Kumi, roughly translated as “rise up” in Arabic and Hebrew, is a new method aimed at building the capacity of groups for effective collective action under conditions of conflict. It is a synthesis, the first of its kind, of three major approaches to conflict engagement and organisation development: the Transcend approach to conflict analysis and transformation, developed by Johan Galtung and codified by the Institute of Integrative Conflict Transformation and Peacebuilding; the ARIA method of managing identity-based conflict, developed by scholar/practitioner Jay Rothman; and the Technology of Participation, developed by the Institute of Cultural Affairs.
The aim of the two days’ workshop is to introduce Kumi to scholars and practitioners in the fields of conflict engagement and political development. Kumi is and will continue to be a work in progress. One of our main objectives during these two days is to engage in a fruitful and critical dialogue with the participants on how to improve the method and adapt it to various contexts. We are particularly keen on exploring possibilities for using Kumi to support political development efforts in the Arab World, to combat xenophobia, right-wing extremism, racism and the politics of fear in Europe, and to facilitate the emergence of a Euro-Mediterranean shared society whose members will view cultural difference as an enrichment and a strength rather than a weakness. The workshop is organised by Transform: The Interdisciplinary Centre for Conflict Analysis, Political Development and World Society Research. Transform is a Berlin based registered association. In 2006, Transform initiated and coordinated the process of the development of Kumi. Since then, the method has been tested and externally evaluated as part of an EU funded project in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory. Projects employing Kumi or some of its components are currently taking place in Egypt, Germany, Israel, the Netherlands, occupied Palestinian territory, the United Kingdon and the United States.