Beyond War

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"The National Peace Academy is honored and delighted to have been named one of the Beyond War legatees. Given the alignment of our aims and philosophies regarding creating a “world beyond war” – a culture of peace – this evolution is indeed very much a good fit.

"On December 15, 2012, the national/international organization Beyond War announced that, with its broad focus and historical approach to seeking “a world beyond war,” it was no longer needed as an independent organization. It stated that “What is needed is for all organizations to embody the principles of living beyond war in their work, and to collaborate and consolidate in building the new systems in the culture of peace.”

"Thus, Beyond War named three “legatees” to receive its assets and to carry on its mission. The legatees are:

"Read the full text of the announcement here and listen to the live interview with Beyond War president Elaine Hallmark on Ecotopia Radio KZFR (the first 22 minutes of the recording), “Beyond War: A Legacy of Hope”." [1]


"Behind the movement and the organization called Beyond War lies the living history of a huge collective endeavor that began in 1950. Beyond War emerged in the early 1980s when the grassroots educational organization Creative Initiative, based in Palo Alto,CA, turned its attention to the threat of nuclear war between the United States and the Soviet Union. Early efforts focused on educating about the crisis that was escalating during the cold war, including showing “The Last Epidemic,” a film about the effect of a one megaton hydrogen bomb dropped on San Francisco.

"Beyond War developed a graphic way of showing what the reality was in the world at that time. With a BB pellet representing one million tons (one megaton) of TNT, people were asked to close their eyes and listen to the sound of the number of BBs that stood for all the bombs dropped in World War II, including the atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Three BBs were dropped into a metal bucket – ping, ping, ping. Then, with eyes still closed, “here are the BBs that represent the nuclear arsenals of the U.S.and the Soviet Union today,” and 18,000 BBs would cascade into the bucket with a clatter that went on and on and on. The effect was overwhelming, often bringing tears and a typical comment, of “I had no idea.” At the height of the Cold War, Beyond War volunteers hosted thousands of “Interest Evenings” and hundreds of “Orientation Meetings” in living rooms across the United States and in Canada and Germany. Through the work of Beyond War, citizens learned about the possibility of “nuclear winter,” which could have resulted if even a portion of American or Soviet missiles had been fired. This threat of nuclear annihilation formed the core of the idea, “war is obsolete.” Beyond War’s response to this threat was developed in reaction to Albert Einstein’s statement: “Everything has changed, save our modes of thinking, and we thus drift toward unparalleled catastrophe.” The most appropriate solution, Beyond War asserted, was to promote a new mode of thinking based on the principle “We are one.”

"Thousands of people adopted this new mode of thinking and people from all walks of life joined the movement, volunteering to do everything from giving presentations to researching the logistics of “space bridges” to link audiences across the world. See a video history, “Together We Can.”

"The Beyond War Award was given annually from 1983 to 1990 to honor the great efforts of humankind as it works to build a world beyond war. The award’s nomination and selection process attracted national and international attention, and many distinguished people, including Jonas Salk, Rosalyn Carter, and Andrew Young, served on the selection committee.

"The first award was presented to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops for their pastoral letter on peace. In 1984, the award went to the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) and presented to the co-founders, Dr. Bernard Lown of the U.S.and Dr. Yevgeni Chazov of the USSR, via a live television space bridge between Moscowand San Francisco. On January 29, 1985, more than 80 ambassadors to the United Nations attended a Beyond War-sponsored presentation by Dr. Carl Sagan and Dr. Sergei Kapitsa on nuclear winter. The ambassadors were told that even a limited nuclear exchange would threaten all life on the planet and no country would be exempt from the effects. At this time, more than 15,000 people were actively communicating the Beyond War principles in 12 states. There was start-up activity in ten other states, and 400 dedicated volunteer men and women were working full time on Beyond War.

"The third Beyond War Award went to the Five Continent Peace Initiative in 1985. The leaders were Olaf Palme of Sweden, Julius Nyerere of Tanzania, Andres Papandreou of Greece, Miguel de la Madrid of Mexico, Raul Alfonsin of Argentina, and Rajiv Gandhi of India. Using every satellite available at the time enabled the leaders and audiences in every country to see and be heard. More than 50 million people worldwide viewed the program, the first event to link five continents. The following years’ recipients were the Contadora Peace Process and the presidents of Venezuela, Colombia, Panama, and Mexico (1986); Peace Corps (1987); Presidents Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan (1988); Koinonia Southern Africa, Neve Shalom-Wahat Salam, and the Carter Center (1989); and Vaclav Havel, Earth Day, and Gro Harlem Brundtland (1990). See videos of all the award presentations.

"In 1988 Beyond War opened an office in Iowato raise awareness of the need for a world beyond war within the presidential campaign. Beyond War worked with Soviet and Western scholars during the cold war years of 1985 to 1988 to produce a joint book issuing the challenge to build a world beyond war. Breakthrough: Emerging New Thinking was published in both English and Russian in 1988, and the authors jointly toured in both the US and Soviet Union. The newsletter On Beyond War was published for 7 years, then became Timeline, published by the Foundation for Global Community for another 14 years, until December 2005.

"With the end of the Cold War, the tearing down of the Berlin Wall, and other hopeful signs of change, Beyond War went through a process of thoughtful examination and enlarged its focus to become the Foundation for Global Community (FGC). In order to truly move beyond war, humans had to discover the thinking and behavior, the values and processes that would enable a sustainable and resilient global system that works for all to emerge. See the complete history of FGC and its predecessors from 1950 -2010." [1]



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  1. National Peace Academy About, organizational web page, accessed December 3, 2013.