Dialogue and Impact

Based in Cambridge, the International Forum for Understanding promotes constructive dialogue and impactful solutions for urgent contemporary challenges such as:

  • nuclear, biological, chemical, and strategic conventional weapons (NBC and SCW)
  • disarmament, arms control, and non-proliferation
  • migration and refugee issues
  • crimes against humanity
  • rule of law
  • mental health and wellbeing
  • empowerment in the context of age, gender, and nationality

Through facilitating discussion among opinion leaders, decision-makers and an innovative range of actors, the International Forum for Understanding focuses on achieving actionable results informed by diverse, intergenerational perspectives.

SDGs

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are at the core of our activities. And we firmly believe that implementation is the key to success.

While addressing shared challenges, the interconnected SDGs define: “A blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all by 2030”.

In turn, the International Forum for Understanding engages globally to facilitate cross-sectional solutions.

We realize that gender and race are linked to education and human rights, poverty and disarmament, environmental degradation and climate change…

Understanding the cross-cutting nature of contemporary issues, we gather unique voices to create effective and sustainable results.

Learn more about our SDG 2030 initiative

Nuclear

Our approach to nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation is unique and comprehensive.

We support existing structures while facilitating dialogue on new initiatives; we understand historical context while addressing the impact of disruptive technologies on today’s nuclear stability.

Confidence-building measures to enhance trust and avert hostilities are at our core; we promote education, communication, transparency, verification – and impactful connections to the SDGs.

Executive Director Les Simm has worked on nuclear issues with the UN, international organisations, academic institutions and the Norwegian Nobel Institute.

Mental Health

Since the International Forum for Understanding understands the critical role of mental health and wellbeing in achieving the SDGs, we support MESPERO: an innovative approach to creating tools for mental health and psychosocial self-care for individuals in low-resource and conflict areas.

MESPERO engages local populations to adapt their lessons learned from lived experience into scalable, multimedia self-care solutions.

The aim is to promote resilience and build capacity by increasing mental-health literacy, closing treatment gaps, reducing stigmatisation and mitigating trauma.

SDG 2030

Major challenges in reaching the 2030 Agenda include lack of: relevant data, public awareness, youth engagement, and integrated approach.

SDG 2030 provides an innovative solution. Each month, we will

  • identify a timely SDG area and engage recognized leaders from various sectors
  • create related mobile/digital tools and scale them via social media and other channels
  • conduct research and interviews relevant for the featured SDG

And some months, we will hold global online events.

Emphasis is on promoting implementation by encouraging positive and practical activities with measurable results.

Led by Heather Wokusch, SDG 2030 launched on March 8th 2021 in honor of International Women’s Day.

About

Les Simm founded the International Forum for Understanding and serves as its Executive Director.

Les works in the business sector, with governments, the UN, INGO’s and other entities in areas ranging from security risk management and business resilience to humanitarian operations and disaster relief. He has expertise in nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons disarmament, non-proliferation, arms control and verification, security sector reform and countering transnational organised crime.

Having trained as a psychiatric nurse in his early career, Les has long-term interest in mental health and wellbeing.

Les is a passionate supporter of the SDGs with a particular focus on project implementation and making a demonstrable and direct impact on people’s lives.

Heather Wokusch serves as Deputy Director for the International Forum for Understanding and Executive Director of its MESPERO project.

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International Forum for Understanding
Wellington House, East Road
Cambridge, Cambridgeshire
England CB1 1BH

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