The Network Meeting included a Global Education Forum which explored the intersections of education and peacebuilding, existing roadblocks and reasons for hope.

In her keynote address, Eleni Agouridi of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation stressed the growing interest and need for AFS programs due to their ability to foster positive personal ties between people around the world. Stavros Niarchos Foundation is one of the key partners of AFS and has been instrumental in restarting AFS programs in Greece.

“AFS is committed to always stand on the side of peace with our most powerful weapon— education,” added Daniel Obst, President and CEO of AFS at the opening of the Global Education Forum.

The panel discussion moderated by Veronica Boix Mansilla, a member of AFS International Board of Trustees and Principal Investigator at Harvard’s Project Zero, concluded that peace is a dynamic concept and a balancing act, not a permanent state. The panel included Ana Carolina Cassiano from AFS Intercultural Programs, Ana María Velásquez from Universidad de los Andes, Frédérique Brossard Børhaug of VID Specialized University and University of Pennsylvania’s Ariel Schwartz, from the Center for Social Impact Strategy.

Panelist Ana Carolina from AFS Intercultural Programs speaking about the organisation’s education advocacy strategies
A delegate giving his feedback on the panelists’ findings
The main hall where plenary sessions took place