Forum Reports from Blogger Dick Bernard

Our good friend Dick Bernard, who blogs at “Thoughts Towards a Better World,” has been writing detailed reports (including photos) of each day of the Nobel Peace Prize Forum. Check out the excerpts from his reports on day one (Business, Arts/Music) and day two (Education). We’ll post a link to #3 (Global Studies) as soon as it’s available.  

DAY ONE – BUSINESS AND ARTS & MUSIC DAY (MARCH 1)

There is no adequate way to condense six jam-packed hours into 600 words or less. Here’s an attempt.

The first day was fully subscribed.

In the general sessions, Alf Bjorseth, chairman of Scatec As, gave a highly informative talk on “Renewable Energy:The Business of Renewing Peace & Stability”; Republic of South Africa Ambassador Ebrahim Rasool, discussed the role of business in stabilizing the wider world and local communities as well; at the close, South African Sakumzi “Saki” Macozoma, five year veteran of infamous Robben Island Prison, talked about Business and the Price of Peace in Post-Apartheid South Africa. (click on photos to enlarge.) [READ THE REST]

DAY TWO – EDUCATION DAY (MARCH 2)

Tonight on return from a long day at Forum events, I opened an e-mail from my retired friend and colleague John Borgen. In the e-mail was a link to this songsung by a young person with a spectacular voice, Jackie Evancho. Somehow, it fits like a glove the earlier part of the day, and transcends individual sectarian beliefs with a universal message from young people to us all.

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The first part of today’s agenda was the traditional Nobel Peace Prize Festival for K-12 students, now folded into the new format of the Forum.

Kennedy Center at Augsburg College was crowded with school kids at 11 a.m. I had found a chair in the second row in front of the podium. To my left First Graders from Burroughs Elementary in Minneapolis were beginning their welcoming song. On the opposite side of the gym this years honoree, 1993 co-(with Nelson Mandela) Nobel Laureate F. W. de Klerk of South Africa, had arrived with no fanfare in a darkened auditorium.

The song had just begun and Mr. de Klerk walked briskly and inobtrusively toward the center of the room, and sat down directly in front of me, gazing intently at the children to his left. I couldn’t resist taking this photograph which, to me, speaks the proverbial thousand words (click to enlarge). [READ THE REST]

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