What will I learn?


Explore indigenous cultural methods of navigating and resolving conflict while developing and designing new tools to promote peace at Stanford University.

Peacemaking is a form of conflict resolution that has been traditionally used by indigenous communities and continues to have a strong presence in many tribal judicial systems.  This course is an interactive, skills-based learning experience where students will practice and design for the art of conflict-resolution through the lens of Peacemaking. Students can expect to unpack the components of strong listening, leadership, and effective cultural competency. This will include opportunities to act out disputes that can often be brought to Peacemaking Circles and navigating the complex emotions and relationships in these conflicts. While Peacemaking has deep roots in global indigenous communities, its application to workplace team dynamics, international human rights resolutions, and models for conduct in universities has already been in effect.  Using these tools, we challenge students to rethink and redesign the structures currently in place to handle conflict here at Stanford University.

Our challenge is to re-design the conflict-resolution system in response to the proposed removal of the Father Junipero Serra name from campus spaces. Tackling a challenge such as this will empower student participants to interact with, deconstruct, and re-design for a highly contested idea.  This dilemma is not unlike national debates about removing statues or other symbols from university campuses bearing names and histories that generate conflict or harm for some, and reverence for others.  Ultimately, a substantive Design and Peacemaking process has the potential to both educate, innovate and heal. We hope you join us on this journey of crafting challenging conversations in a conflict world.

The only background skills necessary for this course are a dedication to participate and interact with the class and a willingness to embrace diverse perspectives.


Alex Scully, SAP Karen Biestman


Any questions?

How can I contact the teaching team?