Carnegie Peacebuilding Conversations


Passion. Experience. Diligence.


A 3 day programme presented by Carnegie institutions Worldwide and other partners

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Monday 24th September to Wednesday 26th September 2018 at The Peace Palace, The Hague, the Netherlands

By connecting leading stakeholders from various backgrounds and generations, as well as underrepresented players around conflict related themes, the Carnegie Peacebuilding Conversations aim to generate unexpected insights and routes for progress in promoting world peace. The Carnegie Peacebuilding Conversations take place at the international icon of peace and justice, the Peace Palace.

Views are generated through dialogue involving different angles:

  • Generations: from children growing up in war zones to elders working in conflict resolution and prevention;

  • Expertise from civil society, technology and science as well as finance, health and education;

  • Sectors such as scientific research, politics, business, digital movements and philanthropy;

  • Public and community figures, and leaders, activists, and persons directly affected by conflicts.


From 24 until 26 September, around 350 people gathered at the Peace Palace in The Hague to join the Carnegie PeaceBuilding Conversations.

For the first time, Carnegie Institutions and other partner organisations around the globe came together and joined forces at the platform provided by the Carnegie Foundation – Peace Palace. By connecting leading stakeholders from various backgrounds and generations, the Carnegie Peacebuilding Conversations generated unexpected insights and routes for progress in promoting world peace.

Carnegie’s legacy was the starting point of the Carnegie PeaceBuilding Conversations, highlighting how his investments still make a global impact through the various Carnegie institutions. All results of the Conversations will be captured in a publication which will be spread in the end of 2018.

Also, the Peace Palace was officially unveiled as SDG 16 House, which entails that we will host and organise more events in the light of Sustainable Development Goal 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions.

If you were not able to join the event or would like to see sessions again, you can watch all sessions on, among others, Financing peace, Natural Resources, Health, Education, Youth and Cyber Security on our Youtube channel.

We sincerely thank those who attended, and are looking forward to welcoming you in the future at the Peace Palace.

reflections by gordon brown

Article of Mr. Gordon Brown, the United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education and former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

I was brought up in the shadow of Andrew Carnegie.

Dunfermline, the next town down the road from my home town, seemed to have everything -because of his charitable gifts to the town in which he was born.

They had their Carnegie Hall, their Carnegie swimming pool, their Carnegie Sports centre and their college named after his uncle. 

While today's billionaires have signed a giving pledge- to give half their fortunes away- Andrew Carnegie might not have approved.

Dunfermline benefited hugely because Carnegie chose to sign ALL his money away. 'To die rich' he said 'was to die disgraced'. 

But even though he gave every part of his fortune away he did not waste any of it: he allocated his money according to a philosophy that was about strengthening self-help. His was ‘no something for nothing‘ charity, and because he wanted people to improve themselves his focus was on education. He remembered how he'd been given access to someone else’s library to learn for exams. So he donated libraries before there were public libraries, 5,000 in total. But because people had to help themselves he'd pay for the buildings but didn’t give books. Locals had to provide them on their own.

If peace was to become his driving international crusade, education was to remain his moral passion. As a result his grants scholarships and endowments bought women, blacks, and poor young people into universities in large numbers for the first time. He wanted to take educational opportunity to people who had never had that opportunity before.

If Carnegie were alive today he'd be thinking of today’s left out and left behind young people whose talent and potential is being neglected. He would focus on the 75 million children caught up in conflict zones -most of whom are denied schooling- and the 260 million school age children who never get the chance to be at school today or any other day. And he would be thinking of the unrealized promise of the Sustainable Development goals ---that every single child should, by 2030, enjoy primary and secondary education -and, with 12 years to go to the 2030 deadline, how far away we are from reaching it.

And the question we must ask is – what partnership can philanthropy , governments and the international community now enter into to ensure we deliver on that promise of universal primary and secondary education.

Achieving this goal by 2030 is already a tall order and becomes even more daunting when we realize that as many as 400 million children finish their education for ever at 11 or 12, and that more than 800 million -half the world’s schoolchildren -leave education for good without any recognizable qualifications?

More than a decade ago,  global health had its moon-shot moment with the creation of the Global Fund for Health and the Global Vaccination fund. Since then, health aid has doubled; 500 million children have been vaccinated; and TB, polio and malaria are on the road to extinction.

Education now needs its moon-shot moment. The International Commission on Financing Global Education Opportunity’s proposal to fill the education financing gap with the $10 billlion International Finance Facility for Education (IFFEd) has been welcomed by the G20 and supported by the United Nations Secretary-General, UN agencies, the World Bank and multilateral development banks.

At the United Nations in late September, countries will be asked to formally donate to this facility. If developing countries respond and maximize their spending too, it could help create 200 million school places . With charitable and foundation involvement from the Carnegies of the 21st century we could achieve even more. We could become the first generation in history where every child is guaranteed a place at school.

Carnegie would be proud that his principles are being enacted in a new age and to extend new opportunities to the very young people who are too often forgotten and ignored. In every century until this one, we have developed only some of the talents of just some of the worlds young people. Carnegies life ambitions would be achieved if in this century we developed all of the talents of all of our youth.  Then we would not only have a fairer world but a more peaceful world too.