Promoting Peace through Great Ideas

Case Study
  • Kroc School of Peace Studies - Scout Books
  • Kroc School of Peace Studies - Scout Books
  • Kroc School of Peace Studies - Scout Books

Scout Books was founded with the idea that little books could make a big difference. There’s no better example of that than educational institutions using our notebooks to help their organizations, and provide their students with resources to learn and grow. We spoke with Miranda Williamson about the books that she helped create for the Kroc School of Peace studies at the University of San Diego.

Can you tell us a bit about the School of Peace Studies?
The Kroc School is a global hub for peace-building and social innovation. We are a community of life-long learners focused on world-changing research, immersive training and developing individuals’ skills for shaping a better tomorrow. We put theory to action with a profound attention to the context and lived experiences of those affected by violence and injustice. As Joan B. Kroc said, “it’s not enough to talk about peace — we must make peace by taking action.” Since 2000, we have cultivated the courage and capacity in students to face the world’s most pressing challenges with original thinking, moral imagination, practical skills and inspired research.

Change-makers from countries all over the world connect and collaborate through learning that goes beyond papers and presentations. We roll up our sleeves together and take action. Here, you won’t just talk about a crisis or world issues, you will learn how to apply critical theory and data to make meaningful change. Learn how we’re furthering the pursuit of peace and justice through our institutes and centers. From a master of arts in peace and justice to a master of arts in social innovation to a dual degree with USD School of Law, our programs cover a range of academic pursuits in peacemaking, change-making and social justice.

Are there any success stories of the program that you can share?
With every graduating class, the Kroc School challenges our students to go out into the world to make change. And our alumni do not disappoint. From ESL teachers to company CEOs, Field Representatives to Foreign Affairs Officers, Community Security Specialist to International Trade Specialist, our alumni are pursuing careers that position them as leading changemakers. Sometimes the temptation is to highlight the most provocative career choices but it is important to recognize how each path toward positive social impact helps shape a better world.

Has the current state of affairs in the world changed anything about the program?
We engage in peace-building work across the border in Mexico and  abroad, so yes. We must remain innovative and respond to the challenges faced by today’s communities. Too frequently, the U.S.-Mexico border is framed as a dead zone, a breeding ground for crisis and tragedy, and a symbol of political division. Yet the border is a vibrant space, a source of boundless creativity and hope, and a vital economic hub. Reframing the border as an opportunity rather than a threat, building bridges not barriers, and engaging with the region’s economic and cultural possibilities requires a new set of knowledge and skills.

How did the idea to create a notebook for the program come about?
In the fall of 2016, we launched a new MA program in Social Innovation. We were looking for fun and engaging ways to promote it. Our ideas included logoed mason jars, lightbulb candy jars, sticky pads, and notebooks.

How are the notebooks you made with us used?
We use them to promote the program at Peace Corps conferences and Idealist grad Fairs. We also give them to incoming students and community partners.

How might someone make the biggest impact with limited time and/or resources?
I tell our students that it is about seeing a social injustice and looking for innovative solutions. Find the portion of that solution that YOU are best situated to have an impact and focus there.

Thanks to Miranda Williamson for taking the time to speak with us, and for the incredible work being done at the Kroc School. You can find more about the school via their website.