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Tim Phillips

Founder of Beyond Conflict; Transitional Justice Pioneer; Neuroscience & Conflict Resolution Leader

Tim Phillips is the founder and CEO of Beyond Conflict. 

He is known for his pioneering work in the field of conflict resolution and transitional justice.

Over the past three decades, Phillips has helped open pathways towards peace and reconciliation in several countries around the world, including South Africa, Northern Ireland, Central America, and the Balkans.

Beyond Conflict played a key role in helping South African leaders examine options for dealing with their past in the aftermath of Apartheid. 

Phillips collaborated with leading figures in the anti-apartheid movement, including Desmond Tutu and Albie Sachs, to facilitate conversations with leaders from Chile, Argentina and Eastern Europe to understand models of truth, reconciliation and healing. 

These discussions led to the establishment of the much heralded Truth and Reconciliation Commission. 

Beyond Conflict was involved in the Northern Ireland peace process, where Phillips worked with key figures including John Hume, David Trimble, Martin McGuiness, and Monica McWilliams, among others.

Phillips facilitated dialogues, leadership training and reconciliation efforts between the Catholic and Protestant communities, helping to bring about the Good Friday Agreement in 1998.

The “shared experience” methodology of conflict resolution that Phillips pioneered in the early 1990’s helped leaders sitting across profound divides of civil conflict and repression imagine a new way forward towards peace and justice in the midst of deep distrust and hatred. 

During the last ten years, Phillips has helped to catalyze the emerging field of brain and behavioral science as it pertains to social conflict, and has built partnerships with leading universities, practitioners, and policymakers to bring powerful, research-based insights to shape new ways to understand and address deep rooted conflict and division.  

Phillips has served as an advisor on conflict resolution to international bodies including the United Nations, the Council of Europe, the European Union, and the U.S. Department of State.

He is a frequent expert speaker at national and international forums, and has provided insight and testimony to organizations that include the Council on Foreign Relations, the Salzburg Seminar, the United States Congress, and the U.S. Institute of Peace.

Phillips was also instrumental in launching the Club of Madrid in 2001, an organization working with over 125 former heads of state and government to advance democracy worldwide.

His work with Beyond Conflict was featured in the PBS documentary "The Visionaries," and he has been profiled in the New York Times Magazine. He has also contributed as a guest commentator on National Public Radio, Radio RTE Ireland, and the BBC World Service.

Additionally, Phillips serves as a strategic consultant to several non-governmental organizations, offering expertise on democratization, civil society, conflict resolution, and leadership.

He holds positions on the boards of numerous international organizations, as well as cultural and educational institutions, including the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Rose Art Museum, the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, and the Frameworks Institute.


Popular Topics

Beyond Conflict:
An Evening with Tim Phillips

Agriculture caused atmospheric carbon dioxide to rise from 260 ppm (parts per million) some 7,000 years ago to 280 ppm by the beginning of the Industrial Revolution in the 18th century. A rise of 0.003 ppm per year. 


CO2 levels reached 310 ppm by the outbreak of the Second World War: a rise of 0.3 ppm per year, 100 times faster than in the previous 5,000 years.


In 2020, its level rose to over 412 ppm. A rise of 1.3 ppm per year, four times faster than in the previous 100 years and 400 times faster than in the last 5,000 years. Carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere are now higher than they have ever been in the last three million years.


But what does all of this have to do with food?


Much more than we think.


The food, agriculture, and land-use sector contributes 24% of the rising anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions.


75% of the world’s food is generated from only 12 plants and 5 animal species, which are depleting the soil.

These are both drivers of climate change.


Although we produce enough food to feed 11 billion people, there are only 7.8 billion people in the world today, and yet 825 million of us go to bed hungry.

In this fascinating presentation, Chiara helps audiences to connect the dots by citing years of research as she explains how these complex problems need a set of solutions designed to work together.


She addresses waste and diets, shifting agricultural practices and how to bring them to scale, and decoupling food production from land, and why these are just a few of the possibilities worth analyzing. 



Everyone is talking about it, but what does "innovation" actually mean? And how do we accomplish it?

In this customizable talk, Chiara walks audiences through the "Design Thinking" methodology and demonstrates how to define a real problem and the design principles which are at the core of any winning solution.

The Intersection of Science, Communication and Conflict Resolution

Common Ground: Lessons from International Peace-Building and How they Apply to our Daily Lives

For the environmentally minded carnivore, meat poses a culinary conundrum. Producing it requires a great deal of land and water resources, and ruminants such as cows and sheep are responsible for half of all greenhouse gas emissions associated with agriculture.


When looking at solutions, scalability remains a central question: How do we feed 10 billion people with nutritious food that doesn't exploit the planet, is affordable for everyone, and is based on a resilient supply chain?


Join Chiara as she explains in-depth why decoupling food production from agriculture is an answer worth exploring.


Examples are cultivated animal ingredients, produced by cultivating animal cells and bypassing farming; ingredients made from precision fermentation — using bioreactors and microflora as miniature factories to make proteins, fats, and carbohydrates without cows; and ingredients made from carbon dioxide and renewable energy to combine carbon capturing with macronutrients creation.


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