THE ALCHEMY OF PEACEBUILDING
June 4-11, 2002
"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
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
· Develop a
manifesto for a "Practice of Peace"
· Define a
"New Activism" that links spiritual consciousness with responsible
war and peace in the contexts of historical cycles, culture, gender, race,
economics, beliefs, spirituality, propaganda, and scapegoating
dominator and partnership models of social organization
the lessons of history in a whole systems context
tools for personal and social transformation
relationships and networks across cultures
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?
cultural myths, and heroes: How do they influence our values and actions?
· What is
the role of gender in cultural transformation?
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
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
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: email@example.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
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
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.