Those who listen, change the world

Why is dialogue important?

Six out of ten people say that they avoid discussing difficult topics with their close relations because it makes them feel uncomfortable. And 46 % of us have lost friends or family because of a lack of good dialogue, according to a survey carried out by the Nobel Peace Center in 2020.

Dialogue, and the lack of it, affects us all.

In a world of polarizing, echo chambers and rhetorical trench warfare, we believe that the Peace Prize laureates important work can inspire and teach us all to use dialogue in a better and more efficient way.

“46 % have lost friends or family because of a lack of good dialogue.”

The Nobel Peace Center want’s to shine a spotlight on dialogue and invites you all to join our related events, activities for schools and exhibitions.

The Best Weapon

The Nobel Peace Prize laureates have accomplished the almost impossible – and they wouldn’t have done so if it wasn’t for dialogue.

The Best Weapon is a peace bench, a six-meter long sculpture commissioned by the Nobel Peace Center to symbolise this. It is designed by Snøhetta and constructed by Vestre in aluminium delivered by Hydro. The bench, which is inspired by Nelson Mandela’s words “The best weapon is to sit down and talk”, was unveiled in front of the Nobel Peace Center in Oslo, on 8 December 2021.

Two people sitting on the peace bench in front of the Nobel Peace Center
Photo: Bjørnar Øvrebø

The peace bench is a symbol of diplomacy and dialogue. It pays tribute to the Nobel Peace Prize laureates and their work to bring people together in order to find effective solutions for peace.

The little book on dialogue

In addtion to activities for schools, events and exhibitions, we have written a book about dialogue called "Those Who Listen, Change the World".

In this little book on dialogue we present theory, tips and examples, and
illustrate how a selection of Nobel Peace Prize laureates have used dialogue in their work. See a snippet of the principles down below!

Our hope is to inspire you to use dialogue in meetings with other people to create enriching, safe and peaceful relationships in all contexts. You can buy the book in our Nobel Peace Shop.

Visit the Nobel Peace Shop

Dialogue voice of the month

Every month, the Nobel Peace Center announces the "Dialogue voice of the month". This is announced and rewarded to highlight people and organisations who use their voice to promote good dialogue. Here you can watch interviews with former dialogue voices. These interviews are primarily in Norwegian.

Can we become happier by talking to each other?

9 March 2022, the film Mission: JOY was screened for the first time in Norway. In this documentary we meet the two iconic Peace Prize laureates His Holiness Dalai Lama and the late Arch Bishop Demond Tutu sharing their wisdom through laughter. The two laureates are pposites in many ways, yet their friendship shows us that our shared humanity is bigger than our differences. The film is inspired by their international New York Times best-seller, The Book of Joy.

The film screening was introduced with a conversation between psychologist Carina Carl and "happiness researcher" Lisa Vivoll Straume, led by Kim Reksten Grønneberg from the Nobel Peace Center. Watch the recording of the conversations down below (only in Norwegian).

How can better dialogue change you?

On 19 November 2022, The Emmy-award winning documentary film maker Deeyah Khan and the Nobel Peace Center invited the people of Oslo to a special event with a screening and talks about the award-winning film "White Right: Meeting the enemy".

To Oslo, Deeyah brought with her Jeff Schoep, once America’s most notorious neo-Nazi and Arno Michaelis – a former reverend of self-declared Racial Holy War, and lead singer of the race-metal band Centurion.

Read more about the event here.

Thank you to our main partners Hydro and Reitan Retail, and to Stiftelsen FluxStrawberry and Microsoft Norge for supporting our work on dialogue.