Peace in the Age of Chaos: The Best Solution for a Sustainable Future

The major challenges facing humanity are global in nature – climate change, pandemics, ever decreasing biodiversity, lack of usable fresh water and food security to name a few. Without a world that is basically peaceful, Killelea believes we will never get the levels of trust, cooperation and inclusiveness needed to solve these issues – yet, what creates peace is poorly understood.

In his ground-breaking new book, Peace in the Age of Chaos: The Best Solution for a Sustainable Future, Steve Killelea, founder of both the Global Peace Index and the world-renowned think tank, the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), shares his personal journey to study, understand and measure peace – a peace that is a positive, tangible and achievable measure of human wellbeing and progress.

Join us for a discussion with Steve about his new book; why he believes peace is a prerequisite for the survival of society as we know it in the 21 st century; and how Positive Peace, when combined with systems thinking, provides an exciting new way to conceptualise how societies function and a new approach to solving some of the most intractable problems of our time.

This webinar will be moderated by Oxford’s Dr. Sabina Alkire, with introductory remarks made by IIEP Co-Director James Foster. This event is co-sponsored by the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI), the UN Development Programme Human Development Report Office (UNDP-HDRO), the Institute for Economics and Peace, and the Institute for International Economic Policy at GWU.

As a global philanthropist, Steve Killelea has laid the foundations to develop an entirely new understanding of peace. As a thought leader, he has reshaped the entire concept to recognize its integrity to the revival of our economic and political systems. Few have provoked global thought amongst both policymakers and members of the public quite to the extent of Steve. An international entrepreneur behind the global think tank, the Institute for Economics and Peace, he combines a highly successful career in technology with a philanthropic focus on peace and sustainable development to shed new light on issues, from terrorism and conflict to economics and prosperity.

Steve harbours over a decade’s worth of award-winning experience, delving into the crucial yet misunderstood concept of global peace. He founded the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) in 2007, as an independent not for profit global research institute analysing the intertwined relationships between business, peace, and economic development. Steve’s funding and thought leadership behind the Institute would see him recognised as one of the World’s 100 Most Influential People on reducing the onset of armed violence. IEP global leadership extends to calculating the economic cost of violence, measuring peace, risk analysis of a nation’s threat levels, and a new understanding of “Positive Peace” – an eight- pillar model embracing the attitudes, institutions, and structures required to create and sustain peaceful societies. As one of the world’s most impactful think tanks, its research is extensively used by multi-laterals, including the United Nations, World Bank, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), as well as thousands of university courses around the world. He is also the founder of the Global Peace Index, the world’s leading quantitative measurement of global peacefulness, ranking 163 countries, and independent territories.

Steve currently serves on the President’s Circle for Club de Madrid, the largest forum of democratic former Presidents and Prime Ministers working to strengthen democracy. He is an honorary president for Religion for Peace, the largest organisation in the world working on inter-religious challenges. Steve also sits on several other influential not-for-profit boards and is a regular speaker at international forums on conflict, peace, governance, and development.

About the Discussants
Pedro Conceição has been Director of the Human Development Report Office, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) since 2019. Prior to that, from October 2014, he was Director, Strategic Policy, at the Bureau for Policy and Programme Support of UNDP, where he co-led the UN’s participation in the G20 Finance and Central Bank Governors Meetings, managed UNDP’s engagement in the Financing for Development processes, and contributed to articulate UNDP’s support to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals. Before that, he was Chief-Economist and Head of the Strategic Advisory Unit at the Regional Bureau for Africa (from 1 December 2009).

He has published on inequality, the economics of innovation and technological change, and development in, amongst others journals, the African Development Review, Review of Development Economics, Eastern Economic Journal, Ecological Economics, Environmental Economics and Policy Studies, and Technological Forecasting and Social Change. He co-edited several books including: Innovation, Competence Building, and Social Cohesion in Europe- Towards a Learning Society (Edward Elgar, 2002) and Knowledge for Inclusive Development (Quorum Books, 2001).

Matthew Levinger is Research Professor of International Affairs at the George Washington University. He directs the National Security Studies Program, an executive education program for senior officials from the U.S. government and its international partners, as well as the Master of International Policy and Practice Program at GW’s Elliott School of International Affairs. Before joining GW, he was Senior Program Officer at the United States Institute of Peace, where he developed and taught executive education programs on international conflict analysis and prevention for foreign policy professionals from the United States and overseas. From 2005 to 2007, Levinger was Founding Director of the Academy for Genocide Prevention at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. At the Holocaust Museum, he played a key role in launching “Crisis in Darfur,” a joint initiative of the Museum and Google Earth, as well as the Genocide Prevention Task Force, co-chaired by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and former Secretary of Defense William Cohen. Before moving to Washington, he was associate professor of History at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon; he has also taught at Stanford
University. In 2003-2004, he was a William C. Foster Fellow at the U.S. Department of State. He has consulted for organizations including the World Bank, IREX, the National Democratic Institute, and the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations.