Euphrates Founder's TEDx talk, "Turn the 'Other' into a Brother"
Janessa Gans Wilder shares her story of transformation from seeing Iraqis as the ‘Other’ to seeing them as brothers. Watch this inspiring TEDx talk!
A world of people practicing peace. This isn't a lofty vision. It's already happening, and in the places you would least expect it, like the Middle East. Like the Euphrates river flowing through the war zones of western Iraq, peace is already here.Learn More About our mission
Why Peace with the Middle East Matters
Three wars. 13 years of fighting. 1.9 trillion dollars. Over 10,000 American lives lost in terrorist attacks and conflicts in the Middle East, more than any other part of the world. America’s relationship with the Middle East directly impacts its security. Confronting extremism begins with empowering moderates. Learn about the visionaries in the Middle East actively working to transform their societies. And explore what it takes to be a peacebuilder in your community.
Drive much? About 36% of America’s imported petroleum comes from OPEC and the Persian Gulf. When tension rises in the Middle East, we feel it at the pump the next day. Check out OPEC’s graph on oil cost over time.
Consuming less oil starts with living more sustainably. Check out our visionary of the year, T.H. Culhane’s plan for each person to use biogas, and see if you can use this in your own home. Learn about other inspiring green initiatives in the region.
Each of the three major monotheistic religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) traces its roots to the Middle East. The region is also the home of rising religious extremism, fanning the flames of intolerance and violence.
The Euphrates Institute is committed to open dialogues and compassion for religious faiths, as a cooperation circle of the United Religions Initiative. Learn about the inspiring efforts to bring compassion back to the religion conversation through interfaith groups, compassion initiatives, and religious reformations, and see how you can get involved and bring these ideas to your community.
How Change Happens Individually
Connecting Personal to Global Transformation
When we live and act in a way that releases our personal potential for good, we are bringing this mastery into our relationships with others and our interactions with our larger communities.
As we each fulfill our purpose–our political, social, and religious groups, and nations interact based on shared interests and the Golden Rule.
We care for ourselves, one another, and the earth in a way that releases the unlimited potential for renewal, transformation, and healing.
How Change Happens Collectively
The Diffusion of Innovations
Studies at Stanford University tell us that when just 5% of the society accepts a new idea, it is “embedded.” When 20% adopt the idea, it is “unstoppable.” The studies also show that it normally requires 50% of the population to be “aware” of the idea in order to reach the 5% who will adopt it.
Anecdotally we’ve seen this to be true in the collective American shift behind every milestone of progress, from voting rights for women to civil rights legislation, attitudes toward the treatment of mental illness, and more. When Americans change their minds, government follows.