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

Mark M. Seaman, Editor and Director of Communications
Mark M. Seaman, Editor and Director of Communications

Innovative Ideas for Global Challenges
Editor's Note

“It takes wisdom, courage, and strength to recognize the inevitability of change, to adjust to it, and to grasp opportunities. A keen sense of timing and a willingness to innovate are needed.”

Our founder, C. Maxwell Stanley, wrote those words in 1979—the same year of the Iranian Revolution and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, world events that triggered inevitable, and continuing, change. He was describing the need for new thinking to confront that context and the threats of violent conflict, nuclear weapons, and environmental neglect that challenged the world then, and now.

This issue of Courier explores innovators and innovative ideas that embody Max’s charge:

The countries that are the least responsible for climate change but also the most vulnerable to its effects are leading the rest of the world toward ambitious and revolutionary solutions to limit global warming. An influential and respected group of women are championing the movement.

Blockchain technology holds promise for a wide-ranging set of applications. Could it be used to safeguard the location of nuclear material and enhance trust among nations that possess it?

Civil society organizations like the Boy Scouts are changing the way peace might be made possible amid violence in the Central African Republic. And the private sector may be able to do more than we realize to build resilience to violent conflict in Iraq.

Finally, Kofi Annan is remembered as an innovator who, as secretary-general of the United Nations, challenged the world: “[I]f humanitarian intervention is, indeed, an unacceptable assault on [state] sovereignty, how should we respond to a Rwanda, to a Srebrenica—to gross and systematic violations of human rights that offend every precept of our common humanity?” His challenge eventually led to the Responsibility to Protect doctrine, which, while imperfect, is often characterized as a revolutionary approach to genocide and mass violence prevention.

I invite you to read more about these innovators and innovative ideas in the pages that follow, and to share your thoughts with us.

Max Stanley pressed the need to think creatively about the use of our resources and intellect in pursuit of a secure peace, and the Stanley Foundation continues to advocate impact-driven action in accordance with that legacy. As Max observed and we continue to believe, “The latent capability to effectively manage critical world issues exists; the challenge is to use it.” 

Mark M. Seaman
Editor and Director of Communications

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