Love as Energy
“The Peace 50 community brings together women from different countries. They are all experienced professionals in their fields, successful entrepreneurs, and leaders. However, the main thing is that they are women caring about the future of our planet paying much attention to social activity and putting much effort into it. They contribute to the preservation of peace and development of the world through their projects. That diversity is what makes our women unique”, emphasizes Marina Volynkina, co-founder of the Peace 50 community and the Summer Peace Summit.
Answering the Call of the Heart
From the very start, the concept of Peace 50 was based on a deep idea: to unite women who, on the one hand, achieved a certain influential status in society and, on the other hand, preserved their enthusiasm, energy, non-indifference, and desire to improve the world and contribute to addressing global problems. That made it possible to accumulate the powerful creative potential of women in one place.
The community’s first meeting took place last year in Belgium as part of the First Summer Peace Summit. It was originally planned that the meeting would bring together 50 women from different countries and fields of activity. That is how the community’s name appeared. However, the number of supporters of the idea increased. This year, already 100 women leaders took part in the Second Summer Peace Summit held in the online format. Their common understanding of the harmony- and justice-based way of the world’s development became the linking element among completely different women.
Marina Volynkina, co-founder of the Peace 50 community and the Summer Peace Summit, Head of the Global Women Media news agency, and Rector of the Institute for the Humanities and Information Technologies, shared her vision of global problems and ways to address them with AiF.ru.
– The slogan of our community is “building connections from heart to heart”. It is about women’s soft diplomacy, their deep love for the planet we live on and for all people around us.
The Peace 50 members believe that peace and sustainable development can only be achieved by building strong horizontal relationships among countries. Women are naturally endowed with many useful qualities that are useful to develop this kind of communication.
Horizontal relationships differ from vertical ones in that their participants are all equal. Communication is not based on formal contracts, job instructions, or business rules of conduct. It is based on shared human values, sincere interest in the interlocutor, and heart to heart conversation. Such non-indifferent communication makes it possible to broaden horizons and erase any borders between among whole countries.
Of course, our participants are united by their social projects in addition to common values and goals. Women see their life missions in fulfilling them.
– Why are social projects so important?
– Every member of our community has a powerful social project. After making success in career and profession, a woman has many resources to help the needy and contribute to the sustainable development of society.
Those are not projects for the show. Those projects require investing a lot of energy and attention and putting one’s heart and soul daily. We keep our finger on the project’s pulse constantly. We understand that, otherwise, everything created by us will start to fade. Our lives would be incomplete without those projects. When fulfilling them, we do not ask for anything in return. We simply enjoy being able to share our unconditional love with people around us.
At the same time, showing sincere interest in the future of the world, we are constantly involving an increasing number of participants in our projects. We become a role model to others, thus inspiring and motivating them.
All projects of our community are free. However, people feel our love for what we do and pay us back with their attention, interest, and warm words of gratitude. It means a lot to us.
Summit Amidst the Pandemic
– Your recent summit took place in an online format because of the current epidemiological situation in the world. The coronavirus changed its agenda too. Did you discover something new in your like-minders?
– The Peace 50 members communicate with one another constantly, implement joint projects regularly, and support one another in anything. We host a global meeting of our community every year. It is the Summer Peace Summit where we share our experience and ideas, discuss topical issues, and propose solutions to problems.
The pandemic led to significant changes in the Summit’s programme. Interestingly, the title topic of the event, Global Women for Global Growth, which had been approved last year, remained unchanged. That emphasizes its depth and relevance. That topic describes what we do and how very accurately.
Of course, the issues raised during the discussion at the Summit were quite difficult. During the pandemic, serious changes took place in the world. The transformation in people’s understanding of life values was evident. Many women came to the understanding that humanity is facing a truly complex challenge. On the one hand, many countries now have to return from uncertainty to sustainable development. On the other hand, it is no less important to preserve everything that was achieved before the pandemic.
The pandemic is a serious challenge faced by the whole world. The role of women leaders turned out particularly important during this difficult period. They became role models. Women had to show what everyone could do for the world in this situation on their own example.
As Head of the Global Women Media news agency, I asked the Peace 50 members to share their experience of ‘surviving’ the pandemic. Many community members took the time to communicate with our journalists despite their busy schedules. We appreciated that very much. In their interviews, women from around the world told our journalists very interesting things. They explained how to transform fear into a conscious process of life, how to organise your time within self-isolation properly, and how to preserve common sense and a good heart in times of uncertainty and stress.
– At the Summer Peace Summit, you summed up the results of the past months. What problems did the pandemic expose?
– The pandemic highlighted the importance of women’s role. They were the source of support for their families during the period of self-isolation. They not only performed their professional responsibilities but also took on more household duties than usual. Women managed to combine all that successfully and continued to give love and care to their loved ones.
At the same time, we discussed large-scale problems. The pandemic has clearly demonstrated to us that the world faces a number of unresolved challenges. Thus, it became clear to us that the development of a consumption-based society was a dead-end path. It is necessary to change social foundations to create a new creation-based society to let the world continue to exist and develop. Not fears but love must live in people’s hearts. There must be peace in people’s minds, not aggression.
The word ‘love’ was in every report at the Summit. It was the leading idea of not only our dialogue but also all the community’s activities. At the same time, when talking about love, we mean not an emotion but the vital energy that fills the space. Love is a process that helps us preserve peace and develop our world harmoniously.
Barbara Dietrich, co-founder of the Peace 50 community and the Summer Peace Summit (Belgium):
“With the difficult situation we are in, a need became apparent that women have to play an important role in the male-dominated world. We can contribute to addressing global problems greatly. That is why it is so important to attract women to all spheres of social life.
“It was important for us to create a platform to support the community of women with respect, shared values, and common ideas as forces that unite us. We believe that women can be extraordinary changers using their soft power for making a positive difference”.
– Marina, please, tell us about women members of your community and their social projects.
– Let me start with Gülden Türktan, member of the Organising Committee of the Summer Peace Summit. She is the former President of the Women Entrepreneurs Association of Turkey (KAGIDER) and the President of the Board of IWF Turkey. Moreover, she is the very person who founded the Women 20 (W20), which is a substructure of the Group of Twenty (G20).
Collectively, the G20 economies account for around 90% of the gross world product (GWP), 80% of world trade, two thirds of the world’s population and about half of its land area. At the same time, most of the participants of the G20 are men. They are experienced leaders concerned about the fate of the world. However, as we know, any problems and situations require a different perspective. The G20 countries have always strived to achieve financial stability and sustainable growth. Gender integration has been recognized to be one of the most effective solutions to the problems. After understanding that, the G20 members started to invite influential women from different countries to summits and meetings. A separate women’s structure of G20 appeared over time. It was called Women 20.
It was an honour for us that Gülden Türktan not only emphasized the importance of our community but also became an active member of the Peace 50. By the way, the next Summit will take place in Turkey on her invitation.
Gülden Türktan, co-founder of the Peace 50 community and the Summer Peace Summit (Turkey):
“Today’s world still has many problems requiring our attention to be solved. Today, people need to spend money more consciously, decrease the level of poverty and illiteracy, resolve and prevent conflicts, and secure their environment. Women can contribute greatly to addressing these problems.
Peace is the absence of violence in all its manifestations. In addition, prosperity is directly linked to justice. I believe, we need to ensure that women from all over the world can fully participate in decision-making for global growth.”
Acquainting with Cultures Through Personal Stories
– Miriam Leitner and Theresia Romberg-Frede from Germany presented their wonderful report called Different The Same. The two Germans started a dialogue with Chinese women, erasing the borders not only between the two countries but also among other countries of the world. They created an information portal where they started publishing unique and, most importantly, very personal and sincere stories of Chinese women. Thanks to their project, Miriam Leitner and Theresia Romberg-Frede have shown that all women are unique but, at the same time, their life positions and systems of values share much in common.
This social project makes it possible to bring people closer together. When we start learning more about one another, our hearts are opened: we become more interested in other cultures and countries and want to understand people living in them better.
Miriam Leitner and Theresia Romberg-Frede (Germany) at the Summer Peace Summit:
“We wanted to encourage people to put off their fear and prejudices and speak with each other in an open manner.
We are deeply convinced that listening to each other is the most important step to a more personally connected and peaceful world.”
Blind Football Players
– Anna Wolf, analyst at the Ifo Institute for Economic Research Munich, aide to the former President of the German Parliament Dr. Wolfgang Thierse, was one of the moderators of this year’s Summit. She has her own social project, in which she puts all her heart and soul. The project supports blind football players in Russia and Germany. Today, Anna Wolf assists in organising trips for holding Russian-German friendly matches.
Blind people have a completely different perception of the world. They can feel people from a distance. They certainly need more love and care. When I learned about that project, I immediately had the idea to involve students of the Faculty of Psychology from my institute in it. This is a clear example of how we can be useful to one another, how we can join forces to become even stronger.
Anna Wolf at the Summer Peace Summit:
“When talking about peace, people usually mean the absence of war and peaceful collaboration across borders. I agree with that partially. The Summer Peace Summit bringing together concerned, wise, and influential women from different countries demonstrated that we must understand peace much more profoundly.
The pandemic is just a painful reminder, that our world is still a world of segregation. This inequality has historical roots, which reach far back into the history of humankind, into times when people lived in a world of shortage, when they fought for resources in order to survive, when being superior to others increased the chances of the own survival and that of the offspring. But we must rethink our history. It’s only by examining where and when we were wrong that we are able to move into a future of right and justice.
Today, we do not live in a world of shortage anymore. We live in a world of abundance. We must not fight for resources anymore. We must make them accessible to every person equally. That’s the only way to fulfil our potential and focus all our efforts on making the world a better place.”
Complex Conversations on Race and Racism
– Joynicole Martinez, member of the Organising Committee of the Peace 50, CEO of The Alchemist Agency, Director of Research & Development at World Women Foundation, spoke of the urgent problem of racial inequality. In her report, as an African-American woman, she emphasized: racism remains a serious problem in many countries of the world today. People are used to judging others based on their appearance. This is also related to the development of a consumption-based society. This loss of values is of particular concern to us, non-indifferent women from all over the world. Joynicole Martinez sees the solution to that problem not in external but in internal perception of people. It must be the heart, not appearance, that determines who is before you.
Joynicole Martinez (USA) at the Summer Peace Summit:
“It is important that people see the differences of races and consciously take an antiracist position knowing that each person is valuable and one-of-a-kind.
Racism and hatred are not innate. These feelings are taught, we aren’t born with them. My personal belief in this ideal is challenged when people who are filled with acrid bitterness toward one another behave so poorly. It makes me question whether or not we don’t truly have a natural inclination to only love things that are familiar to us.
Where there is no love, there can be no peace. There can be no peace where people have to fight for justice. Racism is the absence of love.”
– Alopetianka is another very interesting project. It is aimed at supporting women with alopecia, which is an autoimmune disorder characterised by partial or full hair loss. Margarita Fedoseeva, under whose patronage the project is carried out, presented this initiative at the First Summer Peace Summit. Thanks to communicating with her, we met Marina Zolotova, the project’s leader, and made friends with her.
Today, many members of the Peace 50 community support women with alopecia. For example, Margarita Fedoseeva, as a designer, organised a show of her collection jointly with the State Tretyakov Gallery as part of Moscow Fashion Week. The models included women with alopecia and other concerned women. This project showed once again: each person is unique and beautiful in his or her own way, even if looking differently from others.
– The Peace 50 community is an opportunity to not only talk but also do something together, isn’t it?
– Of course, it is important for us that all our meetings and activities have an impact.
For example, we created a fully functional section for the Women 20 at our Global Women Media website jointly with our students. We published the organisation’s news in Russian and English and provided infographics. There was no such information on Russian resources before that. Gülden Türktan was delighted with that initiative. It is so wonderful that we can help one another. I believe that altruistic kind deeds help us become closer to one another, to understand all those whom we meet better. This is how horizontal communication appears. That communication helps us preserve peace and contribute to global development.
Another story is related to the world-famous Bauhaus School of Design. Its architects took part in building houses in the Soviet times. At the last year’s Summit, we met Anna Wolf from Germany who helped Elizaveta Zemlyanova, member of the Peace 50 from Russia, to contact with the Bauhaus representatives and discuss possibilities of cooperation between it and our institute. We showed the works by our students and experts estimated them. They concluded that the works corresponded to the European level of design. Six months later, our students visited Bauhaus, an almost impossible place to get to. Today, we are already carrying out a joint project with this school of design. Moreover, the Bauhaus is opening its branch in our country. Such cooperation is also very important. Thus, we contribute greatly to the development of international communication and building intercultural bridges among countries.
Many amazing women carrying out powerful social projects in various fields have joined the Peace 50 community over the year of its existence. This is the result we were waiting for. Strength and kindness are very attractive and like attracts like. We are not standing still. We are in constant movement and interaction.
May There Always Be Sunshine
– Today, many people from economists to esotery scientists say that we are on the verge of transition to new world order. There are different scenarios of what the new world will be like. However, there is no certainty about which one will be chosen. Do you think that our vision of the new world and our messages to the universe can influence the future?
– Yes, absolutely. All our thoughts are material and the future depends on our thought forms. We thought about that long time ago, when Barbara Dietrich and I decided to create the ‘Responsible Media for the Global Peace and Sustainable Development’ memorandum.
Every person is responsible for the future of the world. A lot depends on the moods of society. Of course, journalists play an important role here. The way how people perceive their country, other countries, this or that person, or the world in general depends on how journalists present information, on what they say or write.
Today, in the digitalisation era, each of us is a transmitter of information. We all can easily get in touch with our audience through the internet. That is why it is always important to remember our responsibility before the world and to understand clearly what and why we speak. The future of the planet depends directly on the meanings that we put into our words and actions that we fill our hearts with.
– The word ‘peace’ has many meanings. What meaning of it is important for the Peace 50 in addition to ‘peaceful sky above our heads’?
– I have a favourite birthday wish, “May there always be sunshine”. This is a line from that old song from our childhood. May there always be sunshine, may there always be peace.
Horizontal relationships contribute to peace. I like the phrase “Beautiful things are born in beauty.” Peace is also not born in war. It excludes war if there is a developed horizontal relationship. They are the basis of peace.
Today, it is women who have a huge responsibility to keep the sky peaceful. Caroline Codsi is a member of the Peace 50 from Canada, founder and President of Women in Governance. She was born in Lebanon and the topic of safeguarding peace is particularly important for her.
Caroline Codsi (Canada) at the Summer Peace Summit:
“I was 7 years old when the war started and I was 22 when it ended. That situation hindered any growth and development but that’s how I learned to overcome obstacles, to be persevering despite difficulties. Most importantly, I understood how important it is to be able to negotiate.
Women are naturally endowed with many qualities helping them preserve harmony in the world. Unfortunately, in the 15 years that I witnessed the war in Lebanon, there was never a woman anywhere to the negotiation table. All processes related to decision-making, formation of alliances, and development of strategies, were carried out by men. I am deeply convinced that had there been more women close to these processes, that war wouldn’t have yielded the disastrous results.”
– Women are mothers by nature. They always make sure that their loved ones feel comfortable and safe. Women know how to negotiate without arguing and to solve problems ‘softly’. Our community is a vivid example of that. It is so great that women from Russia, Turkey, Germany, China, Belgium, the USA, and many other countries speak the same language, based on mutual understanding, mutual respect, and desire to live in peace.
I am often asked the same question: why women? In reply, I tell my interlocutors about an interesting fact. One day, we visited the building of the Main Directorate of Internal Affairs of Moscow at Petrovka Street 38. There is a ‘02’ police telephone service receiving calls from all over the city. There are 40 women and no men working in that service. The service receives more than 1.5 thousand calls and telephone service employees must always be patient, correct, and attentive despite the stress of work. Women cope with that job much better than men.
So, when we talk about women, we talk about their soft power, which is extremely important to the world. We live on one planet, with one sky above our heads. It doesn’t matter that countries are separated by borders. The important things that unite us are our emotions including non-indifference, kindness, and love for our close people, life, and peace.
As a rule, men are responsible for political and business relations among countries. They like to compete. Women build horizontal, warm, and friendly relationships. That’s how they help men strengthen such diplomatic intercultural bridges.
We, women united by the word ‘Peace’, care about the future of our loved ones, our countries, our world, and, of course, about our own future. The summits that we host annually are aimed at bringing us closer together as much as possible. We are active and caring women from different countries of the world. We can reinforce our friendship and become even stronger. We can preserve peace among our peoples and peace in our hearts only by joining our hands.
Translated by Nikolay Gavrilov
This article was published in Argumenty I Fakty on July 19, 2020.
We translated it into English with the approval of this publishing house