Day 1. Hi, my name is Peace. Nice to meet you SPP participant!

My name is Julmar Carcedo from Mindanao, Philippines and I am a Summer Peacebuilding Program participant here at MIIS!  I just need to point out that coming all the way here to MIIS was super worth it. Monterey and MIIS are perfect complements. After meeting my co-participants and the program organizers yesterday at our welcome reception, I declare, with certainty, that this program will be phenomenal and enriching for everyone.


Today was day one for us. The sessions were very interactive and it really allowed us to feel comfortable with each other. The morning session with Dr. Peter Shaw really boosted social cohesion within the group. We come from different parts of the world, attend different universities, and have different interests even within the umbrella term, peace. However, we are all here. Johan Galtung was right. Although the word or the naming of “peace” may offer an unrealistic image of the world. It can also be a tool for a peace-productive atmosphere, allowing diverse people, like us, to come together with a common basis.

In the afternoon, Dr. Pushpa Iyer, the Center for Conflict Studies director, introduced us to peacebuilding. This session was very enlightening to me. With the aid of texts from J. Galtung and R. Paris, we were able to wrap ourselves around some important concepts – violence, conflict, peace, and peacebuilding. We were able to precisely define these concepts that could easily be misunderstood.

Dr. Iyer asked us what our definitions were and then building off our definitions, she presented the definitions that are accepted in the discipline of Conflict studies. What struck me the most was when Dr. Iyer said conflict shouldn’t be seen as negative. Initially, I was confused. However, Dr. Iyer clarified it to us. She said that only when you have conflict you’ll have change in the status quo. So, we need to start seeing conflict as something positive and be comfortable around it. This way, we can be more effective peacebuilders.


Another part of the presentation that struck me was the slide containing these three statements. These statements have been thrown around everywhere when talking about peace. However, these claims are still debatable. It struck me because each statement was only a sentence long but it contained plenty of meaning and promise. These statements essentially lead the peace operations and conceptions of peace today. So, I am going to leave these here. It’s a good set of thought-provoking peacebuilding program statements.