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Chris Spies

Founder and director of Dynamic Stability Consultancy in Stellenbosch, South Africa and Senior Research Fellow of the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation. He is currently a lead facilitator of international courses in dialogue and mediation for the Folke Bernadotte Academy in Sweden and various UN programmes. He specialises in the design and facilitation of processes to build capacities for dialogue and collaborative leadership in socio-political conflict settings.He has been involved in Infrastructure for Peace (I4P) related initiatives and developed curriculum and training courses on Collaborative Leadership and Dialogue for Nepal, Kenya and Malawi. He was the coordinator of the Finding Ways to Walk Together dialogue initiative in South Africa in collaboration with the Shared Societies Project of the Club de Madrid, the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation, Idasa, the Citizens’ Movement and the Harold Wolpe Memorial Trust.

From 2003 to 2006 he was the UN Peace and Development Advisor in Guyana, South America. This programme, with others, contributed to the first violence-free elections in more than fifty years.

In the 1980s Chris worked as a pastor in disadvantaged and neglected rural communities in the Eastern Cape in South Africa, where he joined hands with communities and activists to overcome the devastation caused by apartheid.Chris was deeply involved in peacebuilding in South Africa in the 1990s. After the signing of the South African National Peace Accord in 1991 he served as the Regional Organiser of the Western Cape Regional Peace Committee from 1992-94. Thereafter he was a Senior Trainer and Researcher at the University of Cape Town-based Centre for Conflict Resolution.

As a member of the National Land Reform Mediation Panel Chris mediated several land claims.

He is driven by the belief that people have the wisdom and can grow capacities to influence processes that affect their lives, especially where justice, freedom and civil liberties are at stake. These capacities are best enhanced in mutual learning spaces that are safe and respectful. It is possible to build those spaces with people rather than for them through engaging in relationships of trust, respect and support.

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