What is Sustainable Peacebuilding?
Sustainable Peace is more than the absence of violence or the implementation of efficient technologies. It requires the fostering of macro-level change in societies or communities - change that promotes an internal ability to respond to disturbance and adapt to change. The concept of Sustainable Peacebuilding is premised on the idea that long-term success and durable peace require a holistic approach that considers all facets of a society - the natural environment, people, governance, politics, etc.
UWM launched the Master of Sustainable Peacebuilding (MSP) degree in Fall 2014. The MSP is a graduate program designed to prepare students for careers in areas such as human and economic development, resource stewardship, and conflict resolution, among many others. The MSP's focus is on both the developing world and developed countries such as the United States - with the goal of preparing students with essential skills that are geographically and contextually transferable.
MSP students learn to think systemically, plan synergistically, and work collaboratively across disciplines. Throughout the two-year program, students take courses and skills workshops in complexity, human-environmental interactions, systems mapping and analysis, conflict management, research methods, assessment, adaptive management, and leadership. The program includes two summers of fieldwork, through which students interface directly with complex global problems.
The MSP is professional rather than strictly academic in focus, in that the curriculum facilitates on-the-ground, community-based learning to equip students with the practical experience employers seek in new hires. Also central to the MSP is career-building - that is, developing a solid professional network, communicating skills articulately through resumes and interviews, and having abundant exposure to various positions and organizations in order to understand the field and the career opportunities present.