31 episodes

The Conflict Tipping Podcast, hosted by Dr. Laura May, focuses on innovative strategies for responding to social conflict. Episodes bring in guests with expertise in all facets of conflict, from organizational behavior, emotions, technology, media, public and private social responsibility, and political polarization. Subscribe if you’re interested in conflict resolution, facilitation, peacebuilding, or the future of civil society -- we’d love to have you as part of our community!

The Conflict Tipping Podcast Laura May, PhD

    • Society & Culture

The Conflict Tipping Podcast, hosted by Dr. Laura May, focuses on innovative strategies for responding to social conflict. Episodes bring in guests with expertise in all facets of conflict, from organizational behavior, emotions, technology, media, public and private social responsibility, and political polarization. Subscribe if you’re interested in conflict resolution, facilitation, peacebuilding, or the future of civil society -- we’d love to have you as part of our community!

    Researching the end of the (peacebuilding) world as we know it with Dr Julia Palmiano Federer [Ep. 31]

    Researching the end of the (peacebuilding) world as we know it with Dr Julia Palmiano Federer [Ep. 31]

    Peace, Conflict, and the Power of Inclusion: Insights from Dr. Julia Palmiano Federer
    What happens if you put two mediation fangirls who also happen to be intersectional feminists together into the same conversation? This episode! Host Laura May and guest Dr. Julia Palmiano Federer dive into critical discussions on peacebuilding and conflict mediation. Highlights include:
    Julia's journey from Manila to Vancouver, and her path to becoming a researcher in peace and conflict studies.
    Exploration of critical, feminist, and decolonial approaches to peace research and the significance of unofficial peace dialogues.
    Insights from Julia's work on NGOs mediating peace in Myanmar, highlighting the importance of inclusivity and local cultures in peace processes.
    Discussion on the impact of climate change on conflict, with a focus on Indigenous communities in Turtle Island (North America).
    Preview of Julia's forthcoming projects, including a book on mediation process design and an edited volume examining apocalyptic narratives in peacebuilding.
    This episode provides a look into the challenges and opportunities within international peace mediation, emphasizing the importance of empathy, inclusivity, and critical self-reflection in addressing modern conflicts.
    Julia's academic website - https://juliapalmianofederer.com/
    The Power to Protect (Report) - https://ottawadialogue.ca/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/PowertoProtect-Report_IDRC_JDr.-Julia-Palmiano-Federer-Ms.-Lorelei-Higgins-Parker_compressed.pdf
    NGOs Mediating Peace (Book) - https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-3-031-42174-7
    University profile - https://css.ethz.ch/en/center/people/dr-julia-palmiano-federer.html
    LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/in/juliapalmianofederer/
    Co-authors mentioned: Samantha Marie Gamez, and Lorelei Higgins Parker.
    Julia Palmiano Federer
    Dr. Palmiano Federer is a Senior Researcher at the Center for Security Studies at ETH Zürich. She is also currently a Senior Fellow at the Negotiation and Conflict Resolution Collaboratory at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Center for Public Leadership. Her research interests include critical, feminist and decolonial approaches to inclusive peace processes, unofficial peace dialogues and the nexus between climate change and conflict. She is the author of NGOs Mediating Peace: Promoting Inclusion in Myanmar’s Nationwide Ceasefire Negotiations, published in Open Access format by Palgrave Macmillan. She is a Laureate of the 2022 Women, Peace and Security Research Awards for her work on women, peace, security, and climate change. She was born in Manila, Philippines, and raised on the unceded territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations (Vancouver).
    00:00 Meet Dr. Julia Palmiano Federer: A Trailblazer in Peace Research01:25 The Journey to Peace Building: Manila, Geneva, and beyond09:06 Unpacking the Ethical Ick16:21 NGOs in the Peace Process: Mavericks or Cowboys?23:13 Decolonizing Peace: A Critical Look at Norm Spreading27:46 The Future of Peace Mediation: More Caveats, More Care28:28 Unveiling 'The Power to Protect'29:02 Bridging Worldviews: Indigenous and Western Perspectives on Conflict31:11 The Journey of Research: Unlearning and Relearning33:47 Exploring Indigenous Women's Agency in Climate Change37:02 Positionality and Identity: Navigating Research as an Outsider44:50 Mediation Process Design and Apocalyptic Imaginaries48:37 Witches and Peacebuilding: Reclaiming Feminist Imagery52:57 Find out more about Julia's Work

    • 54 min
    Ubuntu in practice with Bryony Vince [Ep. 30]

    Ubuntu in practice with Bryony Vince [Ep. 30]

    Exploring Indigenous Approaches to Peacebuilding: The Idea of Ubuntu
    In this episode of the Conflict Tipping podcast, host Laura May interviews Bryony Vince, a PhD candidate at the University of Sheffield in the UK and an advocate for context-specific indigenous approaches to peace-building. Bryony talks about her PhD focus on Ubuntu, a South African worldview that underscores interconnectedness and mutual dependence, as a tool for peace-building in South Africa. She discusses the challenges and nuances in implementing Ubuntu on the ground and its misinterpretations or misuse by governments and NGOs. In addition, Bryony shares her personal experiences in conducting field work, and her hopes for future research focusing on participatory methods, dialogue, and public space in peace-building.
    0:00 Introduction00:56 Why Ubuntu? Why this subject?04:00 Why is this topic important to you?05:06 What is Ubuntu?09:05 The link between Ubuntu and peace-building12:10 Bry speaks IsiXhosa13:35 Back to peace-building and Ubuntu16:42 Do you practice Ubuntu?19:00 What's participatory research?20:58 Ubuntu as a peace 'tool'?26:31 Ubuntu post-Apartheid and structural conflict29:40 The favourite thing you learnt?31:39 Who's doing the unpaid care work? Who is peace building?36:26 What surprised you?39:57 What's next?41:47 How can people find you?

    Twitter: @bryvince

    Academic blog


    University profile

    • 42 min
    Conflict prevention math with Neli Kirilova [Ep. 29]

    Conflict prevention math with Neli Kirilova [Ep. 29]

    Power Perception and Conflict Prevention in the Black Sea Region: A Conversation with Neli Kirilova
    In this episode of 'Conflict Tipping Podcast', host Laura May speaks with Neli Kirilova, a researcher focused on power perception and conflict prevention in the Black Sea Region. Kirilova discusses why the Black Sea region is a nexus for conflict, largely due to cultural, religious, and linguistic diversity. She also delves into how foreign policy strategies can signal triggers for potential conflicts and effectively prevent escalation. The conversation then turns to discussing the importance of psychology and therapy in leadership.
    The Black Sea region and conflict
    Influence and the six elements of power
    Conflict prevention by formula
    Applying conflict prevention
    Refocusing on the constructive
    What's next for Neli?
    Neli's LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/neli-kirilova

    • 25 min
    Supporting mental health in conflict with Dr Nawaraj Upadhaya [Ep. 28]

    Supporting mental health in conflict with Dr Nawaraj Upadhaya [Ep. 28]

    Strengthening Mental Health in Conflict Zones: A Conversation with Dr. Nawaraj Upadhaya
    In this episode of the Conflict Tipping Podcast, host Laura May interviews Dr. Nawaraj Upadhaya, Global Mental Health Director at HealthRight International. Dr. Upadhaya shares about his experience developing and implementing a WHO-associated Self-Help Plus intervention in Uganda and Sudan, targeting individuals dealing with mild to moderate stress. The intervention uses techniques based on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and mindfulness and is delivered by lay health workers who need only a week's training. Dr. Upadhaya further elaborates on the intersection of mental health and conflict, the ethical dilemmas faced when working in conflict zones, and the need to care for frontline workers. He discusses how his personal background and experiences inform his work. Dr. Upadhaya's approach aims to empower individuals in difficult situations to find resilience and make positive changes in their lives.
    00:00 Introduction and Guest Presentation01:16 Understanding the Self-Help Plus Intervention04:29 The Impact of the Intervention on Participants07:25 The Power of Resilience in Conflict Zones08:25 The Process of Implementing the Intervention14:22 The Future of the Intervention28:52 The Role of Mental Health in Conflict31:57 Ethical Considerations in Conflict Work34:17 Caring for the Carers: Staff Wellbeing35:27 Conclusion and Contact Information
    Dr Nawaraj Upadhaya, PhD, is a public health researcher and mental health system specialist. He is currently working as Global Mental Health Director at HealthRight International, New York, USA where he provides strategic and technical support in mental health and psychosocial support programming. Dr Upadhaya is also associated with the Department of Public Health, University of Copenhagen, Denmark as Associate Researcher.
    He has over 18 years’ experience in community health, mental health and public health systems. He has experiences of working in humanitarian settings in Afghanistan, Burundi, Nepal, Uganda and South Sudan. He has also supported the programmes in Kenya, Vietnam, Ukraine and the USA. He co-directed the scaling up grant on Self Help Plus (SH+) in Uganda and also coordinated the Nepal program for a large multicountry consortium project called Emerging Mental Health Systems in Low- and- Middle Income Countries (EMERALD). He also coordinated the Post Research Ethics Analysis (PREA) project in Afghanistan, Nepal and South Sudan.
    Dr Upadhaya’s work focuses on community mobilisation, community system strengthening, mental health systems, community mental health and policy engagement. He has published more than 30 papers in international journals and contributed in book chapters and manuals.

    • 37 min
    Nonviolence and Unarmed Civilian Protection with Dr Louise Ridden [Ep. 27]

    Nonviolence and Unarmed Civilian Protection with Dr Louise Ridden [Ep. 27]

    In the latest episode of the Conflict Tipping podcast from Mediate.com, meet Dr Louise Ridden, a specialist in nonviolence and Unarmed Civilian Protection.  We talk about:
    What is Unarmed Civilian Protection?  Where is it used?
    How does UCP 'happen' in conflicts?
    What is the role for mediation and mediators in UCP?
    False binaries in war and peace
    The role of peace-keeping and UCP in violent conflicts
    Spaces, bodies, and time in conflict
    About Louise:
    Louise Ridden is a postdoctoral research fellow working on the sustainable security practices project , hosted by the Politics Unit in the Department of Management and Business and Tampere Peach Research Institute (TAPRI). She holds a PhD from Aberystwyth University, UK, where she was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council. Her thesis 'Making alternative worlds: Unarmed civilian protection and nonviolent imaginaries of conflict' studied nonviolence as a way of knowing, doing, and being in armed conflict through the practice of unarmed civilian protection. 
    Her current research interests include: principles and practices of unarmed civilian protection, the politics of nonviolence, Feminist IR theory, existentialist theory, knowledge production, and the intersection of nonviolence and political narrations of embodiment, space, and temporality. 
    Connect with Louise:
    Twitter: @louise_ridden
    Faculty page: https://www.tuni.fi/en/louise-ridden

    • 53 min
    Protecting people over tech platforms with Anne Ikiara of Digital Action [Ep. 26]

    Protecting people over tech platforms with Anne Ikiara of Digital Action [Ep. 26]

    In this episode, Laura engages in a riveting conversation with Anne Ikiara, the Executive Director of the nonprofit Digital Action.  She has a remarkable background directing social enterprises in Global Majority countries and is known as an author, poet, speaker, gender consultant, and social advocate.
    We talk about:

    Lived Experience of Disinformation and Violence: Anne shares her personal connection to the impacts of disinformation, misinformation, and hate speech during the 2007 elections in Kenya, where violence ensued. This experience inspired her to join Digital Action and make a global impact on protecting democracy from digital threats.

    Understanding Disinformation and Violence in Elections: We delve into the factors that lead to disinformation and violence in elections, particularly in Kenya, where ethnic divides play a significant role. Anne sheds light on how misinformation and hate speech are propagated online and offline, contributing to social conflicts.

    Digital Action's Mission and Initiatives: Anne outlines the role of Digital Action, a nonprofit organization focused on holding tech giants accountable for safeguarding democracy from digital threats. She explains the disparities between investment in Global Majority and Global Minority countries and how Digital Action seeks to bridge that gap.

    Challenges and Strategies in Tech Justice: Anne discusses the challenges presented by the ever-evolving social media landscape and the fragmentation of platforms. She elaborates on how Digital Action's coalition is working to ensure that tech companies invest in safeguarding democracy across the globe, not just in certain regions.

    Global Campaign for Tech Justice and Protecting Elections: Discover Digital Action's campaign for 2024 to make it the Year of Democracy and Safe Elections. Anne emphasizes the importance of partnering with various organizations to raise awareness about digital harm during elections and compel tech companies to address these issues.

    The Power of Context-Specific Safeguards: Anne stresses the significance of context-specific content moderation and safeguards in addressing digital harm. She discusses how tech companies should collaborate with local organizations, governments, and civil society to ensure effective protection.

    Anne as an Author and Poet: Learn about Anne's creative side as an author and poet. She shares her passion for writing about justice, equity, human rights, and women's rights. Her forthcoming book sheds light on the nonprofit sector's inequalities for people of color.

    Personal Responsibility in Combating Disinformation: Anne provides practical advice for individuals to combat disinformation and hate speech. She emphasizes the importance of verifying information before sharing it and encourages spreading positive messages that promote democracy and human rights.

    Don't miss this informative and thought-provoking episode with Anne Ikiara as we explore the complexities of digital threats, democracy, and the power of collective action.
    Connect with Anne and Digital Action:

    • 35 min

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