6 Organizations Working Toward A More Peaceful World

War has been an almost constant reality throughout human history, continuing to devastate individuals and communities as weapons become more and more powerful and deadly. Rather than excuse violent conflict as "inevitable," there are a number of groups working to put an end to it. The organizations listed here use advocacy, research, and education to work toward peace. This video was made with Ezvid Wikimaker.

Groups Advocating For World Peace

Name Mission
Peace Direct Work with local communities to stop violence and build sustainable peace
White Poppies Encourage Canadians to broaden their Remembrance Day focus to include the civilians who now make up 90% of conflict victims; challenge the beliefs, values, and institutions that make war seem inevitable; and urge the government to promote and fund effective non-military means of dispute resolution
Institute for Economics & Peace Help create a world that is more peaceful and fulfilling for the majority of the people on the planet
Catholic Nonviolence Initiative Affirm that active nonviolence is at the heart of the vision and message of Jesus, the life of the Catholic Church, and the long-term vocation of healing and reconciling both people and the planet
International Civil Society Action Network Promote inclusive and sustainable peace in countries affected by violent conflict, extremism, militarism, and closing political space
World Peace Game Foundation Use the World Peace Game to teach children the work of peace, fostering the concept of peace not as a utopian dream but as an attainable goal to strive for

Has War Made Peace?

5 Ways to Get the News

If you want to help make life better for people in conflict zones, it's important to stay informed. Here are a few sources that can help you keep up-to-date on global events:

  1. NPR: Radio programs, podcasts, and online articles
  2. The New York Times: Print & online journalism
  3. BBC: Good source for international news
  4. The Wall Street Journal: Breaking news and economic coverage
  5. Associated Press: Investigative reporting and trusted facts

Recent Nobel Peace Prize Laureates

Year Laureate
2018 Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad
2017 International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons
2016 Juan Manuel Santos
2015 Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet
2014 Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzai
2013 Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons
2012 European Union
2011 Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Leymah Gbowee, and Tawakkol Karman
2010 Liu Xiaobo

ICAN's Beatrice Fihn On Nuclear Weapons

In Depth

Threats such as terrorism, civil war, and government oppression plague many regions of the globe. Seeking to address these problems, a number of organizations work to promote nonviolence, build stability, and provide education about alternatives to conflict. In no particular order, here is a selection of groups working to reduce violence worldwide.

Opening our list at #1 is Peace Direct, which works within regions at risk for conflict, supporting grassroots efforts to promote harmony. The group helps fund local partners, who document human rights abuses, speak out against extremism, and create stable sources of income to rebuild communities. Notable initiatives include Aware Girls, promoting women's rights and tolerance in Pakistan, or Kapamagogopa Incorporated, helping Filipinos displaced by anti-Muslim prejudice.

Peace Direct's network includes programs that help former combatants and child soldiers find stability in civilian life, or that empower women as skilled workers and community leaders. The group advocates internationally in support of local peace-building initiatives, and provides training for humanitarian organizations. It conducts research to assess the impact of its efforts, publishing reports on effective violence prevention strategies.

The group advocates internationally in support of local peace-building initiatives, and provides training for humanitarian organizations.

Next in the order at #2 is White Poppies, an organization seeking to broaden Canada's Remembrance Day celebrations, to serve as a call for peace as well as a tribute to military service. The white poppy commemorates civilian victims of war, to supplement the traditional red flowers honoring fallen service members.

White Poppies distributes lapel flowers for those wishing to signal remembrance for civilian dead, as well as classroom resources for teachers interested in encouraging students to reflect on the costs of violence. The organization also shares thoughts from community members, and organizes a wreath-laying ceremony to memorialize victims and refugees.

At #3 we have the Institute for Economics and Peace, a think tank dedicated to quantifying the costs of violence, and demonstrating the value of stability and international goodwill. It produces research reports such as the Global Peace Index, and analyzes trends including reported stress and attitudes toward security forces. The Institute attempts to forecast shifts in global instability, and to identify economic and social drivers of harmony.

The Institute attempts to forecast shifts in global instability, and to identify economic and social drivers of harmony.

The IEP has developed an analytic framework called Positive Peace, designed to spotlight the societal factors which contribute to stability. The group's mission includes education as well as research, with efforts such as youth workshops and the online Positive Peace Academy course sharing insights on building societal cohesion. The Institute also conducts outreach, and offers consulting services for clients interested in data on conflict and unity.

#4 on our list is the Catholic Nonviolence Initiative, a project of Pax Christi International, which seeks to reform the social teaching of the Catholic Church to oppose all forms of violence. This group's writings and outreach efforts urge the Church to reject the doctrine of just war and act as an uncompromising advocate for peace.

The CNI advocates for a doctrine known as gospel nonviolence, which calls for faith-based, peaceful resistance to aggression, and non-cooperation with military force. The group promotes nonviolent methods of conflict resolution, through educational resources such as the book Choosing Peace, as well as workshops and speaking events exploring alternatives to war.

The CNI advocates for a doctrine known as gospel nonviolence, which calls for faith-based, peaceful resistance to aggression, and non-cooperation with military force.

Up next at #5 is ICAN, the International Civil Society Action Network, which strives to reduce violence and extremism through a global network of women peace-builders. Recognizing the gendered impact of civil conflict, and the unique role of female voices in helping many communities de-escalate from violence, this group creates initiatives like the Women's Alliance for Security Leadership to unite female advocates for peace.

ICAN's Innovative Peace Fund provides grants and technical assistance to grassroots groups working to build social cohesion, while its Global Solutions Exchange brings together civil society leaders, to develop strategies for preventing extremism and conflict. The group also organizes an annual forum for members to meet and share knowledge, and publishes informational resources, such as policy briefs on the links between women's empowerment and sustainable peace.

We'll conclude with #6, the World Peace Game Foundation, helping children learn about conflict resolution through educational play. The game, developed by lifelong teacher John Hunter, is a simulation of world politics in which players seek to maximize prosperity and minimize warfare. The Foundation offers resources such as a book and a film exploring this teaching method, as well as newsletters describing the lessons learned by participants.

The game, developed by lifelong teacher John Hunter, is a simulation of world politics in which players seek to maximize prosperity and minimize warfare.

Children can experience the World Peace Game through intensive five-day camps, and the Foundation offers separate creative challenges called Mystery, Intuition, and Technology projects. Educators interested in becoming WPG facilitators can take Master Classes, which involve active demonstrations of gameplay; Hunter is also available for speaking engagements to discuss the educational value of creativity, play, and the unknown.