First, if you want to know my professional self, you can read my bio here:
Kobi Skolnick has trained thousands of people worldwide in transformative leadership development, facilitation, advocacy for social change, peacebuilding, conflict prevention, fostering cultural empathy, creating conflict resolution and organizational capacity programs.
Additionally, he serves as an adviser on leadership development for the United Nations, including on change management, inter-governmental advocacy on issues of youth, peace and security. Skolnick is a lecturer in Columbia University’s Negotiation and Conflict Resolution Program.
Kobi is the former Director of Leadership Development at the Center for World Religions, Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution at George Mason University’s School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution (CRDC). He has studied cross cultural studies, psychology, and religion extensively and has a Master’s degree in Negotiations and Conflict Resolution from Columbia University. He is also a trained facilitator and mediator. He has lectured at various international organizations and universities, such as Stanford, Yale, Harvard, and the Environmental Grantmakers’ Association, and has appeared on numerous media outlets across the globe.
However, what you should also know is that in 2003, when I arrived in NYC, I couldn’t pronounce “how are you?” But I pursued my education slowly but surely, and went from being an ultra Orthodox Israeli who learned only religion, to an adolescent who learned mainly from his affiliation with an extremist group, to a NYC resident, soaking in the diversity, warmth, and work ethic of a community college, to obtaining an Ivy League Master’s degree in order to work (and to support others’ work) for Youth, Peace and Security. I now have the privilege of working with hundreds of people worldwide in transformative leadership development, facilitation, advocacy for social change, peacebuilding, conflict prevention, fostering cultural empathy, creating conflict resolution and organizational capacity programs. I also have had the honor of being part of the group who passed UN Security Council Resolution 2250 and of working with hundreds of change agents worldwide to see real results. I’m excited to share some of those stories with you, here.
This blog is an outlet for ideas concerning the urgent problems of our time through the lens of transformative leadership as well as my own analysis of current events. My aim is to share ideas that are principled and pragmatic in this time of complex challenges in a rapidly changing world. I am lucky and privileged to meet both the issues and the people who are working tirelessly to impact them for the better on a daily basis and hope to share pivotal moments in this journey. I will share some of my own experience into, through, and beyond violent conflicts between Israelis and Palestinians in the hope that it will inspire our own continual work toward internal growth and change, and growth and change at a societal level. I am also finishing my first book, and will share some of those stories here with you.
The recurrent and latent social tensions in America – racism, sexism, and broader issues with the international community (extremism, refugees, climate change, peace and security) have been surfacing in the mainstream in clearer ways than in the past. The public discourse now openly contains an undercurrent of intolerance and hate, and while this thankfully makes addressing and dealing with these issues (which so many transformative leaders have been working to correct for so long) much more direct, we still have a lot of work to do to overcome them. I hope by sharing some of my personal history, I can share ways to counter violence, and to foster cultural empathy and inclusion: critical and essential parts of the new realities we need to create. We can deepen our understanding of how social, environmental, and political factors affect our sense of self and our communities and build the inner strength to overcome embodied societal biases. Happy Reading, thanks for stopping by, and I hope you’ll join us in this critically important work!