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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Innovators In Action Masterclass — Social Entrepreneurs in Conflict Zones

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Session Description

Innovators In Action Masterclasses
Join Skoll social entrepreneurs for a series of lively masterclass discussions on real world innovations from the field. These practitioners generously share their approaches, insights, impact and examples of success. Pick your issue area and take advantage of this opportunity to learn and be inspired!

When | Where

12:40 - 13:40 Wednesday, March 28

Session leaders

  • Heidi Kuhn Speaker
    Founder and CEO, Roots of Peace
    The California spirit is deeply rooted in Heidi Kuhn, as her pioneer family from the 1850's taught her respect for the land and its people. The stewardship of the Earth is violated when landmines are planted, and the land is held hostage for future generations. Inspired by the peace movement on her campus at U.C. Berkeley during the 1970's, she majored in Political Economics and set forth her footsteps for peace. Bridging borders from Alaska, Heidi was a CNN producer/reporter on the melting of the 'ice curtain' between US/Soviet Relations. In the midst of her career in journalism, while raising three children, Heidi was diagnosed with cancer. In 1997, she realized that 'Cancer was a landmine, and landmines were a cancer to the Earth,' and made a prophetic toast that the world may go from 'MINES TO VINES'--replacing the scourge of landmines with bountiful vineyards and orchards worldwide. From the basement of her family home, she reached out to Napa Valley vintners to support her vision, which grew to the United Nations,World Bank, and international governments and leaders. For the past two decades, with support from her family, Heidi has truly planted the Roots of Peace on Earth.
  • John Marks Speaker
    Founder and Senior Advisor, Search for Common Ground
    John Marks was until 2014 the President of Search for Common Ground, a peacebuilding NGO he founded in 1982 that now has 600 staff with offices in 36 countries. He also founded Common Ground Productions and is still a Senior Advisor to both organizations. He is Visiting Scholar in Peacebuilding and Social Entrepreneurship at Leiden University in the Netherlands. With his wife, Susan Collin Marks, he is a Skoll Awardee in Social Entrepreneurship, and, additionally, he is an Ashoka Senior Fellow. A best-selling, award-winning author, he was a US Foreign Service Officer, Executive Assistant to the late US Senator Clifford Case (R-NJ), a Fellow at Harvard's Institute of Politics and a Visiting Scholar at Harvard Law School.
  • Born after two years of Pakistan creation in 1949, raised in refugee settllment in Karachi. Being eldest of five children always found myself in leadership role. My early childhood was on total freedom although struggling . Married off at 16 age, after my high school. Had 3 amazing children at age 21, completed my masters in social work , did extensive work with refugees from Bangladesh , created models in low cost sanitation, punlic private partnerships for girls education, enrolling 200,000 girls, created IDSP an institute for the excluded youth from main stream education and livilihood. Created 500 enterprenuers, trained 200 girls as midwives, saving 150000 mothers, Established more then 50000 youths in their livihoods and meaningful citizins .
  • Sakena Yacoobi Speaker
    Dr. Sakena Yacoobi is the founder of the Afghan Institute of Learning, the Professor Sakena Yacoobi Private Hospital in Herat, the Professor Sakena Yacoobi Private High Schools in Kabul (2) and Herat (2), Afghanistan and the radio station, Meraj in Herat Province, Afghanistan. Dr. Yacoobi is also co-founder and Vice-President of Creating Hope International, a Michigan-based non-profit organization. Dr. Yacoobi is Executive Director of the Afghan Institute of Learning (AIL), an Afghan women-led NGO she founded in 1995. The organization was established to provide teacher training to Afghan women, to support education for boys and girls, and to provide health education to women and children. Under Sakena’s leadership AIL has established itself as a groundbreaking, visionary organization which works at the grassroots level and empowers women and communities to find ways to bring education and health services to rural and poor urban girls, women and other poor and disenfranchised Afghans. AIL was the first organization to offer human rights and leadership training to Afghan women. AIL supported 80 underground home schools for 3,000 girls in Afghanistan after the Taliban closed girls’ schools in the 1990s. AIL was the first organization that opened Learning Centers for Afghan women—a concept now copied by many organizations throughout Afghanistan. Recently, AIL opened a Legal Clinic to provide free legal services to poor Afghan women and has been hosting large scale peace conferences around Afghanistan, which use the poetry of the Afghan poet Rumi to teach lessons of justice, human rights, good citizenship and living harmoniously.
  • Peace Ambassador, Search for Common Ground
    Susan Collin Marks, Search for Common Ground’s Peace Ambassador, is an internationally renowned peacemaker and peacebuilder. For nearly three decades, she has worked in some of the most conflictual places on the planet, including mediating in the heart of her native South Africa’s transition from apartheid, facilitating ongoing dialogue in the Middle East, and establishing peacebuilding programs throughout Africa. In recent years she has focused on coaching high level political, institutional and civil society leaders worldwide, encouraging them find common humanity with their opponents. In September 2014, she stepped aside after 20 years as senior vice president of Search for Common Ground, and moved from Washington DC to Europe. Her book, Watching the Wind: conflict resolution during South Africa’s transition to democracy, USIP 2000, captures the compelling story of how peace can be built even in the most intractable conflict. She holds an MA in International Relations from the University of Kent at Canterbury, and a BA in Social Anthropology from the University of Cape Town. Honors include an Honorary Doctorate from the UN University for Peace in Costa Rica, Jennings Randolph Peace Fellowship at the United States Institute for Peace, Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship, President Jimmy Carter’s Waging Peace Award, Marvin Johnson Diversity Award, Association for Conflict Resolution, Exemplary Leadership Award from the University of Pittsburgh, and the Institute for Noetic Science’s Creative Altruism Award. She speaks, teaches, coaches, mentors, writes, facilitates, and supports peace processes and conflict resolution programs internationally. She holds a vision of a world of peace and dignity for all. She believes that our common humanity binds us together more than our differences divide us. She works to make it so.