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Discover The Leading-Edge Practices and Tools You Need to Cultivate Peace In Your Heart, Family, Community and Our World
Learn from the world’s top peace visionaries,
and become an impassioned ambassador
for inner and outerpeace.
Shift Network Founder Stephen Dinan shares
what it means to become a Peace Ambassador:
We are clearly at an important crossroads in our personal and collective evolution.
The skills of diffusing and transforming conflict and healing social wounds are at the core of whether we’ll create a healthy, vibrant, peaceful and sustainable world, or go the way of the dinosaurs.
With the right training and tools you CAN make a profound difference on this planet and truly contribute to the change that our world so urgently needs.
Under the guidance of world-renowned social healer and visionary James O’Dea as well as 22 of our planet’s most respected peacebuilders, you’ll learn the cutting-edge insights, resources and strategies to become an authentic ambassador of peace and healing in our world.
When we talk about becoming a “Peace Builder,” we don’t mean becoming some kind of soft-spoken daydreamer.
We are talking about how you can empower yourself to become an embodiment of the awakened Presence of Peace, a protector of the innocent and a heart-based “warrior” of genuine love, truth and justice for one and all.
As the wise Native American leader Sitting Bull once said:
“Warriors are not what you think of as warriors. The warrior is not someone who fights....The warrior is one who sacrifices himself for the good of others. His task is to take care of the elderly, the defenseless, those who cannot provide for themselves, and above all, the children, the future of humanity.”
If you are ready to take a stand for peace – both personally and collectively – and become an emissary for a deeper kind of healing in our world, James and his brilliant faculty will show you how.
In this 16-session advanced training, you’ll be guided step-by-step along the evolutionary continuum, from cultivating genuine inner peace to working with others to create lasting peace internationally.
This transformational program for creating peace on all levels is the vision and passion of the lead facilitator James O’Dea, the former President of the Institute of Noetic Sciences and the former Director of Amnesty International in Washington, DC.
James’ unique perspective combines a deep understanding of the emerging “science of peace” with a depth and breadth of practical field experience in addressing human challenges and suffering of all kinds.
A profound journey into your deepest self, in which you can heal old wounds, remove barriers to trust, and cultivate powerful friendships with other change agents.
The transformation that comes from peacebuilding can also liberate your heart, mind and soul from negative patterns, resistance and fear, allowing you to become a more radiant and healing light in the world.
This Training is for you if...
- You long to be a true peacebuilder during this pivotal time in history – but know you could be more effective if you had the right skills, practices and community support.
- You want to help heal personal and collective wounds – and are open to learning new ways to do it.
- You strive to communicate in a healthy way that brings people, families and organizations together to work and collaborate on solutions more effectively.
- You hunger for a comprehensive peacebuilding blueprint that gives you the essential skillset and tools of a social leader and healer.
- You want to learn and develop techniques for cultivating inner peace and spaciousness, removing the walls around your own heart, so you can come to a genuine forgiveness and healing around past wounds and teach others to do the same.
- You see that there is an amazing opportunity for positive change in the world – and you want to learn from the most inspiring leaders and visionaries about how to play your highest role.
Watch this short video of Peace Ambassador graduate Erik Kasum
describe how the Training changed his life, helping him create a
national peace conference and think tank on peace:
An Important Message from James O’Dea
Dear friend in peacemaking,
I have lived both on the frontlines of brutal inhumanity and the leading edge of conscious evolution. I’ve seen firsthand the horrors of genocide and was even in one tense situation where I received multiple stab wounds.
I’ve also seen the flowering of deep love and respect between people with long histories of animosity towards each other.
After decades of work, I can assure you that the world is now ready, in a way that it has never been, to make a profound shift – to shed its addiction to violence, to cleanse its old wounds and open to a global healing the likes of which we have barely imagined.
I invite you to be part of this great work, this birthing of a new and more harmonious era of human existence.
It begins in the deep recesses of your heart. It grows in the love you weave in your family. It buds in the healing of old grudges in your community. And it blossoms in the ending of war.
The walls can come down between us such that we experience the magnificence of the design that connects us. We can learn to think peace, be peace and celebrate peace, leading to a harvest of love, joy, connection and intimacy that comes from no longer warring with each other or ourselves.
I want to share with you all that I’ve been given in decades of traveling the world, working with some of the most remarkable men, women and children who are lighting the way forward.
There is a beautiful new synthesis emerging – from the high mountain Kogis of Colombia to spiral dynamics in the West Bank, from the devotional heart of India to the rigorous mind of Western science.
This synthesis offers a clear, sober and inspiring picture of what we must do to shift beyond violence as an acceptable response to conflict and to transform the roots of that dis-ease at all levels of our world.
For our Peace Ambassador Training, we have brought together the leading pioneers of that synthesis for a state-of-the-art certification program.
All around us are the festering wounds of conflict, misunderstanding, violence and fear. We have the opportunity to be healers, bridgebuilders and peacemakers, bringing great benefit not only to the world, but to you, personally.
I invite you to be one of the pioneers of this path, together with hundreds from around the world who hear the call to become Ambassadors for a new and joyous era in human evolution.
We will laugh together, heal together, vision together, awaken together and learn from inspired masters of peace. We will create a new template for what is possible, with profound impacts in every area of your life and our world.
Remember, peacemaking is not just the domain of international heroes. It’s one of the most practical skills for transforming the quality of our lives, our families and our society. It’s the foundation for turning conflict into friendship, stress into creativity and discord into collaboration. There are few skills that can more dramatically improve the quality of your relationships. And our world.
And the peacemaker does not just touch others – we touch our own innermost Self through the raw, naked power of the human heart. We shed layers of illusion and defense to live in a way that is lit by a powerful love.
If you hear the call, do join us. The world is calling forth our best NOW to help in the great turning of our day. It is time for each of us to play our unique, sacred role.
Are you ready to learn how to transform tension into peace, discord into love, violence into understanding?
I hope so. We were truly born for this day.
How the Peace Ambassador Training Works
Every Wednesday at 5 pm Pacific you’ll gather with other aspiring Peace Ambassadors from around the world in interactive conference calls or online for your training. If for some reason you can’t make the live class, the recordings will be available the following day and the transcripts within a week.
The 90-minute classes will be taught by a different faculty member each week focusing on specific skills and strategies for creating peace individually and collectively.
Each live class is followed by an optional 30-minute intimate group discussion where you can interact with your fellow classmates and engage with them to share your personal insights, listen and deepen your understanding of the course content.
Outside of your weekly live training you’ll stay connected with James O’Dea and other participants through a custom online community forum, which offers a rich and safe environment for you to explore how to integrate the course content into your daily life and your own peacebuilding endeavors.
The Peace Ambassador Training is also The Shift Network’s certification process for leaders in the Summer of Peace, a global network of events and activities promoting the shift to a culture of peace. During the training, you will develop and hone a vision for how you can play a peacebuilding leadership role in this significant global event. We’ll also offer many ways for you to apply your skills through our broader network.
Here’s what The Shift Network’s Director of Peace Philip Hellmich has to say about this unprecedented training:
Through the Peace Ambassador Training Certification Program, you will learn to:
- Connect the inner and the outer – tap into your essence and act from a place of personal alignment to affect real outer change
- Become an "energy master" – the key to peacebuilding – and recognize your energy processing style
- Identify and deal with all forms of bullying
- Stand in the fire of opposing views and feel whole as well as hold space for others to do the same
- Transform fear and anger in yourself and among others into mutual trust and compassion
- Cultivate listening and dialogue to co-create a culture of peace in your family, workplace, organization or community
- Identify and heal old wounds in yourself and with loved ones, colleagues and community members
- Develop a strong foundation in community-building and organizing skills
- Manifest your greatest qualities in service to humanity’s emergence
- Connect with an inspiring network of peacebuilders, friend and allies around the world
- Play a significant role in global peace initiatives and celebrations
Watch this short video of Peace Ambassador graduate Queen Rev. Mutima Imani
sharing how the Training can impact you:
What You Will Learn: Course Overview
The Training will offer you an immersive experience in building skills with today’s top peace leaders and is divided into five pillars:
- Deep Personal Peace
- Healing Personal and Collective Wounds
- Communicating Peace
- Mastering Systems Change
- Activating and Organizing for Peace
For each Pillar of Peacebuilding, James O’Dea will teach the first session drawing upon insights and practical tools from his bestselling book, Cultivating Peace.
The following two sessions of each pillar will feature two core faculty on the methodologies and peace practices they use in their work. These sessions are a combination of live teaching and the very best core faculty interviews from previous Peace Ambassador Trainings. James will bring them all to life by weaving and integrating these teachings into a cohesive map for peacebuilding, from the personal to the planetary, throughout the training.
You’ll also have weekly practices, readings, and assignments that deepen your experience of the material and put you into close collaboration with other training members from around the world.
Pillar 1: Cultivating Deep Personal Peace
These sessions will focus on helping you cultivate the psychological, emotional and spiritual dimensions of peace as the great foundation for deep engagement in the world.
Session 1: Peace and Freedom from the Inside Out (November 6)
Faculty: James O’Dea (full bio)
James will open the training with an inspiring session about what it means to be a Peace Ambassador in today’s world. He invites us to take responsibility for cultivating inner peace while working in the world from a place of deep integrity. As James says, “The peacebuilder must develop an impressive skillfulness in offering solutions, avoiding the blame game, and playing a mediating role between perspectives that are locked inside self-limiting definitions.”
At the same time, the Peace Ambassador does not take him/herself too seriously. “A world without laughter would not be a safe or peaceful world,” James says. For instance, “the fundamentalists are not having fun!”
In this session, you will:
- Take careful inventory of your inner moral maps, belief systems and psychological perspectives and examine how they influence your relationship with the outer and vice versa.
- Identify the obstacles that prevent you from releasing your own essential qualities, talents and capacities
- Learn personal peace practices that help you tap into your deepest essence and create a solid foundation for authentic inner peace
Session 2: Making Peace with Oneself (November 13)
Guest Faculty: Aqeela Sherrills, celebrated peacemaker who brokered truce between the Crips and the Bloods in Los Angeles, now the Executive Director of YES! and advisor to peacebuilding projects worldwide. (full bio)
Aqeela will provide a powerful and transparent glimpse into his own personal transformation, one that required taking responsibility for hidden fears and shames that were influencing his behaviors. He then will tell how his own personal transformation allowed him to address the causes of violence that took the life of his son. By going deeper into his inner peace practice, Aqeela helped bring peace between warring gangs.
In this session, you will:
- Gain both inspiration and tangible tools for how to look inward to address your own shadows and to develop a daily personal peace practice
Session 3: The Heart’s Intuitive Intelligence – a path to personal, social and global coherence: (November 20)
Guest Faculty: Deborah Rozman, Ph.D., business executive, serial entrepreneur, psychologist, author and educator. Since 1990, founding executive director of the non-profit Institute of HeartMath, executive vice president of HeartMath LLC. (full bio)
HeartMath is the world’s most influential scientific organization focused on the powers of the heart. Deborah will share how you can harness your heart’s power for intuition, joy and less stressful living.
In this session, you will learn to:
- Increase Resilience – Improve your ability to “bounce back” and cultivate the powerful inner energy reserve that can make life easier during times of dynamic change.
- Trust the Heart – Learn the research revealing your heart’s role in sending and receiving essential information for living a healthy, fulfilling life.
- Cultivate Heart Intelligence – Enhance and access the powerful intelligence of your heart to rise above problems, even in the midst of chaos and confusion.
- Engage the Global Heart – Learn research that suggests we are all connected by and live in the reflected energy of our hearts, with our emotions affecting the earth itself.
Pillar 2: Healing Personal and Collective Wounds
These sessions will focus on giving you the skills to transform personal wounds and collective trauma in order to create personal and social transformation and significant evolutionary change.
Session 4: Ending the Transmissions of Wounds
Faculty: James O’Dea (full bio)
James O’Dea introduces the second pillar by calling us to “interrupt the transmission of wounds from generation to generation precisely because their persistence is so disruptive to whole-system health and because the problem of passing on intergenerational trauma is so overlooked.”
In this session, you will:
- Begin to examine your relationship to personal wounding and its various subtle nuances
- Look at how your unconscious behaviours contribute to larger social wounding
- Examine what keeps you from truly living your highest ideas and dreams
- Learn tangible tools that you can use to deepen your own personal healing and help facilitate healing in others
Session 5: Non-Violence: A Path to Peace – Stories about Mahatma Gandhi (December 11)
Guest Faculty: Arun Gandhi, the grandson of India’s legendary leader, Mohandas K. “Mahatma” Gandhi (full bio)
Who better than Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson to challenge you to “be the change you wish to see in the world.” In this session, Arun Gandhi will share intimate stories about how his grandfather taught him to examine his unconscious desires and to see their relationship to passive violence in the world.
In this session, you will:
- Be inspired to step up your inner peace practice and tap into new levels of integrity and strength
- Learn the meaning of Mahatma Gandhi’s saying, “I can no more preach nonviolence to a coward than I can tempt a blind man to enjoy healthy scenes. Nonviolence is the summit of bravery.”
Session 6: The Power of Forgiveness – Transforming Personal Tragedy into Life Purpose (December 18)
Guest Faculty: Azim Khamisa, internationally renowned expert on forgiveness, hailed by the Dalai Lama and Thich Nhat Hanh (full bio)
This is possibly the most powerfully moving session of the Peace Ambassador Training. Azim Khamisa is a world-renowned master teacher on forgiveness. He will tell the story of how he lost his only son to senseless gang violence and authentically share his journey into the depths of trauma and despair.
In this session, you will:
- Learn how to leverage the power of forgiveness to create transformation
- Discover how you can engage in forgiveness even when it seems impossible
Pillar 3: Communicating Peace
In these sessions and practices, you’ll advance in the art of skilled communication for yourself, family, community and world. You’ll learn the latest in peacebuilding, conflict transformation, social discourse and dialogue. Core faculty includes:
Session 7: Peaceful Communication and Energy Mastery
Faculty: James O’Dea (full bio)
Energy mastery is one component to effective communication as a Peace Ambassador. Other components are dialogue and listening. As James says, “Against all odds we must learn to dialogue, or die....If we were to learn that listening to each other was the key to opening each other’s hearts, we would listen until there was peace on earth.”
In this session, you will:
- Understand how the ability to listen deeply and consciously has transformed difficult conflict situations into peaceful resolutions
- Discover how to bring the power of conscious listening to your own conflicts
- Learn how you can process and transform energy for peaceful encounters
- Gain effective strategies for dealing with physical bullies, emotional bullies and intellectual bullies
- Understand your unique approach to processing energy – determine whether you are an energy bouncer, an energy sponge, an energy zapper or a peaceful energy transformer
Session 8: Peaceful Communication and Energy Mastery
Guest Faculty: Rita Marie Johnson, the Founding Director of Rasur Foundation International and the creator of the BePeace Practice (full bio); and, Emily Hine, President of HineSight Consulting and inspirational writer at Holy Sit. (full bio).
BePeace is being taught at the United Nations University for Peace in Costa Rica. It’s received accolades from students from around the world for its universal appeal across multiple cultural contexts.
In this session, you will:
- Discover how to create an authentic, compassionate connection with others using the BePeace practice that combines HeartMath techniques with a clear path for "speaking peace" (nonviolent communication). As you learn this practice, you become empowered to pass it on and "teach peace."
- Gain tangible tools that can help you tap into a sense of peace and to communicate more effectively even when triggered.
- As peace builders, your inner dialogue is as important as your external dialogue. In this session, you also will learn radical self-compassion as a strategy that helps you communicate peace internally and externally.
- Learn tactics for communicating effectively and “walking the peace talk” with small or large-scale teams.
Session 9: Getting to YES! (Saturday, January 18)
Guest Faculty: Dr. William Ury, co-author of the global bestseller Getting to YES, author of The Power of a Positive No and co-founder of the Harvard Negotiation Project (full bio)
Dr. Ury is one of the most well-respected authors and practitioners of effective negotiations in the world.
In this session, you will:
- Gain detailed insights into the science of communicating effectively in contentious situations, helping you to identify and address personal and shared needs
- Learn the art of negotiation you can apply to your life as well as to larger social issues
Pillar 4: Mastering Systems Change
In these sessions, you’ll hone your understanding for how to create systemic change via models and strategies for unprecedented whole system shifts.
Session 10: Peace Work and Whole-Systems Shift (January 22)
Guest Faculty: Don Beck, Spiral Dynamics theorist and wizard who has mapped and applied a comprehensive approach to working with different memes and transforming cultures from South Africa to the Middle East (full bio)
To begin Pillar 4, James is very clear: “To be an ambassador of peace, you cannot be a partisan of the part; you are called to be a representative of holistic thinking and emotional and social intelligence. Creating a culture of peace is a whole-systems challenge.”
In this session, you will:
- Learn about systemic transformation and peace work in the context of complex adaptive systems
- Gain insight into “Spiral Dynamics,” the comprehensive system Don Beck uses to assist people in different cultures and contexts to identify and implement peacebuilding initiatives appropriate for them
Session 11: Financial Systems – Breakdown and Breakthrough (January 29)
Guest Faculty: David Korten, visionary, engaged citizen, author of Agenda for a New Economy: From Phantom Wealth to Real Wealth and The Great Turning (full bio)
James is quick to point out: “We are now witnessing the planet-wide devastation that results from thinking of the economy and ecology as separate systems. Sustainability is, therefore, a peace issue....”
While the global economic situation can seem overwhelming, David Korten provides common sense strategies and a sense of real hope to you – that you can do your part to evolve our economic model, starting in your own community.
In this session, you will:
- Understand the realities of the economic and environmental challenges facing the planet and examine the underlying paradigms that have created this crisis
- Learn about the efforts emerging around the world to create new economic systems based on an understanding of interdependence and interconnectedness
Session 12: Living Systems: A New Systems Perspective on Whole Bodies and Whole Changes (February 5)
Guest Faculty: Riane Eisler President of the Center for Partnership Studies and internationally known for her ground-breaking contributions as a systems scientist, attorney working for the human rights of women and children, and author of The Chalice and the Blade: Our History, Our Future, and The Real Wealth of Nations: Creating a Caring Economics . Hailed by Archbishop Desmond Tutu as “a template for the better world we have been so urgently seeking” by Gloria Steinem as “revolutionary,” and by Jane Goodall as “a call for action." (full bio)
In this session, you learn:
- New perspectives on the past, present and future that will shed light on emerging paradigms on whole living systems
- Approaches to partnership that can transform individuals, families and communities.
- Principles of a “caring economy” that values humanity and the Earth
Pillar 5: Activating and Organizing for Peace
These classes and practices will help you develop community-building and collaboration skills that expand your leadership capacity and help you offer your deepest gifts.
Session 13: The 21st Century Peace Ambassador as Evolutionary Leader and The Summer of Peace (February 12)
Faculty: James O’Dea and Philip Hellmich, The Shift Network’s Director of Peace, author of recently released God and Conflict (full bio)
Throughout the Peace Ambassador Training, James will highlight the strengths and capacities of an evolved peace leader. In this session, James will review these leadership skills and then invite you to step up in your own way. In addition, Philip Hellmich will outline the accomplishments from the Summer of Peace 2012, a collaborative initiative that reached tens of thousands of people in 133 countries.
As James writes, “In a time of upheaval such as we are now witnessing on planet Earth, unprecedented opportunities arise for creativity and new leadership.... The emerging leader is you! Without you, there is no collective audacity to create the tipping point in human evolution.”
In this session, you will:
- Understand the leadership skills needed to be an evolved peace leader
- Activate your part in the larger global shift to a culture of peace
- Determine what role you may play in the Summer of Peace
Session 14: The Principles and Processes of Activating and Coordinating for Peace from Local to Global (February 19)
Guest Faculty: Dot Maver, educator, peacebuilder, President of the National Peace Academy that supports, advances and nurtures cultures of peace (full bio)
Dot Maver is a pioneer in peace education and community organizing who is a master at inspiring cooperation on behalf of the common good.
In this session, you will:
- Discover the practical principles and processes you can apply in organizing your own peace work whether in your school and/or community
- Learn about successes from the River Phoenix Center for Peacebuilding in Gainesville, Florida, including activities you can join and/or replicate in your own community
Session 15: Revolution of the Heart (February 26)
Guest Faculty: Velcrow Ripper, award-winning philosopher filmmaker, director of Scared Sacred, Fierce Light, Occupy Love, speaker and writer (full bio)
In this session, Genie award-winning filmmaker Velcrow Ripper will share insights into peacebuilding actions taking place on a global scale witnessed while filming his trilogy: Scared Sacred, Fierce Light: When Spirit Meets Action and Occupy Love. Velcrow will talk about the process of moving from personal despair to collaborative action inspired by deep spiritual wisdom and shared human values. For more info visit VelcrowRipper.com and OccupyLove.com.
Session 16: Final Session – What is Your Peace of the Puzzle? (March 5)
Faculty: James O’Dea (full bio)
This final class is an opportunity for you and your fellow Peace Ambassadors to interact and share what you have learned and how you have been transformed during this training. You will also have the opportunity to share your personal peace projects and initiatives for creating peace in yourself, family, schools, community and our world.
The Peace Ambassador Bonus Collection
In addition to these transformative 16 course sessions, you’ll also receive these powerful bonus sessions with the world’s leading visionaries and teachers. These bonus sessions are being offered to further complement what you’ll learn in the course and take your understanding and practice to an even deeper level. This first group of bonus sessions are all audio trainings that can be streamed online or downloaded and experienced on the go.
Bonus #1: “Spiritual Solutions”
Audio Training with Deepak Chopra
In this audio session, Deepak Chopra shares insights from his recent book, Spiritual Solutions, bridging ancient spiritual wisdom and emerging scientific research with practical peace building actions in daily life.
As a global leader and pioneer in the field of mind-body medicine, Deepak Chopra transforms the way the world views physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and social wellness. Known as a prolific author of over sixty-four books with eighteen New York Times best sellers in both the fiction and non-fiction categories, his books have been published in more than eighty-five languages. His New York Times bestsellers, “Peace Is the Way “ received the Religion and Spirituality Quill Award in 2005, and “The Book of Secrets: Unlocking the Hidden Dimensions of Your Life” was awarded the 2005 Nautilus Grand Prize. Time Magazine heralds Deepak Chopra as one of the top 100 heroes and icons of the century.
Bonus #2: “The Power of Sacred Activism”
Audio Training with Andrew Harvey
In this hour-long training, renowned scholar, author and Mystic Andrew Harvey joins James O’Dea to explore the art and discipline of Sacred Activism – awakened love and service in action.
Andrew Harvey is an author, speaker and founder/director of the Institute of Sacred Activism, an international organization focused on inviting concerned people to take up the challenge of our contemporary global crises by becoming inspired, effective and practical agents of institutional and systemic change, in order to create peace and sustainability.
Andrew Harvey has taught at Oxford University, Cornell University, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, The California Institute of Integral Studies, and the University of Creation Spirituality as well as at various spiritual centers throughout the U.S.
Bonus #3: “Taking Action to Prevent Bombings”
Audio Training with Marianne Williamson
In this 30-minute training, internationally acclaimed spiritual teacher Marianne Williamson talks about taking practical and fierce action to prevent more bombings in the world.
Marianne Williamson is a world renown spiritual teacher who has had four books on the New York Times bestseller list, including A Return to Love which is considered a must-read of The New Spirituality. A paragraph from that book, beginning "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure" – often misattributed to Nelson Mandela's Inaugural address – is considered an anthem for a contemporary generation of seekers.
Marianne also co-founded The Peace Alliance, a grass roots campaign supporting legislation to establish a U. S. Department of Peace. In December 2006, a Newsweek magazine poll named Marianne Williamson one of the fifty most influential baby boomers. According to Time magazine, "Yoga, the Cabala and Marianne Williamson have been taken up by those seeking a relationship with God that is not strictly tethered to Christianity."
Bonus #4: “The Common Ground Approach”
Audio Training with Susan Collin Marks
Search for Common Ground is one of the leading conflict transformation organizations in the world, with projects in over 30 countries. Susan Collin Marks is the embodiment of the “Common Ground Approach” to transforming conflict from adversarial approaches to cooperative problem solving.
In this audio session, you will:
- Gain personal insights into how to help facilitate dialogues between perceived enemies
- Understand how to bridge inner work with effective outer communication tools.to apply to your daily life and with loved ones, as well as people in your community
Susan Collin Marks is senior vice president of Search for Common Ground. She is a South African who served as a peacemaker and peacebuilder during South Africa’s transition from apartheid to democracy. She serves on numerous boards, including the Advisory Council of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars Project on Leadership, and as Vice Chair of the Board of the Abraham Path Initiative. She is the founding editor of Track Two, a quarterly publication on community and political conflict resolution. Susan was portrayed in the PBS documentary Women on the Frontlines. Honors include a 1994/5 Jennings Randolph Peace Fellowship at the United States Institute for Peace, the Institute for Noetic Science’s Creative Altruism award in 2005, and a prestigious Skoll Fellowship for Social Entrepreneurship in 2006. She mentors and coaches, speaks, teaches, writes, facilitates dialogue, and supports peace processes and conflict resolution programs internationally.
Bonus #5: “Crossing the Lines: Creating a World That Works for All” Audio Training With Sharif Abdullah
Sharif Abdullah shares his philosophy that “none of the challenges of the 21st Century can be solved in isolation.... What we need is a search for solutions based on inclusivity, solutions that extend across relationships.” With this in mind, Sharif provides practical ways of working in communities to help people shape a world that works for all.
Bonus #6: “Achieving True Inner Peace”
Audio Training with Michael A. Singer
There is a common belief that global peace first starts with inner peace. This theme has been described by saints and sages throughout the centuries. In this session, Michael Singer shares practical and profound insights on how each of us can achieve true inner peace, thereby preparing us to become Peace Ambassadors.
Michael A. Singer is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself. In 1971, while pursuing his doctoral work in economics, he experienced a deep inner awakening and went into seclusion to focus on yoga and meditation. In 1975, he founded Temple of the Universe, a yoga and meditation center where people of any religion or set of beliefs can come together to experience inner peace. Through the years, Singer has made major contributions in the areas of business, the arts, education, healthcare, and environmental protection. For more information about The Untethered Soul®, please visit untetheredsoul.com.
The following bonuses will all be LIVE intimate sessions with the Guest Faculty and the community of Peace Ambassadors:
Bonus #7: The Science of Compassion (Saturday, November 9)
LIVE Training With Emma Seppala, Ph.D
In this session, we will learn about the leading scientific research that proves humans are hard-wired for compassion. We also will learn tools that we can apply in our daily life. This sessions sets a foundation for the Peace Ambassador Training that peace and collaboration are possible, in fact, the potential is in our very DNA.
Emma Seppala, Ph.D is Associate Director of the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education at Stanford University. She obtained her BA from Yale, her MA from Columbia University and her PhD in Psychology from Stanford University.Emma’s areas of expertise are health psychology, well-being, and resilience. She has examined the impact of meditation on happiness, social connection, and compassion. She has also investigated the effects of yoga-based interventions for combat veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with post-traumatic stress disorder. She is the recipient of a number of grants and awards including the James W. Lyons Award awarded by Stanford University for service to the Stanford campus: she helped found Stanford’s first class on the Psychology of Happiness and taught a large number of well-being programs for students. Emma’s research has been cited in numerous television and news outlets including ABC News and The New York Times as well as books such as Congressman Tim Ryan’s Mindful Nation and documentary films such as Free the Mind. Emma often gives talks on the psychology of health and well-being to academic, corporate, and governmental institutions including places such as Google, the National Science Foundation, and a US Congressional Hearing. In addition to her work at Stanford, she is also a popular Psychology Today blogger and contributor to Scientific American Mind, the Huffington Post, Mindful and Spirituality & Health magazines.
Bonus #8: Social Healing: Lessons from South Africa
(Saturday, December 14) LIVE Training With Nomfundo Walaza
South Africa has been a model on how a country can go through a difficult transformation. While people in South Africa still face many challenges, there are numerous lessons learned that can benefit the world at large. In this session, Nomfundo will share insights into South Africa’s efforts of social healing after decades of apartheid.
Nomfundo Walaza is a visionary and compassionate clinical psychologist and human rights activist with 20+ years of experience developing impactful conflict mediation programmes on a global scale. She is currently CEO of the Desmond Tutu Peace Centre in Cape Town, South Africa.
Bonus #9: Grassroots Organizing for Peace (Saturday, March 1)
Live Training With Matthew Albracht from The Peace Alliance
In this session you will learn how you can use your voice to affect positive and pro-active change in policies and law to help build a more more peaceful world. We will discuss a few key peacebuilding platforms and laws and how to work with educating the public and media, elected officials, building strong coalitions, and how you could engage in a Peace Alliance action team in your community, working with others to make change.
“This organization is on the leading edge... Through your organization the word spreads out among the people, so it becomes a more popular thing to be counted as one of the pilgrims, trying to lead us to this promised land of peace.”
The Peace Alliance empowers civic engagement toward a culture of peace.
It is an alliance of organizers and advocates throughout the United States taking the work of peacebuilding from the margins of society into the centers of national discourse and policy priorities. Our network includes volunteer grassroots teams in hundreds of cities, towns, colleges and high school campuses.
Matthew Albracht is the Executive Vice President of The Peace Alliance. He is a long-time ecological and social justice activist working on various campaigns over the years to help create a more just and sustainable world.
Practices & Homework: Every week we’ll have practices that allow you to embody the core teachings and apply them in your daily life, in conflicted situations in your community, or in larger societal healing work.
You’ll engage in a powerful journey with supportive groups and a private online community in which you can discuss and apply the homework. Additional readings and practices will be recommended each week to deepen your learning.
Certification: For participating fully in the course, completing assignments and demonstrating skills in key concepts, you’ll receive a Peace Ambassador Certificate from The Shift Network, which will enable you to play a leadership role in work we are planning for the Summer of Peace, a global array of activities to create a planetary shift toward a culture of peace.
What Students Say About the Peace Ambassador Training:
"The Peace Ambassador training is the most transformational training I’ve ever taken. Not only did I learn great wisdom from amazing peacemakers, but it also changed the way I see the world and my role in it. I was anointed to step into my greatness."
– Eric Kasum, Yorba Linda, California, USA
Founder, The LIVE PEACE Institute and IMAGINE ~ Peace Conference 2011
“I had put my legal practice on the back burner for years but the Peace Ambassador Program showed me a way to do my legal work in an evolutionary way, a legal practice that heals and makes whole. The Program gives more than just food for the mind and soul; it provides you with real and practical tools to bring out your work into the world.”
– Paula A., Aberasturi, Makati, Philippines
“The Ambassador Program is holistic and empowering! I had no idea there were so many other people looking for a blueprint with tools, processes, resources, and support to help us build new systems for a peaceful world, in however we can, within our individual and collective communities.”
– PJ Hirabayashi, San Jose, CA, USA
“The Shift Network is on a wave of the future, where peace and consciousness are taking their place as consensus values in our larger society. Peace is no longer an isolated avocation but a goal of the World Dream where community meets the individual peacemaker.”
– Fred Arment, Dayton, Ohio, USA
Executive Director, International Cities of Peace
“The Shift Network’s Peace Ambassador Course is by far the most rewarding program I’ve ever participated in. The information presented is thought-provoking and brings a sense of inner-healing to enable you to make a difference in your outer-world. The amazing list of guest speakers includes some of the foremost experts in the field of peace activism and healing...and the course leader, James O’Dea, is simply exceptional. You will also meet and interact with fellow students who share similar goals and values. I highly recommend this program. It’s made a major impact on my life.”
– Michele Bongiovanni, Hillsborough, New Jersey, USA
“The Peace Ambassador Program is a powerful and profound journey. This process can truly create a coherent and embodied approach to building Peace. Here you will discover a community in the truest sense of the word. This community’s focus is on the myriad ways for Peace to be realised in the world. The Peace Ambassador Program provides an excellent way forward.”
– Chip McFarlane, Sydney, Australia
“For years, I looked for a comprehensive program in peacemaking – one that placed as much importance on the cultivation and sustaining of inner peace as it did on conflict resolution, peace building models and other components of creating a global culture of peace. When I saw the Peace Ambassador Program curriculum outline, my heart, mind and spirit all lit up! Lead teacher James O’Dea beautifully models how being a peace ambassador IS a lighting up of those three aspects of being human. He is the epitome of a peace catalyst; by his very presence on the calls and throughout the course, the very best in ourselves was called forth.”
– Lynda Terry, Yellow Springs, Ohio, USA
“This course has given me an increased positive belief in the future of our world. The speakers have touched my heart with their personal stories, knowledge, bravery, and compassion. Meeting like-minded people who shared their ideas, challenges, and knowledge made a wonderful community that I enjoyed immensely.”
– Vanessa Errol, Australia
Listen to Peace Ambassador graduate Taira St. John share how the Training helped her launch a Summer of Peace 2012 program to revitalize her economically-depressed county in California:
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What You’ll Receive
- Sixteen 90-minute class sessions with James O’Dea and core faculty, including live, interactive calls and exercises plus question and answer time. Classes on Wednesdays at 5pm US Pacific.
- Sixteen 30-minute small group practice sessions (Wednesdays after class)
- Special Bonus Recording Sessions with Deepak Chopra, Andrew Harvey, Marianne Williamson, Susan Collin Marks, Sharif Abdullah, Nomfundo Walaza, Emma Seppala, Matthew Albracht.
- Unlimited access to recordings of all class sessions (listen online or download the mp3 file to your iPod or audio player)
- PDF transcripts for each class session
- Clear and concise homework exercises and practices to deepen your experience and application of the material
- Participation in a private online community with other course members from around the world
- Constructive feedback on your personal project for peacebuilding for the Summer of Peace
Classes held on Wednesdays, 5 p.m. Pacific, November 6, 2013 – March 5, 2014.
What More Students Say...
“The Peace Ambassador program gave me the specific tools I needed to make a real shift in my inner growth and mediating skills. The caliber of speakers was phenomenal. I consider this to be one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself, and look forward to participating with this group on an ongoing basis.”
– Suzanne McQueen, Ashland, Oregon, USA
“I found the depth and content of James O’Dea’s teaching, deeply enriching, fortifying, edifying and profound. He asks the big questions that make my mouth go dry and make me gulp. He also gave me the courage and hope to commit to both my own and world peace. Stand up and be counted. Thank you James for your generosity and clarity.”
– Kate Bell
“This transformational course exponentially surpassed my expectations. James O’Dea continually impressed me with his background, brilliant intellect and yet gentle manner. I highly recommend this course as a cornucopia of information and blessings for anyone called to work promoting peace. It is life-changing and world-changing.”
– Laurie Ellis Young
“The course was heart-opening, mind-opening, a challenge to my complacency, and among many other riches, introduced me to the courageous everyday people doing extraordinary service for the planet. I am humbled and grateful to have been part of this groundbreaking program.”
– Julie Heyman, Ojai, California, USA
“I have been challenged, enlivened and altered by the journey we’ve made together as a group these past five + months. Clarification of vision, synthesis of intention and deep healing are some of the gifts that have arisen as a direct result of engaging in the Peace Ambassador Training programme.”
– Claire Beynon, Dunedin, New Zealand
“The Shift Network’s Peace Ambassador Program was a great offering to ’the Beloved Community’ and our Global Family. It’s my hope that millions of people eventually become graduates of this course of peace study.”
-- John R. Naugle, Founder and CEO, Atlanta: City of Peace, Inc., USA
“This program has had a profound effect on me, deepening my understanding of what it takes to create peace and my commitment to spreading peace in my own small sphere of influence knowing it will ripple out into the world.”
– Judi Kerrigan Ribbens, Bonduel, Wisconsin, USA
About James O’Dea
James O’Dea is a well-known figure in international social healing who has conducted healing and reconciliation dialogues for 15 years. He is currently the co-director of The Social Healing Project, whose work has led him to Rwanda, Israel/Palestine and Northern Ireland. In addition to teaching the Path of the Peacemaker and Peace Ambassador Training programs at The Shift Network, he is also on the extended faculty of the Institute of Noetic Sciences and is its immediate past president.
The former Washington office director of Amnesty International and CEO of the Seva Foundation, O’Dea is a member of The Evolutionary Leaders Group founded by Deepak Chopra. James O’Dea is also award winning author of Cultivating Peace, Creative Stress and other works.
James is committed to dialogue as a practice and is engaged in dialogues at SEED Graduate Institute between native elders, physicists, and thought leaders; between Israeli and Palestinian psychologists and social workers; and contributes to dialogue on systems thinking and government policy making with the Washington, D.C.-based Global Systems Initiatives.
In August 2010, O’Dea was recognized with the honor of “Champion of Peace, Reconciliation and Forgiveness” by the Worldwide Forgiveness Alliance. James lectures and gives workshops all over the world and was a keynote speaker at the Berlin Peace Festival in August 2011. He is also an advisory board member of the Peace Alliance. James also offers consulting and leadership intensives at his mountain home in Crestone Colorado.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is a virtual course?
A: It’s a great way to engage live teachings and each other from the comfort of your home! All you need is a phone line (or an equivalent voice service). If there is more than one person in your household taking the course, you will each need your own line. We use MaestroConference to make it just like an in-person event, where you can ask questions, participate in groups, and deepen your exploration of the course themes.
Please note that dialing MaestroConference from your phone is a regular toll call to California, and your telephone service provider will charge you according to your existing long-distance calling plan. You can also use Skype credit/subscription or Google Voice to dial in to MaestroConference, and you’ll need to use your virtual keypad to enter your PIN and to indicate that you want to ask a question. Other options include calling cards and discount long-distance carriers, and we also have a webcast which is free to use from anywhere in the world.
Q: Can I get benefit from the course if I miss the live classes?
A: Absolutely! You can download the recordings and transcripts of all course sessions from our online media archive, so you never need to worry about missing live calls. You can also engage the full community and leaders on our private community website.
Q: Can you tell me about the Private Course Group?
A: We will have a private community group for all course participants on our Shift Movement that will support you in making connections with others, sharing insights, engaging in discussions, completing homework assignments and exchanging information about events and other activities that can supplement your transformational journey. You’ll have the ability to share your experiences, projects, and growth throughout the Course.
Q: Are there scholarships available for this Training?
A: Yes, we always make a certain percentage of spaces available for partial scholarships, giving preference to those in developing countries or doing important but underpaid work to which they can apply the training material immediately. If you would like to apply for a scholarship, please review our guidelines, which include a link to our online application form.
Q: What is your refund policy?
A: Your satisfaction with The Shift Network and this course is our highest priority! If you find that the course is not meeting your needs, please visit our support site and submit a request at support.theshiftnetwork.com so that we can address your concerns. We offer a satisfaction guarantee for a full two weeks so that you can try out the course risk-free. The deadline to receive a full refund is before the start of class on Nov 20th, 2013. Submit refund requests at support.theshiftnetwork.com with the subject "Refund request.
Q: How can I reach Customer Support?
A: Please visit our Customer Support Center, where you should be able to find the answer to your question or the solution to a problem. And if you can’t, you can submit an online request form and we’ll get right back to you.
Q: What are the benefits of telling my friends to join the program?
A: You can sign up as an Affiliate of The Shift Network and receive 20% for anyone that you introduce who registers for the virtual event. If you bring five friends into the event, you can cover your own! Register at theshiftnetwork.com/affiliate and you’ll receive a promotional link to use.