cesran 160The first annual Global Peace Workshop – held between the dates of 1-5 of July 2013 in Trabzon/TÜRKİYE and organized by CESRAN International, Coventry University and Karadeniz Technical University– explored youth contributions to conflict transformation, post-conflict peace building and reconstruction, looked beyond dominant theories relating to youth in conflict and explored the challenges of youth exclusion from peace building activities. In the first workshop, which brought together practitioners, academics and students of peace and conflict from institutions worldwide, we have examined that how young people’s relationships with societal structures are formed and negotiated, both through established and unconventional means, and how this impacts on peace processes in contested and divided places.

The second annual Global Peace Workshop (on 23-27 June 2014 in Mugla, Turkey) will explore the role of young people in promoting peace through arts, culture and tourism. Culture is a vital instrument in building peace, helping us to understand ourselves, our values and traditions in relation to others near and far. In today’s increasingly connected world, where we are able to cut across boundaries and interact with others with unprecedented ease, the opportunities for cultural exchange have never been so vast. And it is often the young who make the most of these opportunities, travelling to other countries for work, study and tourism, and building relationships across difference at home and online.

Increased cultural exchange can help us to foster mutual understanding and manage change, yet much of the potential of culture for building peace goes untapped. The Global Peace Workshop welcomes people from all countries to come together to explore the challenges and opportunities facing young people in building a culture of peace. Introduced by high profile keynotes speakers, the workshop provides participants with the opportunity to explore one of five workshop themes. This year also introduces master classes for participants, helping to hone core skills related to advocacy, peace building, development and foreign relations.