News & Blog

A Report From Dialogue Nights No. 4

By Mitch Bogen

View a photo gallery of the event.

We hosted our first Dialogue Nights event of 2018 on January 19, when more than forty Boston-area students and young professionals gathered at the Ikeda Center to discuss “The Invisible Arrow of Prejudice, War,...

On Friday, December 1, the Ikeda Center welcomed nearly 50 Boston-area students and young professionals for our third Dialogue Nights event of Fall 2017, this time featuring guest facilitator Ceasar McDowell, Professor of Civic Design at MIT. The evening’s theme was “The Power of Raised Voices: Do You Know More Than You Can Say?” The goal of the dialogue was to help participants unearth the sources of their reluctance to engage in the important, difficult conversations we need to improve the health of our democracy.

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Dialogue Nights 3

On Friday, December 1, the Ikeda Center welcomed nearly 50 Boston-area students and young professionals for our third Dialogue Nights event of Fall 2017. The gathering featured Professor Ceasar McDowell of MIT leading everyone in an exploration of "The Power of Raised Voices." Employing a unique approach, Dr. McDowell facilitated a dialogue about dialogue, or rather, a dialogue about why so many of us are reluctant to engage in the kinds of conversations that are needed if we are to become a healthier, more harmonious society.

The point wasn't that it's wrong to be...

nuclear abolition thumb

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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