2018 Colombia Symposium: Dialogue, Decisions, and Cooperation

The nation of Colombia has experienced fifty years of armed conflict. This conflict came to an end on November 24th, 2016, when the Colombian government and the FARC guerrilla movement signed a historic agreement to settle hostilities and work together in a framework of mutual cooperation and peace. Civic and business leaders will play vital roles as society transitions into a post-conflict reality in the country. Strong economic development and a sound business environment are keys to success. (This reality is represented by The Pillars of Peace, as outlined by the Institute for Economics and Peace.)

The 2018 Colombia Symposium: Dialogue, Decisions, and Cooperation, scheduled for October 25-28 2018, will offer training and guidance to Colombian business and civic leaders who will shape economic policy and provide mechanisms for lasting peace.

The Pillars of Peace is a holistic framework which describes the factors which make a country more peaceful.

The 2018 Colombia Symposium: Dialogue, Decisions, and Cooperation was born as a group of Rotarians identified needs related to a post-conflict scenario in Colombia. The Bogota-Chapinero Club, a Rotary club with over 50-years of experience, began thinking about ideas to encourage the business sector to actively engage in peacebuilding efforts through their economic activities. Especially, as related to the concepts expressed in the Pillars of Peace framework.

The Symposium, which will consist of direct training and workshops, will focus primarily upon how business leaders can actually view peace not only as a purpose, but also as a profit opportunity that strengthens economic growth for all citizens in the region. These workshops will train professionals to achieve profitable cooperation in areas affected by conflict, offering innovative solutions to peacebuilding, improving relations between companies and stakeholders, and articulating business decisions within particular areas of influence.

The Symposium will benefit Colombian leaders, who represent the most affected territories of the country and offer the best hope of being “influencers” within their sectors of business or civic leadership.

The Symposium seeks to train up to 100 Colombian leaders, especially potential youth leaders, to prevent and mediate conflict. Additionally, around 10 Rotarians (including RAGFP Board members) will act as “observers” who facilitate the implementation and development of the program. A partner of the Symposium, International Peace and Security Institute at Creative Learning (IPSI/CL), will conduct direct observations, focus groups, and survey/questionairres during and after the Symposium workshops. The IPSI facilitates the transfer of knowledge and skills to a global audience from the world’s premier political leaders, academic experts, practitioners, and advocates. Rotary Peace Fellow Cameron M. Chisholm is the founder and vice president of IPSI.

This is a Rotary Global Grant peace project, and just one of the many important Rotarian peace projects that RAGFP is proud to support in our important mission of educating, engaging and empowering Rotarian peacebuilders worldwide. Rotarian Action Group For Peace helped raise funds for this project, and facilitated connections between Rotarians in Colombia and Rotary Global Grant writers who could draft the project. RAGFP provided a network of Rotary peacebuilders, linking a Rotary Peace Fellow capable of training and implementation of the project, with RAGFP Board members who possessed sound knowledge of funding and designing Rotary peace projects. Our members and donors make it possible to provide an organizational structure for great Rotarians who work together for peace.

Read the Institute of Economics and Peace: Pillars of Peace