Welcome to the Blog – Some background on business and peace

Discovering Business and Peace: A Journey from International Business to Peace Research

As a business student turned peace advocate, I often reflect on my journey and how it has shaped my understanding of the world. Initially, my path was firmly rooted in business. I earned a Bachelor's degree in International Business from Aalto University Mikkeli campus in Finland, focusing on the intricate connections between business and society. Little did I know, this foundation would lead me to a profound interest in peace studies, eventually becoming a pivotal part of my identity.

The Catalyst for Change

During my bachelor's studies, I was fascinated by how business could influence societal structures and improve lives. However, it wasn't until I pursued a Master's degree in International Peace Studies at the United Nations-mandated University for Peace in Costa Rica that I truly began to appreciate the depth and breadth of peace as a discipline. This academic shift allowed me to see business through a new lens – one that views ethical business practices as a vehicle for fostering peace.

Why Business Matters for Peace

One might wonder why a peace researcher would be so concerned with business. The answer lies in the fact that up to 90% of the global population is engaged in (some kind of) business. If we aim to create substantial positive change, we must leverage this vast potential. Business is not just about profit; it's about making, generating, fostering peace. A fundamental paradigm shift is required to see business as a force for peace enhancing human potential.

Defining Peace

Peace is often misconceived as the absence of war. However, peace encompasses much, much more than that. Even if we were to agree that peace is the absence of war, it still does not tell us what peace is. So, what is the definition of peace?

My simple answer is that peace is a feeling. For someone, peace can be a walk in the nature, and for another a romantic dinner with your spouse, playing with children, doing yoga, or traveling to a new country and experiencing the local culture. Peace for you might be reading this blog, watching a YouTube video, or doing your weekly groceries. There are as many peaces as there are people in the world.

My technical answer is that peace can be seen as the substance of any positive impact. This is enabled by the plurality and transrational nature of peace that transcends duality. Based on a wealth of studies and treatises in world literature, peace is believed to offer a guiding principle for the betterment of any aspect of human activity.

And, finally, in my elaborate answer, I define four levels of peace. 1) Nonwar is the absence of physical systematic violence. 2) Weak peace is the absence of structural or cultural violence. This includes violence against nature, such as pollution. 3) Strong peace is the first level of peace that describes substantial peace rather than the absence of negative traits (what it actually is and not only what it is not), and it is the presence of any positive values, ideals, or virtues desired by society, such as justice, health, wealth, education, or sustainability. 4) Finally, holistic peace is a transrational, spiritual vision for humanity, an ultimate higher purpose of human endeavor, and moral excellence.

My concluding answer is that peace serves as an ultimate visionary yet reachable goal. Accordingly, peace is an amalgamation of those ideals that the thinkers of the world have identified as necessary, right, and beneficial for the advancement of human potential.

It needs to be noted that each of the above-mentioned levels of peace has both an inner and an outer dimension. In other words, there can be an absence or presence of negative or positive states within one’s mind and/or within or between individuals, groups, organizations, societies, or nations. Yet, holistic peace can likely be achieved only through the extension of inner peace to outer peace.
  • Nonwar: The absence of physical violence.
  • Weak Peace: The absence of any type of violence, including structural and cultural violence. This also includes the absence of environmental harm.
  • Strong Peace: The presence of positive values, such as justice, health, or sustainability.
  • Holistic Peace: A transrational, spiritual vision that represents the ultimate purpose of human endeavor.
Peace is multi-dimensional, existing within and between individuals, communities, organizations, and nations. Achieving holistic peace requires a profound transformation, starting from within and extending outward.

The Role of Business in Promoting Peace

Businesses have a crucial role in promoting all levels of peace:
Nonwar and Weak Peace:
  • Avoid causing harm through conflict-sensitive practices.
  • Hire diverse staff and promote ethical standards.
  • Invest in societal stability and democratic values.
Strong Peace:
  • Offer ethical products and services.
  • Respect human rights and environmental responsibilities.
  • Promote gender equality and community development.
Holistic Peace:
  • Align business practices with a higher purpose.
  • Foster moral excellence in leadership.
  • Cultivate a global consciousness of compassion and collaboration.

Actions for Individuals

Each of us can contribute to peace by understanding and embracing the role of business in society. Reflect on your organization's purpose, values, and impact. Consider how your work addresses societal needs and fosters positive change. Engage in practices that promote both inner and outer peace, such as mindfulness and ethical decision-making.

A Call to Action

If you're intrigued by the potential of business to drive peace and want to explore how you can contribute to this transformative movement, I invite you to book an appointment with me via Calendly. Together, we can delve deeper into how your business or organization – as well as you personally – can become a beacon of peace and positive impact.
Join me on this journey to redefine business as a force for peace. Let’s harness the power of ethical business practices to create a more peaceful and prosperous world for all. Book your appointment today and take the first step towards becoming a catalyst for peace.
Together, let's make a difference.
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