2009 Conference, Caux, Switzerland
Three hundred and eighty people from more than 50 countries – mostly under the age of 40 – packed Caux for the fourth Tools for Change conference. More than two hundred participated in courses taught by an international faculty from 13 countries on topics ranging from dialogue to team building and family renewal. Participants wrestled with these questions: What does it take to build trust across divides of culture, ethnicity and politics? What tools do we need? Do our lives demonstrate the kind of change that we want to see in the world?
Sixty-five young Muslims from UK, the Netherlands, Sweden, France and Germany brought energy as well as a challenge to Caux. They were there because of the vision of Ajmal Masroor, a British imam who directs Communities in Action which provides consultancy and support to media and government agencies on Muslim issues. Ajmal had attended an earlier Tools for Change conference which, he said, led to “a profound change in my thinking.” He says young Muslims need support in understanding their own faith tradition and in how to become involved constructively in their communities. His vision is to train one thousand young European Muslims as peacemakers in the next five years. Most of the group in Caux were students and young professionals who were born in Europe of African, Middle Eastern and Asian parents. A singing group of Indonesian Dutch added to the variety with a repertoire ranging from Muslim worship songs to Michael Jackson.
Diverse panels explored “the DNA of a peacemaker” and the importance of quiet reflection. One American told of a difficult decision to apologize to a family member: “We don’t ever want to see ourselves as the perpetrators of what we don’t like in the world. But sometimes it takes a good friend or a long honest reflection to see where we really are and to be real with ourselves. And once we’ve seen it and faced up to it, to believe in the power of a small and simple movement in the right direction. And to know that one courageous step can change everything. “
2008 Conference, Caux, Switzerland
The 2008 course schedule included:
- Building and Maintaining Diverse Teams and Networks for Action
- Conflict Resolution and Negotiation
- Creators of Peace - Experience the Circle
- Creators of Peace - Train the Trainer
- Freedom to Learn: A Model for Learning in Multicultural Contexts
- Honest Conversation: The Foundation for Trustbuilding
- Leadership Matters
- Sentiments to Values
- Teambuilding for Cooperation
- The Case Maker - Communicating for Results
- Tools for: Changing Me, Changing Us, Changing Our Organization
- Working with Stories in Situations of Change
The third Tools for Change conference at Caux (July 25 – August 1) opened with flags from more than 70 countries projected onto a screen. That spirit of welcome continued throughout what one participant called “the most integrated conference” he had ever attended. The faculty alone represented 15 countries, including Malaysia, France, Argentina and Australia. More than 50 percent of the 400 participants were under age 35. More >>
2007 Conference, Caux, Switzerland
What does it take to build trust across divides of culture, race and politics? Do our lives demonstrate the kind of change that we want to see in the world? What tools do we need as peacemakers?
Tools for Change 2007 offered one week of personal development and skills-building for people from all sectors of society. Participants studied with experienced teachers and facilitators from inside and outside the IofC network, and examined the core values of Initiatives of Change and their relationship to peacemaking and community-building. The cultural diversity of the conference worked to create an exchange of ideas about how to think about and address the work of making change. The programme aimed to equip and empower participants for the work they undertake after leaving Caux and to set them on a path of further discovery.
An international faculty addressed theory and practice around creating and sustaining positive change. Every activity, including service in the house, aimed to contribute to the development of participants in a holistic, interactive learning experience.
In addition to the shared learning experience, participants could select from a variety of courses offered in these parallel learning tracks:
• Peacebuilding: Conflict, Trauma, and History
• Honest Conversation and Dialogue Facilitation
• Mobilizing and Maintaining Networks for Action
• Communicating a Vision, Telling the Story
• Inner Resources for Change
Tools for Change 2007 ran alongside the annual gathering of the Global Indigenous Dialogue. Please see the GID website for more information.
2006 Conference, Caux, Switzerland