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Published on 14.12.2017

CMI peace team, the Lennons, attracted young people to peace work

In early autumn, CMI assembled the Lennons, a peace squad of teens and young adults that was tasked with creating its own peace campaign targeting young people. The #pokkaamyöntää (“the guts to admit it”) campaign was launched in November, and challenged people to admit their own mistakes, helping to build peace in everyday situations.

The Lennons got to meet CMI's founder, Martti Ahtisaari, a veteran peace mediator and Nobel Peace Prize laureate.
The Lennons got to meet CMI’s founder, Martti Ahtisaari, a veteran peace mediator and Nobel Peace Prize laureate.

 

For several years now, the annual Ahtisaari Days have raised awareness of the importance of peacemaking by showing school-goers how to solve disputes. This autumn our work with young people took a step further when we recruited a team of young peace envoys. The team was called the Lennons, in honour of former Beatles member and peace activist John Lennon.

The team had the ambitious task of helping to modernise peace movements, and by their own example encourage young people in Finland to be peacemakers in their everyday lives. The Lennons peace team consisted of fifteen high school and university students. During the autumn, the team got together in numerous workshops to create and fine-tune their forthcoming peace campaign.

To support their planning, the Lennons received feedback and encouragement from professionals in various fields, including photographer Meeri Koutaniemi, social media influencer Kasper Strömman, and artist Jani Leinonen. In addition, CMI experts told the team about the organisation’s peace work around the world. The Lennons also got to meet the founder of CMI, Martti Ahtisaari, a veteran peace mediator and Nobel Peace Prize laureate.

The results of the team’s work were published in November, at the same time as the annual Ahtisaari Days were held. The Lennons’ #pokkaamyöntää campaign called for as many people as possible in Finland to admit their own mistakes and in this way contribute to peacemaking in their everyday lives.

“When there’s an argument or conflict, admitting your own mistakes and listening to the other person is a way of opening the door to peace. This is as true in everyday life as it is in world conflicts. That’s why we challenge everyone to admit their own mistakes”, team leader Olli Puumalainen comments.

A lot of social media content was released as part of the two-week campaign, including two videos, radio broadcasts and podcasts. The campaign was well shared on social media, and helped to increase the awareness of the Ahtisaari days among young people.

CMI’s partners on the project were the Måndag Creative agency and Basso Media. At the same time as the campaign the annual Ahtisaari Days main event was held, this time in Vaasa.

Follow the link below to see a video from the rewarding day in Vaasa. For the 2018 Ahtisaari Days, the main event will be held in Espoo.