On 28 April 2022, Rebecca Sutton (University of Glasgow), Jaremey McMullin (University of St. Andrews), and Christine Bell (University of Edinburgh) convened an event on youth peacebuilding in Scotland and the world with support from the new Scottish Council on Global Affairs (SCGA). Held in the Bute Room of the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh, they welcomed representatives from the Scottish Youth Parliament, the Centre for Good Relations, YouthLink Scotland, Action on Sectarianism, Sense Over Sectarianism, and Beyond Borders Scotland, alongside researchers and academic colleagues from the Universities of Glasgow, Edinburgh, and St. Andrews.
Also joining the event were Shatha Altowai and Saber Bamatraf, Yemeni artists and youth activists, and Graeme Simpson, Director of Interpeace USA and the lead author of The Missing Peace: The independent progress study on youth, peace and security. The event opened with original piano compositions by Saber, while Shatha live sketched the proceedings to provide impressions of the group conversations. Reversing the typical keynote approach of academic events, Graeme was invited to engage in a ‘listening keynote’ where he heard and responded to the experience of peacebuilders in Scotland.
The goals of the event were to: Learn from community activists and practitioners their ideas about youth peacebuilding through the youth work they do; Build connections and understanding between academics in Scotland working on youth peacebuilding and youth activists/practitioners; Discuss ways to involve young people in the peacebuilding agenda and work of the SCGA through participatory action research and inclusive engagement strategies; Explore ways to connect youth work, research, and foreign policy.
A copy of the full report, which includes original visual sketches by Shatha Altowai, has been shared with the SCGA and you can access it here.
Those interested in engaging with such events in the future are invited to get in touch with Rebecca Sutton (firstname.lastname@example.org).