My Rotarian Amazement


by Luis Pedro Fernández Smith One hundred and twelve years ago in Chicago, a lawyer named Paul Harris decided with three of his friends, Gustavus Loehr, Silvester Schiele and Hiram Shorey, to create a club to forge community [...]

My Rotarian Amazement2017-09-01T16:45:54-05:00

If Walls Could Talk


by Micaela Segal de la Garza As I returned to my birthplace of Reggio Emilia, I found myself trying to soak up as much of the societal culture and history as possible. On our first [...]

If Walls Could Talk2017-09-01T16:45:55-05:00

Can you reconcile without forgiving?


by Elissa Al Roumi, Lebanon  “What is forgiveness? Can you reconcile without forgiving?” this was the opening question of our last session after a four weeks Symposium. Robi Damelin stood there listening to our “scientific” [...]

Can you reconcile without forgiving?2017-09-01T16:45:59-05:00

Memory and Reconciliation


by Rachel Naguib, Egypt How can we forget violent conflicts that left us psychologically devastated and our feelings full of apprehension, relief, anger and lethargy? Memory is not only a product of the past, but [...]

Memory and Reconciliation2017-09-01T16:46:00-05:00

Pray the Devil Back to Hell…


by Leenat Jilani, Canada Yesterday our class had the great privilege of hearing from Joyce Neu, a conflict resolution specialist and the first team leader of United Nations’ Standby Team of Mediation Experts. However, it was [...]

Pray the Devil Back to Hell…2017-09-01T16:46:01-05:00

The Right of Resistance


by Giovanna Maselli, Guatemala "Most of what we commonly call women’s history is actually the history of women’s roles in the development of nonviolent action.” –Pam Mcallister   Dr. Mary E. King opened today’s session [...]

The Right of Resistance2017-09-01T16:46:02-05:00

Civil Resistance: Nonviolent Force for Change


by Kareem Bessisso, Palestine We began the day with Dr. Maciej Bartkowski who provided us with a thorough introduction to the origins and ideas that underlie the modern practice of civil resistance. The roots of [...]

Civil Resistance: Nonviolent Force for Change2017-09-01T16:46:02-05:00

Post Conflict Peace Building


by Carol Grojean, United States  In 1982 the danger of nuclear annihilation  seemed to have been eased but there were many other challenges going on in the world: Geopolitical corruption Religious Ideology Spheres of influence [...]

Post Conflict Peace Building2017-09-01T16:46:02-05:00

Finding your way in a world of uncertainty


by Maria Winters DiMarco, United States This week we have had the privilege of being trained in negotiation tactics by Wilbur Perlot, director of the Clingendael Academy. As a communications professional, I am fascinated with [...]

Finding your way in a world of uncertainty2017-09-01T16:46:02-05:00

Negotiation and Empathy


by Janine Bressmer, Germany/Canada  In today’s session of the IPSI Bologna Symposium we had the pleasure of meeting and learning from Wilbur Perlot, the Deputy Director of the Clingendael Institute, a Dutch Institute of International [...]

Negotiation and Empathy2017-09-01T16:46:03-05:00

Discontinuous Shifts


by Carol Grojean, United States Crossing the chasm of paradigm shifts can be tough for leaders. In conflict management, how can we help leaders move away from the model of aggression-to-violence-to-win or lose at the [...]

Discontinuous Shifts2017-09-01T16:46:03-05:00

How does one quantify peace?


Leo Lou, China/United States    How does one quantify peace? What credible databases concerning conflicts, safety, military, or crime statistics should one throw into the mix to construct the “formula for peace”? How do countries get compared [...]

How does one quantify peace?2017-09-01T16:46:03-05:00

Building bridges for peace


by Shagufta Hayat, Pakistan Participants coming from diverse backgrounds, origins and cultures widen the message of coming together for a cause, to understand and respect each other’s norms, values and traditions. In a larger perspective [...]

Building bridges for peace2017-09-01T16:46:03-05:00

Embracing complexity


by Ben Collard, Australia Today we heard from the Bologna Symposium's keynote speaker, Lieutenant-General (retd.) Roméo Dallaire. The General is a former Artillery officer, a position that encompasses a variety of roles, the primary one [...]

Embracing complexity2017-09-01T16:46:03-05:00

“We stumbled into a new era”


by George A. Stairs, Canada With that, The Honourable Lt-Gen. (Rtd.) Roméo Dallaire launched into his description of the “New World Disorder,” the state of affairs existing in the post-Cold War world where the previous [...]

“We stumbled into a new era”2017-09-01T16:46:03-05:00

Searching the Soul for Peace


by Raghda Abu-Shala, Palestine    When we first arrived at the 2014 IPSI Bologna Symposium each participant was asked to choose one training day to write a blog post reflecting our thoughts on what we [...]

Searching the Soul for Peace2017-09-01T16:46:03-05:00

Experiences in Knowledge and Training


by Mojdeh Abtahi, Iran We concluded the second week of the 2014 Bologna Symposium with Clingendael Institute Deputy Director Wilbur Perlot as well as Alvaro de Soto, a career diplomat who has held senior positions [...]

Experiences in Knowledge and Training2017-09-01T16:46:03-05:00

The Efficacy of Non-Violent Action


by Punya Bagga, India/Canada As we moved into our third week of the symposium, we were introduced to a form of conflict resolution, or more appropriately, a different way of waging conflict: nonviolent action. Hailing [...]

The Efficacy of Non-Violent Action2017-09-01T16:46:03-05:00

La verità, niente di più sovversivo


by Claire Connellan, Austrailia    On Thursday, as our third week at the Bologna Symposium neared its end, we began the first of two days of presentations by Jack Duvall, Dr. Maciej Bartkowski and Dr. [...]

La verità, niente di più sovversivo2017-09-01T16:46:04-05:00

Is the past really past? Some important insights


by Elinah Nciizah, Zimbabwe  We are in our last week at the IPSI 2014 Bologna Symposium yet every day is a first-hand discovery of shared thoughts, ideas, knowledge and practice. Certainly, learning at the 2014 [...]

Is the past really past? Some important insights2017-09-01T16:46:04-05:00

Without Justice There Is No Peace


by Oscar Sánchez Piñeiro As we have seen from the 2014 IPSI Bologna Symposium speakers who have presented their work in the last few weeks, there exists a proliferation of NGOs and private entities involved [...]

Without Justice There Is No Peace2017-09-01T16:46:05-05:00

A Revised Agenda for Peace


by Stephen Wilson, Australia The year was 1992. Senior Political Advisor, Álvaro de Soto was accompanying recently-appointed United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali on a long-haul flight. With the recently achieved El Salvadorean Chapultepec Peace Accords [...]

A Revised Agenda for Peace2017-09-01T16:46:05-05:00

Negotiations: It’s about who gets what!


by Trust Mamombe, Zimbabwe Enter Wilbur Perlot, the Deputy Director of the Clingendael Academy and a ‘Specialist in Difficult Negotiations’ (SDN, my creative acronym).  Here is a man with a non-negotiably long CV. That being [...]

Negotiations: It’s about who gets what!2017-09-01T16:46:06-05:00

Blending Theory & Practice


by Robert Heyn, Germany Last Wednesday was a very special day for me.  I was very much looking forward to Wilbur Perlot's class on international negotiation.  Whenever negotiation was on the schedule during my undergraduate [...]

Blending Theory & Practice2017-09-01T16:46:06-05:00

Accountable to a Purpose


by Stephen Di Lorenzo, Australia Over the last few years my adventures in the world of peacebuilding and conflict management have been rather limited, yet my enthusiasm for the field has grown. My foray into [...]

Accountable to a Purpose2017-09-01T16:46:07-05:00

Political Change and Bridging the Divide


By Rishita Apsani, India/Canada   Conflict is an inevitable and healthy part of the human condition and our role as peace builders is not to stomp out conflict as such, but to move it away [...]

Political Change and Bridging the Divide2017-09-01T16:46:07-05:00

Peace is Divine


by Tom Hasani, United States As a human being in search of a higher power, it has been a difficult life trying to understand the perpetuation of violent conflict in the name of different Gods. [...]

Peace is Divine2017-09-01T16:46:07-05:00

Dialogue, the Cornerstone of Conflict Resolution


By Douglas Munemo, Zimbabwe  It was an eventful and action packed day here in Bologna spent sharpening our conflict prevention and resolution skills as Michael Shipler and Rajendra Mulmi from Search for Common Ground (SFCG) [...]

Dialogue, the Cornerstone of Conflict Resolution2017-09-01T16:46:07-05:00

Social Entrepreneurship, A Standing Ovation


by Amanda Chittleborough, Australia We concluded the first week of the Symposium with husband and wife team John Marks and Susan Collin Marks. They are the founders, President, and Senior Vice President, respectively, of the [...]

Social Entrepreneurship, A Standing Ovation2017-09-01T16:46:07-05:00

What Civil Resistance Can Achieve


by SeoHyun Choi, South Korea Suppose there are two different groups of people on the street, protesting against the authoritarian government. One of them is armed and ready to take a violent action; the other is [...]

What Civil Resistance Can Achieve2017-09-01T16:46:11-05:00

The Building Blocks of Peace


By Gianina Pellegrini, USA As much as I was looking forward to attending this symposium and knew that I needed to participate in this experience, I truly didn’t know what to expect. The first three [...]

The Building Blocks of Peace2017-09-01T16:46:11-05:00

Aligning Business with Passion


By Rebecca Viljoen, South Africa "The world's problems could not be solved by the institutions that created them because these systems were stuck in old ways of thinking. They knew how to make the system [...]

Aligning Business with Passion2017-09-01T16:46:11-05:00

International Mediation and Dr. Joyce Neu


By Joanne Cotton, Australia After two privileged days guided by Dr. Joyce Neu, we are now better informed as to what is involved in international mediation and the role of the mediator. As Founder and [...]

International Mediation and Dr. Joyce Neu2017-09-01T16:46:11-05:00

Intra-organization Mediation and Negotiation and the Potential of Information for Change


By Carlos Castillo, Colombia  In this blog entry I would like to comment on two different but yet interacting topics. First, the manifestation of conflict during decision-making processes inside organizations (government bureaucracies, NGO staff, diplomatic [...]

Intra-organization Mediation and Negotiation and the Potential of Information for Change2017-09-01T16:46:11-05:00

International Mediation Theory


By Abraham Kuol Nyuon, South Sudan Conflict management has become very popular in virtually all national contexts today because conflict is found in all aspects of international relations. The formation of various regional blocks within [...]

International Mediation Theory2017-09-01T16:46:11-05:00

UNSCR 1325 Bringing Women to the Table


By Helena Grönberg, Finland “Women bring a different perspective to the table,” said Dr. Joyce Neu during her first day at the 2013 Bologna Symposium. Dr. Neu, a seasoned mediator who has been engaged in [...]

UNSCR 1325 Bringing Women to the Table2017-09-01T16:46:11-05:00

Recognizing Negotiations in Mediation


 By Rohan Thwaites, Australia ‘Mobilize’, ‘instruct’, ‘direct’, ‘guide’ or ‘coordinate’? Negotiations about what might seem semantics to some were the topic of Wednesday’s simulation as member states from the US, UK, USSR, Indonesia, Peru, Tunisia [...]

Recognizing Negotiations in Mediation2017-09-01T16:46:12-05:00

An Ounce of Prevention or a Pound of Cure?


By Fiona Kitavi, Kenya Prevention Conflict, such a simple word. Taken for granted by many whether consciously or unconsciously.  Conflict prevention, conflict resolution and conflict reconciliation all have one thing in common, and for me [...]

An Ounce of Prevention or a Pound of Cure?2017-09-01T16:46:12-05:00

Conflict Prevention and Resolution


By Kishor Silwal, Nepal Conflict is ubiquitous in social relations and among interdependent parties who have different interests, preferences or needs. Thus conflict prevention means different things to different people and there is no single [...]

Conflict Prevention and Resolution2017-09-01T16:46:12-05:00

Negotiations and Dinner with Betty Bigombe


By William Bejan, USA Although I thought it impossible, the second week in Bologna has possibly surpassed the first! We learned tools of international negotiation from Wilbur Perlot who is a Senior Training and Research [...]

Negotiations and Dinner with Betty Bigombe2017-09-01T16:46:12-05:00

Facilitation training by Search for Common Ground


By Maaike van Adrichem, The Netherlands Facilitating dialogues to resolve conflict We all know them: the nay-sayers, the know-it-alls, the avoiders and the distractors. On the second day of the facilitation training we were challenged [...]

Facilitation training by Search for Common Ground2017-09-01T16:46:12-05:00

Facilitation Training: The Art of Perception


By Lauren Hershey, USA Any avowed art aficionado has, at some point, viewed the famous perceptual illusion of the “Young Girl-Old Woman” and has more naturally seen one image over the other. Personally, it doesn’t [...]

Facilitation Training: The Art of Perception2017-09-01T16:46:12-05:00

Counterfactuals and Peace Simulations


By Nathan Shea, Australia "I strongly urge you all to play your part in ending the potential for future violence and preventing a situation that could lead to mass atrocities. Let us be an example [...]

Counterfactuals and Peace Simulations2017-09-01T16:46:12-05:00

Peace… Eat, Pray, Love


By Gaone Magogwe, Botswana I arrived in “Bologna la rossa, la grossa, e la dotta” Friday evening from wintery Botswana, smack into 30 degrees of humid heat… a great welcome for me; I am totally [...]

Peace… Eat, Pray, Love2017-09-01T16:46:12-05:00

Conflict Prevention and Management


by Lira Duishebaeva, Kyrgyzstan Today we had an amazing experience gaining exposure to some classic distinctions of categorizing causes of conflict presented by P. Terrence Hopmann as part of the lecture on “Primary drivers, Diagnosing [...]

Conflict Prevention and Management2017-09-01T16:46:12-05:00


Hello from the Johns Hopkins University SAIS Center in Bologna, Italy! The 2013 Bologna Symposium will offer an unprecedented line-up of the world's top academics, practitioners, and advocates, and we want to make sure those not present at the program [...]


Thinking About Bread.


by Andrés Martinez-Garcia, Colombia Dear Colleagues, Think about bread. The fluffy kind… To make bread a baker puts together a variety of ingredients. But one is key: Yeast. This is how it works: You grab a [...]

Thinking About Bread.2017-09-01T16:46:15-05:00

Farewell Adress


by Billene Seyoum, Ethiopia  It is an honor to stand here amongst a cohort of enthusiastic and determined agents of change, whose vision and commitment to seeking ways of making our world a better place is inspiring. At [...]

Farewell Adress2017-09-01T16:46:15-05:00

Escalation and Self-Discovery.


by Stephanie Billingham, Canada Yesterday saw the end of Day Two of our three day simulation, and what a day it was. An investigation into the explosion at the Georgian/Abkhaz Power Plant revealed an Abkhaz diaspora as [...]

Escalation and Self-Discovery.2017-09-01T16:46:15-05:00

Conflict in the Caucus Mountains.


by Alex Hong, United States of America  In the fourth and final week of the IPSI Symposium in Bologna, we get to try everything our we have learned so far. Tuesday was the second day [...]

Conflict in the Caucus Mountains.2017-09-01T16:46:15-05:00

A History of Non-Voilent Tactics.


by Lauren Squires, United States of America Our first Friday of July began as Dr. Jack Duvall discussed how civil resistance can replace violence and terror. This enlightening and provocative lecture touched on many themes of [...]

A History of Non-Voilent Tactics.2017-09-01T16:46:15-05:00

Just One Week Left.


by Jenn Buxton, Canada I can’t believe we are starting our last week; the saying “time flies when you’re having fun” really stands true at IPSI. I have appreciated all the speakers and trainers, as well as, [...]

Just One Week Left.2017-09-01T16:46:16-05:00

Single system, Single Action.


by Chloe Baveas, Australia   The dramatic description of the nonviolence discourse by Jack Duvall set the tone for the rest of the day. Keeping up with IPSI calibre of speakers, Mr Duvall passionately delved into the [...]

Single system, Single Action.2017-09-01T16:46:16-05:00

Non-Violence and Resistance Movements.


by Auriel Niemack, South Africa On Thursday we were graced with three speakers from the International Cente on Non-Violent Conflict, Jack Duvall, Maciej Bartkowski and Mary King, who all spoke to various aspects of non-violence and civil [...]

Non-Violence and Resistance Movements.2017-09-01T16:46:16-05:00

Memory and the Real Price Laptops.


by Emma Hodder, New Zealand  Today had to be one of my favourite days of the symposium thus far. In the morning we were treated to the beautiful and engaging Dr Valérie Rosoux talking about reconciliation. After [...]

Memory and the Real Price Laptops.2017-09-01T16:46:16-05:00

Theories Of Change (TOCs) in the Design, Monitoring and Evaluation (DME) of Projects in Fragile States.


by Hamdi Aden, Somalia  Yesterday, Heidi Ober, from Care International gave an informative workshop on Theories Of Change  (TOCs) in the Design, Monitoring and Evaluation (DME) of projects in fragile states. Using examples from Nepal, [...]

Theories Of Change (TOCs) in the Design, Monitoring and Evaluation (DME) of Projects in Fragile States.2017-01-27T18:55:37-05:00

Knowing is Half the Battle.


by Chris de Wit, The Netherlands In a few years I reckon I’ll look back on today, thinking it was one of these days that has had a significant impact on my ‘road taken’. John and [...]

Knowing is Half the Battle.2017-01-27T18:55:37-05:00

Libya to Syria – Testing R2P.


by Billene Woldeyes, Ethiopia I remember following with intensity the domino effect of the Arab Spring as it hit the North African states in early December 2010. I wondered if a transition in Libya with minimal [...]

Libya to Syria – Testing R2P.2017-01-27T18:55:37-05:00

Stakeholders and Trading Partners.


by Larissa Alles, Germany Generally speaking, this symposium generates significantly more questions than answers. But what it also does is to shift one's own perspective from left to right, back and forth. Today's session on the Responsibility [...]

Stakeholders and Trading Partners.2017-09-01T16:46:16-05:00

Application and Evaluation.


by Reem Alsalem, Palestine  In the latter half of last week, we were immersed into a mini crash course on negotiating successfully in an international context by professor Wilbur Perlot of the Clingendael Institute in the [...]

Application and Evaluation.2017-01-27T18:55:37-05:00

A Reflection.


by Hamdi Aden, Somalia  Although, women are recognized as a fundamental force in the quest to eradicate poverty and maintain the stability of families and societies, human rights violations against women remain at a level where [...]

A Reflection.2017-09-01T16:46:16-05:00

Peace or Justice?


by Larissa Alles, Germany Coming mostly from Western countries, few of us have ever thought to differentiate between peace and justice or vice versa. Why should we, since we often have both? Yet, when listening [...]

Peace or Justice?2017-01-27T18:55:37-05:00

Two Weeks Left.


by Jenn Buxton, Canada We are now almost done our second week, but what an awesome week it has been! I am in shock by how quickly the time is passing by. Soon I will [...]

Two Weeks Left.2017-01-27T18:55:37-05:00

Theory and Reality.


by Hamdi Aden, Somalia There is a surreal experience when you sit listening to a talk by someone whose work you have often quoted (in the hurried pages of the many essays you have written) over [...]

Theory and Reality.2017-09-01T16:46:16-05:00



 by Emma Hodder, New Zealand  After a full day simulation on Tuesday it was nice to have a day of academics today. We spent the morning brainstorming the key aspects for a successful negotiation with Wilburt Perlot [...]

BATNA, WATNA & ZOPA.2017-01-27T18:55:37-05:00

Simulating Inclusive Peace Processes.


by Alex Hong, United States of America We are in the second week of the IPSI Symposium in Bologna and have been given the opportunity to learn from Dr. Joyce Neu. With over twenty years [...]

Simulating Inclusive Peace Processes.2017-09-01T16:46:17-05:00

International Mediation Theory.


by Hamdi Aden, Somalia Week two is promising to be an exciting challenge and learning opportunity for participants as Dr. Joyce Neu took to the lectern yesterday morning. Participants listened enthusiastically as Dr. Neu discussed [...]

International Mediation Theory.2017-01-27T18:55:37-05:00

Beyond Buzzwords.


by Alex Hong, United States of America We've been in Bologna less than one week for the IPSI Symposium but it feels like we've been here two or three. We had the honor of hearing Roshan [...]

Beyond Buzzwords.2017-09-01T16:46:17-05:00

Social Entrepreneurship: an introspective journey.


by Diogo Galvão, Brazil This first week of 2012 Bologna Symposium has exceeded my expectations. After quite a few busy days, full of discussions, insights, simulations and practical training, Roshan Paul, Senior Change Maker at Ashoka, [...]

Social Entrepreneurship: an introspective journey.2017-09-01T16:46:17-05:00

Another Special Day in Bologna.


by Kiran Peter, Pakistan The IPSI symposium started yesterday with Michael Shipler, the Asia Director at Search for Common Ground and Rajendra Mulmi, the Director of Programs at Search for Common Ground Nepal, facilitating various [...]

Another Special Day in Bologna.2017-09-01T16:46:17-05:00

A Dialogue Process.


by Hamdi Aden, Somalia Day three of the Summit focused on facilitation training run by representatives from Search for Common Ground Nepal. From the initial outset the facilitators asked us to identify our experience with [...]

A Dialogue Process.2017-09-01T16:46:17-05:00

Preventative Diplomacy 101.


by Clare Barclay, Australia Professor Terrence Hopmann’s joyful and passionate countenance again graced our podium, bringing our thoughts to the theoretical considerations we need to face when both judging and acting upon potential conflict scenarios. [...]

Preventative Diplomacy 101.2017-09-01T16:46:17-05:00

2012 Bologna Symposium Begins.


by Brigid Furlong, Australia Writing now, during the warm evening at the end of the first day of class, it feels like the Bologna Symposium for 2012  has commenced in an exciting blur. Much of [...]

2012 Bologna Symposium Begins.2017-09-01T16:46:17-05:00

Bologna 2012 Blog


Hello from the Johns Hopkins University SAIS Center in Bologna, Italy! The 2012 Bologna Symposium will offer an unprecedented line-up of the world's top academics, practitioners, and advocates, and we want to make sure those not present at the program [...]

Bologna 2012 Blog2017-09-01T16:46:17-05:00

Graduation Student Keynote Address.


by Vic Crawford, New Zealand It is an honour and a privilege to share my graduation address as the final entry for the 2011 IPSI Bologna blog. Friend Do you remember that wild stretch of [...]

Graduation Student Keynote Address.2017-09-01T16:46:17-05:00

Getting to Agreement.


by Amy Thomson, New Zealand Three days of trying to end the Georgian-Abkhazian conflict (in our universes this equated to about 20days) and I’m shattered. Acting on behalf of a small nation without international recognition [...]

Getting to Agreement.2017-09-01T16:46:17-05:00

Unsettled Channels.


by Shalva Dzidziguri, Republic of Georgia. While talking about the simulation “Unsettled Channels” over the conflict between Georgia and Abkhazia during the introduction of the IPSI program on the first day of the symposium, Cameron [...]

Unsettled Channels.2017-01-27T18:56:07-05:00
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