At the beginning of February, ThoughtBox headed off to Castellon in southern Spain for an annual conference of the Global DEEP Network. DEEP (which stands for Dialogue - Empathic Engagement and Peacebuilding) is a global NGO whose community are currently working across 17 countries to spread the values of positive social interaction through a range of projects, initiatives, education forums and community activities.
The gathering was an opportunity for members (old and new) to meet to share projects, explore new ideas and potential collaborations and work on some of the core DEEP strategies to move the global network forward.
The weekend began with an official DEEP seminar held at Universitat Jaume I in Castellon – a meeting that was open to the wider university community as an opportunity for people to come along and learn more about the DEEP network. Many of the DEEP core members are alumni of the Masters in Peace, Conflict and Development Studies from the UNESCO Chair of Philosophy for Peace taught at the Universitat Jaume I, with a core module delivered by Dr Alberto Gomes, the founder of the DEEP network.
As well as the core DEEP members, the meeting was attended by several curious students from across the campus, as well as the local press, who wrote an article about the gathering for the Castellon newspaper Elperiodic.
Some of the highlights from the four day gathering included:
- A screening of a selection of short films called Voices of the Migrant, created and screened by Celia Demoor, Director of DEEP France. Celia spoke about some of the work that she had been doing in what was the ‘Jungle Camp’ in northern Calais and also introduced some of the future projects that she has been given funding to take forward.
- Working together within a World Café forum to exchange ideas and create questions about the work that DEEP is doing (and could do in the future) and how we can all support the global network
- Dr Alberto Gomes talking about the notion of DEEP, and the importance of unlearning our collective behaviours to strip back to the innate values of the human spirit and the strong qualities of humanity
He spoke of what he sees as the Seven Vices of society and how DEEP is working to turn these vices into virtues:
1.Turning Ignorance to Knowledge
2.Hatred to Love
3.Fear to Hope
4.Arrogance to Humility
5.Competition to Cooperation
6.Greed to Generosity
7.Apathy to Empathy
ThoughtBox is working within the German node of the network and our first collaboration is the formation of Youth Café. Find out more about DEEP and this exciting new collaboration on the ThoughtBox Blog or visit the DEEP Deutschland website to learn more.