Mr. Timothy Phillips is a humble, soft-spoken man with a charming sense of humor and a penchant for changing the world.
Yes, you read that correctly: changing the world. Since 1992, Mr. Phillips has headed the non-profit, Beyond Conflict, a highly respected think tank based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Their singular mission is to find solutions to global conflict through their brilliant yet simple philosophy: a belief that people can learn from each other and that people can change. In all, the organization has led over seventy-five initiatives in over twenty-five countries, from Ireland to South Africa to Sri Lanka.
In addition to its leadership conferences and work in the international community, the organization is spearheading research in the growing field of the neuroscience of social conflict through collaborations with the SaxeLab for Social Cognitive Neuroscience and with the Political Science department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In a recent TED Talk, Phillips remarked how the plasticity of the brain, and its neurological reactions to social exclusion, could lead to outstanding developments in conflict negotiations (click HERE to watch).
Most recently, Beyond Conflict catalyzed the normalization of relations between Cuba and the United States by encouraging Pope Francis to press the issue during President Obama's recent visit to the Vatican. Indeed, you could hear a pin drop as Mr. Phillips explained the timeline of events, starting with a simple hypothetical question in a Cambridge office, and ending with the front line news after weeks of nervous anticipation.
Mr. Phillips left the audience with some final words of advice, or perhaps that last nudge needed for some of our blossoming social entrepreneurs: “If you do interesting things, interesting people- and interesting opportunities- will find you.” Thank you Mr. Phillips for sharing your Truth and Courage with our community!