Sustainable Peace Initiative

Leadership, Collaboration, and Creativity for a More Humane, Harmonious, and Equitable World

Fostering One Harvard Connections

About the Sustainable Peace Initiative

  • The Sustainable Peace Initiative (SPI), founded by Dean David N. Hempton of Harvard Divinity School, is an initiative of students, faculty, and alumni from across Harvard University who wish to contribute to a world of more harmonious, cooperative, and equitable relations that will foster flourishing for all and help reduce destructive conflict and prevent violence.

  • SPI promotes the mainstreaming of sustainable peace as an integral goal of leadership and the exploration of strategic, innovative approaches to operationalizing this goal within and across sectors and communities.  

  • SPI takes a holistic and integrative approach, welcoming everyone into a shared endeavor to develop our capacities as transformative leaders guided by wisdom, values, and virtues; collaborate and share knowledge across our disciplines and spiritual, ethical, and cultural traditions; and practice peace creatively through inquiry, discovery, and innovation.  

  • SPI is an incubator for ideas and projects and a collaborative platform for interested members of the Harvard community to share expertise and resources.

  • By fostering One Harvard connections and making SPI’s innovative potentials visible on Harvard’s campus and beyond, we hope to inspire a global trend.

Key Questions for the Harvard Community

Recognizing our interconnectedness and interdependence as a human family, we would like to explore ways to amplify our work across disciplines and communities toward a world of more harmonious, cooperative, and equitable human relations that will help reduce destructive conflict, prevent violence, and foster flourishing for all. We refer to this as a shared endeavor for “sustainable peace.” We propose that sustainable peace be mainstreamed as an integral goal of leadership across sectors (in a way similar to the goal of environmental sustainability). The Sustainable Peace Initiative (SPI) is an emerging platform and incubator to facilitate relevant creative collaboration across Harvard. We envision that work for sustainable peace will entail explorations at intrapersonal, interpersonal, intracommunity, and intercommunity levels; bringing together insights and practices from our diverse sources of wisdom; and holistic approaches to issues that attend to dimensions ranging from the spiritual and cultural to the institutional and structural. We expect that people will bring varied definitions of “peace” and what can help make peace substantive, shared, and sustainable—all of which will contribute valuable insights to our shared quest.

  • Based on your academic discipline; spiritual, ethical, and cultural traditions and other sources of wisdom from which you take inspiration; and/or your life experiences: How do you envision peace, what is needed to help make peace substantive, shared, and sustainable, and how humanity can foster this more effectively?
  • How might mainstreaming sustainable peace as an integral goal of leadership across sectors help humanity foster a more humane and harmonious world?
  • What are some ways that you would envision operationalizing the goal of sustainable peace in sectors and communities with which you are familiar? 
  • What key lines of inquiry and action would enhance your field’s capacity to contribute to leadership, collaboration, and creativity for sustainable peace?
  • How might intellectual and leadership preparation for sustainable peace in your field be enhanced by systematically integrating exploration of our deeper purposes, higher aspirations, and sources of inspiration, and the wisdom, values, virtues, and practices of our spiritual, ethical, and cultural traditions?
  • What resources and pathways might be developed at Harvard to support leadership, collaboration, and creativity for sustainable peace?

Join the Sustainable Peace Initiative

We invite all members of the Harvard community to join us in a shared endeavor to advance sustainable peace in our world for present and future generations. Joining the Sustainable Peace Initiative (SPI):

  • expresses your support for SPI’s mission, encouraging students, scholars, and practitioners who aspire to contribute to sustainable peace through their fields and communities
  • informs members of the Harvard community that your interests and expertise intersect with SPI
  • provides opportunities to contribute your inspiration, talents, and expertise
  • connects you with a growing Harvard network of advisers and resources in diverse fields who can support you in your current and future projects to advance sustainable peace
  • keeps you apprised of SPI’s progress and upcoming SPI events.

Harvard faculty, students, fellows, staff, and alumni who wish to join SPI or receive more information, please e-mail

Together we can leverage our diverse resources and Harvard’s unparalleled cross-disciplinary expertise and global reach to foster a more humane, harmonious, and equitable world!