Where do we go from here?

It’s been just a few days since the conclusion of the Vancouver Peace Summit 2009 and the memories are still fresh: the wit of Sir Ken Robinson, the tenacity of Jody Williams and, of course, the stoic and inspirational words of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

One of the most refreshing elements of the Summit was the almost unflinching disunity of the panelists when it came to their thoughts on compassion.

Jody Williams was heard on one occasion, prefacing a comment, “With all due respect,” as she was about to disagree with His Holiness’s idea of universal compassion.

While all of the moderators did a wonderful job promoting discussion, the dialogues were very much a series of conversations: impromptu, inspired, and sometimes irreverent. 

The spontaneous mood of the Summit poured into the dialogue breaks as well. One of the highlights was His Holiness walking past a group of stunned reporters, only to stop and enjoy a cookie and some tea. When invited by one of the reporters to stay in Canada permanently, he reminded them that it wouldn’t be such an impossible idea as he has been a Canadian citizen since 2006. (video below)


While some may have been disappointed that Archbishop Desmond Tutu was unable to attend thanks to a ruptured disc, many were profoundly moved by the words of his daughter, Rev Mpho Tutu, who made the trip to Vancouver on his behalf.

Here at the DLC, we were following the Summit on Twitter and by far the most repeated words of wisdom from the week were Rev Tutu’s reflection on love.

“Love is not what you feel,” she said. “It’s what you do. It’s what you do that matters infinitely.”

At the conclusion of the final dialogue of the Summit, Women and Peace-Building, moderator Susan Davis made an important observation. She said it’s great to talk about all of the issues that we face when it comes peace, compassion, education and human rights, but what do we do? How do we move beyond discussion?

So the DLC invites you to tell us what you’ve been inspired to do after the Summit. How are you going to implement the wise words of the over twenty brilliant minds that attended the Vancouver Peace Summit 2009? Tell us on Facebook, Twitter or here on the DLC blog.  Let’s keep the conversation going!

If you missed the Summit, you can watch it at CTV.ca.

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