Wednesday, 27 July 2016 10:46

Brexit and the new populism

    Still hungover from the recent “Brexit” vote, the world attends with a mix of anticipation and anxiety the nomination of Donald Trump as the Republican candidate in the US – two economic and political powerhouses taking a turn inwards, looking for easy answers to some of our globalised world’s most difficult questions. Where does dialogue fit in all of this? Wearing both his hats as a dialogue practitioner and a British citizen, mediatEUr’s Martin Leng explores the implications of Brexit and reflects on what the rise of populist politics says about our capacity to listen to each other.   No two letters raise the British national blood pressure quite like “EU.” I know, because I’m British too. We’ve…
Friday, 24 June 2016 15:56

Technology for peace?

  This week mediatEUr was invited to give input on the Roundtable on Uses of ICTs for EU Conflict Prevention and Peacebuilding. Miguel Varela, our Dialogue and Innovation Officer, shared our view from the work we have been doing in the last two years.   The first thing you need to know about mediatEUr is that we are a small organisation working in areas as seemingly disparate as peacebuilding, mediation and dialogue on the one hand, and design and technology on the other. My job is to link the two fields, which is why I have spent the last two years using computers to make dialogues more visible and more likely to be followed-up and taken into action.    When…
 Antje Herrberg, mediatEUr’s CEO, recently took part in a panel discussion entitled: “Post-conflict Syria: Which EU civilian capabilities for reconstruction?” The event set out to explore what role the EU might play in a potential future peace-building effort in Syria. Here, her reflections on Syria's war, the EU's prospects as a stabilising actor, and the importance of learning from the past.
Europe is speechless with racing rhetoric, opinion-making, hasty declarations, reactions, and helpless gestures, some promoting understanding and some preventing tolerance and openness. Today, as for the last three days, Brussels is frozen with fear and the whole city has stopped functioning the way it used to. In a way, we find ourselves confused and marginalized in the heart of our beloved Europe.
«The success of a dialogue depends, firstly, on the ability not to speak but to listen. And its outcome is the understanding of your dialogue partner and the formation of trust towards him or her» (a quote from the Mykolayiv dialogue initiative)
In Ukraine, several initiatives are using dialogue to build options to address some of the country’s most difficult challenges. Visualising them may help strengthen their impact and learn from each other. I was recently invited to give input at a meeting on Innovative Thinking on Strategic Approaches to Conflict Management in The Hague, next to four other people working in this fascinating world. Their experience: years of work in policy advise, years of work on business and development, and connecting thousands of people in one of the most beautiful peace initiatives I have seen. My experience: making doodles to represent dialogue. Surely I had way more to learn than to say, but this is roughly what I presented.
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