Senior Manager for Strategic Partnerships at the Alliance for Peacebuilding Stone Conroy discusses the processes and vehicles that organizations can use to resolve conflict. He also discusses the need to engage a wide range of players in these efforts including businesses, non-profits, governments, the media, military, academia, and others. Conroy also talks about the drivers behind conflict, and identifies “a sense of injustice” as one of the most powerful forces for dissatisfaction that can lead to violence.
Conroy describes a project in Nigeria and how the marketplace brought people together, providing an opportunity for peacebuilding. He talks about how business associations can contribute to peace and conflict resolution, using Northern Ireland as an example. He describes the Northern Ireland business alliance, a collection of companies drawn together because of the conflict, as the “unsung heroes” of the Irish peace process. He talks about the convening power of business association and how they can gather a wide range of stakeholders to address a conflict situation.
Finally, he discusses a new, cutting-edge Alliance project bringing together peacebuilders, spiritual leaders and neuroscientists to look at how the brain can be “rewired” to be more peaceful. Pilot projects are planned for Minneapolis, Chicago, and in Bogota, Colombia. He also discusses previous work of this type with gang members, rewiring the way they respond to an attack or situation to reduce the likelihood of continued violence in communities.