logoAugust 3, 2016

Dear Rotarians, Rotary Peace Fellows, Friends and Peacebuilders,

Re: Bridges for Peace 2016 Invitation Letter

Rotary and Rotarians would appreciate your help. You are invited to join us in a meeting to explore issues and opportunities for…

“Co-creating a shared vision for peacebuilding actions in our communities.”


Who:    This gathering is meant for individuals (such as Rotarian leaders/chairs; Rotary Peace Fellows; government/ civil society representatives; UN representatives / NGOs/ other service clubs, etc.) who are serious about guiding Rotary to peace and would like to help define a goal and vision for the Peace Area of Focus.

When:  September 25th– 27th, 2016
Optional: September 11-24th is the Winnipeg Peace Days and 91st Peace and Goodwill Weekend
Optional: September 28th– beginning of Rotary Joint Zones 24 – 32 Institute and Oscar Arias Keynote address

Where: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
September 25-26: Canadian Museum for Human Rights
September 27(1/2 day): Circle of Life “Thunderbird House”

Virtual Option: We will also host a concurrent virtual conference for those who cannot travel to Winnipeg. Stay tuned for more information on attending this part of the conference.

Registration and additional information: https://rotaryactiongroupforpeace.org/winnipeg2016


We have a big vision: We want peace. There appears to be a significant resource gap for global peace and peacebuilding. We foresee that Rotary, together with its partners, Rotary Peace Fellows and friends, can help fill that gap through peace programming and supporting initiatives like peace education, which we view as the foundation for lasting peace and international cooperation. We think that providing people around the world with access to the skills, attitudes, and behaviors for building better relationships and transforming conflicts is key for lasting peace. To give you an idea, for example, we can envision a near-term target of helping to raise $1 billion USD and more annually to invest in community-led peace education initiatives around the world.

We—a number of Rotary Districts, Clubs and Rotarians—are hosting this gathering for all leaders (Rotarians and friends) from September 25th– 27th, 2016 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada to brainstorm what a peace-building action plan might look like, and where it could take us (in other words, a successor to the visionary Polio Plus Program, in this case to significantly advance goodwill, peace, and understanding in our communities and world). The purpose of the gathering is to create a shared vision and draft action plan for a peace movement that unites Rotarians, leaders, individuals, and communities. The main conference output will be a report that will be submitted for consideration to the Rotary International Convention in Atlanta, U.S.A. in June 2017.

The meeting process we will use is Open Space Technology. Open Space Technology is recognized internationally as an innovative approach to co-creating energizing, productive meetings that can effectively deal with highly conflicted and complex issues. This open process will invite and enable all issues and opportunities relative to our theme and purpose to be identified and discussed according to the passions of the attendees. You will experience a highly participative series of break-out groups to explore possibilities for Rotary, Rotarians, Rotary Peace Fellows and friends to help fill the needs for peace in our communities and world.

One of the biggest benefits of participating is the networking and sharing of the many divergent and convergent views. Our hope is to harness the skills and talents of the participants in the co-creation of tangible ways that Rotary and friends can support peace in the near future. This gathering is meant for individuals (such as Rotarian leaders/chairs; Rotary Peace Fellows; government/civil society representatives; UN representatives/NGOs/other service clubs, etc.) who are serious about guiding Rotary to peace.

On the last day, at the Circle of Life “Thunderbird House”, we will go through a process of converging all the ideas, developing an Action Plan to take priority ideas forward, and creating a structure to guide the movement.

Your presence and participation would be greatly valued. It would be my pleasure to answer any questions you may have about the upcoming gathering this September. Additional information and registration details can be found at https://rotaryactiongroupforpeace.org/winnipeg2016 . Due to space constraints for the in-person conference in Winnipeg, we will have to cap participation at 100 and so I urge you to register as soon as possible and take advantage of the early bird rate.

I look forward to your response.

Yours in Peace,

Robert Stewart
Conference Facilitator
email: [email protected]