach, and the Creator of the Team Coaching Zone podcast. In this episode, Krister talks about his journey from early peacebuilding and global conflict resolution training interventions to the decision to focus on team coaching as a methodology to create scalable collaborative systems change.To play the episode, click the image to the right or download below.

Show Notes

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Episode #004

 

Peacebuilding Through Education in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Join global consultant and host, Susan Coleman, as she talks with Naghmeh Sobhani about a 15 year program Naghmeh ran in post-conflict Bosnia to build peace through education. Naghmeh is a collaborative negotiation, post-conflict peacebuilding and conflict prevention consultant with expertise in developing and monitoring large-scale initiatives especially within fragile, divided zones.

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Show Notes

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Episode #003

 

Peacebuilding In Bushwick, Brooklyn, New York City

Join Global Coach and Mediator, Susan Coleman and special guest Peacebuilder, Lindsay Cornelio, as Lindsay describes her master’s degree program in Peacemaking and Peacebuilding at New York University Global Affairs program and her subsequent application to a local peacebuilding initiative in Bushwick Brooklyn.

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Show Notes

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Episode #002

Negotiations to Build Peace in Colombia and Elsewhere, Reflections from a Seasoned Practitioner

Pablo Restrepo, Founder and Chief Catalyst, Aluna Catalyst. Former CEO, Tandem Insourcing, Bogotá, Colombia

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Show Notes

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Episode #001

Join host of The Peacebuilding Podcast, Susan Coleman, as she gives an overview of the podcast, her background and story, why she is launching this podcast and what to expect from upcoming episodes.

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Show Notes

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