Adapt or die! This Darwinian imperative is arguably truer now than at any time in our brief history on earth.
Many of us look into the years ahead with dread, aware of monumental, self-inflicted problems that seem to be spinning us out of control: poverty that triggers revolution and war, the cruelty of slave and sex trades, the waste of lives due to drug addictions, violence in our homes and communities, the unsustainable consumption of life-sustaining resources. Then there are the potential horrors of newfangled weapons of mass destruction. Global climate change could result in—or trigger—a global pandemic, mass starvation, massive refugee problems, or global economic collapse. Can we adapt? Can we change?
Our problems are super-sized, many are global in scope. Our disagreements are numerous and severe. A belief that virtually all of us can agree on, however, it is that if we could shape a culture that allowed our children to grow up in safe, healthy, and nurturing communities, we should use our collective wisdom and resources to create that reality. What is meant by security and wellbeing is that we build and sustain communities where children grow up with healthy food and clean water, have access to education to the level they choose, medical care essential to a healthy body, freedom to think and speak freely, and they do not live in fear of outsiders or members of their own community.
Consider how acknowledgment of universality on this one issue could allow something splendid to evolve. Legions of individuals and organizations around the globe already work to create safe, healthy communities. Imagine the daring possibility that those legions become—within the space of a year or two—partnered in a powerful, united voice.
What follows is a speculative "how to" concept for igniting a revolutionary shift in our worldview based on this shared concern for children. An underlying assumption of the concept is that to achieve our goal, a deeply embedded working paradigm of our dominant cultures must change. As improbable as it may at first sound, a focus on preventing and ultimately eliminating wars is suggested as the means to unite diverse legions of individuals and organizations which at this time have no common shared goal, and by doing so, create a compelling global force for change.
This concept works by phased, integrated, achievable milestones. Partners in this movement would be unified by an umbrella entity—actually an über-umbrella entity—that for purposes of this paper I call FACE—For All Children Everywhere. Along the way to the goal of safe and healthy communities for our children, we will also accomplish work that can help mitigate or prevent mega-catastrophes that loom ahead if instead of altering course we maintain business as usual.
The concept of FACE is one of action. Unlike many other necessary and allied social transformation efforts which rely primarily on gradual change using education, FACE is geared to use nonviolent direct action to apply pressure to speed up change. The goal is to hasten a great shift. But above all, FACE would be an awareness movement, to let the world know that massive change is possible, and that a massive shift is being initiated now.
The goals and structure of the movement are detailed below, but here are some basics up front:
- No dues would be required to become a movement partner, only willingness to participate.
- No bureaucratic structure would dictate how partners should contribute. Members of the FACE partnership would be free to perform whatever aspect of the work best fits their mandate, political culture, and circumstances.
- FACE partners would join simply by signing up on the website and agreeing to a statement something like:
"I/we believe it is possible to shape a future for our children and theirs that is more egalitarian, just, ecologically sustainable, and nonviolent. I/we will actively participate to the best of my/our ability with the other partners in this extraordinary effort. I/we do this for the sake of all children everywhere, now and into our future."
As both a foundation and a formula, this paper explores why a Global Paradigm Shift Campaign (GPSC), by whatever name, needs to happen now, how it could come about, and the resulting jump in human social evolution. The paper:
- Describes the dilemma that calls on the global community to make a paradigm shift,
- Describes a current maladaptive paradigm undergirding many of our most egregious ills: that using violence to dominate others in many contexts, especially war, is inevitable. It suggests an alternative, adaptive paradigm toward which a FACE/GPSC can move us,
- Using the metaphor of building a permanent base on the Moon, lists nine foundations for creating and sustaining a paradigm shift movement, and explains why a campaign to promote nonviolence and the prevention of war would provide the broadest possible umbrella for agents seeking positive change. These nine foundations are likened to challenges to be overcome and technologies that would have to be developed to bring off a Moon-base project,
- Describes how FACE would serve in the capacity as a NASA would to a moon base project by:
- uniting many organizations, under one broad umbrella,
- providing focus and energy over the time required to succeed, and
- giving the movement sufficient cohesion and momentum to make the shift happen.
- Describes the structure of FACE, its necessary human elements: passionate luminaries, dedicated and skilled partner organizations, and determined grass roots groups and individuals,
- Considers issues of framing, naming, and promotion,
- Emphasizes that FACE, as a social transformation movement, would use the strategy and techniques of nonviolent direct action, derived from social transformers like U.S. suffragists, Mohandas Gandhi, and Martin Luther King, Jr.,
- Outlines a mechanism for the movement's coordination and actions based on a process developed by the International Committee to Ban Landmines (ICBL),
- Describes how the campaign would look over time.
On Christmas Eve 1968, Apollo 8 astronauts beamed a message to earth, including the famous photo, Earthrise. This image of our tiny blue-and-white globe against the vast darkness of space is a powerful envisionment of something critical about our human journey; we evolved in a tiny corner of one continent, in Africa, we spread throughout a planet originally empty of humans, and now, in the words of ecological economist Herman Daly (1999), our globe is full. We have been fruitful and multiplied so that our kind occupies every niche capable of sustaining a human community.
On our lovely blue-and-white, full world, many people—thoughtful futurists or just plain folks—sense that ways of living that worked for us during our long journey out of Africa...well, those habits aren't working so well any more. Our political, cultural, and ecological world is shifting with such speed that we can scarcely catch our breath, and the shifting can't be stopped (e.g., Fukuyama 1999; Hawken 2007; Korten 2006; Toffler 1970, 1980). The scary truth is that we may not have time to adequately respond should any of these onslaughts escalate into catastrophic proportions.
And our dilemma? We have nowhere to flee. There ARE no unoccupied lands with fresh resources and no other human competitors. Pioneering on a new frontier has always been part of our survival strategy. It encouraged our ultimate occupation of the globe. As long as parts of our world remained empty of humans, we could move to where as yet unexploited resources of food, water, and shelter were available. Or where we could escape from other humans with whom we had conflicts if we wanted to avoid a killing war with them.
No more. The elimination of this option has enormous consequences. Between Malthus's 1798 predictions that the demands of population growth could exceed Earth's resources and the warning of the 1968 modern-day Malthus, Paul Ehrlich, who gave us his book The Population Bomb, we had some modest reprieves. For example, the "Green Revolution" gave us added crop productivity, and the spreading "demographic transition" slows our global increase in population size. But the planet's basic resources—most notably now, water—are not limitless (Kunzig 2011) and the potential for conflict escalates. Our populations continue to grow and consume. "Business as usual" may fail to mitigate, let alone prevent, cataclysmic changes, thereby halting the march of civilization and even, conceivably, ending Earth's experiment with highly intelligent and highly technological life.
Can we influence the direction and end result of change in ways we choose, and if so, how? Elsewhere I argued that, within limits and without being able to control all unknowns and unpredictables, we can indeed significantly shape our destiny (Hand 2010). What follows below is a proposed strategy for how to accomplish that shaping.
There is Good News
We are a supremely adaptive species—without peers in adaptability—and our survival instinct has been aroused. In some quarters, it is in over-drive. Many organizations, groups, and individuals are broadcasting alarms and searching for change that will save us from ourselves. A positive Global Paradigm Shift Campaign (GPSC) is possible. We do have it in us. But only if our underlying worldview about how to live together and deal with conflicts changes.
Albert Einstein defined insanity as continuing to do the same thing while expecting a different outcome. Current modes of thinking and behaving have created looming problems too big for minor or even major tinkering. The roots of our ills—political, social, cultural, and ecological—run deep within our dominant cultures. To achieve a major breakthrough a thoroughgoing cultural uprooting is required, and something new, something more adaptive for our altered situation, needs to be put in place. The good news is that those most keenly aware of our current dangers are calling for a shift in a fundamental working paradigm. But which paradigm?
The Trouble with Paradigms
The online free dictionary offers this definition:
Paradigm: A set of assumptions, concepts, values, and practices that constitutes a way of viewing reality for the community that shares them, especially in an intellectual discipline...Applications of the term in other contexts show that it can sometimes be used more loosely to mean "the prevailing view of things."
Because essentially all members of a group, organization, or culture embrace a paradigm, it shapes the values and decisions of virtually all members without question or thought by them. Worldview is a term close in meaning to paradigm, except possibly larger in scope. And the trouble with paradigms is that they can be dead wrong. Here are examples of paradigms widely embraced at some time, some true and some not: 1) the world is flat, 2) people with dark skin are inferior to people with light skin, 3) the earth is the center of the universe, 4) women are not quite fully developed humans, 5) angry spirits cause diseases, 5) germs cause diseases, 6) all matter is made of atoms, 7) humans will always make war. Note that wrong paradigms may wear out their usefulness and come to be seen as false. We aren't eternally shackled to them. In fact, progress has often been made by challenging and then rejecting old paradigms.
Shifting the Current Paradigm from What to What
To purposefully make an adaptive shift in our behavior, we require a clear understanding of the current dysfunctional (maladaptive) paradigm. A campaign that doesn't have a precise idea of the root problem to be challenged isn't likely to enjoy success. So, to shape a positive global paradigm shift we need to answer two questions:
What exactly is the current dysfunctional paradigm that we want to shift?
What is the paradigm we want to put in its place?
Strategic thinking can then address two related questions. First, if there is a particularly egregious "evil" produced by the maladaptive paradigm, what is it? The logic is that by tackling the most egregious evil, or a particularly outstanding evil, we direct effort at the heart of the problem. While other goals may be worthy, we will squander time and resources and risk backsliding if we don't resolve the core problem.
And second, if we can agree on some particularly egregious evil, what is the "good thing" we could do that would most directly force an end to it? This "good thing" will be the cause capable of uniting and motivating a critical mass of determined citizens, a cause around which millions will rally.
What Paradigm Needs Shifting and What is the Most Egregious Evil Product of the Current, Maladaptive Paradigm?
The project AFutureWithoutWar.org (AFWW-Hand 2005) is about creating a massive paradigm shift; obviously, to create a future without war, something huge in our worldview would have to change. War is defined as groups taking up weapons to indiscriminately kill individuals in other groups. For AFWW, murder isn't war. Revenge killings by individuals for perceived wrongs by other individuals also isn't war. Addressing these latter two evils, murder and revenge killings, isn't the goal of AFWW. The goal is to dismantle all components of the war machine—that is, to make obsolete the production and use of weapons of war, the worldview that promotes war, and ultimately war itself.
In the case of war, the maladaptive paradigm that needs to be shifted is:
Domination of others using force and violence is inevitable and hence to be endured/accommodated/worked around.
In cultures this worldview permeates, belief in the inevitability of domination of others by force and violence, including war, is accepted uncritically and underlies all aspects of law and common practice—even child-rearing. In some cultures, war is justified as occasionally being necessary, even righteous. In spite of the stupendous waste of material resources and the destruction of communities and lives that war entails, we stumble forward in the embrace of what is arguably a form of social insanity. The belief in this inevitability underlies decisions by governments deciding military budgets. And because it is assumed by all of the world's current dominant cultures, it is the single biggest barrier to ending wars. If even one of the world's current dominant cultures operates from this assumption, it becomes a barrier to stopping the destruction since all other cultures must then defend against the aggression paradigm and expend major resources to maintain military preparedness.
Explored below is the proposition that war is arguably the most egregious evil produced by this currently maladaptive paradigm, and that the goal of preventing, and even ultimately eliminating, war can provide the broadest possible umbrella for unifying legions striving in their unique ways to be part of a positive Great Shift, but which lack coordination. Many evils challenge us, from poverty to pollution, slavery to racism. But of them all, only war kills outright and immediately. It is the finality of death for large numbers of us along with the awesome waste and destruction of resources that qualifies war as arguably our most egregious evil.
Furthermore, it is a truth of our nature that if we believe something is impossible, it is impossible. Such belief creates a psychological barrier to envisioning and working for some other possibility. Belief in the inevitability of violence and war will absolutely shape the culture a society creates, and that culture will inevitably include violence and wars. To generate a truly epic, historical, positive paradigm shift, something as big as the Agricultural, Industrial, or Digital Revolutions, we need to stop believing that war is inescapable (Hand 2005a, 2010, 2011b).
Answer to Key Question Number Two – What Adaptive Paradigm Needs to Replace the Old One?
The paradigm which would undergird and sustain a future without war and peace in homes and communities is:
Using force and violence against others is anathema,
intolerable under any conditions.
Could we bend the arc of history toward nonviolence? The longing to do so is expressed in one form or another in all major philosophies. In some nonviolent cultures, people's response to violent acts perpetrated on them is to flee or move away, never to fight (Fry 2006, 2007). In some, this underlying nonviolent worldview is so deeply embedded in their ethos that the very idea of using physical violence on another is literally unthinkable. Violence is essentially never observed by children or adults. The point is that war is not biologically innate or socially inevitable, it is a creature of the kind of culture we create and in which we raise our children (Hand, 2009). Biologically speaking then, could we bend the arc of history away from war? Emphatically, yes. Change the culture appropriately, and you can end the violence of war.
The answer to question number 4, "What is the "good thing" we could do," becomes: Mount a Campaign to Dismantle the War Machine: Remove the Root Causes of Wars and Render War Obsolete.
The simple but profound beauty of mounting a campaign to take on the collective insanity of war is that it will give synergistic power to many urgently needed Great Change efforts, far beyond the arena of war. As explained below, causes from ending poverty to creating sustainable communities, fostering democracy to empowering women, teaching peace to devising economies that foster ecologically sustainable work, and much more, can be part of and can benefit from dismantling the war machine. Living under the sway of a paradigm of domination, including domination by force, we have created cultures in which struggles for wealth and power are more important than achieving the stabilizing influence and priorities associated with care for family and community. If we are to create safe and healthy communities, for all children everywhere, this needs to change.
This leads to a fifth key question, which deals with operation: Is there a mechanism that will allow vast numbers of people to unite and take action with great effectiveness in order to achieve the shared goal and while in the process of achieving that goal, also hasten the paradigm shift we desire?
Fortunately, the answer is yes. The Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Jody Williams and those working with her created an operating concept for the International Committee to Ban Land Mines that, with modifications, can provide the necessary uniting mechanism. The ICBL process is described in some detail below in the section entitled "Project Coordination." But before we consider how to unify and coordinate vast numbers of organizations and individuals, we need to consider the general nature of the proposed Global Paradigm Shift Campaign, FACE, and just who the partners in this effort can be.
Nature of the Proposed FACE/Global Paradigm Shift Campaign (GPSC)
In 1996, the United Nations commissioned Graça Machel, noted educator and children's champion, to study the effects of war on children (Machel 1996). Machel's report concluded something we all know in our hearts:
"The physical, sexual and emotional violence to which they [children] are exposed shatters their world. War undermines the very foundations of children's lives, destroying their homes, splintering their communities and breaking down their trust in adults."
What moral ethos and worldview will be carried into the future by such children? War is a great destroyer in countless ways, not the least of which is its self-perpetuating nature.
When I began AFutureWithoutWar.org I wasn't concerned with the possibility of shaping a massive social revolution, as proposed by those calling for a "Great Shift." I wasn't concerned with creating secure communities for children. As an evolutionary biologist and expert in gender differences, I focused on why we make war and whether significant differences exist between how men and women are involved. A secondary issue, however, was whether it is possible, even in theory, to end the behavior?
It was soon obvious that, although from a biological perspective war is not inevitable, the scope of a campaign to prevent wars would be huge; it would encompass many problems which can seem unrelated, having nothing directly to do with each other or war, but which in fact are related and do affect war. Eventually I also realized that the means to unite vast numbers of people and organizations across boundaries of religion, nationality, race, and so on, was to focus such a movement on the shared universal of love that all people have for not only their children, but all children.
Mounting such a campaign would be an enormous undertaking, as is, say, the building of the Panama Canal, or the space program. I often compare the challenge to the level of difficulty of establishing a base on the moon. For convenience, I grouped the necessary ending-war efforts into nine categories, or cornerstones. Just as a moon base project would have many divisions—areas of expertise focused on different challenges—so would a project to dismantle the war machine. In the NASA metaphor, each division would be responsible for a part of the moon project, such as designing and building the rocket system to reach earth-orbit, designing a propulsion system for the moon ship, designing and building the ship, planning for the biological basic essentials such as oxygen, water, food, waste disposal both on the space journey and on the Moon base, design of the space suit, finding the means to handle hazards like meteoroids, designing and building the physical Moon habitat, and much more. Establishing such a base will be an enormous undertaking. The AFWW cornerstones are analogous to these areas of focus. And because war is a deeply engrained, long-practiced bad habit, rendering wars obsolete would require a similarly concerted effort—challenging...but not beyond the range of human endeavor.
And just as no moon base could be built without a coordinating body, a GPSC would need a "NASA" to coordinate it. As mentioned above, there are many organizations working separately whose efforts are essential to a GPSC but they lack unification or a common voice. They certainly haven't yet prevailed over the world's urges for wars. Efforts such as the League of Nations and the United Nations, entities established to prevent and ultimately make war obsolete, have so far failed to deliver on this most basic founding goal; many conflagrations have been mediated and stabilized, but the war machine and wars are still very much with us. Our collective fears have enabled the paradigm of domination by force to persist under a vast array of governmental and economic regimes, from chiefdoms, to dictatorships, to democracies, and under socialism, communism, or capitalism (Hand 2010). History strongly suggests that unless there is some coordinated intervention, the war machine will find a way to separately co-opt and undermine the transformative efforts of our generation as it has of the many generations preceding us. Some changes may occur, but without a paradigm shift, the use of violence to dominate others, including the destructive and wasteful monster that is the war industry, will remain unchanged.
The simple beauty of the FACE concept is that by focusing on the shared goal of preventing and ultimately ending wars, organizations tackling a rogue's gallery of humanity's self-inflicted ills would come together under one über-umbrella that could overpower the violence paradigm. By acknowledging and signing a simple statement pledging to work for safe, healthy, nurturing communities for all children everywhere, hundreds of thousands of groups working around the globe to better the human condition would stand in mighty opposition to destructive practices. Where there seemed to be a well-meaning but divided plethora of charitable do-gooders and dedicated volunteers with patchy effectiveness, the world could sense instead a mighty, united entity determined to shape a better destiny for us all—an entity whose members could quickly outnumber all the world's armed forces combined. From this potentially huge collective statement, we have the engine of a paradigm shift, our stage-one rocket liftoff. Again, for purposes of this paper, I refer to the entity as FACE.
Focus areas and funding of a FACE/Global Paradigm Shift Campaign (GPSC)
With the beginnings of a paradigm shift occurring, a volunteer at an AIDS clinic in Africa, a school builder in Afghanistan, or a teacher of sustainable agriculture can begin to see herself or himself as a non-violent soldier in an ending-war campaign. The FACE effort, as a NASA, could then launch a stage-two rocket for the Global Paradigm Shift Campaign (GPSC).
FACE would not be a bureaucracy, but a hub with a shared focus, an ongoing basis of cohesion and momentum. In this respect the analogy with NASA does not hold because FACE would not be the location of actual work and planning, with a huge staff and many departments. It would not be something dictated from the top down. The work and planning would be done by the partner organizations, and at local, regional, national, and international meetings. It is then the job of the small FACE staff to keep everyone aware of what everyone else is doing. To provide information to the media. And to provide coordination when the entire FACE body engages in shared, direct action.
The funding would be grant-based, sponsor-backed, or voluntary donation, intentionally eschewing dues or fundraisers. FACE itself would require minimal leadership and employees to:
- run the vast website linking thousands of organizations and offering resources and blogs,
- solicit signers to the simple statement of positive hope For All Children Everywhere,
- interface with the media, proclaiming the sheer numbers of organizations engaged in working toward positive FACE intentions; lobby, offer endorsements and sanctions, all delivered with the clout of a massive association recognized as a symbol of universal positive intention,
- interface with participating members, possibly organized around the cornerstones listed below,
- coordinate various campaigns (discussed below), and,
- other essentials specified in the ICBL organizational plan. (See below.)
- and, most importantly, constantly remind its members and the world how legion they are.
Here are the AFWW cornerstones: Embrace the Goal, Ensure Essential Resources, Foster Connectedness, Promote Nonviolent Conflict Resolution, Empower Women, Spread Liberal Democracy, Shift our Economies, Enlist Young Men, Provide Security and Order (Hand 2005a). None alone is sufficient to end the practice of war. The varied efforts they encompass are likely to be equally necessary. In the A Future Without War logo, I placed them in a circle rather than a list to suggest equal importance.
What follows, based on the cornerstones, are broadly generalized descriptions of potential FACE/GPSC areas of focus. At the end of each description is the URL of a website offering discussion of how organizations involved—the subcontractors within that division—would be part of the campaign, and for illustration and at the risk of offending the many organizations not listed, a few examples are provided.
Embrace the Goal – As indicated earlier, there are already groups with a global vision, already uniting many other projects under an umbrella for global change (afww.org/links_general.html). Although their focus is broad, each usually has a particular emphasis: e.g., addressing environmental issues, promoting a sense of human community and oneness, teaching the art of peaceful living and skills of nonviolent conflict resolution, extending humanist values, etc.. These organizations can find in FACE an über-hub to unite their efforts, and each would surely be eager to participate in a partnership for nonviolence and the prevention of war. (afww.org/EmbraceTheGoal.html) (e.g., Alliance for a New Humanity; Beyond War; Great Transition Initiative; Network of Spiritual Progressives, International Humanist and Ethical Union).
Insure Essential Resources - Countless disputes arise over resources, and many groups already address the need to provide people with life's essentials: food, clean water, safe shelter, a way to make a living, health care, and educational opportunities for children. People without these, especially the first four, eventually go to war to get them. AFWW.org provides links to a number of these groups, which in turn are linked to thousands more (afww.org/links_ier.html). An "Essential Resources" division also embraces projects working to create economies characterized by sustainable living while preserving and husbanding the environment. Projects focused on providing resources would greatly benefit from partnering in an ending-war campaign because of the waste and habitat destruction that war entails. (e.g., CAMFED; Clinton Global Initiative; One; Rotary International; Wiser Earth).
Foster Connectedness - Also immediately obvious as potential campaign partners are groups teaching tolerance of cultural and religious differences, teaching the "oneness" of our species, and creating a sense of global community. Xenophobia—a fear of what is strange or different—is an adaptive trait. In our deep past, being leery of the unknown and therefore possibly dangerous was an important survival trait, and still is. But it becomes maladaptive in our current full and economically intertwined world when whipped up by warmongers to raise an army and launch a war. The "Foster Connectedness" focus area also embraces organizations teaching a sense of love for and connectedness to Mother Earth, the source of our quality of life and our existence. Failing that, we may continue heedless extractions that create scarce resource conditions. These organizations, too, are potential campaign partners who are central to and will benefit from joining a mass movement for nonviolence and the prevention of war. (afww.org/FosterConnectedness.html). (e.g., Peace X Peace; People to People; Playing for Change; Seeds of Peace; Sierra Club, The Nature Conservancy, World Wildlife Fund, UNESCO).
Promote Nonviolent Conflict Resolution – To ensure that the better future we will shape persists over time, other issues emerge. For example, the need to teach people, especially children, the skills of living in peace: compromise, negotiation, mediation, non-violent conflict resolution, empathy, sharing, and inner peace. FACE could shine a light on such organizations that work to encourage the spread of curriculum that stresses that children need to learn that though life may present conflicts, violence is always counterproductive, and that using nonviolence will bring many advantages. Also, organizations that intervene between warring parties or that offer tools for reconciliation after violent conflicts are grouped under "Promote Nonviolent Conflict Resolution." All are potential partners for this aspect of FACE. (afww.org/PromoteNonviolent.html) (e.g., Carter Foundation; Fellowship of Reconciliation; Gandhi Institute, The Metta Center, Nonviolent Peaceforce).
Empower Women –Groups working to empower women play a vital role in creating safe, healthy communities for raising children and therefore belong in the FACE/GPSC. Well researched and carefully interpreted studies enable a firm assessment with respect to physical aggression (violence) and war: as groups, men differ significantly from women in their greater proclivity to use physical violence (Daly and Wilson, 1988; Campbell, 2005; Hand, 2003, 2011b; Potts and Hayden, 2008).
Women, Power, and the Biology of Peace (Hand, 2003, also 2011b) puts forward a "social stability" hypothesis to explain this sexual difference. Because women invest more reproductive effort and risk in assuring the well-being and survival of their offspring than do men, women have a number of evolved preferences/proclivities that function to create a socially stable, secure community in which women can raise helpless, slow-maturing offspring (in comparison to animal offspring) to reproductive age and beyond. Sarah Hrdy's 2009 book Mothers and Others: on the Origins of Mutual Understanding outlines the extraordinary cooperation required to rear human children to maturity. If a woman loses a baby or child during a violent conflict, she will experience far more difficulty in bearing and caring for a replacement than a man would experience in fathering one. If a woman dies, her still helpless young will lose their primary caregiver, a possibly fatal loss. These biological realities make social stability a much higher priority for women than it is for men.
It's this built-in female preference for fostering socially stable communities that a FACE/GPSC can deploy in a campaign to shape a better future. AFWW lists prominent organizations that are linked to hundreds of others, all of which can benefit from the partnership because all divisions will also be working to empower women. (www.afww.org/EmpowerWomen.html)( e.g., Council of Women World Leaders; Global Fund for Women; Institute for Inclusive Security; Nobel Women's Initiative, Soroptimists; UN Women).
Spread Liberal Democracy – The need to "Spread Liberal Democracy" is an obvious necessity to shape a more egalitarian, just, and less violent future for our children (Hand 2005b, 2006). For one thing, liberal democracies typically do not declare war on each other. Moreover, the freedom to speak one's mind, to be free from onerous and unfair laws, to have a voice in how one's community takes care of the children, these are benefits of liberal democracy that will contribute to a just and egalitarian future that, once they have tasted it, the vast majority of people long for personally and wish for their children. Organizations encouraging the establishment and maturing of liberal democracies are essential. In turn, they would benefit by participation in a movement to abolish war: where there is war, no democracy building can take place. (afww.org/SpreadDemocracy.html) (e.g., Carter Foundation; National Democratic Institute; Open Society Institute; Rockridge Institute).
Shift our Economies – Entire industries, to say nothing of millions of men employed in armies, make their living on war. People must have work. Restless young men especially must have work. If we are to live in ecologically and economically sustainable communities, a new economic philosophy is imperative. The AFWW cornerstone "Shift our Economies" (Hand 2005c, 2006b) groups all projects focused on the economics of our future, and all organizations sharing this concern are additional key partners for and would be beneficiaries of a Great Shift campaign. (afww.org/ShiftEconomies.html)(e.g., Bioneers; Caring Economics Campaign; Case Western Reserve-World Inquiry's Innovation Bank; Center for Global Development; Earth Institute-Columbia University).
Enlist Young Men – Arguably the least appreciated challenge for a campaign to end war is what to do with young men. Young men, especially before marriage, are the single most disruptive elements of any society (e.g., Daly and Wilson 1988) and the potential bodies for armies that destroy communities. In our dominant cultures, many young men are socialized—taught what it means to be a man—within the context of the military. If they are not to be employed as warriors or lost to gangs, what do we do with them? For example, in the United States there is no compulsory military service. Many youths are left without adult counseling and mentoring of any positive kind during passage into adulthood. The unintended, tragic consequence for these young men is that they end up in prison (see "Enlist Young Men," Hand, 2005d, 2006c).
Actually, FACE would challenge all the world's young people, girls and boys, to be agents of positive social change. Recruit them to join a GPSC partner organization—in their country or perhaps a global partner—an organization that draws their interest and where they can use their talent. Call these young people to action, to revolution, to a cause that is greater than self—for all children, now and into the future. Sadly, there are relatively few organizations focused on how to lead young men to be champions of nonviolence in their communities and in the world, rather than sacrificial bodies for gang or state wars. (afww.org/EnlistYoungMen.html) (Global Youth Action Network; Global Youth Connect; PeaceJam).
Provide Security and Order - And finally, the disastrous effects of lawlessness, in places like Afghanistan, Sudan, and Congo, illustrate that where there is no security and order, none of the "good works" of any FACE focus areas can proceed, let alone succeed. Grouped here are entities providing national and local security, that deal with issues like local policing, border security, terrorists, smuggling, peacemaking and peacekeeping. Also included are projects to eliminate the weapons of war. To be successful, not just idealistic, FACE must deal with the world as it is as we transition to the future we are building. We will have to find the means to prevent petty tyrants, warlords, and warmongers from running the show. United Nations' resolution 1674, "Responsibility to Protect (R2P)," is an important step toward enabling the global community to act as one against leaders willing to kill their own people in order to dominate them. To be FACE partners, security-preserving groups must embrace the worldview that using force to maintain order is a last resort, used only if nonviolent means don't work. The assumption of these groups must be that their task is to use the minimal force necessary to guarantee security and social order. Most especially, security forces operating within the old paradigm of inevitable war will hold a worldview that will make them ineffective as partners for the Great Change. (afww.org/ProvideSecurity.html) (e.g., Arms Control Association; Center for Advanced Defense Strategies; Global Zero; International Action Network for Small Arms; Nonviolent Peaceforce).
In Summary–Leading by example by succeeding with carefully chosen intermediate goals (see below), FACE as an awareness movement would demonstrate the power of nonviolent direct action. It is best envisioned not as yet another organization, but as an über-umbrella uniting mechanism. Others may cluster these many efforts differently. The point to grasp is that if a mechanism can be found so that all these "good works" can be synergized (see "Project Coordination" and "How the Project Will Look Over Time" below), they will form an unstoppable, overwhelming voice of hope. Aggressive marketing can showcase the work of all partners and FACE's ultimate goal, and by this means the partners' combined efforts will be a challenge to the worldview that supports the inevitability of violence in all its forms. As situations arise in which demonstrations or other actions could make a difference, FACE members can easily be mobilized as a massive, united body. Their combined actions will announce to the global community that citizens can allow themselves to have hope and even join the effort. The starting place is for each organization to see how their cause can contribute to and benefit from partnership in this overarching common cause.
The Importance of Having Reached Critical Mass
Until roughly the last decade, there were always people who longed for peace, from before Jesus of Nazareth and after Mohandas Gandhi. A successful effort could not be realistically mounted, however, because they lacked a "critical mass" of participants in several key ways. That has changed (Hand 2005f, 2011b).
First, the numbers of influential men who recognize that inclusion of women is critical to major positive social transformation has reached critical mass. This was perhaps most emphatically acknowledged in 2000 by United Nations Resolution 1325 which addressed the disproportionate and unique impact of armed conflict on women; recognized the under-valued and under-utilized contributions women make to conflict prevention, peacekeeping, conflict resolution and peace-building; and stressed the importance of women's equal and full participation as active agents in peace and security. U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan has said, "There is no development strategy more beneficial to society as a whole - women and men alike - than the one which involves women as central players."
Second, there are now enough powerful, influential, educated, and financially independent women who can be instigators and leaders. This is entirely new.
Finally, pent up passion for change has reached critical mass globally as evidenced by a plethora of organizations specifically seeking a global paradigm shift (e.g., Alliance for a New Humanity, Alliance for Peacebuilding, Earth Charter Initiative, Fellowship of Reconciliation, Great Transition Initiative, Living Economies Forum, Network of Spiritual Progressives, World Social Forum). Moreover, the massive unrest occurring in Muslim countries in North Africa and the Middle East at this time, 2011, could not be a clearer sign of a pent-up demand that business as usual under the sway or dictators, tyrants, and even all-powerful kings needs to be replaced by a form of governing that meets the priorities and desires of the people. Ranking high among these desires is the creation of secure communities in which to raise children that are healthy, educated, and living with hope for a better future.
The Importance of Measurable Goals
Having vague or unmeasurable goals, any motivational coach will tell you, is likely fatal to success. Clear and measurable goals allow us to focus plans and assess progress. For a peoples' movement, having vague and unmeasurable goals also makes it difficult or impossible to keep activists and supporters energized; activists must see and feel that they have won intermediate skirmishes and that their movement has forward momentum. Lacking measurable goals, the project wallows and ultimately dies.
Examination of previous successful major social transformation movements reveals an important principle of nonviolent change: you do not try to change every evil, rather the movement needs one clear, uniting goal: to end the British slave trade, to win the vote for women, to get the British to grant Independence to India, to end segregation in the American south, to end apartheid in South Africa. These are examples of campaigns that shared this concept: settle on one uniting goal, because if change makers divide their interests, they diffuse their energy and do not apply sufficient force to create the change they seek. Consequently, FACE must craft a uniting goal with care and wisdom.
An advantage of adopting as that goal "the prevention, and ultimate elimination, of war," in addition to the fact that it can unite such a wide diversity of efforts, is that it is measurable. It is not to end conflict, something impossible. It is not to eradicate murder, a behavior extending even deeper into our past than war. It's not to do away with the necessity for peacekeeping and peacemaking, which given our biology will likely be necessary into the foreseeable future (Hand 2003, 2010). It's not to teach peace, a necessary effort, but how do you measure and powerfully illustrate intermediate and ultimate successes?
It is to end the building and deploying of armies that use weapons to indiscriminately kill other people. When there are no ongoing wars anywhere on the planet, we will be close to full success. Elsewhere I describe historical examples of rapid, shaped, social changes, like the elimination of foot-binding and the Christianization of much of South America by Catholic and other faith groups, often in one generation or less. Study of many such examples of swift, shaped changes indicates that, when sufficient creativity and resources are committed, it is entirely possible to reach this level of success—no ongoing wars—in two generations or less (Hand 2010). And when there have been no wars for many lifetimes we will have achieved total success. The end point is clear.
The campaign must also involve measurable intermediate goals (Hand 2010). For example, FACE partners could adopt a country for an allotted period of time and concentrate everyone's efforts on making measurable changes to support that country as a fully-fledged example of a democracy on the path to a positive and nonviolent future (for example, Egypt, Libya, Palestine, Afghanistan, Liberia, Haiti). (For discussion of how shared goals would be selected, see "Project Coordination"). Or the partners could initiate a new cause: e.g., the promotion of a United Nations Resolution to ban the use of aerial drones as killing weapons. The partners could be mobilized to use nonviolent strategies to apply pressure to financial interests that benefit from war or to legislative branches considering crucial policies (Sharp 2005). The social transformer Mohandas Gandhi taught, as did Sun Tzu in his Art of War, that you don't fight battles you can't win. The partners' choices for shared action must be carefully selected to produce successes.
Project Coordination (A Modified ICBL Process) and Funding
There will be no human base on the Moon unless the work of all divisions and subcontractors is coordinated. At this time, early in 2011, GPSC organizations struggle in great frustration, looking for a way to create a united voice with clout on the world stage. Some are sinking into despair, thinking there just is no way to do it, that the problem is too large, too intractable. By default they fall back onto the argument (hope) that by some organic, gradual process, this Great Shift will emerge in time to deliver us from the draconian ills we've created. I argue (Hand 2010) that this is about as likely as putting a base on the Moon by some gradual process involving a lot of organizations with different specializations and expertise that think putting a base on the Moon is a great idea, and which then separately pursue the goal.
The good news is that a tested model already exists for how to mix all these seemingly disparate cogs/elements/components into a powerful movement: the operating concept for the International Committee to Ban Land Mines developed by the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Jody Williams and those who worked with her. With modifications it can work for FACE. Using this process, the ICBL secured a treaty that was their goal, and the process continues as more signatories are added and compliance is monitored. Ms. Williams called the process a way to create "massively distributed collaboration." This is precisely what is needed. The concept is explored in detail in Banning Landmines: disarmament, diplomacy, and human security (Williams et al. 2008). Chapters detail how the process worked and even the problems it encountered.
Potential FACE partners can get a sense of how their movement would be structured and how their particular organization would fit in from the "keys to success" described by Williams and Goose (2008). I've summarized these here:
- Organizing skills – typically, non-governmental coalitions (NGOs) do not have skills and experience in large-scale organizing and coalition-building. Individuals with those skills must be recruited.
- A flexible coalition structure – informal, loose, and lack of centralization were key. Each NGO has to find a way to participate. ICBL belongs to all of its members and the members must be active. No bureaucratic structure dictates how members should contribute or does the work for them. Members meet to strategize and plan joint actions, but each NGO and national campaign is free to carry whatever aspects of the work best fits its individual mandate, political culture, and circumstances.
- Be inclusive, diverse, yet speak with one voice – big tent theory: to join, it was only necessary for an NGO to inform the coordinator that it shared and endorsed the campaign's call for a total ban on antipersonnel mines, as well as increased resources for mine clearance and victim assistance programs. No dues, no requirements, no restrictions. This allowed the process to embrace countries, different fields, different sectors and interest groups. Effort was made to reflect the diversity in various campaign bodies, such as the Advisory Board. There have been occasional tensions about need for greater diversity and/or more structured diversity within the leadership. But the general principle has been that leadership positions go only to those willing and able to bear the burden of the work, and not just be names on letterheads. The benefits of speaking with one voice: partners are admitted into and have a seat at the table in places where otherwise they would have no voice at all because the organizers fear being overwhelmed by too many voices. The ICBL was able to have a seat at the table and with virtually the same status as states during the Ottawa Process diplomatic meetings because of this ability to speak with one voice rather than having many NGOs working independently and even in competition, advocating their particular vision of what was needed.
- Leadership and committed workers – coalitions are large and diverse, but they operate on the extensive work of a committed few, supported by the many. Must have core people working full time. Must have effective leadership that persists over time.
- Action plans and deadlines, with outcome-oriented conferences – the process can be characterized as an ongoing series of international, regional, and national conferences and meetings. Meetings are costly, but essential for building community, so they are carefully planned with concrete objectives in mind with the intention of one meeting building on another. Most importantly, action plans emerge in which various actors take responsibility for specific tasks to move the campaign forward. Deadlines essential. Meetings also include campaign capacity-building workshops and training sessions. Numbers of attendees is not the key or goal...involvement is the key, and members are put to work at meetings—they do not wander the halls and develop a sense of detachment.
- Communication skills – clear and consistent communication irreplaceable. Partners gain strength by being able to speak with authority about what is happening everywhere. Sharing successes and failures empowers all partners and lessens the possibility of isolation. To hold NGOs of diverse interests together, the partners must feel an important and immediate part of developing the work. Mailing of documents, important updates, almost daily communication by fax and telephone in early days, e-mail later. Possibly even more important was travel and building of personal relationships...the feeling of a sense of community is helped by the meetings and by travel of key personnel. Modern social networking and virtual meetings can ease the burden of excessive financial cost and travel time.
- Follow-up and follow-through – The problem with treaties is IMPLEMENTATION. There are always good ideas. Follow-up and follow-through are key to implementation. Holding individuals and NGO's accountable for commitments made was key, and when commitments were broken, other partners quickly stepped in to fill the gap. Follow through also builds credibility for the movement with outsiders and is critical for recruitment.
- Provide expertise and documentation – the core NGOs were already involved in landmine issues. They continued to do concerted research and published informational materials and distributed them widely to governments as well as the public. When the treaty went into force, the ICBL expanded its role to include monitoring and reporting on implementation. Without this the effort would prove ineffective.
- Articulate goals and messages clearly and simply – not only the overall goals, but also for each phase, conference, or event. Simple and direct is always best.
- Focus on the human cost – kept the international focus on human beings who have suffered...the humanitarian aspects of the issue, not on the arms control or security aspects. Focus on the human element is crucial to influencing public opinion and to secure government's attention.
- Use of multiple fora to promote the message – it takes effort to identify a forum and then do the necessary advocacy in it to bear fruit, but with each success, new audiences are reached.
- Recognition that international context and timing matter – be able to read the times and know the circumstances of different governments as these relate to security concerns and adapt appropriately.
This highly flexible mechanism can recruit, unite, and ignite legions. Perhaps most significantly the ICBL process provides for guiding input from both top and bottom. From the bottom, there is no limit to the number of grass roots partners that can provide input at local, regional, national, or global meetings. Grass roots input is further ensured as all individuals would elect the members of the final decision-making council. By stipulating that final decisions about actions to be embraced are to be decided by agreement among a council composed of roughly equal numbers of women and men, the process can also ensure that 1) no one individual, or small set of individuals, can dominate decisions, 2) the probability will be high that the bias toward nonviolence and collaboration will be maintained over the long period likely required to achieve this enormous shift, and 3) loss of any one individual won't cripple or end the project.
Another desirable feature of the ICBL process is that partners do not change anything they are doing. Whatever plans and projects they have now or that they create as the years pass are totally up to them. What they gain by joining forces is the ability to let others know what they are doing, and when interests overlap, recruit assistance from other partners from all divisions. Their membership should also grow since people who want to be a part of this exciting and historical movement will generally participate by becoming a member of one or more partner organizations.
FACE will require the services of many experts, including skilled fund-raisers. Initially, funding needs will be modest, for rent, staff, publicity, and communication. Over time, as the movement builds, funding requirements will grow. With successes, funding sources will also grow. Financial needs will doubtless become substantial, but to succeed in creating the massive, comprehensive, global, cultural shift we are aiming for, the global community must willingly make the necessary financial and emotional investment. Permit two clichés: There is no free lunch, and, You get what you pay for.
Physical conferences allow for face-to-face sharing of ideas and successes, but sophisticated applications for teleconferencing and online meeting software would also allow partners to network via virtual meetings without excessive travel expenses. Social networking applications would allow campaign facilitators to keep the partners and the media aware of the campaign's status at all times.
To determine the most effective course of action, the movement should go high-tech. The facilitators can task topnotch systems analysts to determine how the divisions can best be coordinated so their work is synergistic, what are weak points of the war system toward which the movement should direct attention, and in what order. The movement can also use the technique of "crowdsourcing"—calling on ordinary citizens to volunteer their help in addressing this complicated problem—to ask how best to foster reinforcing interactions between the movement's cornerstone areas of focus.
Refining working methods and procedures constitute an early task for the organizations and individuals that create the FACE partnership—the project's NASA. Who would these founding fathers and mothers be? Surely this founding group should include any willing organization already focused on creating a global paradigm shift; examples would be the Alliance for Peacebuilding, Alliance for a New Humanity, Earth Charter Initiative, Great Transition Initiative, Living Economies Forum, Network of Spiritual Progressives, Quakers; United Nations Office-QUNO, Wiser Earth, World Social Forum, and A Future Without War.org. Women's organizations focused on peace and poverty issues would also be attracted to join as founding partners: organizations like Code Pink, Global Fund for Women, Institute for Inclusive Security, Millennia2015.org, Peace X Peace, Soroptimists, UN Women, Voices of Women, Women for Women, Women's Actions for New Directions, Women's International League of Peace and Freedom. Every peace institute around the globe, governmental or private, would surely want to be a partner. Faith groups that have already rejected any participation in violence and war and which are able to work with people of other faiths are natural allies and possible founding partners: Bahai, Quakers, perhaps Jehovah's Witnesses. Humanist organizations on all continents, dedicated to advancing the wellbeing of humanity, would be natural partners and excellent founding partners. The list of groups, large and small, that could conceivably become founding or general partners is enormous.
Taking our cue from the ICBL process, what is required is that a core set of partners must be passionately and irrevocably committed to shaping this shift, with the promotion of nonviolence and the prevention of war for our children as a shared goal, using all nonviolent means possible, and applying the force of nonviolent direct action (Obstructive Program-Hand, 2010; Sharp 2005).
Esprit de Corps – Getting and Staying in Touch with our Female Side
To shift the current paradigm from domination by force to one that abhors violence, FACE's underlying esprit de corps must spring from the female side of our biology because that is the side that most strongly favors nonviolence (Hand 2003, 2011b). It is also the side most consistently concerned with community, family, and children's wellbeing. Ideally the movement would be officially constructed to ensure that through the years, the majority of the top leadership remains slightly female. Failing that, the historical record indicates, and our biology dictates, that the movement will ultimately slip back under the sway of urges for domination and control coming from the male side of our biology, and concern for family, community, and children will eventually take second place (Hand 2003, 2005e). Over time, ignoring this fact of our nature will erode any progress we make now.
Women on the Front Lines
"Changing the Chemistry of Nonviolent Direct Action: Women on the Front Lines" (Hand 2011) explores why movements committed to social transformation using nonviolent means might benefit from adopting a radical change in tactics whenever feasible. As real-world examples, study the peace campaign of the Liberian Women's Peace Movement (Disney & Riticker 2008) and also the successful U.S. women's movement to secure the vote.
Rather than having men on the front lines of marches, sit-ins, demonstrations, work-stoppages and so on, consider what happens if instead women are up front. This change immediately alters the conflict chemistry. The context is no longer a male contest of wills, which provokes emotions that easily escalate into violence. Instead, men who are the enforcers of the system are facing, and threatening, women: their mothers, grandmothers, sisters, and daughters, whose goal is to foster conditions favoring peace and security for children, something very hard to be against.
This single change can dramatically reduce the likelihood that the situation will turn violent. In a nonviolence movement, remaining nonviolent greatly magnifies the power of those seeking change. As an added plus, it does not require laborious training of men in how to respond nonviolently when they are attacked, something that is essential to successful nonviolent protests using men.
Many if not most men and women will initially respond skeptically or even negatively to this reversal of traditional roles. A GPSC, however, that proposes to use nonviolent direct action as one arm of the movement should not automatically dismiss its potential for tactical advantage whenever feasible.
Aspects of Promotion and the Keys to Success
Using Media - Sir Richard Attenborough's film "Gandhi" shows the importance Mohandas Gandhi placed on using media to get out the word, not only to his followers but to the world, that change was coming to India. Other successful social change activists, for example the U.S. suffragist Alice Paul and her collaborators, also understood media power. These suffragists marched. They held the first picket in front of the U.S. White House. When newspapers reported that Alice was being force-fed in prison and all because she wanted the vote for women, it had an enormous galvanizing effect for her cause. In our age, the power of television and social media like Facebook and Twitter is so great that dictators under siege block access to them.
From its beginning, FACE must employ the best promotional and media experts it can afford to make the world know that change is coming, that there is a plan, and that action is under way. As years pass, sustained input to the media will keep the partners energized, recruit new followers, announce plans and successes to the world, and ultimately, such media will be the place to declare victory...goal achieved! Use them all: print media, films, TV, social networks, and networking and information sources not yet invented. From the very beginning, hire, or recruit, the best!
Name – "Framing" refers to the power of words to advance a cause or idea or even to sell a product. Use the wrong words and you hurt or even fatally undermine your cause. Since the GPSC must be a peoples' cause, not the cause of elitists, giving the GPSC a high falutin, elitist name will weigh it down with boots of lead rather than empower it with broad wings. Calling it the Global Paradigm Shift Campaign is an obvious dud. Even calling it A People's Movement is vague, not something to capture attention and command passion, even lead to a willingness to make sacrifices to achieve it.
Ideally a GPSC name should be integral to its focus, a constant reminder. A group of AFWW thinkers proposed the name I've used here. For All Children Everywhere: a Partnership for Nonviolence and the Prevention of War. FACE for short. If FACE isn't selected by the movement's founders, whatever name is chosen should convey the movement's purpose and optimism. The name should reach inside, touch hearts, resonate at the deepest possible positive psychological level.
Focus - One of the weaknesses of many social movements is lack of focus. There are so many problems. All people want to have their problem addressed. Meetings become a deluge of ideas, solutions, and projects...the majority of which are never acted upon. The movement proposed here has a narrow focus, although as described, the ramifications are vast: it is a movement for nonviolence and the prevention of war in order to create safe, secure, and healthy places in which to live and raise children. While its many partners have other concerns, this is FACE's singular goal. Creating security for our children. That is a cause that can unite millions across all political, religious, class and national barriers!
Now imagine people, and the media, observing a FACE celebration or rally. First, they always see a banner emblazoned with the words "From Violence to Peace." The participants carry signs or chant to signify the particular cause (division focus) being addressed that day: it might be, Save our Forest, or No More War, or Democracy Now, End Human Trafficking, No More Nukes, Educate our Children, or Buy Local Products! All the participants wear something—caps, T-shirts, headbands, or armbands for example—with the letters FACE on them. In a different context, say a nonviolent protest action, imagine people, and the media, observing participants who all wear headbands bearing the letters FACE. In all instances the observers ask, "What does FACE stand for?" The answer, "For All Children Everywhere," would surely lead them to ask further questions, including, "What exactly is it you intend to do for all children, and how does this event fit into the plan?" This becomes a moment for recruiting.
The Luminaries - Just as an emotionally compelling name and focus are key to promotion, so are stars. Past successful and lasting social-change campaigns often had a luminary at their heart. Mohandas Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. are famous examples. Stars are key to raising substantial financial resources. They are hooks where the media can attach their stories. They are role models and inspiration for all participants, and attractors of possible recruits.
Global Zero, a contemporary campaign, makes good use of high profile people. This effort seeks reduction and ultimate elimination of nuclear weapons. Visit their website (www.GlobalZero.org) and you find a list of over 100 "signatories," all influential people and many genuine luminaries like Queen Noor of Jordan, former presidents of their countries Jimmy Carter, Mikhail Gorbachev, and Mary Robinson, entrepreneur Richard Branson, actor Michael Douglas, and Nobel Prize Laureate Muhammad Yunus. The GPSC must use this same approach.
The day-to-day work will be done by legions of organizations headed by people of great dedication and talent ... but who have no global platform. Unless the movement recruits from the beginning at least a handful of famous and well-respected men and women to be its face and voice to the world community, it is unlikely to break through age-old habits of thought to reach hearts and minds with the possibility, the hope, that this vast change can actually happen.
Furthermore, at minimum, for reasons described above, slightly more than half of these luminaries, and those who take their places over the years, must be women. The call to make this change for our children can be especially powerfully made if it comes from mothers, grandmothers, daughters, aunts, and sisters...not just fathers, uncles, sons, and brothers.
Who are activist women with that kind of clout who might be drawn to this cause? To name just a few possibilities: Queen Noor and Queen Rania of Jordan, past-presidents or premiers, Mary Robinson of Ireland, Michele Bachelet of Chile, and Kim Campbell of Canada, past and present U.S. secretaries of State Madeleine Albright and Hillary Clinton, First Lady of California and women's advocate Maria Shriver, investigative reporter Christiane Amanpour, mega-entrepreneur Oprah Winfrey, one or all of the women Nobel Peace Laureates (Jody Williams, Shirin Ebadi, Wangari Maathai, Rigoberta Menchú Tum, Betty Williams, Mairead Corrigan Maguire, and Aung San Su Chi), movie stars Angelina Jolie, Geena Davis, Jane Fonda, Sally Field, and Susan Sarandon, musicians Joan Baez, Barbara Streisand, and the Indigo Girls, social entrepreneur Melinda Gates, the activist Yoko Ono.
There are powerful male/female teams that could embrace the cause. Bill and Melinda Gates, and of course that powerful couple Bill and Hillary Clinton. Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his wife, Cherie. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. Once out of office, U.S. President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle could take up the cause. Jimmy and Rosalind Carter. Such couples symbolically represent the need for full female/male partnership.
The pool of high profile men with activist tendencies who could team up with these women is even larger than the pool of women. There are men dedicated to peace for years: past-U.S. president Jimmy Carter, past-South African president Nelson Mandela, South Africa's Bishop Desmond Tutu, U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan. The singer Bono could enlarge his vision beyond AIDS and poverty to include the prevention and ultimate abolition of war. There is Sting, who could enlarge his vision beyond the rainforests. And Peter Gabriel. John Stewart and Stephen Colbert could use their exceptional power to entertain and educate. Visionary entrepreneurs Richard Branson, Warren Buffet, George Soros, Ted Turner, and Face Book's young Mark Zuckerberg. Actors Richard Gere, Sean Penn, and Matt Damon. George Clooney can take on not one specific war, but war itself.
These names easily spring to mind and doubtless display a U.S.A.- centric view; globally there are many more. Imagine what can happen if high profile individuals who share this vision find each other and resolve to become the founding mothers and fathers of an historic movement, luminaries fully committed to this change—for all children everywhere and into our future.
Founding Partner Organizations – Ideally, in addition to luminaries there would initially be, at minimum, partners from at least two organizations representing each focus area of the campaign, preferably organizations with huge mailing lists and key contacts. The founding organizations will most likely be ones which already have a global vision and are working to create a more just, egalitarian, nonviolent, and ecologically sustainable future.
Coming Together – When will these essential leaders awaken to this monumental, historical challenge? Will they in fact awaken? Or will the moment for this Great Transition pass unrealized? FACE's founders are the seed around which the FACE pearl will grow. As a rough estimate, when five luminaries and two major organizations from each of the nine major areas of focus have solidified their commitment, FACE will be birthed and begin to grow. In 1848, the founding mothers of the U.S. women's suffragist movement convened at the famous Seneca Falls meeting to decide how to proceed. They created a manifesto, inspired by the U.S. Declaration of Independence, and most of the attendees signed it. And then they got down to work. Roughly 70 years later, victory came as a women's movement supported through the years by men of good will celebrated the empowering amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Likewise, Gandhi's movement began with initial meetings with the Indian National Congress. The U.S. civil rights movement didn't start with Martin Luther King, Jr. He became the face and voice after others approached him, dedicated individuals already deeply involved in the struggle to end segregation who understood that they needed a powerful representative.
How would the founding fathers and mothers of the FACE campaign coalesce? Perhaps heads of organizations focused on hastening a positive, global paradigm shift might convene to adopt the working concept pioneered by the ICBL, and then reach out to recruit essential luminaries. Or perhaps luminaries and heads of groups belonging to one or more of the nine cornerstone areas of concern would find each other at meetings where their paths naturally cross, like the Clinton Global Initiative or a Davos World Economic Forum. However it happens, the luminaries and founding partner organizations will need to hold their version of a Seneca Falls, out of which a working manifesto evolves. I not only hope this awakening will come to pass, but that a FACE movement will arise soon enough for me to rejoice in it.
Launch - The next step would logically involve months—or perhaps one or even if necessary, two years -- during which the founders would lay the groundwork for launch day. They would reach out to as many organizations as possible around the globe, letting those groups know that a global launch is scheduled for such-and-such a date. They would explain what "spectacular event" the FACE luminaries and core partners themselves are planning for that day, perhaps a global march for nonviolence or an around-the-world, let's-end-war concert. They would ask this multitude of organizations and their members to participate on that day in whatever way they choose. Those willing to be partners would agree to carry the FACE banner and wear the movement's logo. The global media would be notified. Then imagine the impact when, on the same day all over the globe, this movement announces that business as usual is OVER! That change has come. That this is a movement to shape history, to dismantle the war machine, to create a new perception of how to live in peace with each other and in harmony with our planet, and that the movement invites everyone willing to agree to the manifesto to join the cause.
Cornerstone Leaders and Facilitators – As with the ICBL, the movement will need facilitators, the small but dedicated staff at the project's heart. These facilitators, chosen by the founders, would be experienced heads of organizations or representatives of organizations willing to expend time and effort, plus some paid full-time staff, plus volunteers. Like the ICBL facilitators, these individuals are the movement's enablers, overseeing coordination of meetings between the partners, day to day communications, and outreach. They give the movement a unified voice to speak to authority figures, institutions, and the media. An important part of their job will be promotion.
Subcontractors - Ultimately the movement, a peoples' movement, must be given force by the energy, passion, and work of legions of citizens on every continent, in as many nations as possible and of every religion, political affiliation, and philosophy—the project's indispensable subcontractors. These legions are out there, waiting to be united and inspired to change the future for the sake of their children. By word-of-mouth, the world's most powerful promotional engine, these legions will be the movement's greatest promoters.
How the Shift Will Look Over Time
Shortly after launch, the global community must see action, perhaps FACE rallies or demonstrations monthly for the next year. And very soon they must see results. Intermediate goals must be achievable. The key to success will be that all of the partners apply pressure by whatever means they choose to achieve a shared goal. When the goal is achieved, the partners join in highly visible celebrations. The strategy is, as much as possible, to go from victory to victory. Successes, well publicized, recruit more partners and retain the passions of participants.
The ICBL process, with it flexible local, regional, topic-based, national, and international gatherings, is the model by which the partners would settle on shared intermediate objectives. At annual meetings, partners from the different areas of concern would use a couple of preliminary days to network with other partners whose efforts are similar. Their primary task, however, would be to draw up a short list, from the perspective of their core concern, of projects they believe would be suitable for the entire FACE enterprise to adopt for the next year, or for a few years. These focus divisions would then present to the entire assembly of partners' representatives their suggestions and the rationale for how each project would most powerfully advance the movement's long term goal. All of the partners would vote to select five or ten behind which they would willingly throw their support. Finally, the 10 to 15 top choices would be submitted to an elected Council for a final decision on which one, or few, FACE would pursue. The results would be made available to the media for the widest possible distribution, to let the global community know where exactly this paradigm shift movement is turning its laser light.
Every five years a Grand Assembly could be convened, to celebrate successes and reassess the projects direction, and equally important, to capture the attention of all possible media.
It would be a serious tactical blunder to suggest to potential partners, recruits, and especially the media that this Great Change will happen quickly. Paradigms of this magnitude do not shift quickly. Indeed, sometimes a necessary part of the process is that people unable to let go of the old paradigm die. Many of those reading these words certainly will not live to see victory, including the author. Cultures and paradigms do change, though, and if enough pressure is applied, they can change remarkably quickly (Hand 2010). If we devote the necessary financial and human resources to it, we could end the practice of war in two generations or less. And as we work to shape that better future, we can raise awareness and hope and promote actual shifts in thinking and belief to ones that are in alignment with humanism and the values expressed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that is at the heart of the United Nations, the world's best effort to date to gift our children with a future liberated from war.
Can we adapt, can we change? We can if we have the will to make it so. There is, to be sure, much work to be done. But the single most pivotal and uplifting effect a Global Paradigm Shift movement will have is simply to let the people know that change is in fact possible. What such a movement can provide is a vision of a common cause, a grand and historic shared goal that is greater than self to which we can call our young people. We will offer to the world a powerful message of how we intend to channel our global ethos in the direction we choose, inspired by a sense of shared responsibility and love for our children. A shift that might be called a Nonviolence Revolution.
Acknowledgments – I am profoundly grateful for the editing of two friends and colleagues, Peggy Lang and Judith Levine. Their writing skills, and most especially their challenging dialogue with me about ideas in the paper, especially when they disagreed with me, contributed mightily to its improvement. Also adding important feedback were Wendy Hong, Manuel Manga, and Philip Vergragt, To all, my grateful thanks.
Campbell, A. 1999. Staying Alive: Evolution, culture and women's intra-sexual aggression. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22:203-252
Daly, H. 2005. Economics in a full world. Scientific American 293 100-107.
Daly, M., and M. Wilson. 1988. Homicide. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers.
Disney, A., and G. Reticker. 2008. Pray the Devil Back to Hell. Film. Available at (accessed 26 February 2010).
Fukuyama, F. 1999. The Great Disruption: Human Nature and the Reconstitution of Social Order. NY: Simon & Schuster.
Fry, D. 2006. The Human Potential for Peace: an Anthropological Challenge to Assumptions about War and Violence. New York: Oxford University Press.
2007. Beyond War: the Human Potential for Peace. NY: Oxford University Press. Hand, J. 2003. Women, Power, and the Biology of Peace. San Diego, CA: Questpath Publishing.
———2011b. No More War: the Human Potential for Peace. 55 min. DVD. Questpath Publishing: .
——— Hand, J. 2005a. A Future Without War.org. Available as the entire website: (accessed August 2010).
——— 2005b. Spread Democracy. Available at: (accessed 26 February 2010).
——— 2005c. Shift Our Economies. Available at: (accessed 26 February 2010).
——— 2005d. Enlist Young Men. Available at: (accessed 30 January 2011).
——— 2005e. Locked in the Embrace of Male Biology. Available at: (accessed 20 August 2010).
——— 2005f. To date, nonviolence movements were "before their time." Now they are posed to change history. Available at: (accessed 6 February 2011).
——— 2006. Spread Democracy. In A Future Without War: the Strategy of a Warfare Transition. San Diego, CA: Questpath Publishing.
——— 2006b Shift our Economies. In A Future Without War: the Strategy of a Warfare Transition. San Diego, CA: Questpath Publishing.
——— 2006c. Enlist Young Men. In A Future Without War: the Strategy of a Warfare Transition. San Diego, CA: Questpath Publishing.
——— 2009. World Peace Map – Nonviolent Cultures. Available at http://wp.me/p45hl-5b (accessed 13 March 2011).
——— 2010. To Abolish War. Journal of Aggression, Conflict, and Peace Research 2:44-56.
——— 2011. Changing the Biological Chemistry of Nonviolence Movements: Women on the Front Lines. Available at: (accessed 7 March 2011).
Hawken, P. 2007. Blessed Unrest: How the Largest Movement in the World Came into Being and Why No One Saw It Coming. NY: Viking.
Hrdy, S. 1999. Mother Nature: a History of Mothers, Infants, and Natural Selection. NY: Pantheon Books.
——— 2009. Mothers and Others: on the Origins of Mutual Understanding. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Korten, D. C. 2006. The Great Turning: from Empire to Earth Community. San Francisco, CA: Berrett-Koehler.
Kunzig, R. 2011. Population 7 Billion. National Geographic 219(1): 32-69.
Machel, G. 1996. Impact of armed conflict on children. NY: United Nations Department of Policy Coordination and Sustainable Development (DPCSD).
Peaceful Societies: Alternatives to Violence and War. Available as the entire website: (accessed 30 January 2011).
Potts, M., and T. Hayden. 2008. Sex and War: How Biology Explains Warfare and Terrorism and Offers a Path to a Safer World. BenBella Books: Dallas, TX.
Sharp, G. 2005. Waging Nonviolent Struggle. 20th Century Practice and 21st Century Potential. Boston: Porter Sargent Publishers Inc.
Toffler A. 1970. Future Shock. NY: Random House.
——— 1980. The Third Wave. NY: Bantam Books.
Williams, J., S. Goose, and M. Wareham. 2008. Banning Landmines: Disarmament, Citizen Diplomacy, and Human Security. Lanham, Md.: Bowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Williams J, and S. D. Goose. 2008. "Citizen diplomacy and the Ottawa Process: a lasting model?" In Banning Landmines: Disarmament, Citizen Diplomacy, and Human Security. Lanham, Md.: Bowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Back to top