Peace Action Network brings together business leaders in conflict areas who are members of Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO) and World Presidents’ Organization (WPO) through YPO-style Forums to build bridges. Peace Action Network has helped create several successful Forums that build understanding between members and then undertake activities ranging from meeting with political leaders for policy changes, to promoting peace through cross-cultural communication among YPOers, to championing specific media, business, and micro-enterprise initiatives in conflict areas. The Forums become more than just a personal experience. Members share their insights with others, turning ripples into waves. The Forums also initiate change through action-oriented projects.
American-Arab Action Forum (A3F)
Members of this Forum are YPOers and WPOers from the U.S., Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Palestine, the UAE and Saudi Arabia. The American-Arab Action Forum is striving to make a real contribution to bridging the gap between the U.S. and the Arab world.
Jewish Arab Muslim American (JAMA) Forum
Members in this Forum are Jewish, Muslim, and Arab-Christian YPOers and WPOers living in the United States and Canada. With a focus on making a difference through action, JAMA creates programs and hosts events which facilitate better understanding on the most pressing issues, including the ongoing Israeli/Palestinian conflict and issues impacting these communities in the U.S.
JEMS Action Forum of Jewish and Muslim Women
Peace Action Network created two Action Forums for women to build bridges in conflict areas. The first group was formed by a committed group of London-based Jewish and Muslim women calling themselves the “JEMS of London.” A similar group in New York, the JEMS Forum of New York, focuses on taking specific actions, leveraging the knowledge and connections of the group to build a better world.
Middle East Forum
The Middle East Forum is a group of Israelis and Arabs that first met in London in August 2002. This Forum was the first Peace Action Network Forum. It operates under Forum rules, working with a facilitator to assist in fostering open dialogue and increasing understanding among YPOers and WPOers either living in or with direct ties to the Middle East conflict.
This group catalyzed a major breakthrough in relations between countries. The Indo-Pak Forum sponsored a trip to Pakistan hosted by the Pakistan Chapter for YPOers from India. That trip, championed by Amin Hashwani (Pakistan) and Maitreya Doshi (Bombay), brought 133 of India’s top business leaders to Pakistan for three days, and included time with President Musharraf at the presidential palace. All but two of these Indian YPOers had never visited Pakistan before, and given the restrictions on travel between the countries, had to walk across the border in order to enter the country. During the group’s visit with President Musharraf, he announced his decision to open air travel between the countries.
Why We Are Doing It
We believe that the Peace Action Network can make a unique difference in areas of conflict by bringing together business leaders on both sides into Action Forums. Peace Action Network combines everything that’s special about YPO Forum with the entrepreneurial skills of YPO/WPO members and YPO’s global network of business leaders. This allows Peace Action Network Forums to give members unique insights and understandings that they, in turn, share with their spheres of influence: their families, companies, industries, and elected officials. This ‘bottom-up’ change, initiated by business leaders, can change the world.