By Stephen Dinan, founder and CEO of The Shift Network
It's been a very intense season for global challenges — war in Israel and Gaza, an out of control ISIS, the Ukraine, Ferguson, Ebola, rioting, drought, etc... I've really been feeling the heaviness of what faces us as we reach the carrying capacity for our world and deal with a legacy of suffering, economic disparity, warfare, and strife.
Successfully meeting these global challenges require bold visions, wisdom-guided practical action and great patience and determination to bring forth the best of our humanity. It means healing our past and sculpting a new future.
We must keep from falling into despair and focus on the positive efforts that are emerging in so many sectors of society. Together, these diverse efforts are slowly laying the foundation for a culture of peace. This is why the Summer of Peace is pro-actively highlighting and supporting the work of so many visionary individuals and organizations.
In this Catalyst, our lead Peace faculty James O'Dea sheds light on the long-term process of transforming the Israel-Palestine conflict by channeling our moral outrage into constructive engagement.
Our close friend and partner, Georgia Kelly from the Praxis Peace Institute, wrote a powerful article about the economics of peace and sustainability. She writes, "While it is important to understand the systemic difficulties we are up against in mitigating the climate crisis today, a vision of the possible is critical and is one of the main reasons for convening The Economics of Sustainability Conference on October 6–9 in San Francisco." We are proud to be a co-sponsor supporting this ground-breaking event!
Katia Petersen shares a heartfelt and inspiring article about the Institute of Noetic Sciences' brilliant WorldView Exploration education program. And, finally, to celebrate Bioneers' 25th anniversary, we are republishing a recent letter by their founders, Kenny Ausubel and Nina Simons. We are also delighted to be supporting the Bioneers' upcoming conference, October 17–19 in San Rafael, CA – click here. (Shift Network members receive a 10% discount – use code "SNB14.")
Visionaries such as Barbara Marx Hubbard and Avon Mattison have predicted global transformation will come about from synergistic efforts across multiple sectors of society. Despite a stream of negative global stories, this process of increased synergy IS underway in many inspiring ways!
Also in this edition we are delighted to share member profiles submitted by Elisabeth H. Scharbaum (born in Germany) and Paula Zayco Aberasturi (Philippines).
As an extra gift to you this issue, we share recent Summer of Peace interviews with Ambassador Moseley Braun and Ocean Robbins talking about the food and agricultural revolutions. We also are sharing interviews with James Twyman and Davod Azad (a Sufi musician from Iran) talking about the power of music to transform individuals and societies. (See Summer of Peace audios below.)
Finally, I invite you to join the many global prayers for peace. The Summer of PeaceSpirituality and Peace series features free guided meditations by spiritual teachers from different traditions every Sunday at 9am Pacific (today, August 17 is Kabir Helminski, a beautiful Sufi teacher – click here to register). Also today, there is a free online Global Peace Summit for the Middle East — Sunday, August 17, at 10:30am Pacific – click here. This 3-hour event will be hosted by Swan aka Sahra Renata and will feature Arun Gandhi, Ohad Ezrahi, Lama Lobsang Topgyal, Lobsang Penbar, Lama Surya Das, Martha Reich Braden, Gregg Braden and many more!
Our bodies naturally fire up intense indignation when we see innocent civilians slaughtered in war. I cannot erase the image of Palestinian children blown up as they played on the beach or scores of families whose homes had been decimated then killed by rocket fire into schools they were sheltering in. I feel a similar mix of horror and outrage at the downing of a civilian plane over Ukraine and the stunningly callous way the crash site was blocked to international response teams . . . [read more]
Fourteen years ago, when Praxis Peace Institute was born in Dubrovnik, Croatia, from a conference held there, we posed the following inquiry: How could we achieve cultures of peace from where we were? Why did mankind seem incapable of learning the lessons of history but adept at waging the same wars over and over again? Why, with all the peace organizations, the United Nations, and spiritual groups working for peace, did the outer world not change? . . . [read more]
The Global Coherence Initiative (GCI) is a partner of Summer of Peace. GCI is conducting groundbreaking research on the interconnectedness between humanity and the earth's magnetic fields and energetic systems . . . [read more]
It often takes a transformative experience to reveal the water we swim in, and for me, it happened when the idyllic island of Cyprus where I grew up was descended upon by war. I was just a teenager, and I couldn't understand how it was possible to lose so much practically overnight. The question that really burned in my mind was, "Why?" . . . [read more]
Does the Peace Movement need to be rebranded? That's what a friend and I asked ourselves as we explored our respective commitment to peace in all walks of life. Perhaps, in order to gain traction for the movement these days and to avoid sounding old-school (as in the aging hippies who didn't get the job done the first time around) we need to focus on new aspects of peace. Is more compassion enough? Or tolerance? Do we need a call to "stop accepting that hurt people hurt people"? Make people understand that "every perpetrator is also a victim?" . . . [read more]
There are bush fires right where I live, as the sun keeps igniting parched grass. They say Mars, planet of strife has conjoined with the sun, under the sign of Aries, sign of fire. Yesterday, the earth trembled in Iran. And I cannot count the number of hotheads I just ran into. A friend was the object of infuriated messages for things unintended. Another person incensed because people had neglected respect and propriety. And then of course, there was the Marathon Madness. The last few days have constantly played to the theme: fire. Will someone please douse the world with cool? Beat out the flames. Spread some Peace . . . [read more]
Upcoming Conferences, Co-Sponsored by The Shift Network:
The Economics of Sustainability – Emerging Models for a Healthy Planet – October 6–9, 2014 – Fort Mason, SF, CA – The Economics of Sustainability conference is looking 50 years into the future. Our challenge is to bring forth a transformation of cultural and economic relationships so that environmental sustainability, social justice, and economic democracy become our way of life. Speakers include: David Korten, Michael Brune (Sierra Club Director), Osprey Orielle Lake, Randy Hayes, Lynne & Bill Twist, Ellen Brown, Randy Hayes and Georgia Kelly. To learn more, click here.
10XSummit – Igniting Change – Los Angeles – October 10–12, 2014, produced by PeaceLink Live. The 10X Summit is calling together like-minded leaders, organizations and celebrities from 10 social activist movements. For three days groups will unite causes and implement innovative solutions to global challenges and develop the sustainable systems, legislation and initiative that will actualize change. (Shift Network members receive a 40% discount when registering by August 18. To register click here and use this coupon code: Shift Network).
Join the Shift Network in supporting the 25th Anniversary Bioneers Summit Conference this October 17, 18 & 19 in Marin California! Practical solutions for the most urgent, paradigm-shifting issues of the day. (Shift Network members receive a 10% discount – use code "SNB14.") To learn more, click here.
August 17 – Join this free online Global PeacePrayer Summit with spiritual and thought leaders and world musicians, to raise the barometer on world unity and sacred living. Every person's prayers and participation are urgently needed to help create this shift. This Peace initiative is hosted by Rev. Dr. Swan Montague with guests Lama Lobsang Topgyal, Lobsang Penbar, Arun Gandhi, Tony Samara, Martha Reich Braden (musician) live from an event with Gregg Braden singing "God's Eyes", Shawn Gallaway ( I choose Love), Lama Surya Das, Joanne Shenandoah with many more luminaries and performances to be finally confirmed. August 17 2014 2:00 pm EST To join, click here.
JOIN the Compassion Games and make your community
safer, kinder, more just and a better place to live. By participating, players
are called upon to perform acts of service and kindness in our neighborhoods,
on the job, in service-providing agencies, and wherever their daily journey
takes them. The acts of service are organized projects or simple acts of
kindness to aid a neighbor in need or just for the pure joy of it! The 2014
Games will run from September 11 through September 21, 2014 and involves people
around the world. You can join now by clicking here!
JOIN the Peace Day Global Broadcast – September 20–21 – Organizations and individuals can submit brief videos (3 to 4 minutes in length) for consideration by our selection committee. The quality of the videos must be in alignment with the overall quality of the Peace Day Global Broadcast. A Preview of the 2014 Peace Day Global Broadcast can be viewed at www.unityfoundation.org. The process is to send the links for the videos to email@example.com by August 21, 2014. All submissions will be reviewed by September 1. A response from the selection committee will be sent to the senders by September 10.
Join the Global Coherence Initiative – to collectively usher in an era of ever-expanding heart intelligence that ensures the world turns on a new heart-centered axis. Click here to become a GCI member.
• Tim Kelley 7-week course
• Soulful Women 7-week course
• Barbara Marx Hubbard 12-week course
• Miranda Macpherson 4-month course
• Lisa Schrader 9-month intensive
• Enneagram 9-month intensive
• Enlightened Business Summit
• Women's Wealth Revolution summit
• James O'Dea 7-week course
• Andrew Harvey 7-week course
• Enlightened Business Academy 6-month intensive
• Robert Moss 6-month intensive
• Sandra Ingerman 7-week course
• Joan Borysenko 10-week course
• Mirabai Starr 7-month course
• Andrew Harvey 7-week course
• Gangaji 7-week course
• Peace Ambassador Training 14-week course
• Patricia Albere 4-month course
Evan Bartholomew a.k.a. Bluetech describes himself as a "foolish lovestruck mystic who is starting to see the Divine everywhere." He transcends the constructs normally associated with a calculated "electronic artist" by contributing to the health of our planet in important ways, such as creating a solar powered studio and dedicating his Critical Beats imprint to preserving and protecting Earth's remaining rainforests. Beyond creating beautiful downtempo, future bass, and progressive electronic music, Bluetech makes music with meaning and purpose. To listen to his most recent release, Cosmic Dubs, click here. You also can learn more about Bluetech on Facebook by click here.