Professor Hamber will be part of the Unusual Suspects Festival taking part in Northern Ireland. The Unusual Suspects Festival is a three-day festival of ideas, solutions and debate exploring what happens when social innovation meets collaboration and how together we can meet some of society’s most pressing challenges.
Professor Hamber, John Peto (Nerve Centre) and Enda Young (Transformative Connections) will host a session at the Festival that will ask how “How can technology help develop connections between people and places? What’s the role of digital platforms in divided societies?”. Join for an innovative and interactive session exploring how technology can be used to boost and create peacebuilding, or #PeaceTech.
We will be joined by Melissa Mbugua, the Innovation Engagement Officer from Ushahidi, the Kenyan crowdmapping platform that’s been used in Kenya after the election violence in 2008, Syria and across the world.
The session will be hosted by the Innovation Peace Lab (InPeaceLab), a new initiative created by the Ulster University, will host the session, alongside the Nerve Centre, Transformative Connections and other international partners.
Wednesday, 12th October 2016 at 2:00pm to 4:00pm at the The Nerve Centre at 7-8 Magazine Street Derry BT48 6HJ .
Great to hear John Caulker speak about “Sustainable Peace in Post Ebola Sierra Leone” at a recent seminar hosted by the Chair within INCORE. It was fascinating to hear how the community networks that the project John Caulker established called Fambul Tok (“Family Talk”) were used to help building community resilience in the face of the virus. Fambul Tok was set up to deal with the legacy of war and focused on sharing stories often from perpetrators of violence, but the community solidarity they built through that reconciliation project became instrumental in combating misperceptions and changing behaviour around Ebola. They are now looking to roll out a wider process of networks since the end of the epidemic. Caulker was also critical of the international community who treated the epidemic as solely a medical problem failing to see that engagement of communities was needed to stop it and that communities also had to deal with the problems Ebola caused (inter-community tensions and stigma). In post-Ebola Sierra Leone problems still prevail in that funding support is for “Ebola victims” which singles people out rather than support whole communities. Caulker believes any interventions should be community-centric.
The seminar was recorded and the recording will be posted on the Hume O’Neill Peace Blog soon.
On on Friday night, 23 September 2016, the Chair attended the 2016 Tip O’Neill Irish Diaspora Award in Buncrana, Co Donegal. The award (the 5th) was given to Chris Matthews. Matthews is an American political commentator and most well known for his talk show “Hardball” on MSNBC. He also served as Press Secretary to Thomas P. “Tip” O’Neill.
At the event Matthews took to the opportunity to reflect on the current political situation in the US. He felt what was going on right now was “crazy”. There is a tension between Trump’s “nasty politics” and Trump selling people an unrealisable dream of “manufacturing in 1950s”, compared to Hilary Clinton as an experienced politician but being painted as “the establishment”. He also noted that when he worked with Tip O’Neill he focused on letting people “know who you are” and in O’Neill’s case that meant people could support him as his values were made more prominent. Matthews also reflected on O’Neill’s political style noting that he understood that debate was a way of moving politics forward, and that today people have forgotten this thinking debate is politics. When the debate is done compromises have to be made and the work done Matthews noted. He ended by saying that his “crystal ball is a bit foggy” about who would win the US election, but if African Americans, Hispanics and women vote, Trump will lose. But we will have to wait and see.
On the Saturday morning following the event Professor Paul Arthur, Honorary Professor at INCORE, gave the Tip O’Neill Diaspora lecture which he titled “Imagination and Politics”. He particularly focused on the relationship between Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neill. Although from opposite political sides they had the foresight to realise they needed to work together, and they symbolised the importance of the democratic tradition.
The John Hume and Thomas P. O’Neill Chair in Peace will be hosting the seminar “Go Local: The role of communities in ensuring sustainable peace in post Ebola Sierra Leone” by John Caulker. John Caulker founded and has led the implementation of the Fambul Tok program since its inception in 2007, initially through his position as the founding Executive Director of Sierra Leonean human rights NGO, Forum of Conscience.
Date: 26 September 2016. Time: 1pm to 2:30pm. Venue: Ulster University, Belfast Campus, York Street, BA-03-019.
For the last number of year the The Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) in cooperation with swisspeace has organized a high level course entitled Dealing with the Past Advanced Learning Course for Professionals .
The course according to the organisers addresses a range of topics which are central to the development of a holistic approach to Dealing with the Past (DwP) and to the implementation of relevant mechanisms for dealing with prior and on-going grave human rights violations. Special attention is paid to case studies, to a gender based approach, to the need to integrate DwP in the negotiation of peace agreements, as well as in the post conflict efforts.
In 2016 the course took place in Switzerland, 5 – 13 July 2016. Professor Hamber and Alistair Little (Beyond Walls) were asked to contribute to the course a range a two day session on dealing with victim-perpetrator issues in post-conflict societies, reconciliation and dealing with the past.
The Clinton International Summer School ran at INCORE from 17-24 June 2016. The School in 2016, through the initiative of the Chair, sought to advance peacebuilding through positive change and economic development. The programme focused on building a new generation of global peacebuilders who can not only use the lessons from Northern Ireland peace process in their own contexts, but couple this with leadership, entrepreneurship and economic development.
The Summer School drew on a unique partnership of INCORE’s conflict transformation skills and facilitators from Ulster Business School. This module provided participants with a unique opportunity to experience first-hand Northern Ireland’s historical conflict and that region’s continuing road to reconciliation, peace and prosperity. The students were required to identify in advance a project that would improve the economic and social conditions in their home region. The team, including Professor Hamber and led by Michael McQuillan from the Business Insitute with his staff, worked with each participant to develop their idea over the course of the week enhancing it and helping put social change into practice
Below is a copy of Dr Arun Gandhi’s, grandson of Mohandas K. “Mahatma” Gandhi, lecture entitled “Building a Culture of Peace: Lessons from my Grandfather”. Dr Gandhi delivered the lecture at the Great Hall on the Magee Campus as part of the launch of the John Hume and Thomas P. O’Neill Chair in Peace. The lecture was part supported by the Smyth Memorial lecture fund, and it is anticipated that the Smyth Memorial lecture will be an annual event hosted by the Chair.