Curiosity & Peace Building, with Alp Özerdem

“There are really two options: you either teach your students, ‘this is what you are supposed to do in scenario X, Y, Z’ — or teach them how to be curious, and give them the tools of analysis so that, no matter what the situations are, they can come up with their own tailor-made responses.” ~ Alp Özerdem

How might curiosity contribute to building peace? Alp Özerdem, dean of the Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution, joins me in exploring what happens when we approach conflict with curiosity and a commitment to transformation.

It’s hard to beat his closing affirmation, “After this, curiosity will be the backbone of our teaching and our research.”

Listen to Choose to be Curious #144: Curiosity & Peace Building, with Alp Özerdem

Only the rare guest gets away without doing a curiosity analogy with me. This week, to fit all of Alp’s insights on peace building into the show, I had tough editorial choices to make and our analogies didn’t make the cut. But I couldn’t let his wonderful insights about bonfires and his ability to expand the question go unappreciated: here.

This episode aired originally in May 2021; refreshed, January 2023.

Learn more about Dean Alp Özerdem and the Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution.

Want to dig in more? Here are Carter School efforts with anticipatory innovation governance and the restorative justice initiative.

Here’s my conversation with Bob Mitchell about curiosity and bipartisan leadership.

Our theme music is by Sean Balick; “Peacetime” by Tiny Tiny Trio, via Blue Dot Sessions.

Dean Alp Özerdem photo by Ron Aira/Creative Services/ George Mason University.

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