The centerpiece of everything we do, the Engaged Identity® approach amplifies our innate human capacity to engage with, and thrive in, diverse and ever-changing environments. Backed by social, behavioral, and neuroscientific research, our framework supports conflict transformation and peacebuilding initiatives around the world, inspires teams of professionals to build meaningful collaboration and innovation, and prepares individuals to engage with conflict, difference, and diversity in our complex world.
March 29 - April 1, 2018. Nestled in the lush and peaceful Kabak Valley, Turkey, perched over magnificent views of the Mediterranean Sea expand yourself with our Engaged Identity® workshops, yoga, meditation, yachting, massage, healthy eating, and incorporate wellness and well-being in the beautiful whole body/mind/spirit package that is YOU! LEARN MORE … LEARN MORE about Learning Journey Mediterranean / Turkey
October 11-13, 2017. As an Alliance for Peacebuilding (AfP) member, we will be back in Washington, D.C. for our annual visit to the AfP conference. Our CEO serves on the steering committee for AfP’s Re-Wiring the Brain for Peace project and will be co-facilitating a panel on this work, as well as participating in the annual CEO Forum, and connecting with fellow peacebuilders from around the world. For ongoing updates, follow #PeaceCon2017. … LEARN MORE about Alliance for Peacebuilding Conference
We started with an understanding that addressing complex challenges begins at the individual level–and since 2007, we have been working with people, businesses, institutes, governments, and communities around the world, helping them to thrive and form sustainable relationships with global impact. With partnerships, staff, and participants in over thirty countries, we are dedicated to enhancing the way people engage systems and themselves.
Our business model works on a sliding scale: a portion of our consulting and service profit funds our ongoing work with people in conflict zones and developing countries around the world. These diverse partnerships–from global nonprofits to local civil society organizations–continue to enrich and inspire our work, and reinforce our commitment to building relationships across sectors and facilitating global change.
We were working with the chiefs to create a peace agreement, but the demands of the community were not being met. The workshop inspired us to use the identity mapping exercise to find common ground and implement a new dialogue protocol with listening, patience, and respect. Since then, relationships are stronger and the cease-fire has been maintained.
In the workshop, we had a diverse group of ages, backgrounds, and experience. What really interested me is how we all, regardless of age, could relate to the concepts and embrace this new understanding of identity and engaging with change. Really, this approach helps you to relate to life, to your life.
It is me. I am changing, but what is happening involves everyone. At first, I was practicing this new approach with my family, and incorporating new (contemplative) techniques. Then I had an incident with an employee at work. I was more compassionate and we were able to resolve the issue quickly--that’s when I noticed my leadership style was evolving.
Jennifer K. Lynne is the founder and CEO of TheContactProject. She holds a PhD in Peace & Conflict Studies from the University of New England, Australia and Masters in Conflict Transformation from the Center for Justice & Peacebuilding at Eastern Mennonite University, with specializations in Identity, Organizational Leadership, and Trauma.
She has been a Visiting Scholar at the Mind & Life Institute at Amherst College and served as the Professional Peacebuilding Practice Research Fellow at the Partnership for Sustainability and Peacebuilding, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She speaks widely on systems thinking, contemplative practices, and human development, and has been an invited presenter for the International Peace Research Association, the Human Dignity & Humiliation Studies consortium, the National Coalition of Dialogue & Deliberation, and the Association for Conflict Resolution among others.
In addition to her role at TheContactProject, she serves on the Steering Committee for the Re-Wiring the Brain for Peace project with the Alliance for Peacebuilding, the Global Advisory Board for the Chetanalaya Institute in Kathmandu, and as Global Advisor for SheForumAfrica. Her work and research have reached people from over thirty countries including Nigeria, Cameroon, Indonesia, Cambodia, Central America, Sri Lanka, Turkey, Fiji, Ireland, and the EU.
Chief Engagement Officer,
Global Day Maker
Adiel is a communications professional based in Washington, D.C. with over ten years of experience working with mission-driven organizations to find the most resonant ways to express their ideas, engage with stakeholders, and exceed their goals.
In addition to her role at TheContactProject, she currently serves as Communications & Marketing Director for Philanthropy for Active Civic Engagement (PACE), a network of over 50 funders and foundations that invest in civic engagement and democracy. She is also the Board Communications Director for URBAN REFUGEES, an international non-profit committed to improving the lives of urban refugees in the Global South. Formerly, she was was the Communications & Development Manager at the Alliance for Peacebuilding, a global network of over 100 organizations working toward sustainable peace. Adiel holds a M.A. in Communication from Wake Forest University, where her research centered on rhetoric, conflict communication, and narrative theory.
Catherine Cohen is a current masters candidate at American University’s School of International Services. She studies Foreign Policy and Security and plans to graduate in May 2019. Catherine is currently living in Baku, Azerbaijan after receiving a Boren Fellowship to study Azerbaijani. She previously served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Armenia, which sparked her interest in Peace and Conflict Resolution.
In addition to her role at TheContactProject, she is a Project Development Manager at the Eurasia Partnership Foundation in Baku, Azerbaijan, a nonprofit that helps create civic initiatives for social justice. Additionally, she enjoys fly fishing and learning languages in her free time.
Sustainable Development & Outreach Specialist, Missing Link Finder
Kristin is a freelance web designer/consultant and editor whose passion is working with growing social entrepreneurs. She studied Human Geography at the University of Oklahoma where she participated in the Friends of International Students Program and was named host family of the year. She speaks Turkish, Spanish, and English and has an ardent interest in cross-cultural communication, place, space, and building lasting relationships. In her spare time, Kristin is also a neuromuscular massage therapist with the philosophy that healing the body and providing proper tools to achieve lasting results in well-being works from the inside of an individual, and is an effective way to manifest peaceful existence on the outside. She also enjoys walking, swimming, and dancing.
Partnership & Programs Director,
Rebecca has over twenty years experience working in the aid and development sector with government and non government community based organizations in conflict affected societies. As the Director of Peaceworks Pty Ltd, an Australian based peacebuilding organization, she has worked with over 300 civil society organizations in Fiji, Northern Ireland, Solomon Islands, Timor Leste, Sri Lanka, Australia, South Africa, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu Islands, and the USA. She serves as the Senior Project Officer for the Public Sector Linkages Program at the Research Centre for Teacher Quality in Manila, Philippines, is a member of AusAID’s Peace Conflict Training and Advisory panel, and the UNDP BCBR. Rebecca’s professional focus is in dialogue design and facilitation, civil society support, peace and conflict training, social research, participatory and community lead processes, and project management.
Specialist South Asia & Oceania
‘Until a strong desire for peace sprouts in human heart, there will not be peace in the world’, these words come from Dr. Pradeep Dhakal who has dedicated his life towards peace in the world. Dr. Dhakal is the Founder Director of Chetanalaya – Institute for Humanity, Peace and Spirituality and the Founder President of the Karuna Aashraya Foundation. In addition, he serves as the Co-General Secretary of Asia Pacific Peace Research Association (APPRA). Dr. Dhakal received his PhD at the Banaras Hindu University, India and taught at the Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu. He is the author of several books, including Mero Nepal – Shanti ra Samriddhi ko Marg ma (My Nepal – On the Path to Peace and Prosperity), The Quest, The Forlorn Journey and contributed to Center for Global Nonkilling (CGNK) by translating iconic work, Nonkilling Global Political Science of Prof. Glenn D. Paige in Nepali (Ahinsatmak Rajnaitik Vigyan). He has traveled widely sharing his thoughts with like-minded people and organizations throughout the world.
Specialist Central Asia
Dr Kingsley Okoro Nwannennaya, holds PhD, MA and BA degrees from the University of Calabar-Nigeria. Dr. Okoro is an International speaker, researcher, and author with over 45 articles covering the areas of Globalization, Society, African Studies, and Peace/Conflict studies. He was the editor of the bestselling book in Philosophy and Religion, The Contemporary Issues in Philosophical and Religious Discourse. Kingsley and his team of researchers, the Ebonyi Scientific Group, are currently engaged in a new area of research examining the historical relationships of Igbo people of Eastern Nigeria. Dr. Okoro has served lecturer at Ebonyi State University since 2006, and is a member of several international organizations including the International Peace Research Association (IPRA), International Peace Movement, Human DHS, Greater New York Peace Association (GNYPA) International Association of African Scholars, and Association for the Study of Religions in African. Kingsley is the founder of He Cares Project Nigeria, which provides educational support for rural people in Eastern Nigeria.
Specialist West Africa
Dr. Ahmed heads the Department of Peace and Conflict Studies at Centre for International Peace & Stability at the National University of Sciences & Technology in Islamabad. He publishes and lectures on a wide range of issues, such as Islam, human rights, peace & conflict, regionalism, and regional security. Dr. Ahmed has worked with the Overseas Development Institute, the American Center for International Labor Solidarity, and the National Institute of Health, Pakistan as both a consultant and researcher. He is the author of Regionalism and Regional Security in South Asia: The Case of SAARC, co-authored the study Extremism in Pakistan and India: The Case of the Jamaat-e-Islami and Shiv Sena, and wrote Political Islam, Jamaat-e-Islami, and Pakistan’s Role in the Afghan-Soviet War, 1979-1988 published by Vanderbilt University Press. He holds a Masters in Peace Education from the United Nations mandated University for Peace, Costa Rica, a Masters in Sociology from the University of Agriculture in Pakistan, and received his PhD in Political and International Studies at the University of New England, Australia. In recognition of his research, Dr. Ahmed received the Mahbub ul Haq Research Award from the Regional Centre for Strategic Studies (Sri Lanka) and presented the 2005 Conflict Transformation Award by WISCOMP, the Foundation for Universal Responsibility of His Holiness The Dalai Lama (India).
Specialist South East Asia
Pushpi Weerakoon is a specialist in Peacebuilding, Restorative Justice, Development, and Diplomacy,with experience spanning three continents. Pushpi is presently the National Program Officer of the Social Cohesion & Reconciliation Unit at IOM UN Sri Lanka. Prior to this she was the Open Government Partnership (OGP) Civil Society Coordinator hosted by Transparency International Sri Lanka. She initiated and coordinated the Reconciliation Secretariat for the Sri Lankan government, coordinated projects on reconciliation and development for Search for Common Ground, worked at Bureau for Crisis Prevention & Recovery, UNDP, and the Sri Lanka Mission to the United Nations in New York. During the Sri Lankan conflict she was the Program Manager Legal at the International Development Law Organization, Conflict Transformation Manager at the Business for Peace Alliance and the Director/Registrar at the Alternative Dispute Resolution Institute. Pushpi holds a Master in Public Administration from Harvard Kennedy School of Government as the Mason Fellow/ E. Stokey scholar, Masters in Conflict Transformation from the Center for Justice & Peacebuilding at Eastern Mennonite University as a Rotary Ambassadorial scholar and Postgraduate Diplomas in Business Administration, International & Commercial Law & LLB from the University of Wales & Buckingham UK. She is also an IVLP member of the US State Department and a trained Mediator from Harvard Law School.
Specialist South Asia, Sri Lanka
Governance, Policy, Justice
Adeola serves as the Executive Director of African Centre for Development and Research (ACDR) based in the UK. His expertise in the dynamics of power, democracy, and development combined with over fifteen years of field experience in international development, civil and human rights, and youth programming in Africa, Europe, Libya, and Turkey, and the UK, has informed his work as a consultant and practitioner. He has worked with the North-South centre of the Council of Europe towards Europe-Africa cooperation on trade and market policies, and served as the Coordinator for the Trainers of Africa & Europe Cooperation, a community practice of 40 organizations in Africa and Europe. He holds a MA in Development Studies from the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) from the University of Sussex.
Specialist Africa, EU
Thom is the Director of the Center for Global Health and Peacebuilding and the President of the Underwood Foundation in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. CGHP is dedicated to advancing humanitarian practices and principles in global health and peacebuilding and focuses on innovative and comprehensive tools and approaches to development, emergency response, conflict prevention and peacebuilding within communities both locally and globally. Before starting the Center, he was an Assistant Professor in the Division of Critical Care and Pulmonary Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Medical College of Wisconsin and directed an animal sleep and neurobiology lab while working with the Rat Genome Project and the Human and Molecular Genetics Center. His research focused on systems biology and the genomic basis of sleep and sleep and movements disorders. During his work as a bioengineer and sleep researcher, he received three patents in adaptive control algorithms
Specialist Global Health &
Seda Hantal is a multidisciplinary yoga instructor with over 10 years of experience and training. She began her yoga journey in 2003 in her final year of university. Then in 2009 she completed 200 hours of teacher training at one of the premiere yoga studios in Istanbul, Cihangir Yoga, with Zeynep Aksoy. Additionally, during this time she had chance to work with internationally recognized yoga instructors, Tias Little and Godfrey Devereux. Afterwards she completed children’s yoga teacher training with Gail Grosmann and gained certification in adult-baby yoga.
As her interest in the different disciplines of yoga continued to grow she went on to complete an additional 100 hours of teacher training in restorative yoga with Hart Lazer and Cindy Lee as well as yin yoga teacher training with Berivan Aslan Sungur, the student of Paul Grilley at their workshop in Istanbul. She has taught many styles of yoga including, hatha, yin, restorative, tao vinyasa and yin/yang yoga at internationally recognized studios in İstanbul while reserving time to help practitioners on their journey by teaching private classes. She has also mentored new teachers in yin yoga at Yogaşala in İstanbul.
After her son Ali was born in 2015, she moved from İstanbul to southern coast of Turkey and continues to teach classes, organize and teach teacher training programs, and study in advanced yoga programs in different cities. Her current teaching focus is yin/yang style because she believes in the balance that yin/yang brings to her students. She includes thai massage as a form of healing touch in her classes. Seda believes her breadth of study has positive and integrative effects on the classes she teaches in different styles of yoga. Now… she is excited to join TheContactProject family.
Specialist Yoga, Thai Massage, Mindfulness