extremely sketchy and incredibly graphic.

I recently joined NYC Sketchnoters Group, and tonight is our second meeting. Sketchnoting is all about using usual visual images —  drawings, symbols, shapes, icons, color, etc. — to record ideas and convey meanings.  For visual thinkers, it’s a great companion piece to traditional chicken scratch note-taking.  Visuals for Change founder Amanda Lyons helms the group, and for a mere 10 bucks, you get yourself an evening of shame-free sketchnoting and infotaining interactive exercises.

Above is my sketch from an activity in which Amanda gave us a couple of minutes to illustrate of a concept of our choice.  What I was going for was how, even in the most volatile arguments, there are often common, overlapping interests below the surface positions. This is a core concept of our work at New York Peace Institute, and of mediation in general.

Click here to learn more about Graphic Facilitation…



Roma mania, Mona, Romania.

Folks, well into the 21st century, our Roma (commonly known as Gypsy) brothers and sisters are still subjected to all kinds of segregation, discrimination, and marginalization worldwide.  Before my New York Peace Institute days, I had the honor of working on this initiative to promote Roma inclusion in civil society in Eastern Europe.

So, I’m delighted to let you know that on March 8th we’re hosting a free screening of Our School, a fabulous documentary about Roma youth in Romania, in cooperation with Lysistrata, the gender working group at NYU’s Center for Global Affairs. Director Mona Nicoara will be on hand for Q&A.  Seating is limited, so please RSVP toute suite. Meanwhile, here’s an interview with Mona by Rachel Hart, from the Open Society Institute’s blog (reproduced with actual permission!)

Click here to learn more about Mona!

peace core values.

I teach a course at New York University’s Center for Global Affairs called “How to Build Your Own NGO.”  My aim is to provide students with practical, nuts and bolts skills they’ll use in the non-profit sector, to augment their wingnut and screws theoretical learning. (I wrote more about gradschools here.)  I  spend a chunk of time spieling about developing core values — the ethos underlying an organization’s vision, mission, strategy, and organization culture.  

So, I wanted to share New York Peace Institute’s core values, which we built by consensus across the organization (with the help of our friends at Big Duck).  I keep them posted over my desk, and I read them daily, as a constant reminder that even the most mundane, bureaucratic tasks (of which I perform many) are in service to promoting a peaceful NYC. It never fails to put a pep in my step.  

Click here for the 6 steps…

Guest blogger Ashok Panikkar on the right to offend.

Here’s a guest post from my friend and peacebuilding agent provocateur Ashok Panikkar, Executive Director of the Indian conflict resolution organization Meta-Culture.  I’m not sure I agree with everything he says below. But he is quite persuasive…even moreso in person, where he’ll augment his reasoning with infectious laughter and impish charm.

Click here for his article!