A collection of commentaries on important events and trends
A collection of commentaries on important events and trends

Global Voices

Individuals of many cultures, nationalities, religions, and beliefs are actively involved with Initiatives of Change. These commentaries represent the views of the writer and not necessarily those of Initiatives of Change as a whole. If you would like to contribute a commentary, please email us. We welcome feedback that contributes to the stated aim of this website which is to build relationships of trust across the world's divides. The editors reserve the right to refuse contributions that use intemperate language or vilify others and which do not in our view encourage productive dialogue.

Abiodun Owoseni

In September, the Nigerian government launched a reorientation campaign donning the slogan: ‘Change Begins With Me.’ I was in India at the time and shared my excitement with some friends who like me believe that this approach is what the world needs. I expressed my great hopes that our Nigerian Initiatives of Change team would make a significant contribution to this campaign, but after returning home I found that this was not to be, at least not yet.

Ron Lawler

In our focus on the ideological aspects of extremism, we should not overlook the role of violence, bullying and humiliation in the home. The home offers no scope to blame another race or religion for the abuse of innocents. It is ‘us’ not ‘them’ who are responsible.

Rishab Khanna

The first time Rishabh Khanna went to Kashmir, he experienced the hardships of living in a region where you have a gun pointing at your head the whole time. He believes the people of Kashmir are fighting for human dignity, freedom of voice and justice - and for the need 'to take an honest look at ourselves and start a true citizens dialogue'.

Maria del Corral

After four years of peace talks, and a lot of criticism from every side, official negotiators and FARC leaders have finally been able to reach a detailed agreement, which will allow FARC to abandon their armed fight and become a political party. However a democratic consultation has to be voted next October, to legalise the agreement... What makes this deal special, and perhaps hopeful, is that none of the previous attempts implied such a lengthy and detailed analysis and political and social debate, nor did they include such a wide array of influence from international guests from countries with similar armed conflicts and peace deals such as Ireland and South-Africa, plus the intervention of the UN both during the talks and during the post-conflict and disarmament period.


With extremism of all kinds on the rise, it is important to ask why this is happening. Extremism in its most negative form is impacting our sense of safety and challenging our beliefs about what is right as well as who is right.

Shoufeng Hsu

Hsu Shoufeng recently visited Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chengdu. 'The breathtaking magnificence of the Great Wall was only more prominent in the chilling downpour. Back in my hotel, I finally managed to climb over the Great Firewall to access my Facebook and gmail accounts. I was amused by the contrast between these two walls: one built to stop Mongolian invaders from getting in, and the other to stop Chinese netizens from getting out.'