Peace for business

Last week Space for Peace attended Asian Business Connexions ABC Expo, ‘the largest family and business community inclusive event on Tyneside’, at the Excelsior Academy in Newcastle upon Tyne.

At our stall we took the opportunity to discuss peace with businesses from across the North East, both large and small.  We asked three key questions, ‘What does peace mean for you?’, ‘Where is Peace?’ and ‘How do you make peace?’. In addition we asked members of the business community to make personal pledges for peace in recognition of the UN International Peace Day on 21st September.  Here are some of the pledges made by local business people;

‘never hold a grudge against anyone, life is to short’  ‘I will take the time to understand people, not pre-judge’ ‘being supportive to everyone and to find solutions’ ‘think more positive of life as a whole’  ‘reflecting on the needs of others and promoting peace at work’  ‘smile to colleagues’  ‘helping where and when I am needed’

Most of these pledges are as applicable in the home as the are in the workplace. Share your pledge with us on facebook.

Historically, Space for Peace have attended community events and festivals at which we have engaged in the same discussions with a cross section of the general public.  However, this event presented the opportunity to explore what peace means specifically to businesses and whether peace interventions can help improve business performance.

Unsurprisingly the responses to the three key questions resonated with responses we receive at other events.  The business people we spoke to talked of their personal experiences and view of peace in their day to day life outside of work.  These discussions touched on both their own peace and that of the wider community and the world.  It was clear that they valued peace for themselves and recognised the obvious benefits to an end in violent conflict around the world.  Yet, initially at least, very few made an immediate connection to the role of peace at work.

Maybe this is no surprise, when talking about peace we naturally consider the opposite to peace the opposite to peace.  Space for Peace was created specifically to tackle issues of Anti-social behaviour, Domestic abuse and bullying in North East communities. These were the issues identified by people at community events across the North East as the key barriers to peace in their lives.  In the workplace there are tighter controls, rules and laws to deal with these issues than there are in our homes and neighbourhoods. Yet these issues to occur in the workplace as well as outside of work and when they do they can lead to absenteeism, sickness and conflict with customers or colleagues.

Lack of peace for employees and business owners can have a seriously damaging effect on business performance, conversely when when we create space for peace for ourselves and eachother, conflict is reduced, we feel happier and are more productive.

A recent article by wired highlights that many of the worlds most succesful business leaders, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google are now incorporating mindfulness techniques into their working practices because of the benefits to health, wellbeing and performance.

To find out more about Space for Peace find us on facebook, or email us at



Smile 4 Peace

smile for peace‘Peace begins with a smile’ – Mother Theresa



International world peace day is this Saturday, and in preparation for 21st September we are asking people to simply make an extra effort to smile at more people, more often and to smile back when others smile at you.

We don’t mean randomly smiling at total strangers, that could look a bit weird. Smile more to yourself, to your friends, colleagues and the people you recognize who you see everyday on the bus, the tube, the station, the office block etc. If just smiling feels strange, feel free to add a simple greeting.

We ask that, in the spirit of Mother Theresa’s quote at the top of the page that people make this extra effort on 20th September, the day before Peace Day.  We want the day before peace day to become known as a day of smiling and happiness.

Why ‘Smile4Peace’ ?

  • Smiling actually makes you feel happier.  We all know we smile when we are happy, but scientists have proven that the act of smiling itself releases endorphins that make us feel happier, even when we are not happy. Smiling brings positive psychological and physiological changes that benefits your health and happiness.
  • Smiling releases dopamine, endorphins and serotonin which work to reduce stress, relieve pain and and lift your mood.
  • Smiling is contagious, studies have shown that when you smile at someone, their brain unconciously wants to return the favour.  So when you smile at someone it encourages them to smile back, and as already mentioned the act of smiling makes them feel happier.  That’s right, when you smile at someone you feel happier and so do they!
  • When you smile, people treat you differently. Studies have demonstrated that smiling faces are more likely to be viewed with positive attributes such as reliable, sincere, relaxed and attractive.

The world is simply a happier, safer and better place when you smile.  And that is why ‘Peace begins with a smile’

So please join us on 20th September and ‘smile4peace’


Where is Peace for you?


‘Peace will come wherever it is sincerely invited’ Alice Walker

Creating Space For Peace is about Reducing Domestic Abuse, Anti-Social Behaviour & Bullying in local communities.

In previous posts we discussed what does peace mean to you and what does Peace mean for you. These questions help us understand peace and its benefits to us as individuals and the wider communities in which we live. By knowing what Peace feels and looks like, we are more likely to recognise where the Spaces for Peace are in our lives.

Finding Peace in our chaotic lives is a constant challenge, whatever our circumstance, and requires an absence of conflict and disturbance.. A peaceful physical space is no guarantee of peace if our minds are racing with internal conflicts and demands.  Likewise all the breathing, meditation and mindfulness techniques available can be disturbed by external events.

That said, finding Peace starts with the individual.  When we are in conflict with ourselves, our subsequent behaviours impact upon those around us, our family, friends, colleagues and community.  Only by finding our own space for peace can we begin to make peace with others.

At events across the North East of England, Space for Peace have been asking people in local communities what peace means to them. Here are a few of the responses;

‘No where’      ‘In my bedroom’       ‘Soul’       ‘Mind’       ‘Reading a book’      ‘Being with family’       ‘With friends’     ‘Diving in the sea’

‘On the golf course’       ‘Cuddled on the sofa with my partner’       ‘On holiday’         ‘The beach’

‘Listening to music’        ‘Laughing with my kids’         ‘Watching a funny movie’        ‘In my bed’       ‘When I’m off my face’

‘That I don’t have to take verbal’         ‘At the pub’      ‘Spirit’        ‘When the kids have gone to bed’       ‘In a smile’  

‘At home’        ‘A night out with the girls’          ‘At the bottom of the bottle of wine’           ‘At my friends house’

‘The garden’          ‘When I’m asleep’        ‘In nature’         ‘Knowing myself’        ‘At my mums’        ‘Anywhere’

It is clear from these responses that peace can be found almost anywhere, but for most people it is not a solitary experience but comes through sharing time and space with the people they love and care about. The people we are at peace with bring us peace.  That is why peace must begin in our homes and in our communities, peace starts with each of us.

‘ Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding’  Albert Einstein

Without understanding, peace is nowhere.  With understanding Peace can be everywhere.

Where will you be and who will you make peace with on 21st September, International day of peace?