DEEP Network Charter
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.
Vision and Values
DEEP works towards a peaceful and ecologically regenerative world where people can reach their full potential, free from direct, cultural, and structural violence. Our shared values are:
- 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, focused on forging 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. The Network is committed to gender equality and balance in decision-making.
- Culturally & Ecologically Sensitive: Cultural sensitivity is fundamental, especially since Network projects are undertaken in diverse settings by intercultural teams. We strongly believe that being culturally and ecologically sensitive ensures 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.
Aims and Activities
Our primary goal is to build a world where peacefulness, social justice, and ecological regeneration prevail and thrive. Specifically, we aim to:
- promote diversity and intercultural understanding
- bridge divides
- enhance empathy
- empower marginalized voices, communities and groups
- transform conflict before it escalates into protracted violence
- foster ecological and social regeneration
- facilitate policy innovation
Our activities and projects focus on:
- Community Engagement: We facilitate intercultural dialogue, elicitive conflict transformation, peace building, and ecological regeneration projects involving, and mostly in partnership with, communities and relevant stakeholders.
- Education: We organize, conduct and host workshops, courses, seminars, conferences, exhibitions, and performances to enhance knowledge, skills, and capacity for individuals, organizations and communities in areas related to dialogue, conflict transformation, peacebuilding, and peace ecology.
- Research: We carry out research that enhances understanding of conflict, peace practices and ecological regeneration and leads to innovative philosophies, policies, and programs.
- Advocacy: We promote and advocate dialogue, empathic engagement, conflict transformation, peace ecology and the empowerment of people and communities that have been marginalized to foster a peaceful, nonviolent, and ecologically regenerative world.
- Collaborative Networking: We liaise with other organizations to continually add depth and breadth to our understanding and activism. Ultimately, our aim is to build a global network for change.
Rationale for the Network
We formed the DEEP Network for the following seven interconnected reasons:
- Networking: To create a web of scholars and activists passionate and committed to fostering peace and ecological regeneration. We envisage that this network will facilitate the establishment, extension, and strengthening of connections and relations among such scholars and activists from all over the world, across national and cultural boundaries and age barriers. It will help to enhance and realise the plans and proposals of projects for a better world and provide a home for these projects.
- Collectivity: To form an interconnected group or association or union of such scholars and activists. We believe in strength in numbers. That we will be more dynamic, prolific, and effective working together as a group than individually or separately.
- Complementarity: To bring together scholars and activists with different skills, talents, experiences, and knowledges to complement each other in carrying out projects and activities.
- Collaboration: To promote collaboration on projects and activities among like-minded people who share common values (egalitarianism, cooperation, inclusive, and culturally and ecologically sensitive) and the noble vision of buen vivir (a harmonious interrelation between the individual, the community and nature) for everyone.
- Sharing: To facilitate the sharing of resources, infrastructure (such as the web), knowledge, and track record (the accomplishment of a DEEP member or group will serve to augment the track record of the whole Network).
- Mutuality: Through such collaboration and sharing, we envisage that the Network will nurture a strong sense of mutuality among its members. This is manifested in members supporting, assisting, encouraging, inspiring and enhancing each other’s projects and activities for the benefit of everyone in the network as well as other stakeholders. On a voluntary basis, members work collaboratively on carrying out the tasks of the network such as web design and maintenance, coordination, communication, promotion, advocacy, meetings/conferences, and networking with other groups and organizations.
- Solidarity: To foster a strong sense of solidarity among members of DEEP Network. We work to strengthen the ties and relations among the members to create something like a close-knit family, with a unique and shared identity embracing the vision and values of DEEP.
Distinctive Aspects of the Network
- We are a network of friendship circles that share a common passion and commitment to peace and ecological regeneration. Each circle of friends is connected to other circles of friends around the world through online communication and wherever possible, through face to face meetings, creating in the process a large web of interconnected and like-minded peace workers and change makers.
- We are primarily a volunteer-based organization that depends on the generosity of its members to carry out projects and activities. We strongly believe in focusing our effort and time to projects rather than to fund raising, with the hope that our accomplishments will attract donations and grants.
- We are an egalitarian organization where every member is among equals, irrespective of the status of the member within and without the network. Through consent decision making process, each member has an equal opportunity in making decisions related to the organization and operation of the Network and its nodes.
- Our focus is on small-scale, local and community projects. We believe that many small acts with modest aims often make a grand difference than one big project with grand objectives.
- Unlike most other peacebuilding organizations, we take a peace ecology approach whereby peace, nonviolence, social justice, protection of communities, restoration of degraded environments, ecological regeneration, recognition of human rights and the rights of species and nature are not treated as separate or distinct aspirations or agendas but are considered as essentially interconnected concerns and solutions for a brighter future of humanity. This is symbolically reflected in our logo which is a graphic representation of the Tree of Life.
- We are a young network in terms of how long we have been in existence and in the sense that most of our members are young. DEEP brings together activists, scholars and change-makers from across the globe, generations, and cultural backgrounds who have refused to succumb to fear, hatred, fatalism and apathy in their quest to foster hope, love, compassion, and empathy.
- The Network brings together activists and academics to work collaboratively to ensure that its activism is grounded in deep analysis and knowledge and its scholarly work is of practical value and policy relevant.
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.
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.
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.
Members of the DEEP Network shall be expected to
a) adhere to the common values and ethics of the DEEP Network as outlined in the DEEP Charter and to comply with the terms of the DEEP Charter.
b) assist in carrying out the various tasks related to the administration, organization, and coordination of the DEEP Network.
c) fulfil the aims of DEEP as specified in the DEEP Charter by initiating or advocating projects and activities whenever possible and appropriate.
d) respond faithfully to DEEP-related communication (email, requests for assistance and feedback).
e) report regularly on their DEEP-related projects, activities, and accomplishments to the RC Coordinators and the GC.
f) help in fund raising efforts for the DEEP Network.
g) promote and enhance the DEEP Network by encouraging more like-minded people to join DEEP and through active community and media engagement.
I hereby acknowledge that I have read the DEEP Network Charter and I agree to abide by and comply with the values, principles, and policies outlined in the Charter.