Three Pillars for Peace
I spearheaded my understanding of participatory methodologies during my research with the NGO Navdanya, which was founded by the world-renowned environmental activist Dr. Vandana Shiva. Dr. Shiva’s commitment to participatory approaches, that engage marginalized farmers in the peace building process, shed a glaring light on the inadequacy of global decision-making processes. Changing the gears of the hegemonic, global developmental framework requires that we all actively engage in creating social transformation. To build peace we must create space to raise our dynamic voices, cultivate compassionate communities and engage in the transformative process of empowerment.
I am integrating participatory approaches into my current peace building projects such as the creation of Ambitious Health. I have motivated my community to share their experiences for a collaborative guide to transformative health for sustainable living. This guide will serve as the foundational document for the creation of a future non-profit. Ambitious Health arose out of the question: what kind of communities could we evolve if we imbued our worldly ambitions with health and wellness? The guide focuses on community building, diet, physical health, sustainable design, lifestyle and spiritual practice. Contributors inspire constructive dialogues that provoke pro-active change by narrating their personal journeys to sustainable health and wellness.
PulseWire is setting a remarkable precedent for how to sustain meaningful relationship building and engaged dialogue for social transformation. Leadership, community and space converge like three pillars to support PulseWire’s beautiful rendering of peace. PulseWire's participatory architecture engages us in identifying visionary leadership, creating space for community and meaningful relationship building through constructive dialogues. This dynamic platform recognizes that we are the craftswomen designing a monumental and holistic peace. Our writing inspires one another to believe in, and commit to, creating change in our communities.
The challenge of molding ourselves into the visionary leaders of tomorrow requires fierce determination and sustained commitment. We can all contribute to creating social transformation through the pursuit of personal transformation. In the field of conflict resolution we believe that personal transformation proceeds structural transformation. Influential peace scholar John Paul Lederach explains that the pursuit of personal transformation and systematic transformation are not exclusive options, rather they are mutual and interdependent. Furthermore, personal transformation and structural transformation must be pursued together to produce real social change. Lederach explores the "Gandhi Dilemma" by asking which is more important, the means or the ends? The transformative approach adopts the Gandhian solution of peace by peaceful means embodied in the famous saying, ‘my life is my message to the world’.