FEATURE | 23 Feb 2021

Expanding our focus in a changing world

In our 50th anniversary year, we are building on our strengths to adapt to a changing global context.


image missing ALT text Image: Berghof Foundation

During 2021, the Berghof Foundation is marking its 50th anniversary. For us, it is a moment of reflection not only on past achievements, but also on our work in a changing world.

While our organisation’s roots lay in the tensions of the Cold War era, our anniversary comes in an age of new uncertainties and alarming trends. The ongoing pandemic continues to affect societies around the world, but shares the stage with intensified international rivalries, authoritarian attempts to undermine multilateral precepts and fundamental human rights, waves of hate speech and disinformation abetted by new media, and the growing urgency of the climate crisis – to name but a few.

These challenges both influence and exacerbate human conflicts, demanding new approaches and efforts to address ensuing tensions that can all too easily turn violent. ‘With the regrettable actions of some of its leading members that do little to strengthen the UN, there’s a growing need for complementary forms of mediation, dialogue support, and peacebuilding,’ notes Andrew Gilmour, our Executive Director. ‘This is what Berghof does, and we are now gearing up to build on our half-century record and grapple with the daunting challenges of our times’.

We are now gearing up to build on our half-century record and grapple with the daunting challenges of our times.

Our analysis of these trends shows a need to continue building on our core fields of activity and existing focal areas (mediation, dialogue, inclusion and peace education) – but also to deepen our engagement in other strategic areas. Toward that end, we have already begun to sharpen our expertise, establish new partnerships and expand our focus in six additional areas:

  1. Climate change and conflict transformation
  2. Engaging with protest movements to strengthen nonviolent strategies
  3. Inclusive governance and accountability to mitigate corruption and other economic drivers of conflict
  4. Digital revolution and its impact on our work
  5. Dealing with the past in conflict transformation
  6. The role of women and gender in conflict transformation and mediation

As we embark on our sixth decade promoting conflict transformation and sustainable peace, we have published a paper that outlines our strategic priorities and the ways in which we seek to address them. We invite your collaboration, support and ideas.

Media contact

Florian Lüdtke
Media and Communications Manager
+49 (0) 177 7052758
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