DENVER, Colo.– Is global peace possible in the 21st century? This was the question at the One Earth Future Forum in Aspen, Colo. Oct. 13 - 15, where noted thinkers including Steven Pinker, Paul Collier, Sanam Anderlini, and others discussed research on trends in violent conflict, the key drivers affecting global stability and what individuals and institutions can do to diminish violence and promote peaceful alternatives.
"The conversations were intended to share developments in what we know about the trends in violence and possibility of peace internationally, and identify what can be done to help support peace,”–said One Earth Future Foundation (OEF) Deputy Director of Research Conor Seyle. "In recent years there has been a quiet explosion of what we know about the drivers of peace and conflict, leading us to a better understanding of what works, and what doesn't, in efforts to reduce armed conflict. The Forum was a place to bring together the champions of these ideas, discover common ground, and begin the process of formulating a cohesive, practical strategy that can take us closer to a world without war."
The Forum was an initial step toward the creation of a report from OEF, due for publication in 2015, that will provide an empirical look at trends in war and violence, and what steps humanity can take toward creating a more peaceful world.
Warfare Has Deep and Complex Origins
Leaders at OEF acknowledged that warfare has deep and complex origins. Forum participants had a wide range of opinions on the topics at hand, which included the role of economic systems, global warming, gender equality, technology, resource management, and a host of other factors known to spark armed conflict throughout the globe.
Despite varying degrees of skepticism among participants, an overall sense of optimism and hope for peace endured. By the Forum's close, the participants had begun to shape common principles that can provide a realistic and practical path toward a world without war.
"There is no question that this is a difficult endeavor," Seyle said, "But our participants agree that if world peace is at all possible, then it is a goal worth pursuing."