TEDxStormont Virtual Summer Camp

Since 2013, TEDxStormont hosted events on the theme of “Imagine” – we were looking forward and imagining the kind of future we could have together as a society in Northern Ireland and beyond. This year the Imagine theme could not be more relevant.

The future has never felt so uncertain. There are deadly perils to be dealt with, starting with a global pandemic. Yet we also now have an opportunity to rebuild our world in a better, fairer, more beautiful way. We believe passionately that the global TED community has a key role to play here. We are all believers in human creativity and our collective ability to imagine our way out of this mess. More than ever, we need to connect with each other and figure out how to build back better.

In a run up to TEDxStormontLive on 1 August 2020, build around the talks from the first-ever virtual TED Conference, TED2020: Uncharted we will host TEDxStormont Virtual Summer Camp to bring our community closer together.

TEDxStormont Virtual Summer Camp will run from Monday, 27 July to Saturday, 1 August 2020 and will include daily Thought for the Day, Coffee Club, Main Stage TEDxStormont Talks, Creativity Hub, Peace Village, Playground and Fireside Chats.

For regular updates follow us on Twitter @TEDxStormont and visit our website www.tedxstormont.com. For further information and partnership opportunities please contact Kaja Choma at kaja@tedxstormont.com.

 

*TEDxStormont is organised by the Centre for Democracy and Peace Building (CDPB) and curated by CDPB CEO Eva Grosman.

 

Summer of Solidarity

The Centre for Democracy and Peace Building is delighted to partner with and support “Summer of Solidarity”.

This summer in Europe will be like no other. Across our contrasted continent, within our societies and also as individuals, we are experiencing something new and hard to define – a mixture of shock, trauma, uncertainty, and also of hopes, struggles, a quest for constructive paths forwards. We find ourselves in the midst of a confusing, transformative and certainly unique moment in time.

With the pandemic came pain, fear, restrictions, and fragmentation of our space. Countries were self-isolating, they turned inwards. Now, with a phased reopening of borders, new realities are dawning on us. Our continent is confronted with an economic crisis whose scale and consequences are likely to dwarf previous ones we’ve experienced. Meanwhile, struggles and debates criss-cross the region. A fight for fairness, justice and rights seems reawakened, as people claim what’s fundamental to them and also try to make sense of what their lives have become.

The virus has made evident the fragility of our societies and of our European solidarity at a state level. It has also made evident our connectedness, within our societies and across the continent, which now faces a huge test, economically, socially, politically – not least the Union within it.

Everybody seems to be waiting, gathering strength for what is to come. This summer feels like a gap, but with shifts and changes all around us. Time is suspended, and yet time is speeding up. Summer is a season where everything, much of it beautiful, can be possible. This year, one positive, beautiful thing we want to do is the simple gesture of paying more attention to each other.

We won’t be travelling much, but we c a n reach across the wide, diverse, human space of our continent in new ways. We can share and listen to each other’s stories, life experiences, memories, hopes. This is the time to explore what can bring us together and also what can drive us apart – within and across societies, cultures, countries.

Europe carries many stories within itself. Some of them are meant to pit people against one another. Some of them are cynical, fatalistic or threatening to fundamental principles of peace and tolerance. Our vision is very different – it is about believing in common values and a shared future, it is about protecting human dignity and celebrating diversity. What we want to do this summer is build a large collaborative network that connects people through vivid storytelling, that sheds light on people, places and issues in ways that help see beyond silos or thought bubbles. We’ll be keen to give a voice to people not always heard, to turn to young people, and to explore off the beaten track of news coverage. Together we’ll be sharing human stories from all across our continent: let’s try to rediscover ourselves, despite all the difficulties.

Again, we believe solidarity starts with being open and curious about one another. That’s why, as a loose collaborative network of citizens, journalists, media start-ups, civil society organizations and cultural groups from across wider Europe, we are launching the 2020 European “Summer of Solidarity” initiative.

“Summer of Solidarity” is an attempt to document a once-in-a-lifetime season and try to think about the future too. We want to create a space where we can meet, discover and debate, at a time when Europeans can’t travel and interact as before. We want to bring together a mosaic of human experiences – reaching across all sorts of boundaries, close to the ground, offering a deeper, more inclusive look at our continent.

We want to embrace Europe as a continent – a human space that is not limited to EU member countries.

“Summer of Solidarity” kicks off on 20 June and lasts until 20 August.

This is a grassroots, spontaneous initiative built in just a few weeks by a group of enthusiasts and concerned citizens from across Europe from the world of journalism, culture, citizens networks, civil society. Summer of Solidarity is independent and has no affiliation with a political party or movement, nor is it part of any institution. The initiative is supported by philanthropic grants and donations. Summer of Solidarity is an attempt to take part in the emergence of a European public space, at a time when showing empathy and listening to one another feels like the right thing to do – and to enjoy.

To learn more and to contribute please visit: https://www.summerofsolidarity.eu/want-to-contribute

One Thousand Paper Cranes launches online resources

‘One Thousand Paper Cranes’ launched its online toolkit, including a video message of peace and hope from young people in Hiroshima, story of Sadako Sasaki and instructions on how to fold the origami crane.

The project developed by the Centre for Democracy and Peace Building, supported by the Community Relations Council and endorsed by Japan House London celebrates the culture of peace and links between Northern Ireland and Japan.

The aim of the project is to make 1000 origami paper cranes with messages of lasting peace. The cranes will be offered at the Children’s Peace Monument in Hiroshima to mark the 75th anniversary of the bombing later this year.

In addition, as part of the project, Visiting Professor in Immersive Futures and diversity and inclusion specialist Deepa Mann-Kler with team from Ulster University will create Tsuru – an artistic intervention using Augmented Reality to explore peace building in digital and physical spaces of Belfast and Hiroshima.

Sir Jeffrey Donaldson MP, Chairman, Centre for Democracy and Peace Building said:

“We are delighted to be launching this project which is aimed at strengthening relations between Northern Ireland and Japan through the sharing of our respective experiences in peace building.

Drawing our inspiration from the work of the Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation, we will be particularly encouraging young people to value the peace process and to engage in collective learning as we work towards reconciliation in our troubled and divided land.

An added benefit of the project is the study of peace through cultural exchange and exploring the richness of our cultural diversity as well as all that we have in common through our shared humanity.”

Michael Houlihan, Director General, Japan House London said:

“Japan House London is privileged to be associated with such an inspiring initiative. Culture can sometimes be the simple expression of how different societies find very different solutions to the same challenges of everyday life and living.

Sharing and understanding the experiences of others can teach us much about ourselves, and offer answers as to how we can build a more peaceful world. It is part of Japan House London’s mission to be a cultural bridge bringing the United Kingdom and Japan together.”

Watch video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W4sHJ2EWbCg

Online Resources are HERE.

TEDxStormont: TED Circles April 2020

In April, TEDxStormont will host a special online TED Circles programme themed around COVID 19, changing world and your well-being. The ZOOM webinars will take place each Monday afternoon at 4pm (BST) and will be co-hosted by Lord Alderdice and special guests. Please join in to learn, share your perspective and connect with new ideas.

TED Circles is an open platform for meaningful conversations about ideas. Imagine a book club for TED Talks! A new TED initiative, at TED Circles you will meet others who are inspired by TED and interested in joining small discussions, facilitated by our volunteer hosts, on a variety of relevant and timely topics.

Register at: https://us04web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZEvcO6opjorP38HmqMPp9TyVSODLzeOnw

Programme

Monday, 6 April
Emotional first aid with special guests Professor Siobhan O’Neill and Peter McBride

Watch Guy Winch: Why we all need to practice emotional first aid HERE.

Monday, 13 April
The art of stillness with special guest Fr Mark Patrick Hederman OSB and Bridgeen Rea-Kaya

Watch Pico Iyer: The art of stillness HERE.

Monday, 20 April
Compassion with special guest Padraig O’Tuama and Sr Judith Leckie

Watch Krista Tippett: Reconnecting with compassion HERE.

Monday, 27 April
Gratefulness with special guest Karen Sethuraman and Rev Dr John Dunlop

Watch David Steindl-Rast: Want to be happy? Be grateful HERE.

 

CO-HOST Professor, the Lord Alderdice FRCPsych

Professor, the Lord Alderdice FRCPsych is a Liberal Democrat member of the House of Lords and was the Chairman of the Liberal Democrats in the House of Lords during the Liberal/Conservative Coalition Government. Previously a consultant psychiatrist at the Centre for Psychotherapy he established in Belfast, Lord Alderdice is currently a Senior Research Fellow and Director of the Centre for the Resolution of Intractable Conflict at Harris Manchester College (University of Oxford). He is also a Clinical Professor in Psychiatry at the University of Maryland (Baltimore) and Chairman Emeritus of the Centre for Democracy and Peace Building (Belfast).

TED Circle: COVID19 and the social distancing problem

Our first TED Circle webinar on COVID 19 and the social distancing problem will take place on Monday, 30 March from 3pm to 4pm (BST).

TED Circles is an open platform for meaningful conversations about ideas. Imagine a book club for TED Talks! A new TED initiative, at TED Circles you will meet others who are inspired by TED and interested in joining small discussions, facilitated by our volunteer hosts, on a variety of relevant and timely topics.

The webinar will be facilitated by the team at TEDxStormont and co-hosted by Lord Alderdice and Sinead O’Sullivan. We will discuss TED talk by Robert Waldinger: What makes a good life? Lessons from the longest study on happiness and article by Scott Atran: Coronavirus & The Social Distancing Problem.

Please join in to learn, share your perspective and connect with new ideas.

Join us live on Facebook @TEDxStormont or register HERE.

BEFORE WEBINAR

• WATCH: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8KkKuTCFvzI
• READ: http://cric-oxford.org/2020/03/17/coronavirus-the-social-distancing-problem/

CONTRIBUTORS

Professor, the Lord Alderdice FRCPsych

Professor, the Lord Alderdice FRCPsych is a Liberal Democrat member of the House of Lords and was the Chairman of the Liberal Democrats in the House of Lords during the Liberal/Conservative Coalition Government. Previously a consultant psychiatrist at the Centre for Psychotherapy he established in Belfast, Lord Alderdice is currently a Senior Research Fellow and Director of the Centre for the Resolution of Intractable Conflict at Harris Manchester College (University of Oxford). He is also a Clinical Professor in Psychiatry at the University of Maryland (Baltimore) and Chairman Emeritus of the Centre for Democracy and Peace Building (Belfast).

Sinead O’Sullivan

Sinead O’Sullivan is the CEO of Veriphix, a behavioural dynamics platform that detects and measures human emotion at scale. A Fellow at Harvard Law School (Center for Internet and Society) and a Senior Research Fellow at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Sinead is also part of MIT’s COVID19 task force that seeks to implement immediate economic and governmental policies in response to the global pandemic.

An Aerospace Engineer from N.Ireland, with a Bachelor of Aerospace Engineering from Queen’s University of Belfast, a Masters in Aerospace Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology, a Certificate of Space Engineering from the International Space University and an MBA from Harvard Business School. Her engineering experience includes human factors research at the European Space Agency, human spaceflight mission design at NASA and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and autonomous robotics creation for the US Navy.

One Thousand Paper Cranes Toolkit

Belfast Lord Mayor launches ‘One Thousand Paper Cranes’ Project

Belfast Lord Mayor Cllr Daniel Baker has launched the ‘One Thousand Paper Cranes’ project at Ulster University, Belfast.

The project, developed by the Centre for Democracy and Peace Building in partnership with Ulster University and Craic NI, celebrates diversity, culture of peace and links between Northern Ireland and Japan.

Thanks to the support from the Community Relations Council, several community arts workshops will be hosted across Northern Ireland to make 1000 origami paper cranes with messages of lasting peace.

Eva Grosman, CEO, Centre for Democracy and Peace Building said:

“There is an old Japanese belief that anyone who folds a thousand origami cranes will see their wish come true. Our wish is a hate free Northern Ireland and a hate free world.”

“Approximately 10 million cranes from all across the globe are offered each year before the Children’s Peace Monument in Hiroshima.”

“This year, as we mark the 75th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima we will also present 1000 origami cranes from Northern Ireland.”

Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Daniel Baker said:

“I’m delighted to support Ulster University and the Centre for Democracy and Peace Building in their One Thousand Paper Cranes initiative. A symbol of hope and longevity, the crane is an international symbol of peace and we’re all here to symbolise our shared wish for a hate free country and a hate free world.

“As we poignantly mark the 75th anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing this year, we also remember the great friendship this land shares with Japan. Belfast is a member of the ‘Mayors for Peace’ initiative set up in 1982 by the Mayor of Hiroshima and we continue to celebrate our mutual desire for a peaceful society.”

Professor Duncan Morrow, Director of Community Engagement at Ulster University added:

“We are thrilled to host the launch of the One Thousand Paper Cranes project on our Belfast campus. Ulster University is recognised as a global leader in peace and reconciliation research and this creative project will bring communities together for a common purpose and facilitate important discussions on diversity, peace and reconciliation.”

“As part of the project, our Visiting Professor in Immersive Futures and diversity and inclusion specialist Deepa Mann-Kler will create an artistic intervention using Augmented Reality to explore peace building in digital and physical spaces of Belfast and Hiroshima.”

Next month the project will be launched in Japan House London to celebrate cultural and business links between Japan and Northern Ireland.

One Thousand Paper Cranes

Thanks to the support from the Community Relations Council we are launching One Thousand Paper Cranes project to celebrate culture of peace and to engage with diverse communities in Northern Ireland and beyond.

The first community workshop, organised in partnership with Craic NI will take place on 26 February at Ulster University.

One Thousand Paper Cranes
Wednesday, 26 Feb | 3pm – 5pm
Ulster University
York Street
Belfast BT15 1ED

The crane has long been a symbol of hope and longevity, and an international symbol of peace. There is also an old Japanese belief that anyone who folds a thousand origami cranes will see their wish come true…

Our ultimate wish is a hate free Northern Ireland. And a hate free world. A peaceful, prosperous and reconciled society at ease with itself. So, please join in and help us to make 1000 paper cranes!

Join us for the One Thousand Paper Cranes workshop to:

Learn the art of Japanese paper folding
Learn about the incredible story behind One Thousand Paper Cranes
Learn about diversity and peacebuilding
Help us to make 1000 paper cranes and see our wish come true

Register at: www.getinvited.to/cdpb/tsuruwww.getinvited.to/cdpb/tsuruwww.getinvited.to/cdpb/tsuru

In addition, we are working with an artist, Visiting Professor in Immersive Futures at Ulster University and diversity & inclusion specialist Deepa Mann-Kler to create an artistic intervention through the augmented reality (AR) tool using geospatial markers, to explore peace building in digital spaces and physical spaces of Belfast and Hiroshima.

More information to follow.

Talk by Roger Moorhouse: First to Fight

First to Fight is the first history of the Polish war for almost half a century. Drawing on letters, memoirs and diaries by generals and politicians, soldiers and civilians from all sides, Roger Moorhouse’s dramatic account of the military events is entwined with a tragic human story of courage and suffering, and a dark tale of diplomatic betrayal.

Roger Moorhouse is a historian and author, specialising in Nazi Germany, Poland and World War Two in Europe. A fluent German speaker, and a visiting professor at the College of Europe in Warsaw, he is the author of a number of books – including “Berlin at War” (2010), “The Devils’ Alliance: Hitler’s Pact with Stalin 1939-1941” (2014) and the recent “First to Fight: The Polish War 1939”, which was published in the UK in September 2019. He has been published in over 20 languages. A fellow of the Royal Historical Society, he is also a book reviewer for the national and specialist history press. He lives in Hertfordshire, UK.

The event will be chaired by Professor Norman Davies FBA.

Thursday, 6 February 2020 | 5pm – 7pm

Seminar Room
The European Studies Centre
St. Antony’s College, University of Oxford
70 Woodstock Road
Oxford OX2 6HR

Register at: https://getinvited.to/cdpb/moorhouse/https://getinvited.to/cdpb/moorhouse/https://getinvited.to/cdpb/moorhouse/

The event supported by The Polish Cultural Institute in London will be hosted by the European Studies Centre, St. Antony’s College, University of Oxford. Organised by the Centre for Democracy and Peace Building in partnership with the Oxford Polish Association.

_____________

“[A] chilling, indignant narrative… Moorhouse has expertly laid bare…[the] truth” (Roger Boyes The Times)

“Moorhouse’s book remedies that gap [in history of The Polish War], weaving together archival material, first-hand accounts, perceptive analysis and heartbreaking descriptions of Poland’s betrayal, defeat and dismemberment” (Economist)

“[A] fascinating book… Moorhouse has mastered a large body of material… this is…a very valuable book, as it gathers a mass of detail into a lucid narrative for general readers” (Noel Malcolm Sunday Telegraph)

“An important book. Roger Moorhouse has a wonderful knack of reminding us about the parts of the Second World War that we are in danger of forgetting” (Dan Snow)

New policy paper shines a light on Northern Ireland’s challenges

Northern Ireland is unprepared for a fast-changing world and faces serious problems unless there are big changes in policy, according to a report published today by a new local think tank.

Our problems include a health service in crisis, a schools system that fails many children, and a struggling economy that lags behind much of the UK. Currently one in four local children live in poverty, division between communities remains entrenched, and we are making few plans to help tackle climate change.

Pivotal is the only independent think tank in Northern Ireland. Its first publication, Moving forward – putting Northern Ireland on track for the future, examines the significant issues facing us.

Ann Watt, Director of Pivotal, said: “This report shows just how urgently Northern Ireland needs new thinking and new policies. We have serious problems in areas like health and education where long-term issues are coming to a head. Crises like a crumbling health service, and schools going over budget, are not on the horizon – they are here. We have had no government for almost three years and uncertainty around Brexit continues. Most of our political discussion focuses on those issues – which are, of course, important – but unfortunately at the same time our other problems are getting worse. There is an election in a few weeks and, although the polls concern Westminster rather than Stormont, I look forward to our local parties’ manifestos, and their visions for the change we need.”

Moving forward – putting Northern Ireland on track for the future identifies six major policy areas where transformation is required:

The economy – NI has the highest percentage of low-paying jobs of any UK region, and is one of only three regions with more jobs paying poorly rather than well. Our rate of economic inactivity is the highest in the UK, at 25.8% – meaning over a quarter of all adults are neither in work nor looking for work – and the gap between our public spending and the tax revenue we raise is £4,939 per year, per person.

Health and social care – demographic change means rising demand for health and social care. However, little has been done to make the structural changes needed to provide for these changes in demand. Today, the signs of crisis are clearly showing.
In March this year, there were 1,154 people who had been waiting over a year for planned care in England. In Wales that number was 4,176. In Northern Ireland, it was 120,201.

Only 5% of health spending goes on mental health provision, half the proportion spent in England – despite estimates showing instances of mental ill health are 25% higher in Northern Ireland.

Social care is stretched to breaking point, while demand continues to increase. Between 2018 and 2043, the numbers of people in NI aged over 65 and over 85 are projected to rise by 56% and 106% respectively. Over the same period, the overall population will rise by only 6%.

Education – our segregated education system has elements of excellence but suffers from major inequality: The proportion of students getting ‘good’ GCSEs – at least five A*-C, including English and maths – is 94% in grammar schools but only 52% in secondary schools. 52% of pupils entitled to Free School Meals got five ‘good’ GCSEs compared to 80% of pupils who are not entitled to Free School Meals. 78% of pupils entitled to Free School Meals attend secondary schools, and only 22% attend grammar schools. Our education system is expensive, and finances are stretched. There are just over 1,000 schools in Northern Ireland and this year 451 of them went over budget, with a total funding shortfall of £62.6m.

Poverty – children here are more likely to live in poverty than adults (one in four, vs one in five). Failures in the education and training systems contribute to persistent poverty across generations.
Northern Ireland has the highest percentage of children living in long-term workless households out of all UK regions – 13.6% of children, compared with the UK average of 8.2%. Children growing up in workless households are much more likely to have lower educational attainment, be unemployed, and live in poverty later in life.

Climate change – the world is in a state of climate emergency and there is a growing global movement for change involving governments, businesses and societies. Northern Ireland has yet to take a seat at the table.
A decade after the UK Climate Change Act, Northern Ireland has set no emissions targets – unlike Scotland and Wales, both of which set their own targets in addition to those for the UK as a whole – and enacted no legislation. Since the Act came into force, emissions here have fallen by just 9% compared with 27% across the UK in general.

Community relations – social division cuts across all policy and debate here. Key public services like education and social housing remain largely divided along lines of perceived culture and community.
However, division along sectarian lines is not the only issue we face. There is a racially motivated hate crime an average of three times a day, despite the relatively small number of people here from ethnic minorities or from other countries.

Ann Watt, Director of Pivotal, said: “Northern Ireland faces a lot of challenges and a new approach is needed to meet them. The purpose of Pivotal, as an independent think tank focused on good policy, is to help with that. Our first paper is the beginning of that process, highlighting major areas of need affecting people here in Northern Ireland. These need everyone’s attention, right now.”

In the coming weeks, Pivotal will release a paper looking at how to ensure good government here in Northern Ireland. Early next year it will launch Vision 2040, a flagship project looking at the kind of place people here want Northern Ireland to be in 20 years’ time.

For more information please visit Pivotal website HERE