Conflict Matters Conference Held At New Bridge IC – An Outstanding Success

New-Bridge Integrated College participated in a significant conference from Wednesday 24 to Friday 26 October on the subject of conflict resolution.

The call to be involved in ‘Conflict Matters’ came in recognition of New-Bridge’s status as an Evens Foundation Peace Education prize-winner.

The Evens Foundation initiates, develops and supports projects which encourage people and nations to live together harmoniously in a diverse Europe. It promotes respect for diversity – both individual and collective – and works to strengthen people’s physical, psychological and moral integrity.

Based in Antwerp, the Evens Foundation also has offices in Paris and Warsaw. Being an initiator and supporter of sustainable projects that contribute to the progress and strengthening of Europe based on cultural and social diversity, it awards biennial prizes to those pursuing these objectives. Hence New-Bridge’s invitation to be involved in this week’s ‘Conflict Matters’ in Northern Ireland

Conflict Matters Lab is part of a series of small-scale events taking place across Europe, the aim being to allow exploration of the different manifestations, dynamics and potential of conflict in a broader and more in-depth way than usual.   The series of events began with a lecture on Wednesday 24 October in conjunction with the University of Ulster and New-Bridge Integrated College at Belfast’s MAC Theatre. The Evens Foundation invited Dutch social and political philosopher Bart Brandsma ( picture attached) to outline the dynamics of polarisation and to explain how to create a strategy of depolarisation in educational settings.   As a result of the Evens Prize, representatives of the College staff  travelled previously to London and Bratislava to hear Bart speak about strategies to combat polarisation and described his workshops as having been “truly inspirational” and were delighted to introduce his work in Northern Ireland.  The lecture was attended by over 100 people from a range of educational and community settings

In addition, a number of people involved in cross community work participated in the workshops led by Bart Brandsma in the College on Thursday 25 and Friday 26 October.