Peace Leadership in Europe and on the International Day of Peace

By |2015-09-30T09:40:14-07:00September 30, 2015|

From a conference of international scholars to a group of international nine and ten year-olds, the work of the NAPF Peace Leadership Program moves into an ever-expanding world.

As a 2015 CMM Institute Fellow, NAPF Peace Leadership Director Paul K. Chappell gave the keynote address at the 2015 CMM Learning Exchange, a conference in co-production with the Institute for Global Integral Competence and Fielding Graduate University’s EU Cluster, held from September 17 through September 20, 2015 at the University of the Armed Forces in Munich, Germany.

“Paul gave a powerful talk on the first day of the conference on ‘Why Peace Is Possible.’  His thought process is razor-sharp, and he has a fire in the belly about waking the world up to the real possibilities for peace…” wrote Jonathan Shailor, one of six 2015 CMM Fellows and a professor at the University of Wisconsin/Parkside who leads a project to teach and direct Shakespeare in prison. “I feel both inspired and challenged by his example.”

Throughout the weekend, Paul Chappell shared from his CMM project: Literacy in the Art of Living, the Art of Listening, and the Art of Waging Peace. “To survive as a species in the twenty-first century and beyond, we must promote literacy in these often neglected arts. We must also promote literacy in our shared humanity. This is how we will evolve as a civilization, or we will perish. That is our only choice.”

Following the conference, Paul Chappell spent September 21, the International Day of Peace, speaking at United World College in Maastricht, in the Netherlands, an international school with more than 800 students from ages 2 to 18. After giving several different lectures to students from middle school and the higher grades, Paul received some surprising written feedback: his hour-long talks were not long enough! The students wanted more.

The primary school students also wanted to meet Paul. For the first time he spoke to 9 and 10 year-olds. “These children were from all over the world and for many, neither English nor Dutch were their first language. I was able to engage them on issues of aggression and trauma and respect, and how to deal with upset feelings, such as humiliation.”

One teacher wrote, “Our kids responded to your ideas so well, they could transfer them to their own lives and also those of their relatives and friends. I really liked how you encouraged the kids to think of the source of another person’s anger. That will be very helpful…”

“It was rewarding to realize that the basic elements of the NAPF Peace Leadership Program also work for younger grades,” said Chappell. “I learned on this trip that our ideas and the content can inspire people and students from all over the world, from academics to little kids. What we are offering is universal, easy-to-understand, and practical – peace leadership skills for everyone to use every day in every nation. This is one way we make world peace possible.”