Positive Peace: the best environment for human potential to flourish.

What is "Positive Peace"? A new report defines it this way: 

Humanity is now facing challenges unparalleled in its history. These problems, which include climate change, ever decreasing biodiversity, and over-population, are global in nature; they call for global solutions and require cooperation on a scale unprecedented in human history. In a globalised world, the sources of many of these challenges are multidimensional, increasingly complex and span national borders. For this reason, finding solutions fundamentally requires new ways of thinking.

Without peace it will not be possible to achieve the levels of trust, cooperation or inclusiveness necessary to solve these challenges, let alone empower the international institutions and organisations necessary to help address them. Therefore, peace is the essential prerequisite for the survival of humanity as we know it in the 21st century.

Positive Peace provides a framework to understand and then address the multiple and complex challenges the world faces. Positive Peace is transformational in that it is a cross-cutting factor for progress, making it easier for businesses to sell, entrepreneurs and scientists to innovate, individuals to produce and governments to e ectively regulate.

In addition to the absence of violence, Positive Peace is also associated with many other social characteristics that are considered desirable, including stronger economic outcomes, higher resilience, better measures of well-being, levels of inclusiveness and environmental performance. Therefore, Positive Peace can be viewed as creating an optimal environment in which human potential can flourish.

Understanding what creates sustainable peace cannot be found in the study of violence alone. A parallel can be drawn with medical science. The study of pathology has led to numerous breakthroughs in our understanding of how to treat and cure disease. However, it was only when medical science turned its focus to the study of healthy human beings that we understood what we needed to do to stay healthy: the correct physical exercise, a good mental disposition and a balanced diet are some examples. This could only be learned by studying what was working. In the same way, the study of conflict is different to the study of peace, producing very di erent outcomes. 

Positive Peace is defined as the attitudes, institutions and structures that create and sustain peaceful societies. The same factors that create peace also lead to many other positive outcomes that societies aspire to, such as thriving economies, better inclusion, high levels of resilience and societies that are more capable of adapting to change.

...Without a better understanding of how societies operate, it will not be possible to solve humanity’s major global challenges. Positive Peace combined with systems thinking provides a unique framework from which to better manage human affairs and to relate to the broader eco-systems upon which we depend. Positive Peace in many ways is a facilitator, allowing societies more avenues for adaptation.

How does systems thinking work here? 

Positive Peace is systemic and interdependent. As a simple example, High Levels of Human Capital can act as a driver of economic growth, while a Strong Business Environment can be a driver of improved education and both are influenced by Well-Functioning Government. Analysis of corruption demonstrates that 80 per cent of countries scoring poorly in Low Levels of Corruption also score poorly in High Levels of Human Capital. 

More here. And also explore its background organisation, ReliefWeb.