Conference Agenda

YaLa’s 3rd Online Peace Conference

The Peace Process Continues Online

May 25, 2014

11:00 – Launch of the Conference

YaLa members from Israel, Palestine & all over the Middle East & North Africa (MENA) region gather on the YaLa Online Peace Conference platform powered by Intercast. All videos may be viewed at: 

 11:30 – Opening Session

  • Israeli President Shimon Peres
  • Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen)
  • David Axelrod, Director of the Institute of Politics at the University of Chicago and former Senior Advisor and Strategist for President Obama
  • Laura Blumenfeld, head of strategic communications for the Middle East Peace Process in the US State Department
  • H.E. José Manuel Durão Barroso, President of the European Commission
  • Hon. Laurent Fabius, Foreign Minister of France
  • Ahmed Qurie (Abu Ala), leading Palestinian negotiator since the Oslo talks, and former Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority
  • Desmond Tutu, Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate
  • Sharon Stone, award-winning actor, film producer activist and Cultural Chair of YaLa

 12:15 – Presentation of the YaLa Annual Report

The year in review: presentation of the Annual Report of activities of the YaLa Young Leaders movement and discussion of the year to come.

12:45 – The International Community Supports YaLa

International diplomatic leaders address the YaLa Young Leaders movement:

  • The Honorable John Baird, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada
  • Zeenat Rahman, US Secretary of State John Kerry’s Special Advisor on Global Youth and Director of the Office of Global Youth Issues
  • Tony Blair, Quartet Envoy for Middle East Peace
  • President Bill Clinton, former President of the United States
  • Amb. Wolfgang Amadeus Bruelhart, Assistant State Secretary and Head of Middle East and North Africa Division, Swiss Foreign Ministry
  • Tara Sonenshine, former US Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs and  distinguished fellow at George Washington University’s School of Media and Public Affairs
  • Amb. Dennis Ross, counselor and William Davidson Distinguished Fellow at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Macon Phillips, Coordinator of the US Department of State Bureau of International Information Programs
  • Aaron David Miller, Vice President for New Initiatives and a Distinguished Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
  • Hillary Clinton, former U.S. Secretary of State

 13:30 – Peace Advocacy: the YaLa No More Excuses Campaign

Compilation of top submissions from the hundreds submitted to the YaLa No More Excuses – Support a Peace Agreement Now campaign.

14:00 – Making Peace Your Business

Business leaders address the YaLa Young Leaders movement:

  • David Fischer, Vice President of Business and Marketing Partnerships at Facebook
  • Munib Al-Masri, Palestinian businessman and philanthropist, served as Minister in the cabinets of both the Palestinian National Authority and Jordan
  • Yossi Matias, Managing Director of Israel R&D Center and Senior Director, Search, Google
  • Dan’l Lewin, Microsoft Corporate Vice President for Strategic and Emerging Business Development
  • Zach Suchin, co-founder and CEO of Brand Knew

 14:30 – YaLa Café: The Human Face of the Middle East

YaLa bloggers read excerpts describing their experiences, opinions and hopes as a young Middle Easterner today.

15:00 – Open Your Notebooks: Peace in Education

Leaders and academics address the YaLa Young Leaders movement:

  • Larry Summers, President Emeritus and Professor at Harvard University, former World Bank Chief Economist, former US Secretary of Treasury
  • Ziad Asali, President and Founder of the American Task Force on Palestine
  • Maria Klawe, President of Harvey Mudd College, member of the board of Directors of the Microsoft Corporation, and former Dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science at Princeton University
  • David Owens, Vanderbilt University Professor in the Management Graduate School, author and consultant for leading businesses
  • Nicholas Negroponte, founder and Chairman Emeritus of the Media Lab of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  • Ido Sharir, Director General of the Peres Center for Peace
  • Representatives from the US Embassy in Tel Aviv and the US Consulate in Jerusalem
  • Highlights of the YaLa Academy’s MENA Leaders for Change program

 15:45 – YaLa Africa’s 1st Birthday: the YaLa Values Echo Across Africa

  • YaLa Africa highlights from the past year, including Micro-Gardening project in Rwanda
  • Blaise Uhagaze, Director of Public Health and Environment, City of Kigali, Rwanda
  • Sedrick N’Gotta, YaLa Africa Core Group Member from Ivory Coast, on the importance for African youth to exchange with the Middle Eastern youth
  • Song by Ife Pianke, YaLa Africa Core Group member from Uganda

16:30 – YaLa Walk of Fame

Cultural leaders and international and regional celebrities address the YaLa Peace Conference:

  • H.E. Irina Bokova, Director General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
  • David Broza, Israeli singer, songwriter and activist
  • Mira Awad, Israeli-Arab singer, actress and songwriter, featuring her music video “Bahlawan”
  • Letty Cottin Pogrebin, founding editor of Ms. magazine, writer, lecturer and social justice activist
  • Orphaned Land, Israeli musical group pioneering Oriental metal, featuring their 2013 music video “All is One”
  • David Stern, former Commissioner of the NBA
  • Achinoam “Noa” Nini, international concert and recording artist

17:30 – Happy Birthday YaLa! מזל טוב ליאללה! عيد ميلاد سعيد يالا!

Birthday messages from YaLa members all over the Middle East and North Africa.

18:00 – The Young Generation’s Middle East Peace Talks: A Shared Vision for the Region

YaLa members from Israel, Palestine & the MENA region discuss the future of peace in the Middle East:

  • Moderator: Yael Mizrahi (Israel/USA)
  • Hamze Awawde (Palestine)
  • Monir Abusaiba (Palestine)
  • Sarah Benazera (Israel)
  • Nimrod Ben Ze’ev (Israel)
  • Henriette Chacar (Israel)
  • Ahmed Meligy (Egypt)
  • Rahma Sghaier (Tunisia)
  • Mohamed Salih Abubakr (Sudan)

19:00 – Launch of the YaLa Peace Institute in Honor of Nelson Mandela

  • Highlights from the YaLa Peace Institute – the only online peace studies program taught exclusively by practitioners who have led peace processes in South Africa, Rwanda, Ireland, the Balkans and the Middle East featuring Mary Shuttleworth, Jean Paul Samputu, Katarina Kruhonja, Ahmed Qurie (Abu Ala), Uri Savir, Sharon Stone & more!
  • Megan Hallahan, Director of the YaLa Academy, together with YaLa Academy students
  • David Axelrod, Director of the Institute of Politics at the University of Chicago and former Senior Advisor and Strategist for President Obama
  • Desmond Tutu, Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate
  • Sharon Stone, award-winning actor, film producer activist and Cultural Chair of YaLa

19:30 – Closing

  • Thank you from Amb. Uri Savir, Founder of YaLa Young Leaders and Honorary President of the Peres Center for Peace
  • Thank you from YaLa staff, interns & volunteers