From November 7-10, 2019, over 450 attendees from 37 different countries gathered at the University of Notre Dame's Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, part of the Keough School of Global Affairs, for a conference on the state of the field of peace research and practice, and the nexus between them.
The conference brought together scholars, practitioners, and peacebuilders for animated conversations about the synergies and contestations between theory and practice, the field and the classroom, and the different local, national, regional and global orientations towards peace.
"I decided to speak today about the relation between peace and the imagination: the narratives, the concepts, but above all, the visions, that drive a peace process and a peace negotiation."
Sergio Jaramillo Caro spoke about the process of negotiating the signing of Colombia's landmark 2016 peace agreement.
John Paul Lederach offered the closing keynote address, reflecting on the themes and trends he heard emerging throughout the conference.
“Our greatest challenges-climate, pandemics, human migration-have no regard for walls...I wonder if this eco-system we have created over these three days offers us a well. We will need every iota of human genius to navigate the challenges in front of us.”
"To resolve the challenges the world is facing requires strategic thinking and strategic action. The conference was designed to create conversations between scholars and practitioners to try to address these major challenges. The Kroc Institute is one of the largest centers for the study of violence and strategies for peace, and it was important for us to use this leadership position to invite scholars and practitioners to come and engage this conversation."
Asher Kaufman, John M. Regan, Jr., Director, Kroc Institute