As described in this month’s CPNN bulletin, the youth participants at the Budapest training were inspired to continue their activism for a better world. I, too, was inspired, and it has led me to imagine a roadmap for the global transition from culture of war to culture of peace.
I see a tremendous multiplier effect in the enthusiasm of the new generation. They are rebellious and optimistic. They believe a better world is possible, and they are willing to struggle for it.
I have a vision of them as trainers of trainers to multiply their rebellion and optimism.
The effects of their training are global since they are connected by Internet, by their travels, and by their ability to speak many languages. I think of the young trainers I worked with in Budapest: one from the Philippines working in Spain; one from Switzerland having worked in the USA and Brazil; one from Portugal working in Italy; their conversations in Spanish, English, Portuguese, Italian, French, German with links to Arabic, Russian, Chinese, Hindu, etc., etc.
I imagine a network of CPNN websites in different languages, fed by reporters everywhere, and translated and shared on other language sites, so that wherever in the world there is action for a culture of peace, it is immediately shared and taken up and mirrored in actions elsewhere.
What will the actions be? They will be as varied as this new generation has imagination. We already saw this imagination in some of the responses of youth organizations in the 2006 report from 475 youth organizations:
* Training and workshops for youth on issues such as the culture of peace, conflict resolution and mediation, values and human rights.
* Vocational training and employment programmes
* Activities in the arts, creativity, music, theatre and dance.
* Intercultural and international exchanges and meetings, where youth activists get to know others,
* Promotion of networks, publishing and documenting their work, distributing the information widely, both online and on paper and by radio in local communities.
Perhaps you are saying that this kind of activity seems weak in comparison with the great power of nation states with their militaries and multi-national corporations with their enormous resources. But I respond that the culture of war, be it the military might of states or the wealth of corporations is not sustainable. It rises and it crashes. On the other hand, human culture does not crash. It grows. Sometimes it grows rapidly; sometimes it grows slowly. But it does not crash. And the work of the new generation described above, makes it grow more rapidly.
As you can see, I believe, in the company of great sociologists, that history is ultimately determined, not by military might or the wealth of empires, but by the people themselves and their social consciousness.