The Stanley Foundation
Seeking a secure peace with freedom and justice, built on global citizenship and effective global governance.

Joseph McNamara
Joseph McNamara

Editor's Note

“The difference between the right words and the almost right words is like the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.” —Mark Twain

To the faithful readers of Courier as well as those who are newly discovering the fascination of its pages, it is a privilege to address you as this legacy publication’s new editor. Serving as editor is also a true bonus of my additional responsibilities as director of communications for the Stanley Foundation.

Through the years, almost 60 of them, the Stanley Foundation has relentlessly pursued the challenges of bringing together world policymakers and citizen leaders to work together to address and better manage critical issues facing the world’s populations—issues such as nuclear security, genocide prevention and human protection, climate change, and others.

Through the years, well more than 30 of them, I have professionally witnessed the power of communications. I have seen the power of connecting with target audiences with the right words for the right reasons, to inform and inspire, to make perception and reality one. I have also seen the futility of words that are only almost right, that basically connect with no one. And finally, sadly, I have also witnessed and fought the tragedy of truth being trampled and distorted, along with the rights of those who would have benefitted from it.

The Stanley Foundation enters 2016 continuing its legacy of hard work and dedication to make a positive difference on the world stage of critical issues. We move forward with expanded resources, including communications, and with increasing resolve to face growing urgencies. I am proud to join this talented, dedicated team and to help give greater voice and focus not only to the work being done to produce better outcomes of the world’s urgent issues but also to the valiant people around the world who collaborate to do it.

Recently, the eyes of the world were drawn to the global climate conference in Paris (COP21), as 195 nations gathered to reach agreement and commitment on specific actions to improve the world’s climate over the next 20 to 30 years. Much was written and spoken about the conference, flooding communications channels with information and messages. One key message that emerged was the importance and scale of climate change action being driven by nongovernmental organizations: the nonstate and substate actors, cities, regions, groundswell coalitions, businesses, investors, and more around the world.

It is a message that is close to home for the Stanley Foundation, as we have continuously increased our participation in groundswell climate change action the past 18 months leading up to and during COP21. Importantly, we will continue to play an active role in climate change going forward, including timely communications to support the progress of our collaborative actions.

There is no shortage of critical issues facing the world and its people, and there is little calm in the glut of communications surrounding them. To make a real difference in both will be a huge challenge—one that we at the Stanley Foundation accept. So glad to be with you for this journey.

— Joseph McNamara, Editor
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