Dubrovnik Conference 2002


June 4-11, 2002

Pre-Conference Letter from Director

"If you sow corn, you reap corn. If you sow beans, you reap beans. Why do we have to go through so many trials before we realize this?" - Thich Nhat Hanh

In the past decade, we have witnessed war and bloodshed on every continent on the earth. We have experienced terrorism, bio-terrorism, imperialism, coups, bombings, and civil wars. The events of the twentieth century, which spawned the United Nations, thousands of peace organizations, and a wave of "inner work" --- including the human potential movement, a myriad of spiritual awakenings, and international meditations for peace --- also brought us the bloodiest century of war in recorded history! What are we not seeing?

Today, more than ever, we are challenged to change the course of history. We come together to pose the relevant questions of our time and to seek imaginative solutions to the cycles of war and terrorism.

The Purpose of the 2002 Dubrovnik Conference is to provide an environment for deep inquiry, whole systems analysis, and creative problem solving. "The Alchemy of Peacebuilding" is a 7-day journey into the depths of our souls --- both personally and collectively. We will examine the process by which we create and project "the shadow," those aspects of ourselves that we scapegoat onto "the other." We will also devote one whole day to learning and developing essential practices of peace and have daily meditation and yoga sessions. We will focus on personal, social, and political transformation.

The conference program will provide a balance between inquiry, practice, and reflection. In addition to an extraordinary program, the 2002 Dubrovnik Conference provides a magnificent space and the gift of time. In the seven days of our meeting, we will begin an alchemical journey that will impact the rest of our lives. Lest one think this is all work and no play, please note our location --- a sub-tropical paradise! We will have long lunch breaks and one whole Free Day for excursions, relaxation, and synthesis.

Commenting on wars of the 20th century, former Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara writes: "In retrospect, we can now understand these catastrophes for what they were: essentially the products of a failure of imagination..."



·  Develop a manifesto for a "Practice of Peace"

·  Define a "New Activism" that links spiritual consciousness with responsible citizenship

·  Explore war and peace in the contexts of historical cycles, culture, gender, race, economics, beliefs, spirituality, propaganda, and scapegoating

·  Examine dominator and partnership models of social organization

·  Integrate the lessons of history in a whole systems context

·  Acquire tools for personal and social transformation

·  Build relationships and networks across cultures

·  Form international study/research groups that focus on transformative change

·  Enjoy the beauty and healing environment of our spectacular location.

Questions and Ideas to be explored at the Dubrovnik Conference 2002

·  Why do the cycles of war, greed and domination persist? What lessons are we not learning from history?

·  What are the most likely sources of systemic transformation?

·  Beliefs, cultural myths, and heroes: How do they influence our values and actions?

·  What is the role of gender in cultural transformation?

·  What would a "Practice of Peace" look like? What are the ingredients?

·  Differentiate between imagination/vision and wishful thinking/denial

Discernment and compromise: Do we put a human face on models that will perpetuate the old dominator paradigm, or do we empower ourselves to move into positions of leadership and create an alternative to the old paradigm? What would the alternative look like? How do we develop it? What is the empowerment process?


Youth Forum - Dates: June 3 - June 12

A Youth Forum (ages 16-30) will be part of the Dubrovnik Conference 2002. This program will include young peace workers from the Balkans, the U.S. (including inner cities), the Middle East, South Africa and Europe. The Youth Program is open to any young person (ages 16 to 30) who is working in, or interested in, peacebuilding activism. The youth will have their own institute before joining the main conference and will continue one day beyond the regular conference.

Scholarships for the Youth Program are awarded by invitation. Additionally, we are offering a discount to all youth and are exploring other economical arrangements.

Scholarship Fund: We are actively seeking support for our Youth Forum at the 2002 Dubrovnik Conference. For information regarding your tax-deductible donation, please call Georgia Kelly at 707-939-2973 or e-mail your information: praxispeace@aol.com


Unique Features of the Dubrovnik Conference 2002

Cafe discussion groups - small group discussions will follow plenary sessions and take the inquiry to a deeper level. The cafe groups will address specific questions and highlight the relevant stories. We will meet in real café settings!

A Daily Newsletterwill carry the essential ideas and experiences emerging from the small group sessions. This publication will provide a connection between all participants so that our learning is cumulative and connected.

Outdoor Sessions - All cafe discussion groups, long lunch breaks, and selected programs will be held outdoors. The natural setting of Dubrovnik and Cavtat (our actual conference site) is magnificent, and the climate is conducive to outdoor meetings in both the day and evening. We will not be stuck all day in airless hotel meeting rooms. This conference is NOT an experiment in sensory deprivation!

The Conference as Community - All speakers, facilitators, and participants are asked to remain for the entire seven days of the conference. The speakers will not be giving their usual talks but will be asked to address specific questions and issues that pertain to our inquiry.

The Conference as Think Tank - We are organizing the programs in a way that supports a systematic and imaginative building of knowledge throughout the seven days of the conference. Our intent is to define and promote a "Practice of Peace" and a "New Activism." This process includes creating a map of the peace practices that together could inform a new model of "spiritually-informed leadership." All participants are part of the Think Tank and will contribute to the knowledge base for our Final Report.

A Free Day! - After three and a half days of intensive learning and experiencing, we will take a day off. This day is for refreshment of the body, mind and spirit. Planned excursions will be available (Medjugorje, Montenegro, Adriatic islands, an evening cruise, etc.), but no conference sessions or workshops will be scheduled. This is your day to enjoy the pristine beauty of our location.

Music, Poetry, and Dance - In addition to a concert by the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra in the Atrium of the Rector's Palace in Dubrovnik, we will have music and poetry amidst the plenary sessions. We are also arranging to have a Balkan dance class.


Day by Day Planner

ImageMap - turn on images!!!

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