Peace Leadership: The Quest for Connectedness
Interview With Stan Amaladas and Sean Byrne
Stan Amaladas is a Research Associate and Lecturer at the University of Manitoba, the University of Winnipeg, Okanagan College – Kelowna, British Columbia, and co-editor of Peace Leadership: A Quest for Connectedness.and the author of Intentional Leadership: Getting to the Heart of the Matter
Sean Byrne is a Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies and Director of the Arthur V. Mauro Centre for Peace and Justice, St. Paul’s College, University of Manitoba, Canada. His teaching, research, and practice interests lie in the areas of critical and emancipatory peacebuilding; children and war; women, NGOs and peacebuilding; international peacebuilding; and the role of economic aid in building the dividend in societies transitioning out of violence. He has authored, coauthored or coedited 10 books, and over 100 articles and book chapters in these areas. He is a native of Ireland.
Amanuel Melles is Principal of Aman Consulting and President, InterChange, International Community-Based Peacebuilding Institute. As a multi-lingual social entrepreneur with over 22 years of management and senior management roles, he has wide ranging expertise and experience in various areas of non-profit organizational resilience, community capacity building, diversity and inclusion planning, leadership development and long-term strategic planning. He has many years of significant volunteer leadership experience in the areas of peacebuilding, social planning, public affairs and advocacy in mental health, refugees, and prevention of violence against women. He is the co-convener of ILA's Peace Leadership Affinity Group.
AMANUEL MELLES: I’m pleased to be here with Sean Byrne and Stan Amaladas who have co-edited the newly published book, Peace Leadership: The Quest for Connectedness. Sean and Stan, tell us a little about yourselves.
SEAN BYRNE: Sure. My name is Sean Byrne. I’m an Irish man, or I should say I’m a Northern Irish man. I fell into peace studies through my family. My parents were from both ends of the island, so my extended family had people in it from the security forces, judges, lawyers, and doctors to paramilitaries, to all sorts of folks. My grandmother wasn’t a formally educated woman, but she had her own farm, so she was one of the people folks would go to try to resolve issues, such as the typical farming problems in the area. Everything was pooled and shared, it was communal, but issues could come up say if one person held a piece of machinery longer than they should. I remember as a child being in her kitchen as she was making tea and sandwiches and sitting folks down to sort out problems. Even though there are deep political chasms in my family, I often observed that when we had family gatherings for weddings, funerals, etc. there was never any trouble whatsoever. I find that interesting.
I studied at the University of Limerick (BA) and Queen’s University Belfast (MSSc) and learned all about conflict from the academic side of things. Then I found out from a young Quaker friend, Dr. Tom Boudreau who I happened to meet at UL that Syracuse University had a graduate program in conflict analysis and resolution that was run by Louis Kriesberg and Neil Katz. So, I arrived “off the boat” in Syracuse, upstate New York and long story short, I finished the international relations PhD program, with conflict resolution and peace studies as my major. Then I went to the University of Missouri, St. Louis where I was a Theodore Lentz Postdoctoral Fellow. After, I went to Nova Southeastern University with five other Syracuse graduates, my peers, and we started a PhD program and a master’s program in conflict analysis and resolution. I was recruited and interviewed with Dr. Jessica Senehi for Director and Associate Director positions with the Mauro Centre. In 2003 we came up here to Winnipeg to start the Mauro Center for Peace and Justice at St. Paul’s College the University of Manitoba, and a PhD Program and joint master’s program with the University of Winnipeg.
AMANUEL: Thank you. And Stan, what’s your story? What’s your journey?
STAN AMALADAS: Well, I was born in Malaysia and came to Canada in 1974. I received undergraduate and graduate degrees in Canada (University of Manitoba) and in the United States of America (Walden University). My undergraduate and Master’s degrees were in the discipline of Sociology. My PhD is in the field of Leadership Studies. What attracted me to the field of Leadership? Let me go back to Malaysia. Malaysia is a country made up of a polyglot of multiethnic Malays, Chinese, and Indians -and multi-religious groups— Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Sikhism. I recall that in May of 1969, as a result of the Federal elections, there were ethnic/racial riots. The racial riots led to a declaration of a state of national emergency. This event is significant in Malaysian politics as it led to the resignation of the first Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tunku Abdul Rahman, and eventually resulted in a change in government policy that would favor Malays by implementation of the New Economic Policy.
In the midst of the declared state of national emergency, we were not allowed to leave our homes. We had the army and the police all over the place and it was pretty scary! But what intrigued me was that certain individuals in the community, there were only three in our hometown, were given a pass that gave them permission to travel in the community and check in on different homes to look after their well-being, to see if anybody needed medicine, extra food, and so on and so forth. My dad was one of those three in the community that was given this pass. And I thought, “Whoa, what was that about?” What was it about our dad’s relationship with the community such that he was given that kind of responsibility, the openness to extend his services to others and travel trouble free? I think that is one of the significant moments that led to my interest in leadership.
It’s really kind of interesting because as Sean learned from his grandmother what peace is about, I learned from my dad what leadership could be about. But we didn’t know that history prior to our sitting down over coffee one day. Our being connected with each other began to open up other kinds of connectedness, like being connected with other people in the community. It’s because of our relationship and because of our conversations that we learned what being connected could open. And being connected with Sean in this way, opened for us the desire to write Peace Leadership: A Quest for Connectedness.
AMANUEL: That’s great. I think some of those markers in our lifetime, such as where we grew up and the environment in which we were subjected, I think they leave something asked that later on in our own personal journey we start translating and trying to answer, connecting the dots so to speak.
That’s been true for me as well as an Eritrean who was born in Ethiopia before Eritrea separated and became its own country. I’ve done a lot of reaching out between Ethiopia and Eritrea in the Diaspora here in Toronto and elsewhere. I find it fascinating that we now have a book on peace leadership and was really, really interested in reading the book when the ILA presented me with the opportunity to interview you. Can you can talk to me a little bit about the impetus behind writing the book?
SEAN: I think it began with my relationship with Stan. We’ve always had a very good, solid, friendly relationship. Then we started having cups of coffee and Stan was talking about leadership and the work he was doing and I was talking about the peace work I was doing. We realized that there isn’t really a textbook in either leadership studies or in peace studies on peace leadership, and what that means.
One of the focuses of the Mauro Center is on storytelling, we even have an annual festival that was founded by Dr. Senehi that reaches out into the schools. But it’s more than that as storytelling is also a peace methodology. Cultures transmit their knowledge, their peace work, through stories. My grandmother wasn’t a formally educated woman, yet she was doing all this peace work and she was teaching me about lots of things at the time through stories. I didn’t really realize how profound it was then.
So, the book came from our relationship and, as Stan mentioned, it came from opening ourselves up and having this deep dialogue or deep storytelling with each other that was based on admiration and trust. From that came the desire to do something that would be, hopefully in some small way, beneficial to people. Stan?
STAN: I want to ditto, ditto, ditto what Sean just said and add one more. I think it was the admiration and trust we had for each other, but it was also a deep sense of respect for what the other person was doing and how he was doing it in his work at the college. I think, in a way, if there was an impetus for this book, it was the question we had of how could we engage in conversations beyond simply with people in our own disciplines. We have peace and conflict studies, that’s a body of knowledge and a discipline, and then we have leadership studies, and it too has its body of knowledge and discipline. What would it mean for us to have a conversation between those two?
The long-term vision for this book is to encourage other individuals from within their respective academic communities and the practitioner community to engage in more interdisciplinary kinds of writing and thinking and creating spaces for conversation. I think being at the college (St. Paul’s College, University of Manitoba) with Sean was an opportunity for a demonstration of what that space for conversation could look like.
When we started thinking about the book, we also talked about how we would go about the process of inviting individuals who were engaged in this very process of thinking through peace, leadership, and so forth. We initially invited them to write about peace leaders who were awarded peace leadership awards, such as the Nobel Peace Prize. But what we got in return was something a bit different. This tested our own mentor models. We had to think about how to incorporate and integrate what others were offering as an avenue for new conversation. We didn’t want to go back to them and say, we asked you for “that” and you gave us “this”, therefore we want you to go back and do “that”. Our learning was that when you ask for something and someone offers something different, we needed to ask yourself how we can engage in that differentness in ways that are aligned with the values that we bring to the work.
AMANUEL: Stan, and Sean, I think what I’m hearing is that the outcome was as important as the process, in terms of how you have engaged the various folks in the book.
STAN: I think part of the process of leading from peace is to be open to all that emerges in the practice and in the conversations. That was my experience. Would you agree, Sean?
SEAN: Yeah, I would, Stan. I think something else that’s very important is that if you think about it, people like your Dad, my grandmother and my Mom, these were just ordinary people, everyday peacemakers. We always hear about the Mandela’s and the Gandhi’s of this world, but there’s these folks every day that are struggling across the globe trying to make life better for their communities, but they’re largely invisible.
Even though the project focused at the start on Nobel Laureates, it went into different levels of peace leaders that included these everyday people who are invisible. In my chapter I talk about Maureen Heatherington who’s using storytelling, working with former combatants, military people, people who suffered loss of loved ones during The Troubles in Northern Ireland. She’s using the storytelling methodology that was created by the late Dan Bar-On, who did this work with Palestinians and Israelis. That’s just one example of someone who is struggling away every day, but nobody sees this person because we’re always focused on that other elite, driven arena. I think that there are layers of peace leaders. You need the Mandela’s of this world, for sure, but you also need ordinary people doing extraordinary things.
AMANUEL: When you look at the book now and its contribution to the field of leadership and peace studies, what comes to your mind? How do you see this book contributing to the scholarship, practice, and other aspects of peace studies and leadership studies?
SEAN: Well, I was very happy to find out recently that one of the contributors to the book, Dr. Thomas Matyók, who runs a peace and conflict studies program at the University of North Carolina Greensboro, is teaching a course to the U.S. Army right now on peace and governance, and he is using the book. He told me via email that it’s an interesting experiment to see how military leaders react to the book. He believes it’s a really important contribution to leadership studies and peace studies and it’s a book he wants to use in his course.
STAN: Writing a book like this is always a risk. It’s an opportunity and a risk. You never know what people will or will not do with a book. We wrote the book because we believed that there was something that needed to be addressed and talked about.
And so, we had the guts [laughs], for lack of a better term, to put something together that we believed in. Thankfully we had a publisher that trusted us when we said there is a message here that needs to be heard. What I’d like to see is topics like this being taken up by students in the field of leadership and peace and conflict studies. For example, I belong to the ILA, the International Leadership Association, and the theme at our 2017 conference in October in Brussels is Leadership Turbulent Times. Well, here is it. We’ve got chapters on what it means for different individuals to be leading in turbulent times.
At one point when we were working on the book, we met at the Fort Whyte Alive Nature Center. This is a centre that is committed not only to preserving nature but also to connect humans with nature. We were dealing with the challenge of pulling all the different chapters together in a way that was coherent and connected. And Sean said, “Well you know what, let’s talk about the Cherokee leader in the story.” In that story, we hear about a Cherokee leader who was teaching his grandson about a fight that was going on within the latter. It was a fight between two wolves, one evil, greedy, arrogant and resentful, and the other, good, generous, empathic, kind. The grandson wanted to know “Which wolf will win?” The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”
I thought, raising the question from there would be a nice way to end the book and possibly begin another book. Existentially, we are constantly working with two forces, the force of evil and the force of good, but that’s part of who we are as human beings. It’s about that and the choices that we make while we are in the middle of it all. It’s always a tension within us. It’s not something that we transcend in situations. We are always in it. As a consequence, that’s what the book’s about. It’s also about what’s going on in the head and the heart, the tension between the two.
Blaise Pascal once wrote, "The heart has its reasons, which reason does not know." [In the original French, “Le cœur a ses raisons, que la raison ne connaît point”]. Bruno Bettelheim in his book, An Informed Heart, says we cannot be satisfied with that anymore. Reason needs an informed heart, it needs to be guided, and, at the same time, the heart needs to understand reason.
That is a challenge as well. I think we might come up with another book in terms of peace leadership, on what it means to change minds and hearts. Is that even a possibility? Can we teach people to love in the same way we’ve taught people to hate? I do know that Mandela would answer “Yes!” I am reminded of what Mandela wrote in his book Long Walk to Freedom: “No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” This is the challenge of our time – to transform hearts and minds.
My hope is that this book helps in understanding this. We’re not here to say, here’s a solution to the problem. Rather we say, “let’s understand what that problem is.” And let’s consider how we raise our own consciousness and that of others as we engage in that conversation. At the same time, we recognize that some might say “to hell with this,” or “this is not what we’re about,” or some might advocate for revolution, which is sometimes necessary, or continue with the Charlottesville kinds of approaches to life – one that dehumanizes others with slogans like “Jews will not replace us!” or “Blood and soil,” or “You (Blacks) will not replace us.” That’s all a part of it.
SEAN: I find Mahatma Gandhi’s work very radical. Typically, we look at conflict and say it’s a top down structure, and if we change the structure, we’ll have more equality and less deprivation, conflict, and so on. But Gandhi says, if the tension is within the self, the site of the conflict is within the individual. The battle is between the heart where all good and love lies, and the ego, the mind, where the cunning and deceit lies. He basically says when people are out of sync you can’t have peace. But if I’m peaceful and Stan’s peaceful, and you’re peaceful, then we can create a peaceful society.
So the idea with the wolves is that conflict is inside the person “which wolf will you feed.”. We learn in peace studies that conflict is also functional from Lewis Coser’s work, that conflict is functional, it’s saying there’s something going on. The problem is how we go about resolving it in a constructive way, rather than a destructive way. I think that’s why peace leadership lays out basic tenants of what it is to be someone leading for peace, whether it’s a local person, someone in an organizational structure, or someone in a political leadership level.
AMANUEL: I think you’re absolutely right. In the book, you offer some of those models and frameworks. You have a lot of rich content and different perspectives, different lenses to peace leadership. Do you think there is a connecting thread that brings all the different components of your book under peace leadership?
STAN: Yes, but before I answer that question, if I may just pick up on what Sean talked about earlier. It’s about peace leadership, right? In the book, we also make a point of arguing, from an ecosystemic framework, that we cannot really speak about peace without, at the same time, talking about war. In the book, we approach peace leadership from what we in the world of leadership would call good leadership. But thinkers like Barbara Kellerman will counter that we’ve also got to talk about bad leadership, because bad leadership is a reality.
Although we made a choice to not talk about bad leaders or bad leadership in this book, it is important to think about what can we learn from bad leadership, because that, too, is a choice that’s being made. I think we need to go to the dark side and ponder the allure for both leaders and their followers. Leaders cannot be leaders without followers. I think we also need to include that piece in the conversation.
AMANUEL: Very important points, yes.
STAN: Getting back to your original questions, in the conclusion of our book, we talk about some of the threads that are connecting peace leaders, or the work of peace leaders. We talk about how individuals in their relationship with their followers seem to model the work of being peace leaders by being principle-centered, for example. That’s one piece that connects them.
Another connection we talk about is how peace leaders risk challenging the mental models and the assumptions that are out there. And, for some of them, this is at the risk of their own lives. Another thread we found is how peace leaders engage others in learning. Another on how peace leaders go about nurturing others and enabling empowering conditions, to return power that’s been taken away or to nurture power that’s just beginning. I think those critical points connect the different contributions. Does that make sense, Sean?
SEAN: Yes. I think we also picked up on the skills that peace leaders have. They have good problem-solving skills, good communication skills, and good mediation skills. They’re open, they’re flexible, and they listen. They create an atmosphere of trust and goodwill. Nelson Mandela was very good at this, for example. I played a lot of rugby when I was growing up, and I remember in ’95 when Nelson Mandela went into the stadium for the World Cup in South Africa dressed in the Springbok rugby jersey, which had been the symbol of privilege, apartheid, and separateness. You might think he was just going to a rugby game, but that was more than symbolic. He was trying to create an atmosphere of trust and goodwill and trying to build the spirit of reconciliation. In that sense, you know, it really impacted the wider public opinion in South Africa. Those skills are also threads in peace leadership.
If you look at poor leaders, it’s also how leaders choose to deal with power. I think that’s a concept that we haven’t really discussed. I don’t know about leadership studies, but in peace and conflict studies, we talk about transformation and empowerment and the agency of people, but sometimes we don’t talk enough about the role of power in conflict — whether it’s the power of a leader to say divisive things in their public statements, military power and military capabilities, economic power, psychological power, or even cultural power.
AMANUEL: Stan, are some of the things that Sean is saying resonating with you in terms of re-integrating power into the discussion around peace leadership?
STAN: Yes. It definitely is a critical feature. In the same vein, we ought to pick up on something Sean and I talk about in the book, that part of the essence of leadership is really an issue of morals. In leadership studies, for instance, Burns, in his seminal book Leadership, affirmed that moral leadership concerned him the most. There is something here about right and wrong. How do we engage our followership, ourselves included, in leading in ways that are morally grounded? Today we are challenged with “doing the right thing.” But what is the right thing to do? What are the consequences of doing the right thing?
AMANUEL: Yeah. So, thinking about all of that, what was the hardest part of writing this book for each of you?
AMANUEL: You’re laughing. So was it fun? Or you’re laughing because...
SEAN: For us?
SEAN: For us it was a lot of fun. For Stan and I, honestly, it was one of the easiest projects. Stan was just wonderful to work with as a colleague. We had wonderful conversations. The logistics was the hard part, as in all of these enterprises, trying to keep people on track, trying to keep them to x-amount of words, getting permissions for diagrams that they wanted to use. I remember in one case how difficult it was to try to get those permissions. And then it was making sure that we were dealing with the right versions of the text. Because there are two of us and we’re swapping files, we needed to constantly be sure that we were actually working with the current file and not an earlier version. It was the logistics of this that I found personally challenging, but in terms of our relationship and working with our colleagues that contributed wonderful papers to this project, that was a lot of fun.
AMANUEL: That’s great. And Stan?
STAN: I totally agree with Sean there. On a personal level, I think what was the hardest for me was actually believing that I had something to say and risking this arrogance of having to publish what I thought I had to say. That was tough. But once I wrote what I felt I needed to write and shared it with Sean, his feedback and the questions he raised was a real affirmation. Believing that I had something to say and claiming that voice, that was a personal journey for me.
AMANUEL: Both of you were talking about how your own relationship of trust and courage and working together has really created this book. But I also get the sense from reading the book and from this interview, that there is also a marriage, so to speak, of leadership and peace studies here. There’s a very strong context that, Sean, you’re bringing in there, and Stan is complementing it. So, would I dare to say that each of you have developed a new appreciation of the concept of peace leadership, because you’re coming to it from these different angles?
STAN: Personally, I would say that what I learned and discovered in the process was how much we, and the different authors who contributed, share in some of the same ideas that are prevalent in leadership studies. We’re talking about similar things, just from a different lens. The grounds that connect us are similar grounds. That was just wonderful to discover.
SEAN: Yes. Amanuel, here you are, you’re Eritrean, I’m Northern Irish, and Stan’s from Malaysia, so here’s these guys from different parts of the world, different cultural experiences, different socialization processes coming together, and yet in our discourse, in our conversation, our stories, we found common threads that pull us together.
I think what I learned from this project is that we have only really scratched the surface of looking at the connection between peacemaking, peacebuilding, and leadership. Hopefully in some small way, we’ve opened up that conversation for others, not just in leadership studies and peace studies, but in other disciplines, other social sciences. Because I really think, as we’re seeing the way our world is going, that we need people, leaders at all levels, to step up for the common good of humanity. Otherwise I think we’ve gone beyond the tipping point, as Al Gore quite famously said a couple of years ago.
I think we’ve just scratched the surface and cracked opened the door that needed to be opened. Hopefully it will spark lots of interesting research and practice in this area. My hope would be that this idea of peace leaders or leading for peace would go into our institutions, not just universities, but also K-12 schools, the work place, the military. We really have a need for it at all these different levels.
AMANUEL: Building on that, what are the implications of this book for our times? Stan, you have the story of the two wolves in the book. How is this pertinent, in terms of the tension that we have within ourselves and in the context of the conclusion that you came up?
STAN: There’s a tension between our realities and what we envision our society, our lives could be. It’s what Peter Senge calls a generative tension or what Aquinas, I believe, called a ‘creative tension.’ We’re not at one end or the other of this tension though sometimes we’re too quick to say, “Well, this is our reality,” and we forget the possibility of what could be. As soon as you start to move toward considering “possibilities,” we are confronted with “what’s real.” And that’s what the fight is within us, and how this fight is now being played out in society.
In our modern world, we have a forced migration of people from different countries that seem to be challenging traditional notions of what makes a nation a nation. How do they include these other folks in ways that are not fearful, not driven by scarcity, not driving by entitlement? There’s a rise of nationalist pride, there’s a rise of these reactions against the very diversity that’s right there in front of them. How do we tackle that?
If we don’t pay attention to the wolves within us, if we’re not careful and not vigilant and not mindful, we can very easily go down, to feed one wolf (evil wolf?) and kill the other. That’s the tension within us that we’re constantly dealing with. How do we as academics, as practitioners, as people who want to encourage a heartful and mindful conversation, how do we engage others in a conversation about the parts that are within ourselves and not dehumanize each other in that process? Because the last thing I think we would want to do is engage in a process that dehumanizes the other, irrespective of whether or not they are carrying or chanting hateful slogans. How do we engage others in ways that does not dehumanize them in the same way that we resist being dehumanized in that process?
So for me, that’s the story that is really challenging us, to take some real responsibility for what it means to engage others in that conversation.
SEAN: A lot of things are swirling in my mind. I’m thinking of René Girard’s Violence and the Sacred. His argument was that conflict is over nothing, and that we need to have scapegoats. He was influenced by his Christian roots and uses the example of Christ being hung on the cross. He said that we go through this hysteria and that a scapegoat is needed to sort of calm everybody down and then it restores order until the next crisis and the next hysteria rises again.
To me, nationalism has been the scourge of conflict, not just in terms of wars such as the First or Second World War, but also in terms of ethnic, political, and civil wars. I think we’re seeing this movement now, the far-right, or what some call the alt-right, not just in North America, but also in Europe, and the reaction against refugees fleeing war, where people are manipulating this for political purposes.
It also reminds me of the paradigm of one of the founders of our field, the Norwegian Johan Galtung, the principal founder of the discipline of peace and conflict studies, who talks about positive and negative peace. He speaks of negative peace being just the absence of war, and positive peace being social justice, creating a peaceful society where you don’t have heterosexism, violence against women, hunger, environmental degradation etc. I find Galtung’s work very informative.
AMANUEL: Before we conclude the interview, any last thoughts to your readers? Any parting thoughts that you want to share?
STAN: Buy the book.
SEAN: And, read it.
AMANUEL: I volunteer as the president of the International Peace Building Institute, and we have a small peace library here at the Friends of Quakers in Toronto, the Anne Goodman Peace Library. Anne Goodman and I were close friends. She passed away a couple of years ago. She was one of the founders with me of the Toronto Peace Building Network many years ago, and later this institute, interchanged with the community-based International Peace Building Institute. I’ve shared with folks that this book is out and they are very interested to explore with you the possibility of doing something here in Toronto. If that pans out, it would be great.
As the first book on peace leadership, it’s going to trigger a lot of engagement and interest. Do you have any thoughts for your readers?
STAN: Well, by all means, challenge some of the thinking and the processes, look for ways to add, and contribute even more. And as Sean said, it would be great for readers to think this through and think of how we can apply some of the thinking that’s promoted in the book. What could that look like? Also, I would love for readers to share some examples of their own experience and stories about how they’ve gone about the process of leading for peace, either through education, policy making, or through creating nurturing and empowering environments for positive change.
To come back to the metaphor of storytelling, it will be good when we begin once again to tell the stories that help us through this process of leading for peace, to help us think about this. So, readers, please, open yourselves up to telling your stories about peace leadership and what it means for you.
AMANUEL: That’s great. And Sean?
SEAN: I think about the world today. I think about our young people, bombarded by social media, have been dealing with issues that are very tough to deal with. They have become, to quote Kevin Bales, “Disposable People,” and I’m not just talking about North America, I’m talking about around the world. We have young people that are being trafficked. We have young people that are being caught up as child soldiers, that are being economically exploited, so on and so forth.
I really think that it would be interesting to create some kind of a global network, consortium or institute on peace leadership for young people. I got an email yesterday from a young man in Indonesia who’s doing peace work and he asked for a copy of the book. He said he couldn’t afford it, but that it fit with the work he was doing. So, I am going to send him a copy.
My point being is that if we had those kinds of resources, so that someone could just go online and download a workbook or download a peacebuilding or conflict resolution tool, this young person in Indonesia, for example, could take this information and work with local kids or local young people in his community. They wouldn’t have to come to Boston or Toronto or Winnipeg for a big training session. We could use these tools, like Zoom, which I’m using for the first time today. Or maybe you bring those trainers to Boston or Toronto or Winnipeg and then they’re going back and training more people in their community.
But I think young people, from what I’m reading and seeing, are lost. They want to do things, but they don’t know where to start. This is not to put the burden or the onus of responsibility for what is happening in our world on their shoulders and let the older people off of the hook, but they’re hungry, they’re looking for something. I think creating this kind of network or global consortium would be very helpful.
AMANUEL: Stan and Sean, I really enjoyed reading the book, and am also really humbled by this interview and what you have shared with me. I look forward to using the book to engage more folks in my own peace building network. On behalf of ILA, thank you very much for the time that you have spent talking to me about the book. But more importantly, thanks for your leadership in putting together this book on peace leadership that there is such a need for.
SEAN: Thank you.
STAN: Thank you.