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  • Transforming conflict: a geographer making a difference in war zones

Transforming conflict: a geographer making a difference in war zones

  • 25 Sep 2018
  • 7:15 PM - 9:00 PM
  • USC, Sunshine Coast, Lecture Theatre 2

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RGSQ Lecture Series

Ian Stehbens, RGSQ Fellow

The lecture will demonstrate the way geographical education and practice contribute effectively to the building of sustainable peace in divided societies. By identifying the critical elements of culture, leadership, beliefs, viewpoint and then the art and soul of peacebuilding, a framework for making a difference will emerge.

Ian Stehbens and Megawati Sukarnoputri collaborating in Indonesia to achieve a non-violent response to the second Bali Blasts

Experience has taught that conflict resolution is a false god, for it often maintains injustice and can readily invest inappropriate power. Rather, conflict transformation has become the approach to achieving just-peace, whereby the energies of all parties are redirected to achieving the shared dream and common hope.

Powerful stories from experience will be shared, leading into the presentation of a holistic model of peacebuilding. The model maps the renegotiation of identity which is necessary to address the past then maps the transformational processes that create the future. This will allow an overview of curricula that were developed in order to train peace builders from diverse cultures, religious identities, and for an array of conflicts.

What was thought was not possible in Bali, what was deemed too dangerous in Guadalcanal, when escalation was planned for Bougainville, when generational hatreds were valued in Pakistan, when the traditional peacemakers had abandoned their tribes in PNG Highlands, when talatalas justified violence against women in Fiji, when the country of Burundi was classified as the basket case nation in the world by UN… then there were courageous peace builders…. “and the miracle happened!”

Bio: Geographic insights and literacy are crucial in addressing environmental, geopolitical, economic and national security issues. Geographer, Ian Stehbens, has been a significant contributor to the transforming of conflicts in the South Pacific and South East Asia from 1995-2009, most notably at first in French Polynesia, then Bougainville and Bali.

Ian Stehbens was influenced by Dr John Paul Lederach, the internationally renowned peacebuilder, from whom he gained the confidence to establish Pacific Peacebuilding Initiatives Ltd in 2004. He is a published author of geography textbooks, educational resources, family history and peacebuilding curricula

Venue: Lecture Theatre 2 (K Block) Parking area P6




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