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Dr. Scilla Elworthy  

Founder of the Oxford Research Group

Scilla Elworthy Ph D founded Peace Direct in 2002 to fund, promote and learn from peace-builders in conflict areas; awarded 'Best New Charity' at the Charity Awards 2005.

Previously Scilla founded the Oxford Research Group in 1982 to develop effective dialogue between nuclear weapons policy-makers worldwide and their critics. It is for this work that Scilla was awarded the Niwano Peace Prize in 2003 and nominated three times for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Scilla helped found the Market Theatre in South Africa in 1976, long before it was legal for multi-racial performances to take place, and has since worked with playwrights and directors, including David Edgar and Max Stafford Clark, to engage the public in political theatre. From 2005 Scilla was adviser to Sir Richard Branson, Peter Gabriel and Archbishop Desmond Tutu in setting up The Elders initiative.

In 2007 Scilla was appointed a member of the International Task Force on Preventive Diplomacy. Scilla was director of programmes for the World Peace Festival Berlin August 2011, and programme co-ordinator for the Celebrate Life Festival near Bremen in 2012. Scilla is chair of the Civil Society sector of the Hanwang Forum in China, a platform to enable China to drive the development of an inclusive, ethical, resilient global society at scale and with a sense of urgency.

Scilla is a Councillor of the World Future Council, patron of Gender Rights and Equality Action Trust, Voice of a Woman, and Oxford Research Group; adviser to MasterPeace - a new international bottom-up peace initiative - and to Self Knowledge Global Responsibility – spreading the experience that self-awareness can lead to a powerfully fulfilling life of service.

Scilla is a member of the Steering Committee of PAX, a service to help prevent wars and genocides, and of the International Advisory Council of the Institute for Economics and Peace. Scilla also leads week-long retreats in the Sinai desert; a 24-hour intensive entitled 'Pilgrimage'; and a 2-day leadership course entitled 'Awakened Leadership'.

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