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No Ordinary Summit for the Sake of No Ordinary Peace

Joynicole Martinez on the Summit in Living Tomorrow Vilvoorde/Brussels

The Summer Peace Summit became the first meeting of the participants of the new community called Peace 50 (P50). It is pleasant that the event has echoed in the hearts of women from different countries of the world. After 2 days of the Summit’s rich programme, the event’s participants continued their communication and establishing cooperation on implementation of projects. The Summit had a fine ‘aftertaste’. Many women started sharing their emotions and impressions of the past event on social networks and in the media. Joynicole Martinez wrote a big article about the Summer Peace Summit. We decided to publish it on the website of our news agency.

Joynicole Martinez – Ph.D., D.H.Sc., Chief Executive Officer of The Alchemist Agency, Director of Research & Development – World Women Foundation (the USA)

The inaugural P50 Summer Peace Summit convened June 28-29 in Brussels, Belgium. Under the high patronage of HRH Princess Léa of Belgium, leaders from 15 countries met at the innovative Living Tomorrow cultural center at Vilvoorde. The goal of the Summit was to open dialogue on methods and opportunities to preserve and develop peace across sociopolitical and geographical borders. The Summit covered six major themes or approaches to peacemaking: Education in the Preservation of Peace; the Formation of the Image of a Modern Woman; Finance as a Resource for Building a Balanced Society; the Power of Horizontal Communication; Cultural Institutes as a Pillar of Sustainable Development; and the Social Responsibility of the Media.

HRH Princess Léa of Belgium opened the event welcoming the participants and shared insight on the power of passion and commitment using her experiences through philanthropic and charity work to show how focused few can influence the many.

Summit participants were guided through a short meditative exercise as Dr. Sati Mata (Ukraine- India) spoke about the natural strength of women and their capacity for nurturing peace and harmony. Sati Mata is the President of the Association of Himalayan Yoga of Pilot Baba and Founder of the International Academy of Himalayan Siddha Yoga and Human Self-Fulfillment. Honorary President of the Free State Women Agricultural Union, Vanda Gagiano, represented the Republic of South Africa with a rousing call to provide equal opportunities to educate youth globally.

Gagiano exhorted those in attendance, “our children will build the future with information and resources we give them today.”

She charged the members to carefully consider how capital is expended in efforts to build schools and institutes of higher learning. Svetlana Landa of Russia followed Gagiano, presenting the competencies necessary for leadership and self-mastery in the 21st century. Founder and head of the Style of Life Academy International Coaching Centre and co-founder of the Women’s Leadership Forum community, Landa charged summit participants to include emotional intelligence, communication, and self discipline in educational curricula.

Dr. Gülden Türktan, Founder and Chairwoman of W20 (Women 20 of G20) shared her incredible experience developing the W20, despite ongoing challenges and existing gender bias. W20 is an official engagement group that proposes policy recommendations related to women for the G20. Through addressing political and economic challenges, countries can together realize an inclusive and sustainable world.

The G20, W20, and now the P50 summits offer opportunities for open dialogue and strategy sessions.

When considering inclusion and bridging cultural and geopolitical barriers in efforts towards global peace, few have experienced it like Cornelia von Wülfing, Malaga Akosua I (Ghana), a German national elected to Paramount Queen of SASADU Traditional Areas, Volta Region. Her lifelong commitment to building opportunities for education, housing, and employment in Africa uniquely qualifies her contribution to the summit and to the achievement of peace through economic development.

As a public health scientist and passionate about addressing the social determinants of health and wellness, the concept of social enterprise as a vehicle for sustainability and peace is core to my work.

Where governments are unable or unwilling to address the multiple layers of social ills that exist in communities, social enterprises have filled in the gap, triggering social growth while contributing to the economic stability of communities through purpose-centric and profit- maximizing business practices.

These Social enterprises and their owners or entrepreneurs are changing the landscape of leadership. Social entrepreneurship affects the economy differently than corporate social responsibility. Where CSR is reactive and born out of need to justify business practices; social entrepreneurs are developing proactive approaches to social issues.

Social enterprise is playing a growing role in support of women’s empowerment – as a source of funding advocacy programs, a means of delivering training and creating employment, and as a way of empowering women socially and economically. Quite significantly, the status of women in social entrepreneurship disrupts the patterns of gender inequality. Globally, social enterprise is changing the dichotomy between ‘the empowerer’ and ‘the empowered,’ giving women opportunity for and authority in decision- making.

The application of soft power cannot remain a one-way transmission process – of resources, knowledge, and culture, from the powerful to the malleable, or from governments to citizens.

In a more complex, networked world, solutions must come through a new architecture of collaboration. This is why the P50 community is critical to sustainable peace.

Dr. Anastasia Ptukha, rector of the Academy of the All-Union Society of Inventors and Rationalizers (Russia) spoke of the need for this collaborative leadership across all industries. Ptukha explained the need for harmonious development in STEM industries – where competition goes beyond the norm and is the requirement.

Drs. Carol Kinsey-Gorman (USA) and Anna Wolf (Germany) presented on the flow of information across these industries – the need for horizontal communication. Dr. Wolf is an economist and analyst at the Ifo Institute for Economic Research Munich, aide to former President Dr. Wolfgang Thierse, and has initiated civil co-operations across international borders.

Art curator Barbara Dietrich (Belgium), Editor-In-Chief of Diplomatic World Magazine and Dr. Marina Volynkina (Russia), head of the Eurasian Women’s Community web portal – and co- founders of the Summer Peace Summit did not fail to honor the communicative power of and the contribution art and culture make toward peace.

They invited Founder and International Director of Inspiring Culture Pick Keobandith (Laos-France) to expound on the shifting dynamic of peace museums and the language surrounding peace in contrast to that of war and war memorials. Nupur Tron (India) has restored a historic home in Brussels, another example of women using their creative power to eradicate the stereotypes and prejudices that often accompany cultural difference. Ms. Tron is Founder and Director General of Foundation Frison Horta and spoke about the cultural institute as a pillar of sustainable development.

Co- Founders Volynkina and Dietrich closed the Summit’s first day with a presentation of the Memorandum for Responsible Media – a call for new ethos and standard in social and mass media and journalism.

The Summer Peace Summit was just the beginning. There is a new caliber of collaboration and communication being established globally through the P50 community. Powerful women in leadership across industries and across oceans are joining efforts and sharing resources in novel ways – unafraid and unashamed. This was no ordinary experience, and this will be no ordinary peace.

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