Do you dare to believe in peace?

Many people feel powerless in the face of what they see on TV or read in the news – a world in crisis, with wars and violence taking place across the globe.

But Scilla Elworthy has written a book for all those who want to step out of helplessness and apply their own personal skills to do something about the challenges now facing us.

“Support courage where there is fear, foster agreement where there is conflict, and inspire hope where there is despair.”

- Nelson Mandela, Founder of The Elders, 2007

What you will learn in this book


War makes a few people extremely rich, and makes billions of people extremely poor. Every year, the world spends about $2 trillion on wars. The total value of the global arms trade alone was at least $94.5 billion in 2014. By contrast, just $10 billion would cover the cost of bringing clean water and sanitation to everyone on the planet. Those who thrive in war are not only arms manufacturers but also people traffickers, arms smugglers, money launderers, drug dealers.

2. How peace can be built

This book describes and references at least 25 proven systems that effectively prevent armed conflict and build safety at local, national and international levels. This is achieved through the methodical application of dialogue, prevention and early intervention, such as preventing the recruitment of suicide bombers in NW Pakistan. Each system is presented in detail, with examples of how it works in practice, followed by the plan of how it can now be implemented at scale.

3. What it will cost

Armed conflict causes massive economic losses every year, yet peace-building and peace-keeping are grossly under-funded. The spending in 2015 on peace-building ($6.8 billion) and peacekeeping ($8.27 billion) together represented just 2 per cent of the economic losses caused by conflict. This book demonstrates that the total cost of scaling up all the most effective systems to prevent war over a period of 10 years would cost under $2 billion. Currently we spend $9 billion annually on ice cream.

4. Who can do it

The current exponential rise in citizen action shows how fast humanity is evolving toward a more awakened, empathic society. The book outlines what anyone who wants to be active to prevent violence and armed conflict can do: 10 actions to take in your community, 14 actions to take nationally and 7 actions to take internationally. It addresses the self-knowledge and inner development that is essential if people are to be effective in their efforts, and provides trusted exercises to develop the skills needed in order to become inspiring builders of peaceful societies.

Who should read this book

Leaders & Policy Makers

Social Entrepreneuers

Teachers & Students

Peace Builders

Darth Vader


In half a century of work in the world, the most important lesson I’ve learned is that inner work is a prerequisite for outer effectiveness, for the simple reason that the quality of our awareness directly affects the quality of results produced. The story of Chris Hughes at the start of this book is a striking example — his awareness and presence of mind saved many lives that day in 2003.
The new brand of leaders that we need — those who are actually able to meet the challenges of today and thrive in the world of tomorrow — are the ones who know and live the connection between inner self-development and outer action. If we want to communicate clearly, transform conflicts, generate energy, and develop trust within our families, in our places of work or in government, our first challenge is to do the inner work.

About the author

PhD, three times nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for her work with the Oxford Research Group to develop effective dialogue between nuclear weapons policy-makers worldwide and their critics. Also founded Peace Direct in 2003 to fund, promote and learn from local peace-builders in conflict areas, and was adviser to Peter Gabriel, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Sir Richard Branson in setting up ‘The Elders’. She co-founded Rising Women Rising World in 2014 and advises the leadership of selected international corporations; her TED talk on non violence has been viewed by over 1,300,000 people.

Are you ready to dive deeper?

The Peace Talks Webinar

The Peace Talks Webinar

If you’d like to dive deeper, there’s a whole other path you can follow connected to this book. In my upcoming webinar series we will:

> Concentrate on the skills you need to be able to resolve conflict and prevent violence at home, in your community or in the workplace

> Practice exercises to develop the self-knowledge and inner development that is essential if people are to be effective in their efforts to become inspiring builders of peaceful societies

> Examine what kind of actions you‘d like to take in your community, nationally or internationally, and to hone the skills needed to enable those actions to bear fruit

  • “This is the current evolutionary process that most people don’t yet see: namely that the desired outer changes cannot come about without the inner change, as Einstein said. The quality of your awareness will directly affect the quality of the results you produce. This book demonstrates – steadily and sensibly – how anyone can develop this inner power to build their own personal contribution to the future, and to a world that works for all. It will wake you up to the challenges now facing the planet, and inspire you with sparkling accounts of what people are already doing to meet those challenges. It will show you how to build your own vision of the kind of future you want for your children, and the energy to make that vision real. I suggest you use this book as a guide, so that you too can become a 21st century pioneer of the possible.”

    Archbishop Desmond Tutu

    Nobel Peace Laureate, Civil Rights Activist

  • “We need individuals like Dr. Elworthy to start the work of preventing war. This has been my personal dream for many years.”

    His Holiness the Dalai Lama

  • “Dr. Scilla Elworthy has always inspired such hope in my world. Her insights spring from a deep faith in people. A faith founded on years of research and deep thinking about how we resolve conflict without war. This is a profound book. I hope our leaders read it.”

    Sir Mark Rylance

    Actor, former artistic director, Globe Theatre

  • “The Business Plan for Peace clearly articulates the economic benefits of a more peaceful world – and they are profound.”

    Steve Killelea

    Founder and Executive Chairman, Institute for Economics and Peace

  • “Peace is not a Utopia. In her usual inspiring prose, Scilla Elworthy convinces us that each of us in our own way, everywhere, can contribute to making peace real. Most importantly, she tells us how.”

    Dr Kalypso Nicolaidis

    Professor of International Relations, University of Oxford

  • “Finally, what we have known intuitively is now demonstrated in plain English utilizing business principles. A business plan for peace resonates with me as it will with thousands of Rotarians worldwide. Dr Elworthy’s work is groundbreaking and hopeful. Imagine giving up war which costs US$1,600,000,000,000 dollars per year with unimaginable side effects for a mere two hundred million dollars per year. This is a must read.”

    Al Jubitz

    Founding President of the Rotarian Action Group for Peace; Founder of the War Prevention Initiative

  • “I find it impossible to comprehend how so many of the human race seem more intent on waging wanton destruction, rather than creating sustainable solutions towards establishing lasting peace. This is why Scilla Elworthy’s exceptional book is so compelling. It has been written for people who want to step out of helplessness and find out how they can apply their own personal skills to do something about the challenges now facing us. Read on and learn how you can engage.”

    Annie Lennox

    OBE, singer, songwriter, political activist and philanthropist

  • “In this extraordinary and surprising book Scilla Elworthy dissects the Big Picture: Why do wars happen? What is the real damage? Who gains from them? What would peace entail and how do we achieve it? What’s the good news? These are some of the most difficult and essential questions of our time. Scilla tackles them with grace, generosity and a wealth of experience, offering examples and proposals for new and peaceful ways of conceptualising the human future. This is a compact book with an enormous message. Please read it.”

    Brian Eno

    Lifelong pioneer in rock, ambient and electronic music

  • “For all of us working to build a more just and peaceful world, this book provides not only the inspiration, but also the evidence, we’ve been looking for. As Dr. Elworthy eloquently explains, military options are no longer viable in today’s world. We must find nonviolent solutions to the problems we face; peacebuilding is both practical and effective.”

    Bridget Moix

    Clerk of the Board, Friends Committee on National Legislation, USA

  • “It is no longer adequate to simply be non-discriminatory. To make the kind of change needed and to end war, people have to be “actively inclusive”. Scilla is showing that we have the tools and has given us a blueprint for maximizing our potential.”

    Daniel Danso

    Global Diversity Expert, Linklaters

  • “Scilla shows us what is already effective in building peace at both local and international levels, and how minimal is the cost compared to the costs of fighting wars. She confirms the massive impact that ordinary people can have in making a peaceful world possible, and how they can do it.”

    David Hartsough

    Co-founder of World Beyond War and the Nonviolent Peaceforce, nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize

  • “War is a complicated matter. At last Scilla Elworthy has simplified the horrific financial costs together with toolkits, advice and examples for effective prevention of conflict. War has passed its sell-by date, and in this easy to read book the author clearly demonstrates why.”

    Lawrence Bloom

    Former Chair of the World Economic Forum, Global Agenda Council

  • “This book is timely, well-informed, authoritative and readable. It challenges my assumptions about the inevitability of armed conflict, and calls on us to review beliefs that may have been unquestioned hitherto. It offers a clear and compelling case for the practicalities of building a more peaceful world, and calls for a culture change in how we manage conflict. It is highly practical on a personal as well as a global level, with clear suggestions for actions that we can take e.g. steps to disseminate these ideas to government and media. By assembling ‘known and viable initiatives’ Scilla Elworthy has given me a sense of hope that so many organisations world-wide are taking positive steps in peace-building.”

    Lawrence Kershen

    Chair, Search for Common Ground UK, former Chair, Restorative Justice Council

  • “This remarkable and deeply timely book is of the highest relevance for anyone, in any walk of life, who has the desire to contribute to creating a better world. Drawing on her decades of experience of dialogue and working with global decision-makers, Dr Elworthy brings together a wide-ranging framework of strategic actions with the inner disciplines needed to make them more effective as well as to build personal resilience. She has researched and created what must be the first, and therefore landmark, detailed financial model for the creation of peace initiatives worldwide. Highly readable, practical and peppered with pithy and often moving true stories, this is truly a unique and essential book for our time.”

    Nicholas Janni

    Founder, Core Presence; Co-Founder, Vessica

  • “This is a very powerful book that faces head-on the appalling cost of war but goes far beyond this. Scilla Elworthy does not just argue persuasively that war should be seen as obsolete but she shows how we can control and reverse our culture of militarism. She does this through a series of chapters that take us from the international and national through to the local and the personal. The Business Plan for Peace achieves the remarkable feat of combining realism with optimism – a singularly powerful antidote to the despair that can so readily come from facing up to the problem of violence.”

    Paul Rogers

    Emeritus Professor of Peace Studies, Bradford University

How your contribution can make a difference in the world

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The Business Plan for Peace Book & Webinar contains trusted exercises to develop the skills that you and your community need to acquire to turn yourselves into inspiring builders of peaceful societies.

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"The Business Plan for Peace" (Ebook version)

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