Peace 50: Wise ‘Soft Power’

On how it started out

When two active, creative, concerned, and like-minded women meet each other, they become able to generate a number of new ideas and initiatives. The start to the great friendship and effective interaction between Barbara Dietrich (Belgium), Editor-in-Chief of the Diplomatic World Magazine, and Marina Volynkina (Russia), Head of the Eurasian Women’s Community news agency, was given at the Second Eurasian Women’s Forum in Saint Petersburg. They both took part in a discussion platform dedicated to the topic of social responsibility of media. Ms. Dietrich and Ms. Volynkina at once found a common ground and understood that they both had similar values and life position. They realised that jointly they could bring more use to the world around.

Marina Volynkina and Barbara Dietrich are convinced that today it is necessary to establish horizontal communication among countries. They started implementing joint projects dedicated to culture and art and attracted active outstanding people of different professions from worldwide to their programmes.

Ms. Volynkina and Barbara Dietrich initiated the creation of the ‘Responsible Media for the Global Peace and Sustainable Development’ memorandum. Women leaders from all continents signed it and their number still keeps growing.

Summing up the results of realisation of their numerous projects, Marina Volynkina and Barbara Dietrich realised that the modern world needed a platform that would unite socially active women. All women are, in the first turn, mothers. They pay attention to society, in which their children will live, and to what future awaits them. Moreover, every one of them is a professional in a certain field of activity. By uniting their efforts, women can achieve major success in preservation and development of peace.

It is important to ensure that relations among the platform’s members are based not on business interests but on friendly and altruistic communication aimed at achieving the result. Members of the community won’t be sponsored by the organisers, which will prove their sincere interest in the topic.

It was anticipated that women from different countries having special creative energy and an unlimited desire to improve the world would become the community members. Such common values will unite not only separate people but also five continents of the world.

The intertwined rings meaning synergy and powerful unity became the symbol of the new community.

“When two women unite, their interaction gives a significant result. When five women do the same, they can achieve much more. And fifty wise, kind, and sensitive women are not just a team, but a powerful structured system able to address global problems", believes Marina Volynkina. That is why the community was called Peace 50 (P50).

It was decided that the first P50 meeting must take place in Europe. Barbara Dietrich offered to host the event in the city where she lives and works. Moreover, the Living Tomorrow art space supervised by Ms. Dietrich was ready to provide its own venue for holding the large-scale international project.

The Summer Peace Summit took place in Brussels on June 28-29.

Dozens of women leaders from different countries of the world became participants of the event. Such a number allowed to, on the one hand, invite specialists from most different fields of activity and, on the other hand, to ensure comfortable conditions for common dialogue and effective communication without division into groups.

Organisers paid special attention to compiling the list of participants.

Women who carry out social and charitable activities, implement their own projects, and at the same time do not represent government bodies, were invited to the first Summit. Being energetic, independent, and fulfilled was an important requirement to the participants.

Active life position and absence of member fees are the two key principles of the new community.

“Having united women, we managed to establish a wise ‘soft power’ that will give a powerful impetus to the world allowing it to feel our heartbeat and hear out voices”, believes Barbara Dietrich. Participants of P50 community are able to fill people around with their energy and show them how effectively one can succeed in addressing global tasks using that very ‘soft power’.

The Summer Peace Summit 2019 allowed to strengthen horizontal communication among countries. Its participants managed to not only exchange their experience but also inspire one another and people around to positive activities.

Each guest of the event gave feedback. The format of a dialogue became the Summit’s feature. Women not only presented their reports but also actually communicated with one another, exchanged their ideas and experience, and established contacts for further collaboration and implementation of joint projects in most different areas of activity.

Such an informal and at the same time fruitful communication lasted 2 days including intensive business programme in addition to rich cultural one. Over this time, the Summit participants managed to make friendly relations that are so important for fulfilment of global social projects.

All that contributed to the prolonged effect of the Summit: the P50 community’s work has only started upon the end of the event.

Participants were extremely inspired by the event and expressed many words of gratitude to the organisers. In addition, their desire to take part in the Summit, openness in dialogue, and readiness to share their knowledge and methods point to the conclusion that the world desperately needs such communities as Peace 50. That means that the project will have a great future.