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Social entrepreneur strives for World Peace

November 17, 2011

By Gabrielle Davelaar

Thriving for world peace is a worldwide phenomena. We even have a Nobel Prize for people who play an important role in achieving peace in various parts of the world. But what if peace is created by common people, what happens then?

Ilco van der Linde, social entrepreneur and creator of Bevrijdingspop and Dance4Life, says that peace can be achieved if everyone would start his own peace building initiative to solve conflicts.

Van der Linde brought “MasterPeace” into life to trigger people to work on their own peace project.

“Peace lies in the hands of common people, in which dialogue in essential in creating heart to heart connections,” he says,” but you have to be realistic, it is not the love, peace and happiness approach, contact is the most important factor”.

Van der Linde still remembers the moment when he decided to found the new international peace initiative MasterPeace.

“I’ve been travelling through 51 countries, I have seen so much horror. The world is full of conflicts, and most of them are not shown in the media nor on television at home,” Van der Linde says. “We are all busy with ‘sustainability’, however most of those people don’t even know whether they will be there next week. At that moment I thought; it is ridiculous that there is not one big international peace event. That was when I created the idea for MasterPeace.”

Together with his partner from Dance4Life, van der Linde started working on the initiative.

On 21 September 2011, the initiative officially started and with great success. Already seven large organizations joined to support the idea.

After putting his luggage on another spot on the request of the waiter and before he is actually sitting on a chair he starts to tell enthusiastically about his busy schedule and the great opportunities that arise.

“TedX youth is interested to use Masterpeace as a central theme for the next edition, which is a great opportunity where people can meet each other and start the dialogue to find the common grounds instead of the differences,” he says.

Van der Linde believes that peace is in the hands of ordinary people and that everyone is able to create an event that suits his or her own creativity.

As he says: “co-creation is so important, it allows people to develop their own idea in all the freedom they wish. The only rule that we have is that it should not insulting any other person”.

Although the project has just started some really inspiring projects have already begun. He starts telling with full passion about a young man in Uganda who was a child soldier and lost his brother and family in the past because of the wars inside the country. The young man started his own peace project to show that it is important not to be led by the past but by the future.

Another peace project Van der Linde is inspired by is the story of two tribes in Sierra Leone: “ They decided that they should talk with each other, to find common grounds and organised their own peace project. On 21st of September, the day of peace, the two played a football match against each other,” he says.

Unfortunately, there is also a downside on organizing these big projects. He says “it is not only cool and awesome, it is also hard work and a long process you have to go through. I still think it is difficult when I need to leave my three daughters at home once a month when I need to travel for work”.

“However, it is also rewarding and optimism together with clear communication brings you so far, I’m now working 32 years in building up organizations for the better cause, the sensation you get is amazing. Giving is the essence of living,” says a smiling van der Linde.

Categories: People
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