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Lessons from the Alliance for Peacebuilding Conference

Eileen Borris, Mariana Melo and Adam Zemans at NEXT GEN PEACE

On May 24-26, 2016 more than 500 professionals, including 155 speakers from 23 countries, and 195 different organizations attended the NEXT GEN PEACE, the annual Alliance for Peacebuilding conference in Washington, D.C. During the three full days of the event, participants were able to attend 49 unique sessions and exhibits, covering a broad range of topics from climate change, trauma healing, and electoral violence, to race relations in America, storytelling, violent extremism, fragility, systems, technology, and evaluation.

The emphasis of the NEXT GEN PEACE theme was the power that young peacebuilders can exercise in the future and the importance of understanding and collaborating with the “other”. Another takeaway was the idea that the peacebuilding process should be participatory and the role of mediator is to facilitate it; collaboration with local peacebuilders and organizations makes a significant difference in these efforts.

The newly launched John W. McDonald Peacebuilding Clinic strives to incorporate these goals of NEXT GEN PEACE. The clinic is focused on young peacebuilders working in tandem with on-the-ground, community-based organizations to achieve real concrete results. The clinic is at the forefront of harnessing the potential to work towards effecting real change.

Mariana Melo