London Peace Talks 2016

Building Bridges

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The first-ever London Peace Talks were held on 3 November 2016 at the City Hall.

The London Peace Talks inspired reflection and discussion how we can all work together to promote peaceful and inclusive societies, both at home and abroad.

In our increasingly interdependent world, respect for diversity and cooperation among sectors are not just desirable. Speakers shared tangible experiences, personal stories and ideas to highlight the role that each and everyone one of us can play in contributing to more peaceful societies. At the same time, the event looked at the role that individual citizens and United Kingdom as a country can play to support sustainable peace at the global level.

Location: City Hall
Date: 03/11/2016
Time : 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm


Raed al Saleh

Raed is the head of the Syrian Civil Defence (also known as The White Helmets). The Syrian Civil Defence is a volunteer organization created in 2013, and made of former bakers, teachers, electricians and other "ordinary" Syrians who now work together to save the lives of those wounded during attacks. There are 2,700 rescue workers who make up The White Helmets, who have so far saved over 62,000 lives from the rubble of air-strikes in rebel-held areas of Syria. This year, the Syrian Civil Defence were awarded the Right Livelihood Award, and were Nobel Peace Prize nominees.

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London Peace Talks

Noa Gafni Slaney

Noa is the Founder and CEO of Impact Squared, which works with social causes to elevate their message, motivate people to act and evaluate their impact. Impact Squared works with leading organisations such as the United Nations Foundation, Coalition for Inclusive Capitalism and International Crisis Group. During her MBA at London Business School, Noa became deeply interested in the world of international organizations and social change. Noa is a regular contributor to the Harvard Business Review, Triple Pundit and the Huffington Post. She is a Social Innovation Fellow at the University of Cambridge and a Professor of Practice at New York University.

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London Peace Talks

Ruth Ibegbuna

Ruth is the founder and CEO of 'RECLAIM', a Manchester based youth leadership charity. Previously, Ruth was a teacher in a Manchester state school whose young people obtained some of the best GCSE results in the country. Ruth was also a member of the Independent Commission on Youth Crime and Anti-Social Behaviour. In 2016, Ruth was listed in The Sunday Times as one of the 500 most influential people in the UK, and was also listed by Virgin and Ashoka as one of the top six female changemakers internationally. Ruth is an Ashoka UK Fellow.

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Fatima Zaman

Fatima is currently a civil servant in the UK. She leads on policy work relating to Countering Violent-Extremism, Terrorism and Faith-related matters. Her work involves advising key stakeholders on countering-extremism both within and beyond the education sector. She has extensive knowledge and experience of working in the CVE field at the local, regional and national level. Fatima has a keen interest in counter-narratives that seek to dispel, discredit and destroy the narrative employed by extremists. She strongly advocates engagement and dialogue around matters of faith and integration to achieve this. She is a Young Leader at the Kofi Annan Foundation’s program Extremely Together.

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Maran Turner

Maran is executive director of Freedom Now, an organization that works to free individual prisoners of conscience through focused legal, political and public relations advocacy efforts. Prior to joining Freedom Now, she was a lawyer with the Southern Africa Litigation Centre (SALC) in Johannesburg, South Africa, where worked with Southern African jurists on human rights litigation. She had also been an associate with DLA Piper LLP (US) where she was honored as Pro Bono Attorney of the Year for her international human rights work representing notable human rights defenders such as former Czech Republic President Václav Havel and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Desmond Tutu.

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Rehana Faisal and Peter Adams

Rehana is a community activist in Luton, dedicated to promoting understanding and friendships. She is the chair of the recently established Luton An Nisa Trust, LANTern, a grassroots movement which seeks to empower Muslim women through engagement in social issues. Peter is a community mediator and peacemaker in Luton, based at the Anglican St Mary’s Church. Over the past seven years he has worked closely with the Christian and Muslim communities to oppose extremism from the far right and within the Muslim community. He is director of the newly formed St Mary’s Centre for Peace and Reconciliation. Over the past eighteen months Peter and Rehana have worked closely together in a number of projects to increase cross community partnership and thus challenge the extremist narrative of inevitable inter-religious conflict. The most recent, FACES, Faiths Against Children’s Sexual Exploitation, has engaged senior leaders in Christian and Muslim communities to work for the welfare of all young people in Luton.

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Lukrecija Urnevičiūtė

Lukrecija is 16 years old and currently attending Vilnius Lyceum, in Lithuania. She is passionate about making positive change in her community including through the European Youth Parliament, public speaking, and the Lithuanian Red Cross Society. She recently participated in a social media campaign launched by Goodwall, a social network for teens where hundreds of thousands of students shared their acts of peace to create connections from all over the world.

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Dress For Our Time by Helen Storey

Dress For Our Time uses the power of fashion, science and wonder to communicate two of the world’s most pressing and interlinked issues of our time: climate change and refugee crisis. The unique dress has been made from a decommissioned UN refugee tent by Professor Helen Storey (MBE RDI). Helen is an award winning British artist and designer. She is Professor of Fashion and Science at the Centre for Sustainable Fashion, University of the Arts London, London College of Fashion and Co-Director of The Helen Storey Foundation.

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Lliana Bird

Lliana is a radio DJ & broadcaster, currently on Radio X (formerly Xfm). In August 2015 she co-founded Help Refugees, a grassroots organisation which has gone on to become the biggest provider of aid to Calais and Dunkirk, and expanded all over the rest of Europe providing vital humanitarian aid and assistance to tens of thousands of refugees every day. She also wrote her first book in early 2016 entitled "the mice who sing for sex, and other weird tales from the world of science" which will be out in October 2016.

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Best of London Peace Talks

Held at City Hall, with magnificent views over the London skyline and the river Thames, the first-ever London Peace Talks were organised under the theme “Building Bridges”. The event showcases examples of how individuals, communities, and institutions can promote more peaceful societies through dialogue, respect for diversity and active citizenship.
Speakers coming from diverse backgrounds share their personal experiences, stories and ideas to highlight that everyone can contribute to peace – be it in the United Kingdom or around the world.

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Strategically situated on the banks of the Thames estuary, people and ideas have flowed in and out of London like the ebb and flow of the tides of history.
London is possibly the most cosmopolitan city on the planet. It is a place where people of all nations and creeds rub shoulders on a daily basis in an effort to improve their lives and worth.
Beyond the familiar postcard images, lively social and cultural events, London struggles with the the same issue that preoccupy all of us: integration; inclusion; wealth inequality; migration; unemployment and the environment to mention but a few.
London has always faced the dangers and issues of its day. It is a place where people have found innovative and enlightened solutions that have gone on to impact change at a global level. As the world enters into a period of uncertainty, London and its people are no doubt poised to meet these challenges once again.