Who we are
Conducive Space for Peace (CSP) is a non-governmental organisation founded in 2016 by Mie Roesdahl, guided by a strong board, and supported by a global network of like-minded change agents and private foundations such as Humanity United. With its global scope and outreach and its focus on local actors in conflict affected contexts, it is set up to contribute to transformation of the global peacebuilding system and a paradigm shift in global collaboration around peace and development. Conducive Space for Peace (CSP) consists of people who are driven by the strengths of local actors, the challenges we see, the need and potential for radical change, and the fact that few actors take on these challenges and pursue this change agenda.
Mie Roesdahl – Director
Mie Roesdahl has for the past 25 years worked as a peacebuilding and human rights practitioner in countries in Africa, Asia and Europe. As an entrepreneur, change agent, and leader in the field, Mie founded Conducive Space for Peace in 2016. Engaging with grass-root and international NGOs, policy-makers, bureaucrats, and other stakeholders, Mie pursues an ambitious agenda of creating linkages where they do not exist, of promoting transformation where no one thinks it possible, of developing innovative ideas and processes, together with others, that can strengthen collaboration on peacebuilding and human rights at the local and global level. Mie Roesdahl has among other things served as Secretary General of Oxfam IBIS, Department Director and Senior Adviser at the Danish Institute for Human Rights, and co-director of a four-year research project on human rights and peacebuilding. She has also served as a Conflict Transformation and Human Rights Senior Adviser for the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Nepal where she worked with local and international partners on peacebuilding and human rights and served as adviser to the Office of the Prime Minister in Nepal.
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Joanne Bywater – Finance and Administration Manager
Joanne Bywater has vast experience in the private sector mainly within Finance, Operations and Procurement. For the past decade, Joanne held positions such as Head of Operations, Procurement and Purchasing for both creative and international companies within the Design and Production industry. She consulted start-ups in Finance and International Business, herein contract negotiations with suppliers and distributors across several continents. Securitization and Development Economics has been her main interest and focus on both bachelor and master’s degree. Joanne holds a MA in African Studies.
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Maria Fernanda Cantor – Student Intern
Maria Fernanda Cantor is a Colombian Human Rights and Peacebuilding practitioner with proven experience working with grassroots organizations, local social leaders and human rights projects. Her interests include the study of women’s organizations as sources of political change and conflict transformation. She holds a bachelor in International Relations, a Specialization in Public Policy and Development, and is currently in the second year of her Master in Human Rights and Multi Level Governance.
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Christian Cito Cirhigiri – Programme Advisor
Founder of Peacemaker 360, a communication nonprofit dedicated to connecting young peacebuilders worldwide through storytelling, Christian Cito Cirhigiri is a Congolese peace journalist, activist and researcher with 8 years’ experience supporting youth participation in peacebuilding processes in eastern Congo, Rwanda, Burundi and Colombia. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Integrated Community Development from Daystar University in Kenya and a master’s degree in International Peace Studies from the University of Notre Dame in the US. Christian is passionate about peacebuilding communications and the role of social media fostering knowledge and experience sharing among peacebuilding professionals around the world.
Contact Christian Cito Cirhigiri: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jasper Peet-Martel – Programme Officer
Jasper Peet-Martel is a peacebuilding and conflict resolution practitioner with over five years of combined field and academic experience in Myanmar, West Africa and Europe. His work has focused on supporting civil society, non-state armed groups and government actors, in implementing conflict resolution and peacebuilding projects. As a Rotary Peace Fellow, he has supported dialogue projects at the European Institute of Peace and a USAID West Africa project focused on countering violent extremism in the Sahel. Prior to his Rotary Peace Fellowship, he worked for Nonviolent Peaceforce, providing technical assistance to civilian protection and ceasefire monitoring mechanisms in conflict affected regions of Myanmar. Jasper is a Rotary Peace Fellow and holds a Master’s in Social Science from the Department of Peace and Conflict Research at Uppsala University.
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Nina Søraa – Programme Assistant
Nina Søraa is an engaged development, communications and human geography practitioner. Nina has a background working with development projects in Eastern Africa focusing on youth, peacebuilding and gender, and has worked as an intern with the United Nations Population Fund and at the Norwegian Embassy in Copenhagen. She holds a master’s degree in Human Geography from the University of Copenhagen and a bachelor’s degree in Development studies from the University of Oslo and Cape Town.
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Tess Thurøe – Programme Officer
Tess Thurøe is a passionate human rights, peacebuilding and development practitioner with a multi-disciplinary academic and professional background. Tess Thurøe has worked as a Project Development Officer for DanChurchAid and Norwegian Church Aid in Myanmar, as a Research Assistant at CRIC under the Human Rights and Peacebuilding research project, as a student assistant at the Danish Institute for Human Rights and as an intern at the Danish Embassy in Nepal. Tess holds a master degree in Global Refugee Studies and a bachelor’s degree in International Development and Cultural Encounters.
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Sweta Velpillay – Senior Advisor
Sweta Velpillay specialises in conflict sensitivity and peacebuilding with an emphasis on strategic programming and policy effectiveness. She supports organisations to improve their effectiveness in conflict contexts by conducting systems conflict analysis, designing coherent programmes, conducting applied research, mainstreaming conflict sensitivity and using collective action to achieve greater impact on country conflict systems. She has extensive experience in advising and accompanying programmes, portfolios and teams for peacebuilding relevance and coherence. Over the past 14 years Sweta has worked with a range of organisations including donors, UN agencies, local, regional and international NGOs in roles such as conflict advisor, programme manager, facilitator and trainer. Sweta is an advisory committee member of the Knowledge Platform on Security & Rule of Law.
Contact Sweta Velpillay: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Constitutive Board is composed of persons with extensive experience, high integrity, and proven records of founding, leading and supporting new initiatives that address major societal challenges. The Board will provide support and advice to the Executive Director and all partners of the project, and will be overall responsible for the strategy, management and finances of the Conducive Space for Peace Association.
Bjørn Førde – Chairman of the Board
Bjørn Førde took up his position as Director of Institut for Flerpartisamarbejde/ Danish Institute for Parties and Democracy in January 2011. Before joining DIPD, he was Director of the UNDP Oslo Governance Centre, a global thematic facility in the Democratic Governance Group of UNDPs Bureau for Development Policy, established to help position UNDP as a champion of democratic governance. Previously, he was the Resident Representative of UNDP and Resident Coordinator of the UN in Botswana. Mr Førde is educated as a political scientist from the University of Copenhagen, and from 1975 to 2002 he held various positions with the Danish NGO Mellemfolkeligt Samvirke, including that of Secretary General 1995-2002. He has served as a member of the Board of Danida appointed by the Minister for Development.
Theresia Kirkemann Boesen
Theresia Kirkemann Boesen joined Nordic Consulting Group (NCG) in 2015 and is currently working as human rights and governance consultant. Before joining NCG, she was for 16 years employed at the Danish Institute for Human Rights (DIHR), including as the director of the Department for Human Rights Education and National Human Rights Institutions covering both the national mandate on education of DIHR and international projects and programmes on human rights education (HRE). As part of her engagement with DIHR, Theresia Kirkemann Boesen has been living and working in Turkey and Malawi. Theresia has extensive experience in collaboration and capacity development with donor institutions, state institutions and local civil society organisations with a focus on human rights, democratisation, rule of law and development of organisational capacity and management.
Mille Bøjer is Director of Reos Partners, an international social enterprise which supports diverse stakeholders to move forward on complex, social issues. Currently based in Geneva, Switzerland, she previously contributed to founding and building the Reos Partners offices in both Johannesburg and São Paulo. She is co-author of Mapping Dialogue: Essential Tools for Social Change, which outlines a variety of transformative dialogue tools and change processes. Mille Bøjer has worked on large-scale multi-stakeholder projects for systems change, addressing challenges including HIV/AIDS, Children, Education, Democracy, Civil Society, Oceans Management, Health, and Sustainable Development.
Cedric de Coning
Cedric de Coning is a Senior Research Fellow in the Research Group on Peace, Conflict and Development at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI) and he is also a Senior Advisor for ACCORD. He has 30 years of experience in research, policy advise, training and education in the areas of conflict resolution, peacekeeping, peacebuilding and peace and conflict studies. Cedric has a Ph.D. in Applied Ethics from the Department of Philosophy of the University of Stellenbosch, and a M.A. (cum laude) in Conflict Management and Peace Studies from the University of KwaZulu-Natal.
Anine Hagemann has broad experience working in peacebuilding in both policy and academia. She is currently on leave from the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs to pursue a PhD at the Center for Resolution of International Conflicts (CRIC) at the University of Copenhagen, where she is involved in Nordic peace research and policy work as well as research on peacekeeping and Protection of Civilians. Prior to starting her PhD, Anine worked as a diplomat for the UN Department of Peacekeeping and the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs in and on conflict-affected states and stabilisation and security policy. She was posted to Nepal from 2013 to 2015 and to South Sudan from 2015 to 2016. Anine has extensive experience with diplomatic negotiations and coordination among development partners and international agencies, funds and programs. She has experience managing large development portfolios, including dialogue with state institutions, other donors and recipients in the fields of peacebuilding, human rights, rule of law and good governance. Anine holds degrees in economics and political science.
Christian Have is creative director and owner of Have Communications. Since the mid-80th he has engaged in arts and communications related to music, literature, film, theatre and other cultural events, both in Denmark and beyond. Christian is a public speaker and advocate for the importance of arts and culture in national and global processes of growth and development, and he is ambassador for Danish People’s Aid and a member of Danish Red Cross group of business leaders, “Klub 10” as well as a number of boards of non-profit organisations. He has received a number of international communication prizes including the Sabre Awards 2006, Stevie Awards 2007 – 2008. Christian Have is Associate Professor in Communication at University of Aalborg and Associate Professor in Leadership, Organisation and Media Science at Copenhagen Business School. He has published several books including “Den nye Guldalder – kunsten som vækstmotor”, ”Synlighed er eksistens” and ”Drømmen om berømmelse”.
Bjørn Nygaard is coordinator of international projects at the Danish Centre for Conflict Resolution (DCCR) and manager of his own consultancy firm. He has 25 years experience working with NGOs, Danish MoF and the UN on three continents as advisor, manager and consultant. Most recently he has been working for the Ukrainian Red Cross creating conflict resolution capacity in the organisation. Bjørn is anthropologist from University of Aarhus. His focus areas are conflict transformation, cooperation across cultures (fusion approach) and Results Based Management. He has served both as board member (vice chair person) and manager of finance and international projects at DCCR. He is the author of “The Cultural Encounter at the Work-Place” and “Evaluation as a Management Tool” (both in Danish only)
Humanity United is a foundation dedicated to bringing new approaches to global problems that have long been considered intractable. They build, lead, and support efforts to change the systems that contribute to problems like human trafficking and violent conflict. HU is part of the Omidyar Group, which represents the philanthropic, personal, and professional interests of the Omidyar family. Humanity United has provided the initial and most significant support for Conducive Space for Peace, and is beyond being a funder participating in the Strategic Group that jointly sets the strategic direction and collaborate on implementation of the initiative.
Peace Direct is an international NGO supporting local people in some of the most challenging conflict environments worldwide. Peace Direct supports peacebuilding work on the frontlines of conflict in 12 countries in Asia and Africa, where they partner with 16 local organisations. Through peace mapping, research, trainings and advocacy work, they support and provide a voice to local peacebuilders tackling triggers of violence, defusing deadly tensions, healing the divides of conflict and rebuilding lives after war has torn communities apart.