The Mighty Heart in Action

By Dr. Scilla Elworthy.

Did you know…

That when you listen deeply to someone who is angry or aggressive, it will be transformative for both of you?

That the Inner Critic, which constantly nags at you and tells you you’re not good enough, can become your ally and your guide in changing the world?

That you can make faster and better decisions with your heart than with your head?

That inner work multiplies the effectiveness of your work in the world?


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What you will find in this book

PART ONE takes us through 10 skills that are fundamentally useful in enabling us to find the energy of our own passion, to communicate effectively, to address our fears and self-doubt, to balance right- and left-brain intelligence, and to develop the presence and the inner power needed to reach out across difference. These are the skills that enable us to change the world, to build a safer world, one person at a time.

You will learn and practice these personal skills which are NECESSARY for the prevention and resolution of conflict. But we also know that in themselves they are NOT SUFFICIENT to deliver political change. Why? Because to change the world, a person needs to know how to apply these skills in the situations they want to change.

Therefore, PART TWO of this book is designed to assist and support you in becoming, step by step, a very effective agent of change. We raise the questions that will probably crop up at each stage of your progress, and suggest how you might respond. This is to help you develop your own personal mastery of applying these skills, systematically, to bring about change – whether it be locally at home, in the community, in the workplace, or even between governments.

PART THREE sets all this in a much broader context, asking how humanity got into this mess and what are the deeper problems now facing us. People need to find the threads that can weave a safer future. You will find vibrant living examples of these threads, and indicators of plenty more. Each one of us has within us the imagination for building the kind of future there could be, so you’re invited to see how your own hunches are stimulated, to think about your own possible role in that future.


“Ever wonder what it takes to be a peacemaker? The answer is The Mighty Heart. It begins with the amazing capacity of the human for compassion‚ and moving forward with self-understanding. Filled with stirring examples of how conflict turns into understanding or peace‚ this is a book you will always want within easy reach to refer to again and again.”

Judith Cunningham‚ Chief Strategic Officer‚ Montessori Model United Nations

“These skills have been invaluable to those of us working with teams all over the world. We have been guided in our inner work to discover our purpose and passion. We have gained the courage to be honest, found reliable ways of confronting our anxieties, and the ability to transform the conflicts that inevitably arise in a troubled and highly complex world.”

Dirk Van Onsem, Vice President Emea Key Sport Partners, Nike Inc.

About the author

Three times Nobel Peace Prize nominee for her work with Oxford Research Group to develop effective dialogue between nuclear weapons policy-makers worldwide and their critics.

She now leads The Business Plan for Peace to help prevent violent conflict and build sustainable peace throughout the world‚ because it is possible; based on her latest books The Business Plan for Peace: Building a World Without War (2017) and The Mighty Heart: how to transform conflict (2020)‚ now an on-line course.

Scilla founded Peace Direct in 2002 to fund‚ promote and learn from local peace-builders in conflict areas‚ was awarded the Niwano Peace Prize in 2003‚ the Luxembourg Peace Prize in 2020 and advised Peter Gabriel‚ Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Sir Richard Branson in setting up ‘The Elders’. Her TED talk on nonviolence has been viewed by over 1‚500‚000 people on TED Global and YouTube.

Are you ready to dive deeper?

The Peace Talks Webinar

The Peace Talks Webinar

If you’d like to dive deeper, there’s a whole other path you can follow connected to this book. In my upcoming webinar series we will:

> Concentrate on the skills you need to be able to resolve conflict and prevent violence at home, in your community or in the workplace

> Practice exercises to develop the self-knowledge and inner development that is essential if people are to be effective in their efforts to become inspiring builders of peaceful societies

> Examine what kind of actions you‘d like to take in your community, nationally or internationally, and to hone the skills needed to enable those actions to bear fruit

  • “This book demonstrates – steadily and sensibly – how anyone can develop this inner power to build their own personal contribution to the future, and to a world that works for all. It will wake you up to the challenges now facing the planet, and inspire you with sparkling accounts of what people are already doing to meet those challenges. It will show you how to build your own vision of the kind of future you want for your children, and the energy to make that vision real. I suggest you use this book as a guide, so that you too can become a 21st century pioneer of the possible.”

    Archbishop Desmond Tutu

    Nobel Peace Laureate, Civil Rights Activist

  • “Dr. Scilla Elworthy has always inspired such hope in my world. Her insights spring from a deep faith in people. A faith founded on years of research and deep thinking about how we resolve conflict without war. This is a profound book. I hope our leaders read it.”

    Sir Mark Rylance

    Actor, former artistic director, Globe Theatre

  • “The Business Plan for Peace clearly articulates the economic benefits of a more peaceful world – and they are profound.”

    Steve Killelea

    Founder and Executive Chairman, Institute for Economics and Peace

  • “Peace is everybody’s business. The Business Plan for Peace tells us what this means, with ambition and realism, inspiration and pragmatism.”

    Dr Kalypso Nicolaïdis

    Professor of International Relations, University of Oxford

  • “Finally, what we have known intuitively is now demonstrated in plain English utilizing business principles. A business plan for peace resonates with me as it will with thousands of Rotarians worldwide. Dr Elworthy’s work is groundbreaking and hopeful. Imagine giving up war which costs US$1,600,000,000,000 dollars per year with unimaginable side effects for a mere two hundred million dollars per year. This is a must read.”

    Al Jubitz

    Founding President of the Rotarian Action Group for Peace; Founder of the War Prevention Initiative

  • “I find it impossible to comprehend how so many of the human race seem more intent on waging wanton destruction, rather than creating sustainable solutions towards establishing lasting peace. This is why Scilla Elworthy’s exceptional book is so compelling. It has been written for people who want to step out of helplessness and find out how they can apply their own personal skills to do something about the challenges now facing us. Read on and learn how you can engage.”

    Annie Lennox

    OBE, singer, songwriter, political activist and philanthropist

  • “In this extraordinary and surprising book Scilla Elworthy dissects the Big Picture: Why do wars happen? What is the real damage? Who gains from them? What would peace entail and how do we achieve it? What’s the good news? These are some of the most difficult and essential questions of our time. Scilla tackles them with grace, generosity and a wealth of experience, offering examples and proposals for new and peaceful ways of conceptualising the human future. This is a compact book with an enormous message. Please read it.”

    Brian Eno

    Lifelong pioneer in rock, ambient and electronic music

  • “For all of us working to build a more just and peaceful world, this book provides not only the inspiration, but also the evidence, we’ve been looking for. As Dr. Elworthy eloquently explains, military options are no longer viable in today’s world. We must find nonviolent solutions to the problems we face; peacebuilding is both practical and effective.”

    Bridget Moix

    Clerk of the Board, Friends Committee on National Legislation, USA

  • “It is no longer adequate to simply be non-discriminatory. To make the kind of change needed and to end war, people have to be “actively inclusive”. Scilla is showing that we have the tools and has given us a blueprint for maximizing our potential.”

    Daniel Danso

    Global Diversity Expert, Linklaters

  • “Scilla shows us what is already effective in building peace at both local and international levels, and how minimal is the cost compared to the costs of fighting wars. She confirms the massive impact that ordinary people can have in making a peaceful world possible, and how they can do it.”

    David Hartsough

    Co-founder of World Beyond War and the Nonviolent Peaceforce, nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize

  • “War is a complicated matter. At last Scilla Elworthy has simplified the horrific financial costs together with toolkits, advice and examples for effective prevention of conflict. War has passed its sell-by date, and in this easy to read book the author clearly demonstrates why.”

    Lawrence Bloom

    Former Chair of the World Economic Forum, Global Agenda Council

  • “This book is timely, well-informed, authoritative and readable. It challenges my assumptions about the inevitability of armed conflict, and calls on us to review beliefs that may have been unquestioned hitherto. It offers a clear and compelling case for the practicalities of building a more peaceful world, and calls for a culture change in how we manage conflict. It is highly practical on a personal as well as a global level, with clear suggestions for actions that we can take e.g. steps to disseminate these ideas to government and media. By assembling ‘known and viable initiatives’ Scilla Elworthy has given me a sense of hope that so many organisations world-wide are taking positive steps in peace-building.”

    Lawrence Kershen

    Chair, Search for Common Ground UK, former Chair, Restorative Justice Council

  • “This remarkable and deeply timely book is of the highest relevance for anyone, in any walk of life, who has the desire to contribute to creating a better world. Drawing on her decades of experience of dialogue and working with global decision-makers, Dr Elworthy brings together a wide-ranging framework of strategic actions with the inner disciplines needed to make them more effective as well as to build personal resilience. She has researched and created what must be the first, and therefore landmark, detailed financial model for the creation of peace initiatives worldwide. Highly readable, practical and peppered with pithy and often moving true stories, this is truly a unique and essential book for our time.”

    Nicholas Janni

    Founder, Core Presence; Co-Founder, Vessica

  • “This is a very powerful book that faces head-on the appalling cost of war but goes far beyond this. Scilla Elworthy does not just argue persuasively that war should be seen as obsolete but she shows how we can control and reverse our culture of militarism. She does this through a series of chapters that take us from the international and national through to the local and the personal. The Business Plan for Peace achieves the remarkable feat of combining realism with optimism – a singularly powerful antidote to the despair that can so readily come from facing up to the problem of violence.”

    Paul Rogers

    Emeritus Professor of Peace Studies, Bradford University

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Working with Scilla

5 students, young peace builders and activists talk about their experience working with Scilla: what they learned, what impact it had on their life and how they integrated their knowledge into their everyday routine.

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