The stats behind our alumni impact
It’s hard to look at the state of affairs in the world and feel hopeful—especially in the places that Seeds of Peace works today: the Middle East, where the peace process has largely been declared extinct; South Asia, where violence continues to flare in Kashmir and talks between India and Pakistan remain stagnant; and the US, which is experiencing the most intense period of polarization in a generation.
Yet while ‘peace’ may still feel elusive, a new survey of Seeds of Peace alumni offers hope that there is a rising generation of new leaders pushing progress forward. As we approached our 25th year, we set out to quantify our impact—not determined by whether or not peace on earth exists, but against our stated mission of developing new generations of leaders who have the skills and desire to transform conflict.
While it may not be possible to put a number on something as tenuous and fragile as peace, you can calculate the number of people you’ve touched over the years, and then assess the impact they in turn are having in their communities.
With guidance from experts at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, we sent out a comprehensive survey last summer to our Seeds across the globe, asking about where they are today and the impact they are having in their societies. We started off with a representative sample of Seeds who went to the Seeds of Peace Camp between 1993-2009, currently ranging in age from approximately 22-38 years old. From this sample, we drew a randomized pool of respondents relative to their regional demographics. Their responses held both the statistical confidence and margin of error levels acceptable in the broader field of social science research, which allows us to make conclusions about our broader alumni community based on this data.
- A whopping 76% of our respondents stated that they were contributing to conflict transformation through economic, social, or political change, either professionally or through activities in their personal lives.
- 62% stated that this work is through their primary occupation. Alina (Israeli Delegation, 2002) and Shico (Egyptian Delegation, 2003) are great examples of Seeds who are having a political and economic impact in their careers.
- 61% reported involvement in volunteer work that contributes to conflict transformation. And of this group, 61% said that they held leadership roles in these peacebuilding activities, initiatives, or movements.
- Respondents reach and impact an average of 1,893 individuals through their work, and 29% said they reach 5,000 individuals or more.*
- 40% of Israeli and Palestinian respondents claimed to have cross-conflict relationships. In comparison, a 2015 PEW Research Forum report found that only 2% of Jews and only 15% of Muslims in Israel alone maintain relationships with people outside their own religious group. (Given the challenges and constraints in connecting Israelis with Palestinians living in the West Bank or Gaza, it can be assumed that the levels of connection between these groups would be even lower than the levels reported between Arabs and Jews within Israel.)
- 89% of respondents considered themselves supporters or ambassadors of Seeds of Peace, and 99% said they’d recommend Seeds of Peace to members of their community.
*The specific numbers reached by those working to transform conflict cannot be generalized to the broader alumni population.
Seeds of Peace boasts 6,698 alumni from 27 countries. But we have a singular mission: inspire and cultivate new generations of leaders to transform conflict. We believe that true peace isn’t made on pieces of paper, but through building meaningful relationships between people across lines of conflict. Our research now shows that our Seed community around the globe is working, dreaming, and living the values implanted at the start of their Seeds of Peace journey. They are taking steps to enact the kinds of economic, social, and political change necessary to transform conflict and build peace.
How are you becoming the change you want to see in this world? Share your story of impact with us!