What we do template

WE ARE ON A MISSION

To understand and address the causes and consequences of conflict.

Founded in 1992, our core belief has always been that people can overcome deep-seated conflict, injustice, and oppression.

More inclusive democracies. Nonviolent cooperation. Respect for differences. All depend on the human brain.

In situations of conflict, people make choices that can lead to survival or death; tolerance or xenophobia; nonviolent resistance or armed insurgency. From mundane factors like the time of day to deeper ones like exposure to trauma, our brains process these choices using neural pathways that evolved long ago. Only by understanding these pathways can we design better ways of helping people change their attitudes, beliefs or behaviors so that we can all live peacefully with others around the world.

OUR APPROACH

We address real-world conflicts by applying our Science-Informed Design (SID) process, which helps us stay:

Problem-driven: We work backwards from the observable problem and find the best fitting evidence-driven solution.

Conflict-sensitive: We treat people affected by conflict and injustice and always apply a “do no harm” approach.

Locally-led: We partner with local organizations, actively furthering knowledge transfer, and local ownership.

Rigorous, open science: We use rigorous methods to assess the success or failure of our work, and openly share results.

OUR THEMATIC AREAS

Preventing Identity-based Violence

How people think — not just what they think — can shape pro- or anti-social intergroup behaviors during conflict. Through collaboration between peacebuilders and social and behavioral scientists, we weave this learning into designing evidenced-based innovations that improve attitudes and behaviors between conflicting groups.

Strengthening Democracy

Democracy is under threat, but how far we allow democratic norms to erode depends on psychological drivers that science is just beginning to explore. We use novel approaches to secure the legitimacy of democratic norms, strengthen movements for social change, and address identity-based polarization. 

Promoting Psychological and Social Repair

Trauma and chronic stress are underrecognized influences on community and political violence through their effects on individual neurobiology, intergroup perceptions, and cultural and political norms. We design, test, and scale trauma-informed approaches to conflict resolution, social cohesion, and mitigating violent extremism.

GET INVOLVED

We are always looking for innovative collaborators to help us in our mission to understand and address the causes and consequences of conflict. Are you a practitioner, researcher, academic, activist, or funder interested in getting involved? Reach out and tell us about your vision!

Stay updated on Beyond Conflict’s work and get notified about opportunities to engage with our efforts:

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NEWSROOM

From surviving to thriving

David Eisner’s Best of 2022 List

“I Have Never Hurt Anybody”

MAKE AN IMPACT

For more than 30 years, Beyond Conflict has received support from foundations, corporations, individuals, and governments committed to addressing the root causes and consequences of conflict. These generous supporters share our belief that the application of conflict resolution experience coupled with brain and behavioral science can be a powerful and transformative combination for peace.

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