Mediators Beyond Borders International (MBBI), an impact organization focused on equipping local partners with mediation and peacebuilding skills, has announced a global expansion. The organization has been addressing conflicts globally, mostly on a volunteer basis. However, MBBI hopes to foster a sustainable practice for peacebuilding that can create global change. Building Collaboration Regions is the first step to making this a reality.
For almost 20 years, Mediators Beyond Borders International has provided critical peacebuilding services in some of the toughest conflicts. The impact organization has not had the luxury of receiving continuous funding for operations. While this has been a hurdle to providing ongoing support and training to local partners, MBBI has found ways to overcome this. By keeping the team small, leveraging over 300 members, and working by invitation only, Mediators Beyond Borders International has become an agile resource for communities in need.
The growing divide initiated by toxic polarization and the increasing risk of violence globally is creating profound societal consequences that must be addressed. We have always seen divisions in communities across the world, but we are witnessing a significant uptick in violent conflict and the largest migration of populations globally. This is related to both climate change and politically driven violence. The major difference is that these tensions are accompanied by a rise in authoritarianism, which is now affecting democracies across the world. All of this is in the context of a growing tolerance for violence, deepening political divisions, and massive mis and disinformation. As a result, communities are experiencing deep and harmful impacts, as national, political, and cultural divisions metastasize to the local level.
Alongside emerging conflicts across several demographic fault lines, there exists an amazing collection of organizations and individuals with expertise in communication, conflict transformation, dialogue, and deliberation. They can provide ‘bridge-building services’ that result in an interconnected network of hundreds of impact organizations at the local level.
In light of this phenomenon and this context, MBBI is initiating a global expansion that will equip local actors to engage effectively. The impact organization has already established a few hubs worldwide, including one in North America and Oceania. Mediators Beyond Borders International is currently working to create a European regional group and plans to continue decentralizing its operations from the US. MBBI calls these hubs Collaboration Regions because they facilitate local partnerships and become reliable touchpoints throughout times of crisis. The creation of Collaboration Regions forges connections between local entities and a wider network of global citizens striving to build cultures of peace.
Some of the services Mediators Beyond Borders International provides include capacity building, trauma-informed peacebuilding training, and mitigating conflict related to the climate crisis. Mediators Beyond Borders International plans to shift into a financially sustainable business model by integrating a consultancy model for corporations, communities, and governments.
Prabha Sankaranarayan comments on MBBI’s global expansion and future aspirations. “Mediators Beyond Borders International was founded in 2006 to mobilize people-centered peacebuilding,” she says. “Our team is deeply committed to addressing the culture of war and facilitating cooperation in conflicts. However, we believe this is only achievable by building global Collaboration Regions. These hubs will be catalysts for creating conflict competencies that can equip every individual–whether they are a school child or a world leader–to deconstruct the culture of violence and war and establish a world in which all people thrive.”
Born out of a mission to build a ‘peace’-able world, MBBI is putting people at the heart of the solution. However, sustainable change can only be created through financial support. Visit the impact organization’s website and membership portal to donate and become part of its mission.
Name: Ben Lutz
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