The Norway House | Minnesota Peace Initiative serves to raise awareness, educate, and foster engagement related to peace issues and peacemaking efforts worldwide.

Minnesota Peace Initiative programs feature prominent speakers, panels, and interactive experiences to achieve enlightening dialogue and inspire civic engagement. Past speakers have included former Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik, President, Oslo Center for Peace and Human Rights and Brian J. Atwood, Dean, Humphrey School of Public Affairs.

In addition to the Oslo Center for Peace and Human Rights -- U.S. Foundation, the Minnesota Peace Initiative collaborates with Minnesota International NGO Network (MINN), Humphrey School of Public Affairs, Sons of Norway, and Minnesota International Center.

The Minnesota Peace Initiative was founded in 2008 by Norway House Going Viking award winner, Janet Dolan and her husband, William Moore, who share a passion for this work.


Minnesota Peace Initiative Past Events

Fall 2017

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Minnesota Peace Initiative Presents: Our water is sick. And getting sicker.

We’re surrounded by water and can’t live without it. But our water is sick, and getting sicker every day.

Joining us will be three experts knowledgable in the science of water and its quality,to discuss the impending water crisis with us, including Geir Wing Gabrielsen, Ecotoxicology Research Program Leader at the Norwegian Polar Institute, Dr. John Downing, Director of the Sea Grant College Program and professor in the Departmment of Biology at the University of Minnesota, and Nancy Wallace, Director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Marine Debris Program.

View PDFs of Our Water is Sick and Getting Sicker presentations by all three speakers!


Spring 2017

Russia: Friend, Foe, or...

Two Russia experts explore answers to the question, "Is Russia a friend, foe, or something else?" They say the challenges in the U.S.-Russia relationship are acute, the potential for miscommunication is rising, and the stakes are high.

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Fall 2016

Rising Nationalism and the New Arms Race

One by one, many countries around the world have begun to turn inward---in identity, rhetoric, and international policies. This rise in nationalism has received widespread media attention. A more quiet trend, the significant growth in nuclear arms and testing, has only recently hit mainstream public consciousness. Once an issue popularly thought to be resolved with the end of the Cold War, proliferation of nuclear weapons has become the "new arms race." How are these two phenomena, nationalism and the arms race, connected? 
Our two panelists, Tom Collina, Director of Policy at Ploughshares Fund, and
Robert Kelley, Associate Professor at American University's School of International Service, discuss the rise in nationalism and its relationship with the new arms race. 

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Spring 2016

Climate Conflict

Three panelists utilize their specific areas of expertise to discuss the intersections between climate and conflict.

This group of panelists included Dr. Shannon Smith, Deputy Assistant Secretary, East Africa, Sudan, and South Sudan in the Bureau of African Affairs, US Department of State, Dr. Jessica Hellmann, Director of the Institute on the Environment at the University of Minnesota, and Shiloh Fetzek, Senior Fellow for International Affairs at The Center for Climate and Security.

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Fall 2015

Europe in motion: The Refugee crisis, a discussion

The Minnesota Peace Initiative presents a panel of experts who analyze the global magnitude of the refugee crisis in Europe.

The panelists include Daniel Wordsworth, President and CEO of the American Refugee Committee International, Jennifer Prestholdt, the Deputy Director and Director of International Justice for The Advocates for Human Rights, Jan Petersen, Former Norwegian Foreign Minister & Ambassador to the UN in Vienna, and Dianna Shandy, Professor of Anthropology at Macalester.


Fall 2014

Turmoil: What to make of it all: A Dialogue

A panel of experts come together to discuss what is currently happening throughout the world, and which values they think should guide US efforts during this time of turbulence.

The panelists include Brian Atwood, a longtime State Department diplomat, John Radsan, a former CIA officer, and the global philanthropy adviser Susan Cornell.