Affinity Lecture Series : Understanding the Impacts of Terrorism and Religion on Peace

Unless we measure something, we don’t really understand it.

Terrorism and religious violence have been topics of much debate over the past year, dominating global news headlines. In his lecture, Steve Killelea will discuss recent statistical analysis carried out by the Institute for Economics and Peace to help measure the impact of both terrorism and religion on global levels of peace.

He will present the findings of the recently released 2014 Global Terrorism Index. The Index is a comprehensive measure of the direct impact of terrorism in terms of lives lost, injuries, property damage and number of incidents. It provides the public, civil society and policymakers with the evidence-base to better understand the patterns, drivers and tactics behind terrorist activity. By doing so it aims to deepen our collective understanding of the social, economic and political conditions that give rise to this form of violence. The index scores 162 countries, covering 99.6% of the world’s population, and examines trends from 2000 to 2013.

He will also highlight recent important statistical analysis on the link between peace and religion. Religion has often been debated as a cause or a cure of conflict. Findings of the analysis debunk common myths about the role of religion in conflict and aim to broaden the discussion on whether religion in itself is a cause of conflict or whether there are other more significant factors.

Guest Moderator – Prof. Andrew Jakubowicz

Prof-Andrew-JakubowiczAndrew Jakubowicz is Professor of Sociology at the University of Technology Sydney. He has an Honours degree in Government from Sydney University and a PhD from UNSW. Since the early 1970s he has been involved in action research and race relations, and has been centrally involved in the development of materialist theories of cultural diversity. He has taught at universities in the USA, Europe and Asia, and was the foundation director of the Centre for Multicultural Studies at the University of Wollongong. He has published widely on ethnic diversity issues, disability studies and media studies. In 1994 he led the research team that produced “Racism Ethnicity and the Media (Allen and Unwin), and more recently has been involved in multimedia documentaries such as Making Multicultural Australia (1999-2004) and The Menorah of Fang Bang Lu (2001-2002). He was historical adviser to the exhibitions on the Jewish communities of Shanghai, at the Sydney Jewish Museum (2001-2002), the National Maritime Museum (2001-2003) and the national travelling exhibition “Crossroads: Shanghai and the Jews of China” (2002-2003). He was foundation chair of the Disability Studies and Research Institute.

Supervision areas include new media and social change, racism and ethnicity, public policy and marginalised minorities.
The website, Making Multicultural Australia in the 21st Century, an educational website developed jointly with the Office of the Board of Studies NSW, won the 2005 ‘Best Secondary Educational website’ category of the annual Excellence in Eduational Publishing Awards.

Steve Killelea A.M

Steve-KillelenSteve Killelea is an accomplished entrepreneur in high technology business development and at the forefront of philanthropic activities focused on sustainable development and peace. After successfully building two international software companies, Steve decided to dedicate most of his time and fortune to sustainable development and peace.

Steve founded Integrated Research Ltd (IR), an Australian publicly-listed company with a 25-year heritage of providing performance management and payments software for business-critical computing and Unified Communications environments. Through Steve’s direction as CEO and now as Chairman, IR has built an impressive, world-class customer base to make it one of Australia’s leading software companies. Steve was recognized as AIIA Australian Exporter of the Year in 1998 and 2003, amongst numerous other business awards.

Steve has always had a strong passion for sustainable development, and in 2000 established The Charitable Foundation (TCF), which specialises in working with the poorest communities of the world. TCF is one of the largest private overseas aid organizations in Australia. It aims to provide life-changing interventions reaching as many people as possible with special emphasis on targeting the poorest of the poor. TCF is active in East and Central Africa and parts of Asia and has substantially impacted the lives of over 2.3 million people.

In 2007 Steve founded the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), an international think tank dedicated to building a greater understanding of the interconnection between business, peace and economics with particular emphasis on the economic benefits of peace.  IEP’s ground-breaking research includes the Global Peace Index, the world’s leading measure of peacefulness. Steve’s founding of IEP was recognized as one of the 50 most impactful philanthropic gifts in Australia’s history.

Steve currently serves on a number of influential Company Boards, Advisory Boards and President Councils. In 2010 he was honoured as Member of the Order of Australia for his service to the global peace movement and the provision of humanitarian aid to the developing world. In 2013 Steve was nominated one of the “Top 100 Most Influential People in Armed Violence Reduction” by the UK group Action on Armed Violence.