Rewiring the Brain for Peace Bridging neuroscience spirituality and peacebuilding

Broadcast on July 11, 2017
With Melanie Greenberg & Béatrice Pouligny, PhD

Join Melanie Cohen Greenberg, president and CEO of the Alliance for Peacebuilding, and Béatrice Pouligny, co-founder of Rewiring the Brain for Peace, as they explore one of the newest frontiers of the peacebuilding field — the capacity of the human brain to resist violence, fear and separation, make conscious change and choose peace. Melanie and Beatrice will explain how Rewiring the Brain for Peace researches and documents the ways individuals and communities around the world mobilize their own spiritual resources... and move away from fear, separation and violence. They'll discuss a new platform, facilitated by the Alliance, upon which disparate communities of scientists, spiritual leaders and peacebuilders have gathered to ask transdisciplinary questions — sharing their ultimate interests and their desire to work together.

During this highly informative session, you'll discover:

  • How the spiritual rituals, experiences and values in different cultures affect emotional and cognitive processes; contribute to transforming behaviors, attitudes, and relationships; & have the potential to facilitate peacebuilding processes
  • Ways this mobilization of spiritual resources can lead to broader social change
  • How you can participate in this global movement of self-awareness & self-mastery to become an agent of peace

Melanie Greenberg

President and CEO

Melanie Cohen Greenberg is President and CEO of the Alliance for Peacebuilding. Before joining AfP, she worked in philanthropy (president and founder of the Cypress Fund for Peace and Security, and Conflict Resolution program director at the Hewlett Foundation) and academia (associate director of the Center on International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University, and visiting fellow at Johns Hopkins SAIS). In her work on international conflict resolution, Ms. Greenberg has helped design and facilitate public peace processes in the Middle East, Northern Ireland, and the Caucasus. She has taught advanced courses in international conflict resolution, multi-party conflict resolution and negotiation at Stanford Law School, Georgetown University Law Center, and George Washington University. She was lead editor and chapter author of the volume Words over War: Mediation and Arbitration to Prevent Deadly Conflict (Rowman & Littlefield, 2000). Ms. Greenberg is a frequent writer, lecturer, teacher and trainer in a broad range of areas related to international law, international security, and peacebuilding, and has served on numerous boards of peacebuilding and security organizations. Ms. Greenberg holds an AB from Harvard, and a JD from Stanford Law School.

Béatrice Pouligny, PhD

Co-Founder of Rewiring the Brain for Peace, Peacebuilder and Spiritual Healer

Dr. Béatrice Pouligny is the founder and co-director of Rewiring the Brain for Peace: Bridging Neuroscience, Spirituality and Peacebuilding. She bridges the fields of political science, peacebuilding and neuroscience in her experience as an academic at the highest levels of the political science community, as a human rights and peacebuilding practitioner with 30 years of field experience in more than 30 conflicts around the world (in Central and South America, Haiti, Africa, Asia, the Balkans and the Middle East), and in her training and ongoing practice as a shamanic healer and mindfulness meditation teacher, collaborating with neuro-pshychologists and integrating the results of ongoing research into her healing work. Béatrice also brings strong knowledge of the literature on peacebuilding, trauma, resilience and spirituality, as well as her expertise in developing case studies and research agendas across disciplines, and the theory-practice divide. From 2000 to 2009, she developed and led an international and inter-disciplinary research-action program called “Re-imagining Peace” (seven countries on four continents) which addressed the individual and collective traumatic consequences of war and mass crimes, outlining culture-based resilience processes. Since then, her work has focused on individual and societal resilience capacities in the aftermath of violence. She has contributed to the first European Report on Development which focused on fragility (2009) and is the author of a report on “Violence, Trauma and Resilience” as part of the World Bank flagship study on “Societal Dynamics and Fragility” (2012); it is the first comprehensive and systematic effort to articulate the individual traumas and their collective dimensions in violent and post-violent contexts. She has designed and led training programs on this subject for different intergovernmental and governmental agencies as well as local networks of community leaders (most recently in Libya and Syria).

She holds a doctorate in political science from the Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris (Sciences Po/International Relations). She is the winner of many awards, including two consecutive Fulbright Commission awards and a former grantee of different public and private foundations in North America and Europe. She is the author of numerous reports, articles and contributions (in French, English, Spanish and Dutch) as well as two main books: Peace Operations Seen from Below: UN Missions and Local People, London: Hurst / Bloomfield (CT): Kumarian Press, 2006 (Ils nous avaient promis la paix : ONU et populations locales, Paris: Presses de Sciences Po, 2004) as well as After Mass Crime: Rebuilding States and Communities, Tokyo/New York/Paris: United Nations University Press, 2007. She is fluent in French, English, Spanish and Haitian Creole and speaks a number of local languages.