Books & eBooks

Worldview Skills: Transforming Conflict From The Inside Out

Jessie Sutherland's book synthesizes cutting-edge scholarly research from around the world on the most promising practices for transforming deep-rooted conflict into peaceful co-existence.

Jessie provides a new framework with 4 guiding touchstones to create the conditions for genuine reconciliation.

Forward written by Chief Robert Joseph

...the spark required to bring real peace, balance, and harmony...

The world has much to learn about reconciliation between indigenous people and their colonizers – the oppressed and their oppressors so to speak.

Jessie Sutherland’s book, Worldview Skills: Transforming Conflicts From The Inside Out may well be the insight that provides the greatest potential for bringing about the needed healing and reconciliation that must take place.

It has the potential to provide the spark required to bring real peace, balance, and harmony…Heart by heart, family by family, community by community is the most appealing way to bring about reconciliation and this I have learned from Ms. Sutherland.

Hereditary Chief, Gwa wa Enuk First Nations

Order Your Copy of Worldview Skills

Jessie Sutherland weaves community-based stories, scholarly research, and over 20 years experience of practice into this practical guide for leaders around the world.

Worldview Skills: Transforming Conflict From The Inside Out - Jessie Sutherland

What Readers Are Saying About Our Worldview Skills Book…

Dr. Jim Field
Chartered Psychologist enlightened and significant contribution...

Jessie Sutherland has made an enlightened and significant contribution to the understanding of the difficult but necessary transition from the cycle of victim-offender to one of living with greater compassion and justice. Her pains-taking work has depth and is extensive, challenging us to move more fully towards ‘We are One’ on this planet.

Astrid Stuckelberger

...the seeds of lasting peace and serenity…

Bringing human consciousness to a higher degree of vision is a guarantee of better understanding, better communication, better common vision and thus the seeds of lasting peace and serenity… The work Jessie Sutherland is pursuing is an exceptional contribution of those so needed new steps on the way to humanize the planet to its highest degree!

Anita Sanchez
PhD, International Award-Winning Author, Speaker & Trainer

...powerful, poetic descriptions...

I love Jessie's writing. It is heart-felt, clear and weaves her own worlds with the powerful, poetic descriptions and quotes of diverse people. This book is a gift!

A Book Review of Worldview Skills: Transforming Conflict from the Inside Out

Dave Beckwith

Dave Beckwith

Principal Consultant at Great Lakes Institute and former Executive Director of the Needmor Fund

I really, really like this book. It came as quite a surprise.

I’m an unreconstructed conflict maker, a radical taught in the sixties by folks who learned in the forties and fifties, a product of my tutelage, influenced in some degree by Gandhi the unrelenting, Huey P. Newton and the Black Panther Party (you know who was there because of the way the accents come out, and we always use the “P”), Martin King (the one everybody hated then, not the one everybody loves now) and Franz Fanon and Jesus the Angry Carpenter, Che Guevara and Saul Alinsky and even a dose of the Berrigan brothers.

I’ve survived in the Social Change biz by learning to listen, to respect the work that other people do, to attach myself to people who are speaking for themselves and shy away from experts. It’s been a great ride...

...Here comes this tall Canadian with a rap about conflict and culture. Ok, I’ve seen plenty of both. I’ve seen the tools of conflict resolution used to blunt the anger of the oppressed, and the dreamy eyed middle class white kids hungry for meaning fawning all over anybody’s tradition but their own, trying to act Black or Brown or Yaqui or Eastern or African or whatever. Mostly it’s just embarrassing. 

But I’ve known heroes and heroines who’ve had their culture stolen, for whom the sweat lodge or the Dreaming or the Hungarian word for that cookie or the Irish word for that hat or the smells of Italy or the right dance music is revolution, at least a part of it. And I’ve seen those who speak up for themselves out of their pain torn apart by the hatred it created, unable to accept the victory when it comes, unable to match policy triumphs with personal peace. 

So I read it. Wow. There were a lot of things I liked. First, Jessie Sutherland speaks from real experience. She works alongside people who’ve been harmed and are acting together to get redress, and to change policy, and are seeking peace and wholeness – so this is no idle speculation. She tells stories from the Australian, Canadian and US context and from European and African situations as well. Tough to pigeonhole. 

Second, she takes on the negatives right away – how false reconciliation has “distort(ed) and falsif(ied) its true meanings…” I like that. Next, she doesn’t tell me I have to become someone else to do the work. 

The line that stood me right up when I read it is this: “…worldview flexibility is … the capacity to be loyal to one’s worldview and engage across worldview difference.” 

So the fake self-deprecation and insistent ‘see the other side’ rhetoric is dropped early in this book, and that’s part of its genius. Ms. Sutherland explains things simply, and in a variety of ways. There are concepts, illustrations, stories and lists of techniques, so even hide-bound non-feeling older intellectual white guys like me have something to grab onto here. There are practical steps, and a conceptual framework they fit into – the Four Touchstones for Reconciliation is a favorite: drawing on the fundamental worldviews of the parties themselves; transcending the victim-offender cycle; large scale social change; and timing and tactics. She expands on each, and has practical ideas for bringing these touchstones into our work. 

There’s a catch, of course. Although the ‘loyal to my own worldview’ idea drew me in, there’s plenty of challenge here, to truly understand my own worldview, to build my world-viewing skills, to bring my life into line with my worldview, and to reach across, listening, into another’s. 

I have to say she really got me when she quoted Robert Service, the grizzled poet of the Gold Rush. “It isn’t the mountain ahead that wears you out, But it’s the grain of sand in your shoe.” The challenge to ‘do our own personal work’ will be a stumbler for many who, like me, have years of practice in critiquing others… 

She’s persuasive, as she’s entertaining, intellectually engaging and moving. I’d read the book, if I was you. When we transform our pain into purpose, turn enemies into friends, develop an intimacy with nature, and share our gifts with the world, then we will know we are the spark for a new era rising out of the ashes.

Additional Reviews & Praise

Kathryn Rockwell
Program Standards Team Lead, Industry Training Authority

...the most important work I've ever read.

This book... is the most important work I've ever read. I use Sutherland's worldviewing skills daily to understand my contribution to conflict and my responsibilities in reconciliation... Worldview Skills: Transforming Conflict From The Inside Out will challenge you to rethink yourself and your world. 

Read it and more importantly, SHARE it.

Harley Eagle
Indigenous Cultural Safety Consultant

Jessie Sutherland’s work in presenting worldview skillbuilding is essential...

In my experience in the realm of conflict resolution—whether it be interpersonal, community, organizational, institutional, or systemically based—I am often confronted with the lack of understanding that there are different ways of viewing the world and life.

Jessie Sutherland’s work in presenting worldview skillbuilding is essential for laying the foundation for transformation to relationships that are mutual and genuine.

Dr. Ihab Banabila
PhD in European Law, University of Montpellier, France

...a new and workable way of transforming cycles of conflict...

Jessie Sutherland clearly and thoroughly analyses the complexities of reconciliation. Her unique approach emphasizes both the psychological and systemic aspects of deep-rooted conflict. She proposes a new and workable way of transforming cycles of conflict and domination into those of reconciliation.

This brilliant work establishes a foundation applicable equally to intercultural as well as international relations.

John Paul Lederach

I immediately requested one for my library.

This book offers a fresh, insightful and great contribution to the field. I immediately requested one for my library.

Bonnie Haugen
Women's Fall Gathering Organizer

I placed copies in the offices and hands of colleagues...

Over 10 years ago, I came across Jessie’s book, Worldview Skills:Transforming Conflict From the Inside Out, and I was immediately drawn in. I placed copies in the offices and hands of colleagues that I thought should read it. Since then, I have had the honor of meeting Jessie, working with her, and taking some of her programs. Living comfortably with differences can happen. Jessie’s understanding, compassion and suggestions are truly a blessing for us all.

Dr. James Tully
Author of "Strange Multiplicity: Constitutionalism in an Age of Diversity"

Jessie’s work is at the frontiers...

Jessie’s work is at the frontiers of critical academic research and civic activism today.

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Worldview Skills: Transforming Conflict From The Inside Out

Worldview Skills: Transforming Conflict from the Inside Out by Jessie Sutherland