5/17/2015 0 Comments
...strong drive to write but very overwhelmed with both- the amount - and the deviation of the 3-4 directions of the different frameworks I want to express and put on "paper"
Muses- are off for the weekend- I guess...
As with the previous unedited with typos pieces- a keyword and a warm up session is essential component for this call
Cyprus- past- present and future (I can at least start with a context)
Over the week i had an enlightening, inspiring experience at the annual peacebuilding conference that took place in DC.
Seven main themes that inspired me at the weeklong peacebuilding convention...(I like seven- and it's trendy in social media to come to the 7 best lessons etc)
1) Quality, intention, personal and institutional sense of purpose of the peacebuilding community. Thirst for ...more
2) Determination- combined with awareness on the flaws- personal and institutional- (acknowledging current state of being- strengths and weaknesses is the first - and essential step for growth and progress)
3) Self- institutional awareness/sarcasm beyond the washy wishy-ness of the terms of "peace" or "peacebuilding" combined with openness for change grounded on futuristic creative design- guided and informed by theory and applied scientific paradigms, is a great recipe with great potential.
4) Academic commitment in spending resources, brain power and institutional drive to move beyond the lala-academic land- questioning and exploring tangible ways where the three major functions of the western academic world can co-exist (education+research/scholarship production+Service)
5) Futuristic peacebuilding designs should be transformed from discourses of content - in
to comprehensions and processes of context. There's more need to prepare individuals that function in a rapidly changing world- and therefore our responsibility should be to see our students (citizens and our communities) not as content carriers- but as higher impact context changers
6) Acknowledgment/reiteration that peace or peacebuilding is often demonized, misused and abused (there is ying yang here as well- personal and institutional) - voicing commitment to move beyond the silos of the lala-land, with more credibility and accountability (personal and institutional)
7) Soundness of the creative scientific connections between peacebuilding- brain functions and neuroscience. Groundbreaking scholarship and scientific endeavors across disciplines are essential if the vision is to challenge and improve state of being.
The tricky thing though-in any human endeavor- is the complexity of the brain. The scary thing? We should NOT count on the assumption of Mankind's rationality.
A great picture and metaphor from last week's conference was that human brain is like an elephant. The elephant carry collective memories, social norms, fears and pre-existing complexities.
The rider, on top of the elephant (our conscious and creative mind)- can set direction and guide the elephant to new places. The choice is on each one of us. It all comes to where we place our focus- (the elephant- or the rider(s))
So what? What is the connection between theory and practice? Building on the momentum of what is happening in Cyprus- I feel re-energized, excited and pessimistic at the same time. In complex situations like the center of the universe- (referring to Cyprus) peacebuilding is not about content (only)- but a process in which we conceptualize and re-design context- that should entail vision, functionality and intentionality- with one foundational purpose. To serve it's citizens! Healing and apology is essential first step from both sites. Diagnostics and conflict analysis is a vital step on the existing viruses and diseases (personal and institutional) that continually contaminate human-oriented futuristic vision. Creative personal, institutional and civic engagement on the peacebuilding "re-construction" endeavor is vital- grounded on paradigms and disciplines that will embrace a higher (feasible and realistic) purpose- respecting the old- but most importantly- investing for the new!
While all this sound exciting- the big question remains the same. Whether the currently engaged actors will reproduce the old- or transform the existing landscape into something new. Are they (we) going to follow the Elephant or the Rider's pathway? There is hope and a choice.
To be or not to be...an idiot (which...of course- comes from a greek word #bigreekfatweddingfactfinding)- a word that captures what was not valued in a ancient Greek democratic communities. Self-centered- and not civically engaged persons (and institutions) that think and care ONLY for their personal interest. Peacebuilding- teambuilding and reconciliation require the opposite. Creativity and Fear do not- and can NOT coexist. Overcoming fear should be our commitment. An an-diotic civic engagement (not referring to the demonized and ngo-ized civil society) can potentially create conditions for both- renovations of old "buildings" (narratives and institutions)- and for creative futuristic design of new bridges, buildings, cities and communities in a context and design that is is different form the existing one.
Peacebuilding (Vs the static concept of Peace)- like bridgebuilding, housebuilding and any construction- should serve personal and community needs. Such endeavors should have a functional vision and purpose. Bridges, housing and any construction enterprise though- once they are built- require maintenance.
Cost efficiency? It all depends on the actors involved, the transparency and the commitment the "engaged actors" have on serving the actual purpose- blueprint and design.
Quality and sustainability? Depends on the architectural design, the structure, the ingredients- and the functions they are meant to serve.
When it comes to Urban, City or Community Design- bigger vision beyond personal or individual needs are needed for both- functionality, accessibility and sustainability.
A shared vision and higher purpose on the functionality, rationality and the feng shui of the design is essential. Otherwise- why should one build a house- a community on a design that no one would like to use, respect, engage or appreciate.
PS- next unedited- Theoretical foundations and practical recommendations- metaphor and implications in the current situation in Cyprus.