Sustainable Peace Cafés 2018-19

Companionship, Contemplation, Inspiration

Sustainable Peace Cafés welcome Harvard students and alumni from across the University and friends and colleagues from the local area to come connect with new companions aspiring to advance sustainable peace. Together, we will nurture our commitment to the practice of peace; contemplate our visions of peace and how to make peace in our communities substantive, shared, and sustainable; and share insights and practices from our spiritual and cultural traditions and life experiences.

Purposes of the Sustainable Peace Cafés include to:

  • Begin creating spaces that foster a global trend to mainstream sustainable peace as a goal of leadership across sectors and communities. 
  • Inspire people to begin taking initiative to develop strategic, innovative approaches to operationalizing that goal in their own contexts.
  • Develop friendships, mutual understanding, and mutual learning across differences as a basis for greater harmony and collaborative work in pursuit of sustainable peace.
  • Create a space in which all feel welcomed to explore and express their authentic selves and diverse sources of inspiration in relation to peace practice.
  • Experiment with activities that people might do regularly in educational, community, and professional spaces to advance bridge-building across differences, exchange of perspectives, and sharing of wisdom, knowledge, and resources for peace practice. 

Each session features a new theme and activities, touching upon six dimensions of holistic peace practice to which we attend in the emerging “One Harvard” Sustainable Peace Initiative (SPI):

  • Sharing wisdom, knowledge, and inspiration 
  • Self-cultivation and virtue-cultivation 
  • Friendship-building and bridge-building 
  • Leveraging resources of culture 
  • Leveraging resources of institutions and communities 
  • Practical projects for shared flourishing 

Attendees are encouraged to explore ways to advance the SPI global trend in their own contexts. A light dinner is served, and informal networking time follows. 

Fall Dates: October 4, November 15, and November 29, 2018.
Spring Dates: February 21 and March 7, 2019

Spring 2019 Sessions

Nourishment for the Body and Soul
Thursday, February 21, 2019

What forms of nourishment bring you inner peace and comfort? How can we cultivate peace through sharing recipes or stories of foods and beverages or particular diets that have brought us comfort, love, joy, and connection with ourselves and people around us? Is there a particular food or drink that brings you closer to the people around you, your home, your community, or your identity?

Join us to share food and stories by the fireplace surrounded by peers and companions. You are welcome to bring a recipe or a food-story to share.

Space is limitedRSVP is required.

Fall 2018 Sessions

Sharing Inspiration and Wisdom for Peace Across Traditions
Thursday, October 4, 2018 

For this first session, we encourage you to bring a peace story from your own spiritual or wisdom tradition; a story of a time when you have seen a mentor or community enacting peace; or a story of a moment when you helped peace to grow in your own context.

Space is limitedRSVP is required.

Creativity and Collaboration for Sustainable Peace
Thursday, November 15 

In the spirit of collaboration that is central to the Sustainable Peace Cafés, this second session will serve as a space in which all can come together to create a visual representation of our mutual commitment to the practice of peace. We invite participants to bring this spirit of collaboration into their own contexts, and cultivate friendships across differences in the process. Come prepared to speak briefly about a piece of art, poetry, music, film, etc. that inspires your peace practice, if you wish.

Space is limited. RSVP is required.

Tools for Dialogue across Differences in a World of Injustice
Thursday, November 29 

Join us for our final Sustainable Peace Café for this Fall. We will have an evening of dialogue and interactive engagement where we will explore tools, such as compassionate listening, for navigating through differences in a world of systemic injustice. By bringing our unique experiences and outlooks, we will take on some of the issues plaguing our society today and attempt to generate sustainable solutions that we can carry with us into our everyday lives and communities.

Space is limited. RSVP is required.

The Sustainable Peace Cafés are hosted in 2018-19 with generous support from the Whitehead Foundation.