Thank you, EmileTim Phillips, founder and CEO of Beyond Conflict
It is with a heavy heart that I learn of the passing of Emile Bruneau. Emile was a friend, colleague, and mentor who showed me how science can transform the way we address conflict and reconciliation.
Emile and I met over a decade ago when I first started to learn about his pioneering research in neuroscience and wanted to collaborate to bring the worlds of science and practice together. Five minutes into our first conversation, Emile was peppering me with questions: “How do you know your organization’s approach to conflict works? How do you measure your impact?” I shared that we conducted evaluations that showed our methodology worked, but Emile pressed further. He asked me if I knew what psychological processes were being engaged in our methodology, and went further to say if we had any insight into brain mechanisms that might be “coming online” to advance or limit progress. I had no clue how to answer, but I knew right there and then we had to work together.
Ever since, Emile has been my core partner in this work. We organized pioneering conferences on Neuroscience and Social Conflict, Dehumanization, Norms, Narratives and Neurons. We engaged the World Bank, the United Nations, and the U.S. State Department in this critical work. His research on empathy, dehumanization, polarization, and intervention design focused on real-world impact only scratches the surface of Emile’s brilliance, creativity, and drive to make the world a truly better place.
Emile’s death is not only a profound loss to his family, friends, and colleagues but a loss for humanity. He was taken far too early from this planet, but his work and the ideas he generated will make a difference for generations to come. You can find his work here and watch him in action here.
We send our love to his wife Stephanie, his daughter Clara, and his son Atticus, along with the entirety of his family, loved ones, and all who knew him.
Founder and CEO of Beyond Conflict