Appreciative Conversations for International Day of Peace

17 September 2020, 9:00 PM
URI in Bangladesh Saraf art IDP2020

This artwork, by Saraf, is featured in the International Day of Peace 2020 art competition held by URI in Bangladesh.

In these days of connecting via the internet, host a gathering for heart-to-heart conversations to explore peace using Appreciative Interviews. This is a wonderful way to celebrate the International Day of Peace (September 21) even if you cannot meet others face-to-face.

An Appreciative Interview is a discovery process that invites people to inquire of another, to appreciate the values and experiences each person brings; and together, to imagine a better future. Appreciative Interviews give people an opportunity to speak and listen from the heart. You are invited to participate in an Appreciative Interview to speak from your experiences in building peace within yourself, with another, and with a larger community.


Welcome the group. Open with a few minutes of silence or an opening of your choice. Bring attention to the International Day of Peace (IDP), September 21. The UN theme for IDP in 2020 is Shaping Peace Together.

If using Zoom, move into break-out rooms in pairs. In each break-out room, choose the first interviewer. Each interview takes 10 minutes. The first interviewer asks their interviewee the following questions, one by one, and listens to the responses.  After 10 minutes, watch for the break-out room prompt, and switch roles. When second interview is complete, thank your partner, and return to the large group. Give the gift of listening.

After the interview are completed, return to the whole group and share highlights from the interviews. What did you learn? What touched you in listening to your partner?

Interview Questions

  1. Peace Within - I would like to learn a little about you. Please tell me your name and where you are living now. Do you have a practice that helps you find peace within yourself? Without being too humble, what is it about you that contributes to peace?
  2. Peace with Another - Please share a story of a surprising friendship... a friend that you did not expect, perhaps a friend from a different background or religion, who made a difference in your life. What was most rewarding about this surprising friendship?
  3. Peace with Community - What is a pressing problem that worries you? Imagine people from different sectors and places who want to resolve it. They are connecting with each other to get the job done. Please describe the vision of people working together on this problem: Who are the people? What different backgrounds do they come from? What skills do they bring? What are they doing? 

Tell Your Story

If you decide to hold an Appreciative Interview for Peace Day 2020, please tell us about it and URI will include you in our listing of URI 2020 Peace Day events.


  1. Appreciative Inquiry is a philosophy and a methodology for positive change. It is founded on the simple assumption that human systems – teams, organizations, and people – move in the direction of what they study, what they focus upon, and what they talk about with regularity. The essence of Appreciative Inquiry is then the study of what “gives life,” energy and vitality to organizations, teams, and people when they are at their best.
  2. The United Nations International Day of Peace is celebrated worldwide every September 21.