Monitor announces the three winners of Peace 2010 contest

Four eminent outside judges of The Christian Science Monitor's Peace 2010 contest have chosen the three winners: Colorado Gov. Richard Lamm; Milwaukee free-lance journalist Steven Horowitz; and Grand Rapids, Mich., businessman Thomas Fehsenfeld. The three winners were selected from more than 1,000 entries by adults to the contest, which had invited readers to picture the world from the viewpoint of 2010, looking back at the process by which lasting peace was achieved.

Judges for the contest were Kurt Waldheim, former secretary-general of the United Nations; Curt Gasteyger, director of the Program for Strategic and International Security Studies in Geneva; Lincoln Bloomfield, professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a former member of the National Security Council; and Adm. Stansfield Turner, former director of the United States Central Intelligence Agency.

Each of the entries, which will appear in their entirety in next week's Monitors, has a different focus. Governor Lamm's piece deals with a world shocked into action by a limited nuclear war. Mr. Horowitz developed a scenario in which several smaller countries, in particular the two Germanys, took the lead in defusing regional tensions, first in the Middle East and then in central Europe. Mr. Fehsenfeld's essay uses a business approach of conflict management in conjunction with more widely available computer networking to share ideas about conflict resolution.

The judges said they specifically looked for different approaches to the peace process in selecting the winners. Governor Lamm's was one of many that featured some kind of nuclear incident, accidental or otherwise, as the catalyst changing human thinking. ``Wisdom came not through treaty, but through tragedy,'' Lamm wrote. ``Peace is neither the absence of war nor the presence of a disarmament agreement. Peace is a change of heart. Both the USSR and the US simply stopped building new weapons and missiles. These were not weapons but suicide devices.''

Mr. Horowitz, who once worked as a shepherd in Israel while living on a kibbutz, took a geopolitical approach with an unusual twist. ``. . . with the emergence of the Peace movement of the 1980s and the economic crises nearly a decade later, the pressure intensified for a resolution to the division of Europe -- and with it, the space for inter-German maneuverability.'' The Germans' success in devising a Middle East peace formula led to further steps to undo the standoff that had existed on the European continent since 1945.

Mr. Fehsenfeld, who runs an oil-service business in Michigan, took a businessman's approach of conflict management. Rejecting the idea that human life ever approaches absolute peace, he argued for a means to resolve conflict that appealed to the self-interest of the parties at conflict. For instance, he has one of his characters saying, ``I had begun to look at the US and the USSR as partners in the survival of the world.'' His means of sharing conflict-resolution ideas through computer networking was also a major part of the solution. ``It was fascinating to watch the ideas develop -- it worked almost as a group mind. It turned out that by using the computer network, ideas were detached from ego.''

The three winners will be presented permanent trophies at an awards luncheon in Boston on Monday. They will each make brief comments on the background of their essays.

Both the editors of the Monitor and our outside judges were impressed with the quality of the essays and variety of solutions to world peace they offered. The essays also challenge the reader to find solutions that not only keep the prospect of nuclear war hypothetical, but eventually remove it from the realm of human possibilities.

After the three essays have run next week, there will be two more days of peace-contest essays, in which the editors will summarize the other approaches to peace and quote excerpts from several other essays. Plans are also under way to publish a book later this year. -- 30 --

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