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On October 14, the Center welcomed fifteen students from eight Boston-area universities to its first-ever student peace seminar. The session, the first of two, was conceptualized and facilitated by pioneering feminist peace educator Betty Reardon and Zeena Zakharia, Assistant Professor of International and Comparative Education at UMass Boston. With Center founder Daisaku Ikeda’s 2009 nuclear abolition proposal as a guide, the facilitators and students tackled the challenge of abolishing nuclear weapons and how to engage, empower, and inspire civil society to take action on...

Dialogue Night 2

Our new Dialogue Nights series continued on Wednesday, October 25, with another great gathering of young Bostonians. The theme for the evening was "Life-to-Life Encounters in a Digital World." The participants included a nice mix of Boston-area university students and young professionals, all of whom readily admitted they spend a considerable amount of time focused on their phones each day. During the discussion the positive dimensions of our digital lives were celebrated; after all, the event itself would not even have taken place if not for social media. Yet all emphatically agreed that...

It was heartening to see the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) win the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize! As recent events have demonstrated, complacency and defeatism are no longer acceptable responses to the challenge of abolishing nuclear weapons. Yet these modes of thinking are deeply ingrained. Like ICAN, feminist peace educator and civil society activist Betty Reardon insists that confronting the uncreative thinking that has led to our untenable status quo is an important first step on the path toward abolition. In this new Ikeda Center essay, called "An Experiment in...

Lillian

On Wednesday, September 27, the Ikeda Center hosted its first ever dialogue night for students and young professionals. Conceptualized and moderated by the Center's Lillian I, the event was the first in what will become a regular series. The purpose is to provide ongoing opportunities for young people to discuss their concerns about the world and to find ways to transform these challenges through the power of dialogue. The initial dialogue built off of Daisaku Ikeda's thoughts on the importance of "soft power," with an emphasis on how philosophy and genuine friendship can enhance...

To celebrate the publication of "Hope Is a Decision," a new collection of Daisaku Ikeda's essays, we asked co-editor of the volume Jeff Farr to share what he considers the main components of Daisaku Ikeda's philosophy of hope. In his essay, Farr shares this quote from Mr. Ikeda:

“Sometimes, it may be hard to see where—or how—to begin. But we cannot be paralyzed by despair. We must each take action toward the goals we have set and in which we believe. Rather than passively accepting things as they are, we must embark on the challenge of creating a new...

Shaping a New Society, an extended dialogue between Lawrence J. Lau and Daisaku Ikeda, is a lucid examination of the components of a peaceful, flourishing twenty-first century world. The book opens with an exploration of the financial challenges and opportunities of our time, including close analysis of lessons to be learned from the 2008 financial crisis and keys for shared prosperity across East Asia. These discussions are rounded out by conversations focused on the attributes of successful humanistic higher education, a topic of intimate knowledge and concern for both authors....

The introduction to Stephen Gould's new essay on Daisaku Ikeda's 2017 Peace Proposal includes these observations on Ikeda's vision of global citizenship:

Mr. Ikeda advances the idea that educating young people for global citizenship can create a desire in youth to help others and activate the potential of youth to do good, and that their actions as global citizens can bring about global change, end suffering, and restore hope. He believes that educating for global citizenship contributes to greater understanding of others and can help counterbalance the...

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The field of Soka education studies took a big step forward this June. That’s when fourteen education scholars gathered to discuss how the practice of Soka, or value-creating, education can revitalize US education. The seminar was moderated by Jason Goulah, Director of the Institute for Daisaku Ikeda Studies in Education at DePaul University. He led participants in an exploration of first, how Soka education can uniquely address the most pressing issues in contemporary education, and second, the related question of how it intersects with each scholar’s individual research interests. And...

Hope Is a Decision: Selected Essays of Daisaku Ikeda asks a fundamental question: How do we remain optimistic when the world seems to be falling apart around us? In these newly-published essays, representing several decades of Daisaku Ikeda's writings, the reader is invited on an inspirational journey to find answers and hope in troubled times. The book includes incisive commentaries on terrorism, good and evil, and aging and death that provide a new perspective on approaching the world with hope. The lyrical reflections on poetry and friendship highlight how such spiritual...

In the intensely polarized United States of early 2017, it’s easy to find oneself reacting quickly and with outrage to any number of unfolding events. Indeed, it’s become a default position for many of us, both left and right. In her dialogue with Boston-area university students held at the Ikeda Center on April 12, 2017, Anita Patterson of Boston University argued that deep engagement with literature offers unique, even practical benefits for those looking to transcend our pattern of unthinking reaction. Read the...

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