Each year, Minneapolis has the distinct honor of hosting the Nobel Peace Prize Forum (NPPF), which seeks to inspire peace making by celebrating the work of Nobel Peace Prize laureates. The keynote speakers this year include the Dalai Lama and 2011 Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Leymah Gbowee, speaking on March 9.

Ashley Long summarized part of the Dalai Lama’s March 1 keynote in a post on the NPPF blog:

He said that when he was young, he thought of himself as first Tibetan, then Buddhist, then Dalai Lama, but that now, he sees himself first as a human being. His earlier way of thinking was one that emphasized difference, and created an attitude that leads to anxiety and pretension. The more we emphasize difference, the more we create a we/they mentality that excludes and makes universal compassion more difficult. Seeing oneself first as a human being – as one of seven billion other human beings – reminds us that we are, first and foremost, related to each other.

Peacemaking and business are often intertwined, so, for the third year in a row, the NPPF will include a day dedicated to business.  Keynotes for Law and Business Day, March 7, include Ian Bremmer, president and founder of Eurasia Group, and Michael Posner, founder of Human Rights First and formerly the Assistant Secretary of State.

In addition, there are many exciting breakout sessions on such topics as conflict minerals, the intersection of business and the environment and the global rule of law, to name a few. I will lead a workshop, “Inspiring Peacemaking in Tomorrow’s Leaders.”

Inspiring peacemaking may begin with a catalytic encounter provided by the Nobel Peace Prize Forum. However, for that inspiration to stick, participants’ learning must begin before and continue after the Forum. This session will feature three panelists’ innovative work in the classroom and provide a workshop opportunity for both working professionals and students to plan how they will inspire peacemaking beyond the dates and walls of the Forum. St. Thomas professors Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer and Tim Ketcher, along with Lakeesha Ransom of the University of Toledo and Joe Underhill from Augsburg College will also take part in the workshop and discussion.

St. Thomas is an academic sponsor of the NPPF, and last year more students from UST attended on business day than from any other institution. For more information and to register to attend visit the Nobel Peace Prize Forum website.