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
  • human trafficking and modern slavery
  • rule of law
  • women, peace and security
  • 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.


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.


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. For example, we implemented a unique event during COP26: ‘Nuclear Climate Change: An Interactive Forum Based on the Sustainable Development Goals.’

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

In this Nobel Peace Center – Ignitor Podcast, he discusses ‘The Youth Perspective – The nuclear burden.’

Human Trafficking

By emphasizing the voices of individuals with lived experience in human trafficking, we:

  • amplify their important messages
  • showcase their multidimensionality
  • destigmatize the discussion around lived experience in human trafficking
  • engage and empower others facing related challenges
  • depict human trafficking in a variety of situational and societal contexts
  • create more effective solutions for dealing with human trafficking and its aftermath

As a follow-up to our successful World Day against Trafficking 2021 initiative in Vienna, we held a unique art exhibition, educational installation and event in London in late July 2022.


The International Forum for Understanding serves as a centralized source for a variety of other projects which we initiate, develop and implement.

Explore the samples below:

Every month, we gather an unexpected constellation of players focused on achieving actionable results in specific, urgent areas connected to the Sustainable Development Goals.

MESPERO: Impact for Resilience
We combine leading-edge business consulting with creating multi-stakeholder partnerships to mobilize knowledge and resources for building mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) capacity in humanitarian settings.

We also showcase projects from others:

Women, Peace and Security
Betsy Kawamura, founder of Women4NonViolence, is interviewed on topics such as the Battle of Okinawa, North Korean refugee women, and the Status of Force Agreement SOFA.


We operate in multidisciplinary, inclusive and intergenerational fields. Those listed below are joined by many others on a project basis.

Kendall Alaimo
Art, Trafficking

Rania Ali
SDG Ambassador

Layla Barakeh
HCL Director

Nour Barakeh
Climate Policy

Madalina Bot

Dr. Suad Mohamed

Aigerim Seitenova
Human Rights

Les Simm
Founder and Executive Director

Heather Wokusch
Director of Development

You can contact the International Forum Team here:


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

    ©2020 International Forum for Understanding. All Rights Reserved

    You can contact the International Forum Team here:



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