The 2005 Teaching Peace Conference evaluations indicated participants wanted more in-depth opportunities to discuss the broad range of topics connected to teaching peace in the classroom and beyond.  The second Teaching Peace Conference was designed in Open Space Technology.  OST is a “dynamic and inclusive group methodology that encourages self-organizing groups of participants to address complex issues in a very short period of time. Unlike traditional conferences, OS emphasizes emphasize personal participation, responsibility, and commitment with a bias towards consensus and action."  Having recently returned from an Open Space conference at a sustainability conference facilitated by Steve Cochran, the US Partnership of the Decade for Education for Sustainable Development steward, we invited Steve to New Hampshire to open the Teaching Peace Conference space.

View the 2006 Teaching Peace Conference Photos

The Forgiveness Project

The Forgiveness Project, more commonly referred to as The F-Word Exhibition, is a young charitable organization – with no political or religious affiliations – working at a local, national and international level to promote conflict resolution and restorative practices as alternatives to the endless cycles of conflict, violence and crime that are the hallmarks of our time.

The Teaching Peace Conference was honored to feature the Forgiveness Project.  A photographic exhibition, the F-Word illustrates images and stories or 24 individuals who had, in different ways, experienced tragedy and atrocity and who had chosen to move on their in their lives through often painful and challenging journeys beyond towards forgiveness.  During the week, parents and students at the Oyster River High School were invited to visit the exhibit during the school day and encouraged to bring back to their classrooms their reflective response.

The Forgiveness Project traveled to the University of New Hampshire for open viewing. Following, the exhibit was moved to the Community Church of Durham for a week of evening events, including a panel discussion with faith-based organizations to explore what some of the world's great spiritual and religious traditions offer as far as language, history, ritual and vision in regards to forgiveness, reconciliation and hope in the face of violence and hatred. 

Through collecting and sharing personal stories, and delivering educational and self-help programs, The Forgiveness Project aims to reframe the debate about how individuals and communities can learn to celebrate difference and overcome division, thereby fostering positive social change.