The Dialogue, Empathic Engagement & Peacebuilding (DEEP) Network is a global, culturally diverse, and volunteer-based community of peace activists, scholars, and change-makers.  The words—Dialogue, Empathic Engagement and Peacebuilding—that make up the name of the network reflect what we do, foster, facilitate, promote, and advocate. The network brings together passionate and committed change-makers from across the globe and generations who strive to foster hope, love, compassion, generosity, and empathy in a world plagued with increasing xenophobia, bigotry, violence, and apathy. Through small groups referred to as DEEP circles operating in a wide range of countries and regions around the world, we work largely in partnership and collaboration with people and communities whose voices and life-ways have been marginalized, devalued, and neglected and experience multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination.

Our projects:

  • promote diversity and intercultural understanding
  • bridge divides
  • enhance empathy
  • empower marginalized voices and communities
  • transform conflict before it escalates into protracted violence
  • foster ecological regeneration [Click here for a brief statement on ecological regeneration]
  • facilitate policy innovation

Our Story

In early 2014 several peace workers with connections to the peace master programs at Universitat Jaume I, Spain, The University of Innsbruck, Austria, and the Centre for Dialogue, La Trobe University, Australia, began a collaboration that has now expanded to include peace activists and scholars from all parts of the world.  The DEEP Network members, Advisory Circle, and partners are from every continent and, as a result, projects reflect intercultural and interdisciplinary perspectives and a rich diversity of expertise. The DEEP Network brings together scholars and practitioners, both experienced and early career. It includes mentoring and inter-generational exchange that strengthen the capacity of the early career participants and develop fresh and creative approaches.

DEEP Vision and Values

DEEP works towards a peaceful and ecologically regenerative world where people are able to reach their full potential, free from direct and structural violence.  Our members share the following values:

Cooperative & Collaborative:

Cooperation is a means and end to our work, which diverges from the competitiveness widely promoted as part of a neoliberal agenda. Values of cooperation and collaboration infuse relations among DEEP Network members, with partner communities and local stakeholders, and with other civil society organizations and NGOs, Indigenous peoples, bilateral and multilateral development agencies, intergovernmental organizations such as the UN, and state entities as we engage in joint projects of dialogue, conflict transformation, and peacebuilding.

Inclusive:

Anyone with a project that fulfils the objectives and values of the Network is welcome to join, participate, and seek support. This inclusive approach generates a wide network of individuals, communities, and organizations, all working towards a peaceful and ecologically regenerative world.

Egalitarian:

While the Network has a leadership team consisting of coordinators of the various circles and organizational tasks, each member of the Network is among equals. Decisions pertaining to the Network’s policies and activities are made collectively and consensually.

Culturally & Ecologically Sensitive:

Cultural sensitivity is fundamental, especially since Network projects are undertaken in diverse settings by intercultural teams. All projects include a culturally sensitive stakeholder engagement strategy to ensure the meaningful, effective and informed participation of stakeholders in the formulation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of projects. This helps avoid adverse impacts on the environment and human rights of people on the ground.

Organizational Structure

DEEP is a network of multiple semi-autonomous circles connected with each other, like the interdependent and interconnected parts of an ecosystem. The circles are as follows:

DEEP Circles (DC):     

Each circle comprises of several members working on a project, which can be an activity or event or interest-based collaboration. It may be transitory, formed for the purpose of a project or continuing with its members engaged in a series of projects. The members of the circle are not always based locally; the circles can be national, regional, or global. Any DEEP member may initiate a circle inviting friends or associates to collaborate in a proposed project.  The initiator, referred to as lead link, is responsible for organizing the project, seeking funds (if needed), assigning the roles for others in the circle, liaising with the other network coordinators, and publicizing the circle’s projects on the DEEP website and social media platforms. Each DEEP Member may choose to be a member of multiple circles simultaneously or sequentially. Several circles have established officially registered country-based organizations. These include France, Germany, India, Malaysia, Mozambique and Nepal.  DEEP circles in France, Germany and Indonesia have their own websites accessible by clicking on the respective links.

Regional Circles (RC):              

To facilitate network coordination and communication, the DEEP circles are grouped into one of the following regions: Africa, Middle East, Mediterranean, North & Western Europe, South Asia, East Asia, Southeast Asia, Oceania (Australia, NZ/Aotearoa, Pacific Islands) and Americas (Abya Yala). Each region is coordinated by a regional circle comprised of all lead link members in the respective region. Each regional circle nominates one of its members to represent the region in the Global Circle. The role is on a rotational basis and the term is for one year.

Global Circle (GC):

The global circle consists of a Director, Deputy Director, and the Regional Circle Representatives. The GC is responsible for policy and operational matters in relation to the coordination and maintenance of the network and links at the global level. It appoints the Director and Deputy Director. The Director and Deputy Director are responsible for managing the day to day functioning and administration of the DEEP Network; administering the funds available to the DEEP Network subject to the approval of the GC; and preparing the Annual Report of the DEEP Network and other relevant reports. The GC shall form working groups whenever necessary to assist it in carrying out Network tasks and to explore, formulate and undertake new projects and directions.

The current members of the GC are as follows:

  • Dr Alberto Gomes, Global Director (Australia)
  • Dr Gloria Maria Abarca, Global Deputy Director (Mexico)
  • Carla Chianese (Kenya)
  • Carlos Pedrosa (Spain)
  • Ikfina Maufuriyah (Indonesia)
  • Lino Machaieie (Mozambique)
  • Marisol Bock (Germany)
  • Prakash Paudel (Nepal)
  • Priscyll Avoine (Canada)
  • Sanne de Swart (Australia)

Advisory Circle (AC):

The GC shall invite distinguished and notable persons to be appointed to DEEP’s International Advisory Circle. Its roles include: advising on policy and strategy to meet the aims of DEEP; advising and assisting in projects, activities, promotion of the network, management of DEEP resources and publications; identifying sources of funding and grants for DEEP; and endorsing the annual report of DEEP.

DEEP Forest (by Alberto Gomes)

We welcome you to join us on our journey in search for knowledge about dialogue, peace, nonviolence, conflict transformation, empathy and sound ecological practices. What we learn will guide and shape our mission of fostering a peaceful and ecologically regenerative world. Our journey will resemble a trek into the depths of a dense forest. We commence by exploring the well-travelled paths in the forest, radiating from the centre (the global north and capital cities), peppered with potholes and pitfalls and leading to a dead-end (the demise of humanity). Before long, we shall head south taking the off-beaten tracks. Our walk in the forest will be a journey into the past to arrive at a better future. It will by no means be a ‘walk in the park’; at times we might get lost as we try to gain a perspective of the forest in the maze of the trees and we will also have to grapple with the forces that degrade and destroy the forests. But there will be pleasant surprises as we navigate the twists and turns, uphill and downstream. The natural beauty of the forest, its luxuriant flora, the melodic sounds of cicadas, birds, and calls of the other creatures, big and small, will bewilder and mesmerize. Along the way we will meet the forest indigenes who we will come to appreciate have more than their remarkable knowledge of the forest to offer us. Their social ecological philosophies and practices form the basis of their good living (buen vivir), that is living in peace and harmony among fellow humans and with nature. We will delve into their different ways of knowing and their cultures of peace ecology to help us challenge conventional ‘wisdom’, dispel myths, and formulate alternative pathways to good living in which peace and regeneration (social, economic and ecological) are integral and salient features.