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Australian philanthropist and businessman launches book “Peace in the Age of Chaos”

3 min read
Australian philanthropist

Peace in the Age of Chaos is the debut book by Australian philanthropist and businessman Steve Killelea, recipient of the Luxembourg Peace Prize.

Globally renowned Killelea is recognised amongst the world’s 100 most influential people in reducing armed violence. He is the founder of the Institute for Economics and Peace, a venture that was honoured as one of the 50 most impactful philanthropic gifts inAustralia’s history by a coalition of Australian Foundations.

His revolutionary book eloquently guides readers to question the current analysis of peace as an absence of violent conflict and to honestly evaluate and decipher the inner working of a peaceful society. Through thought-provoking anecdotes, readers are treated to the truly extraordinary life events that Killelea has remarkably accomplished.

From establishing the world’s leading ranking of global peacefulness, the Global Peace Index, to working on aid programmes in some of the most violent places on earth, Killelea’s life journey has led him to ask, and in turn answer, one fundamental question: ‘What creates peace, how do we measure it and why do we need it?’ It is a question that bears unrivalled significance to the future sustainability of humanity and the planet.

Narrated in a captivating, first-person account, Killelea ignites an entirely new method of understanding peace that is designed to resonate with people from all walks of life. Themes portrayed are relevant now, more so than ever before, as the world is experiencing unprecedented environmental, social, and economic challenges and, most recently, the devastating COVID-19 global pandemic. The virus’s likely impact on peace is detailed in the book.

Killelea encourages the reader to rethink peace, and how we can achieve it with measurable impact, through the proven framework ‘Positive Peace’ – an eight-pillar model embracing the attitudes, institutions, and structures required to create and sustain peaceful societies. He skilfully narrates the pursuit of peace through various perspectives: from business and politics to religion and culture.

Whether it’s through the lens of a successful self-made entrepreneur or a local farmer in Kenya, to a woman fleeing for her life in the lawless lands of Southern Sudan, Killelea’s journey to discover peace always centres on the human experience.

The book spotlights peace as the intersection point between a person and their society. It is the epicentre of a sustainable future. Killelea effectively articulates this through his theory of change, which introduces systems thinking and the drivers of peace as the basis for change. This leads not only to peace, but to many other societal outcomes that are considered important, including higher levels of income. In other words, it creates an optimal environment for human potential to flourish.

This shifts the paradigm in the way societies are managed and can set the stage for the reinvigoration of western democracies. Peace in the Age of Chaos is an intelligent insight for globally conscious and positively motivated readers, as well as policymakers and academics. Ahead of the release, Killelea relayed the importance of sharing knowledge and raising awareness of what creates peace, particularly in the face of the challenges facing current and future generations. “In this book, I hope to show that the elements that create peace can be understood through empirical research. Peace is an active and flourishing state, and what creates peace also creates the optimal conditions for other highly desirable things to prosper,” said Killelea.

The major changes facing humanity are global in nature, including climate change, pandemics, everdecreasing biodiversity, lack of available fresh-water to name some, Killelea said. “Unless we have a world that is basically peaceful then we will never get the levels of trust, cooperation and inclusiveness necessary to solve these problems.”

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Pearl Dy is a community manager and journalist. She is passionate about business and development particularly involving not-for-profits, charity and social entrepreneurship.


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