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Measuring Peace

 

You are standing on the train, its 07.43am, it has been raining. Everyone has a wet umbrella, the earlier train was cancelled.....THE WHOLE WORLD appears to be on your train. You have your face in a stranger's armpit and the person next to you seems to be trying to stand ON TOP of you, the guy to your left just sneezed, on your cheek..........and you are wondering how many more years of your life will have to spent on a soulless commute and the thoughts start to come - how much you hate everything - the day, the people around you, your life, your job.......

But, they are just thoughts. Impossible as it may seem, you can change them and you can change your mood and the atmosphere around you. We believe that reconnecting to our own creative ability to determine our thoughts and our mood is the basic building block of peace. If we can manage this in highly stressful situations, we have some chance of replacing our fight/flight reaction with a calm response and then a decent chance at building peace on a substantial scale. We do not see peace as either passivity or the absence of conflict; we see it as a state of consciousness, an active and powerful state of mind. A place from which new possibility springs.

There are a number of measures of peace available, our favourite is the Global Peace Index (GPI) prepared annually by Vision of Humanity. The GPI gauges external criteria such as levels of safety and security in society, the extent of international or domestic conflict and the degree of militarisation. At Peacebeam we want to enhance the available data on peace by measuring internal criteria - people's thoughts. Our technology captures this data and converts it into a Peace Index for London and its commuters. We believe that this will be a powerful measure and a counterbalance to the prevailing atmosphere of fear and disconnection that is being driven by our rolling new culture and the preference bubbles of social media.

Peacebeam is more than an experiment in peace, it is a powerful call to action to all of us who want to live in a peaceful world but are overwhelmed by the problems we see on our screens. We can't all leave our lives and go and save the world, but we can all change the way we think both about ourselves and the person right in front of us, we just need to be reminded to do it, and that's what Peacebeam is for.