Business for Peace: The Pax Populi Journey Begins

Businesses could be on the forefront of advancing peace. (Background photo: "Lower Manhattan from Jersey City November 2014 panorama 3" by King of Hearts / Wikimedia Commons)

Businesses could be on the forefront of advancing peace. (Background photo: “Lower Manhattan from Jersey City November 2014 panorama 3” by King of Hearts / Wikimedia Commons)

Businesses are complex social networks of people brought together for individual and collective purposes.  The role of business in contributing to social advancement has been mixed.  At their weakest and most pitiable, businesses are organizations corrupted by greed and ignorance, and, when so corrupted, businesses have been willing abettors of war and conflict irrespective of the moral justification for the conflict. However, at their best businesses are engines of service, innovation, and social transformation that have contributed greatly to the reduction in poverty and improving the lives of people around the world. In countless ways, the advance of human civilization has been driven by business.  And from this perspective, when inspired by a social conscience, businesses have the capacity to be leaders in creating more peaceful societies.

Economic development is central to the mission of Pax Populi because we recognize that poverty is a source of great suffering and tension that can lead to violence, community ruptures, and international conflicts.  The time has come and is long overdue to draw on the powerful capacities business can and should have in advancing peace.

In September 2013, the United Nations Global Compact launched its Business for Peace (B4P) initiative to “assist companies in implementing responsible business practices that are aligned with the Global Compact principles in conflict-affected and high-risk areas. The platform also catalyzes collaborative practical action to advance peace by leveraging business influence on the workplace, marketplace and local communities.”[1] Pax Populi applauds this initiative by the UN Global Compact and will support it by encouraging businesses and all those individual and institutional stakeholders connected with them to support the creation of a worldwide movement to enlist business in the cause of peace.[2]

Businesses have capabilities far beyond what they typically imagine to advance peace. As Pax Populi peace workers, our job is to help alert businesses to these important capacities and encourage them to act thereon.  Here are a few examples of steps that can be taken to help advance the Business for Peace movement.

  • Businesses should model peace in their internal operations by providing a safe and humane work environment in which all people regardless of their gender, ethnicity, religion, or other identity factors are respected and cared for.
  • As the aforementioned universal respect and care are the fundamental principles for peace, this commitment should be clearly expressed in the organization’s codes of conduct.
  • Businesses should extend the same principle of respect to all their stakeholders and, in so doing, demonstrate their commitment to peace in the wider communities in which they operate.
  • Every business school should embrace Business for Peace and find ways to integrate it into their educational platforms in a manner similar to the way business ethics has become an integral part of business education for all reputable business schools everywhere.
  • National ministries of commerce and chambers of commerce should champion Business for Peace and support it through their policies with the aim of encouraging businesses to embrace the important role they can have in creating peaceful societies.
  • Organizations should join with the UN Global Compact in supporting Business for Peace by signing the Statement of Support of Business Leaders and Global Compact Local Networks at:
  • Inform us at Pax Populi about businesses, organizations, and individuals and the activities they are taking to act on the Business for Peace mission. We will try to keep a record of these supporters and acknowledge their commitments on our website.
  • By supporting Pax Populi financially, you can also help us to build our capacities to advance this important form of people-to-people peacebuilding.

Typically, people associate the role of peace-building with governments and nongovernmental organizations, not businesses. However, without the conscious and active engagement of business, the world is missing what could be one of its most valuable partners for the advancement of peace. Given the pervasive impact of business on society, Business for Peace has a potential for good that humanity cannot afford to squander.

At Pax Populi we believe we are in the early stages of what may become a global Business for Peace movement. If so, such a movement will change the received understanding of what it means to be a successful business.

As employees, customers, and simply members of society, we are all stakeholders in the businesses that operate in our communities. This provides each one of us with the right and duty to encourage businesses to join with the Business for Peace movement.  Business is a power too big to ignore.  By engaging businesses in the struggle for peace, we are acting to protect and honor the gift of our precious planet and the precious life that dwells on it.


[1] (accessed on 16 April 2015)

[2] Acting upon this commitment, on April 14, 2015, in his position as Director of Programs at the Center for Business Ethics at Bentley University, Pax Populi founder and director, Robert E. McNulty hosted Melissa Powell, Head of Strategy and Partnerships, and the Business for Peace (B4P) initiative at the United Nations Global Compact, to speak at Bentley University on B4P. A video recording of this talk can be seen by clicking on this link.



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Support Cultural Dialogue and Peace

Pax Populi, The Peace of the People As 2014 draws to a close, Pax Populi would like to share with you a couple of ideas expressed to us by an Afghan student in the Pax Populi Tutoring Program, Ghulamsakhi Tanin (or simply “Tanin,” as he is called). Tanin is a young man from the Afghan province of Bamiyan who is now studying Construction Engineering in Astana, Kazakhstan.

Tanin wrote, “To be candid, for me, nothing on earth is more important than peace…. My dream is peace.”

Tanin, a Pax Populi Student

Tanin, a Pax Populi Student

Soon thereafter, he wrote to us again to express his gratitude for participating in our program and said,

“I found a lot of good friends because of my English. I found the world really wide with the English language. English is a door for development and the modern world. English is the language of technology; it is the language of [our] era! I want to be a part of this modern world.”

Let us also mention Charlotte Poth, one of our dedicated tutors based in Connecticut who communicates an irrepressible joy whenever she talks about her Pax Populi work with a young woman named Mena at a high school in southern Afghanistan.

Mena is an extremely dedicated student who is preparing for professional studies in midwifery. Charlotte recently wrote in her post-session report, “Mena learned the definition of a ‘Renaissance Man/Woman’ during our session. For, she is one! Mena is a poet, and an artist.”

And through the study of English, Charlotte is also providing Mena with the support and encouragement she needs to believe in herself and to engage more confidently and capably with the world.

Charlotte and all of us at Pax Populi love working with people like Tanin and Mena.  In them and people like them, we see the surest pathway to a lasting peace in Afghanistan; in them our hope is affirmed. We are honoured to be able to work with such people to advance our goal for stability and peace.

Continued Support Needed

It is our long term commitment to help the Afghans bring peace to their own country and, to that end, we are building a global community of peace workers.

Case in point: A few weeks ago, we held and online Pax Populi International Teachers Meeting. At the meeting we had teachers and coordinators from six countries on four continents: South Korea, India, Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cotes D’Ivoire, and the United States.  Everyone was delighted to connect with some of their colleagues. It was touching to see the level of support and dedication of so many of our teachers and administrators.

In 2014 we had the most diverse group of tutors and teachers ever, including a United Nations peacekeeper, a university student working under the guidance of a professor at Southern Polytechnic State University in Georgia, our youngest tutor, a 16 year old American high school student who was guided by her parents, and we are just about to add two new teachers, one from University of Central Florida and another from Bethlehem Moravian College in Jamaica. We are also excited as we are about to launch our first work with Afghan refugees living in Quetta, Pakistan.

To meet the challenges, we have two big projects in the pipeline: the development of:

1. A new Pax Populi website, and  2. An online school.

Our website (, serves as the channel through which most of the world knows about our work. For this reason, we are currently working to make it a much better and more professional platform for sharing news and ideas connected to our programs. We expect to launch the new site by February, 2015.  We are also working on the development of an online school, to be called, “Pax Populi Academy.” We are currently testing a prototype, and expect to launch the Academy in the first quarter of 2015. The new school will open up fresh opportunities for expanding our work and doing it better. We do a lot with very little, but we need to take our work to a higher level, and we cannot do this without financial support. We hope you can help.

The United States and other NATO allies have just ended its combat mission in Afghanistan and yet fighting continues: the situation in Afghanistan and throughout the region remains very troubled. The need to work for peace has never been greater.  This is not simply the job of national leaders and diplomats it is our job as compassionate members of the human family.

And here is the crucial idea: The key to peace in Afghanistan is not by more bullets and bombs, but by helping to empower young Afghans through education and a network of social relations build on kindness and understanding it is by helping people like Tanin and Mena. This is neither rhetoric nor idealism; it is our very real commitment that follows from the daily dedication of the Afghans students with whom we work. We are here to lend them a hand in their struggle to rebuild their own country. They can do it, but they need our help.

If you would like to support Pax Populi, we would be very grateful.

You can donate online at:   or you can also send check donations to Pax Populi’s parent nonprofit organization:

Applied Ethics, Inc., 
46 Chestnut Street, 
Marblehead MA, 01945


Many thanks and we wish you a happy, healthy and peaceful New Year

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