How to Cultivate Learning and Design Spaces – Part I

An Overview and Invitation

At a time when people and systems seem overmatched by the size and urgency of the challenges we face, what worked for yesterday’s problems won’t solve today’s and won’t help us create the world we’d like to inhabit tomorrow. In the absence of a shared vision of a whole, healthy system with enlivened, mutually enriching partnerships at all levels, we teeter between seemingly oppositional forces that pit ….Keep reading this post >

#InsideOutPeace Continues to Gain Traction

Last week, CFP co-hosted the virtual event, Governance that Centers Communities: Lessons from Afghanistan and Sierra Leone with partners at the International Peace Institute and Institute for State Effectiveness and co-sponsored by the Government of Sierra Leone, and the Permanent Mission of Afghanistan to the United Nations. Encapsulating why centering community in governance matters, Rasoul Rasouli, Former Director General, Citizens’ Charter in Afghanistan said, “Community is the heart of the society, ….Keep reading this post >

UN General Assembly side event – You’re invited

How can government policies invite local community voices to lead and support local priorities and agency in international peace and development? On October 14th, CFP president Libby Hoffman and Fambul Tok director John Caulker will share their experience building a national policy framework in Sierra Leone that has done just that. CFP is co-hosting a post-United National General Assembly event with the International Peace Institute, the Institute for State Effectiveness, ….Keep reading this post >

Funding and Design for Local Ownership: What helps? What hurts?

A guiding question for CFP is — how can practice shift across the whole system (organizations, government, international bodies, and funders) to center communities’ leadership, priorities and capacities in peace and development? To explore this question in the international arena, last September CFP hosted, with the International Peace Institute and the Government of Sierra Leone, a side-event to the UN General Assembly. Central to that event was the exploration of ….Keep reading this post >

Sacred Opening in a Time of Pain and Possibility

Photo by Charles Gibbs

The call of this moment
and of all moments
is to seek the light
and to face the darkness
within and without
with unflinching honesty
and unswerving devotion
to journey at least a little each day
 toward enlightenment –
living in love,
fearless, joyous and free –
in service
to this glorious and wounded world.

As the coronavirus flows invisibly over the face of the Earth transforming life as we have known it and creating seemingly ….Keep reading this post >

Learning from Ebola: Lessons from Sierra Leone for COVID-19

Many nations are facing a dangerous, wide-spread infectious virus for the first time in recent memory and are scrambling to learn and respond from day to day. I recently talked with my colleague and CFP’s long-term organizational partner in Sierra Leone, John Caulker, Executive Director of Fambul Tok about lessons learned in Sierra Leone from the Ebola virus disease outbreak that took place in his country between 2014-2016 with 14,000 ….Keep reading this post >

As Our Work Grows, So Too Is Our Team

As our team continues to support the growth of a global community of learning and practice building peace from the inside out, we have also needed to grow our team. Beyond skillful administrative skills, we were looking for someone with experience and background in grassroots organizing, communications, and coalition building. Our new addition comes with that and more. He brings multi-cultural and multi-lingual resilience and spiritually-based formation that enriches our ….Keep reading this post >

In a time of closings, a Sacred Opening

Bruce Springsteen has a rousing rendition of the classic folk anthem “This Little Light of Mine” on his Live in Dublin album, which opens with Springsteen calling out to his keyboardist, “Charles, bring us home!” Charles Giodarno then jumps into play with a galvanizing rendition of the tune, setting the stage for The Boss, his band, and ultimately the whole audience to join in singing, dancing, and letting our light ….Keep reading this post >

The transformative experience of wholeness

My life has been blessed and guided by transformative experiences of wholeness.

Here’s a brief story about one of them:

Scarcely a year after the 9/11 tragedy shattered the world we thought we knew, I hailed a cab at 4:30 AM on the empty streets of lower Manhattan.

I learned that the driver was from Pakistan. Informed him that I had many friends there.
Soon he was sharing about his life.

He had recently lost ….Keep reading this post >

Whole Systems Peacebuilding and Development

In Constellating Peace, the global gathering CFP hosted this past April in Sierra Leone, one of the central purposes was to name the importance of and actually convene representatives of the “whole global system” working on peace and development. We invited people to participate and to present who were coming from communities, civil society, local government, national government and international organizations. Building on eight years of the fambul tok process ….Keep reading this post >