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On January 26, 2021, the 39th annual peace proposal by Daisaku Ikeda, founder of the Ikeda Center and president of the Soka Gakkai International (SGI), titled “Value Creation in a Time of Crisis,” was released, marking the anniversary of the founding of the SGI. President Ikeda calls for further global cooperation to address the key issues of our time: the COVID-19 pandemic, the climate crisis, and the need to rid the world of nuclear weapons. These issues are not constrained by national borders and cannot be solved by any one government or organization alone. He comments, “Our shared...

The first ever “virtual” Ikeda Forum for Intercultural Dialogue demonstrated the very concept it explored: value creation. There is no replacing the particular energy and sense of connection that define good in-person events. But there is true meaning to be found and fresh experiences to be had in the creative responses to the pandemic that has altered daily life around the globe in ways both painful and tragic, unimaginable just one year ago. This 16th annual Ikeda Forum, which was called “Value Creation: Our Unlimited Power to Face Overwhelming Challenges” and held on December 10,...

Mr. Yoshiki Tanigawa, President of the Ikeda Center for Peace, Learning, and Dialogue, recently announced a staff leadership change to take effect on January 1, 2021. Mr. Tanigawa said the board of the Ikeda Center has appointed Kevin Maher, the Center’s current Program Director, as the next Executive Director. Virginia Benson, who has served as Executive Director for 19 of the Center’s 27 years, will become Senior Executive Advisor, continuing to work on a part-time basis for the Center. 

Reflecting on his promotion and time at the Ikeda Center, Maher shared, “I am deeply honored...

Zoom screenshot of the Ikeda Center Staff and Ikeda Forum Panelists waving

On Thursday, December 10th, we held our 16th Annual Ikeda Forum, "Value Creation: Our Unlimited Power To Face Overwhelming Challenges!" It was the first ever Ikeda Forum hosted via webinar. As a result, a total of 318 participants joined from 27 countries! We are so thankful to all who took the time to join us from many different time zones! We would also like to extend our tremendous gratitude to our five amazing panelists: Dr. Anita Patterson of Boston University, Dr. Jason Goulah of DePaul University, Anna Lane, William Moody, and Vivian Suhanosky. We learned so much from your...

One of the Ikeda Center's best instances of turning lemons into lemonade during this pandemic year—best acts of value creation, if you will—has been how our program staff has successfully translated our in-person dialogue events into online "virtual dialogues." It's thrilling to be online together with participants from all around the world, dialed in and eager to explore creative ways of building diverse peace cultures. Still, it's hard not to be nostalgic for the unique experience of in-person dialogue, especially as it developed through our Dialogue Nights series over the last three...

Is our polarization simply the result of politics and the sort of partisanship that characterizes political campaigns of the sort we have witnessed during 2020? Daisaku Ikeda argues that the real problem is that all of us too easily settle for superficiality: “In society today," he says, "truthful words are few. Words of self-interest and calculation deluge us, as do frivolous words and words intended to cause injury. These days, we simply don’t hear words of truth that issue from the depths of one person’s heart and penetrate the heart of another.” He...

With the ongoing spread of COVID-19 and the continuing fight for racial justice, it can feel overwhelming to add one more challenge to the table. Yet, climate change is a long-term issue that is inseparable from the prevailing challenges that we have faced this year. It is Center founder Daisaku Ikeda’s conviction that in the midst of such large-scale issues like climate change, when facing them head on, we find in them “a remarkable diversity of opportunities for human beings to give expression to their limitless potential.” Thus, if we can tackle the climate crisis together, we then can...

August 2020 marks the 75th anniversary of the tragic bombings of Hiroshima (August 6, 1945) and Nagasaki (August 9, 1945). In his statement of commemoration, issued on behalf of the Soka Gakkai Council on Peace Issues, Ikeda Center President Yoshiki Tanigawa considers the bombings in the context of contemporary nuclear weapons abolition efforts. (Read the full statement here.) Here is an an excerpt:

This year, which further coincides with the 75th...

On July 16, we hosted our third virtual dialogue event of the year, called "The Poetic Spirit: Our Power to Reconnect a Divided World." It centered around a panel discussion between Dr. Sarah Wider (Professor of English, Colgate University) and Ikeda Center Youth Committee members Isaiah Moon and Valentina Frasisti. Two hundred fifty participants from 19 countries joined via Zoom. Here's a quote from Daisaku Ikeda that helped shape the discussion:

The poetic spirit can be found in any human endeavor. When the spirit of poetry lives within us, even objects...

The occasion for this interview with Bernice Lerner was the publication of her book All the Horrors of War: A Jewish Girl, a British Doctor, and the Liberation of Bergen-Belsen. The girl of the title is Lerner's mother, Rachel Genuth, who narrowly survived the trials and atrocities of the Nazi concentration camps. The doctor is Brigadier H. L. Glyn Hughes, who was in charge of medical needs and services for the British Second Army, which liberated Bergen-Belsen on April 15, 1945. In her book, Lerner skillfully and movingly interweaves the stories of these two...

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