Stepping Into Your Peace: Happy 70th Birthday United Nations

Peace starts with us. Blaming the “System,” complaining about what others do or don’t do; being enraged that we have an unsafe world while not embracing Peace for ourselves creates distress, evolving into unrest and generating unsafe spaces. It’s hard to see how “we” can have any impact on what seems like a gargantuan mess. But, the truth is somewhat different. Margaret Mead’s quote, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful , committed citizens can change the world; it’s the only thing that ever has,” says it clearly. Can we challenge ourselves to do the right things for the right reasons?

“Your Peace” starts with our commitment to make a difference. The first step can come in all shapes and sizes and we all have the power to chose how we add value to the World’s well being. From a PTA meeting to a Peace March or from an office dialogue to a global symposium, we have every chance to contribute. It’s a matter of acting on our desires to make a difference. And, you don’t have to do it alone. Collaboration is our second most powerful tool for making Peace a reality. Those “small groups of committed citizens” can start with us and us joining others to make the next steps forward a reality. Taking positive action by yourself or with others is one real opportunity that wasn’t there yesterday. Can we join others for a more powerful result?

Your “Peace” can’t flow with yourself or your efforts with others without the power of Conversation. Creating an atmosphere of and for meaningful interaction is the foundation that lets us come together with others so that the collective forces can have true meaning. Respecting ours and the ideas of others helps maintain the integrity essential for true success and honest Peace and can evolve into Peace for your family, group and for the World. There has never been a better time to embrace our Peace and to collaborate with others in creating conversations that turn distress and challenge into a flow of success and peaceful interaction.

Please join us. Saturday, Oct 24 at 10AM. The Santa Barbara United Nations Association and Sister Cities International will walk together in Peace for the 70th Birthday of the United Nations on Cabrillo Boulevard. Meet us near the Hyatt Hotel.

Barbara Gaughen-Muller
President of the Santa Barbara United Nations Association (UNA)
Santa Barbara, California

Co-author, Revolutionary Conversations

E A R L I E R    B L O G      P O S T I N G S

Town Hall Forum, Oct. 24, 2014

Please save the date — October 24, 2014


(Zack Warburg photo)

The United Nations Association invites you to a town hall forum on October 24:

How can NGOs collaborate with the public & private sectors to better serve our youth?

The United Nations Association of Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo is dedicated to making a difference with NGO’s and the public and private sectors. Let us collaborate on how to better serve our youth in these trying times!

On Friday, October 24th, 2014, 9:30 AM - 4:00 PM, we’re holding a town meeting at the Santa Barbara Central Library’s Faulkner Gallery.  It’s a collaborative and interactive event to which we all can contribute.  It will be a gathering where everyone’s voice will be heard. By collaborating we can make what we all do matter even more.

Join us as our guest and please register in advance by using this online registration form:


Friday, October 24, 2014, 10:00-4:00,  Central Library, Faulkner Gallery,
40 E. Anapamu St., Santa Barbara, CA 93101

Barbara Gaughen-Muller

President, United Nations Association USA
Santa Barbara & Tri-County Chapter, 805 968 8567

Announcing 2014 UNA-USA High School Essay Award

2014 UNA-USA Bill Allaway High School Essay Award

Santa Barbara & Tri County Chapter


·       The theme is "World Harmony: Creating A Non­violent World"

·       Open to students in grades 9-12

·       Essays should be typed, double spaced, and no longer than 1,500 words

·       Utilize consistent MLA style formatting, citations, and bibliography

·       Include a title page with name, school, and grade level and omit name on all other pages of essay

·       Attach a completed application form

The Wisdom of Collaboration (When the Impossible Happens)

By Barbara Gaughen-Muller

As the owner of a public relations firm and the president of the United nations Association (NGO), I’m constantly working with the leaders of our Santa Barbara, California, community. One thing stands out consistently: we all find ourselves reaching out for answers, information, and resources for situations that can almost be described as impossible.

As I talk to business owners, heads of other non-profits, elected officials, and people on the street, it seems clear that a new approach to our challenges is essential. We know that meaningful economic and social change is in order. But how do we address these challenges as opportunities with a new sense of enthusiasm and the confidence that something positive can happen and solutions will appear?

Recently I was faced with an issue I would describe as impossible. I’m the new president for the United Nations Association (UNA) for the Tri-Counties, Santa Barbara, Ventura, and San Luis Obispo ( Our major goal over the next few years is to work locally with other non-profit organizations to create World Harmony and a non-violent world, which is our charter from the UN itself.

As part of our efforts, we invite a speaker to present a fifteen-minute overview of their work or about their NGO at our monthly board meetings. Our September speaker presented the facts about the March 11, 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear catastrophe in Japan. Our UNA, as part of the United Nations, was invited to assist in raising public awareness about the ongoing release of unknown amounts of radioactivity and the undetermined global and local threat to public health and the environment.

We were surprised by this request and even more astonished by the knowledge that “Fukushima” was still a major health threat. It was a compelling challenge and a noble opportunity for our little organization to step forward to take on a new, more proactive platform in our community.

Given the seriousness of the situation, we believed that we needed to move forward sooner rather than later. We had a little more than a month to develop, organize, market, and deliver a day-long conference for UN Day, October 24th 2013. We needed experts— authors, nuclear engineers, medical doctors—and willing, engaged participants. And we needed them fast.

We decided that a town meeting format was an appropriate approach for the day-long event, followed by an evening presentation for the community to become informed about this nuclear situation. There was so little time and so much to do that we needed to let go of the usual leadership approach for conference development. Instead, we focused on collaboration to help manage and direct all of our actions.

A subcommittee was formed and met each Thursday morning for breakfast and planning. One speaker was also invited to join us to educate us (this also helped us form a bond with the speaker to determine how best to feature his or her participation on the day itself). We felt that if we could keep the conference volunteers—and we were all volunteers—on the same page by keeping them informed and engaged, we could make this a newsworthy event.

We expanded the collaboration to the community and other NGOs. We found that there was an unquenched interest in the subject that seemed to ignite as we presented the idea. Each speaker was personally invited to participate. Our list included a Nobel Peace Prize-winning scientist, two nuclear engineers, emergency responders, medical professionals, and scientific and environmental authors. No one turned us down.

Several times in the process we found ourselves wondering whether we were on track, but we realized that if we trusted in engaging others and consistently established collaborative meetings, phone calls, and actions, we’d keep moving forward. And we did—faster and faster. Some of our collaborative approaches included:

* Having a large number of speakers and keeping their presentations to twenty minutes or less, expanding the information offered by providing a larger, more diverse pool of data.

* Developing a ninety-minute breakout session after the first set of speakers, asking each attendee to bring the wisdom from their life experiences to the group. This helped people process what they’d been hearing while also engaging them. We divided them into thirteen subgroups of five to seven people. A trained facilitator guided their creative thinking to generate as many alternative strategies as possible. Their job was to maintain a neutral point of view with questions, listen for possible solutions, and “follow the heat” (pursue exciting topics and ideas) with additional discussion.

* Inviting other NGOs to be part of the facilitator process. Half of the facilitators were from other organizations. Everyone got to shine; everyone had to engage.

* Training the fifteen volunteer facilitators in a neutrality process, an essential protocol of the UN, developed by one of our board members. (The feedback from the attendees about the quality of our facilitators was exceptional.)

* Selecting one speaker from each subgroup to make a short summary presentation about their strategies to the entire conference. As their information mingled with the presentations by the invited speakers, it created a collage of information in which everyone felt involved and contributory, adding to the collaborative feeling.

* Having a conference master of ceremonies (MC) leader totally committed to collaboration, “setting the tone for building coalition, teamwork and a caring esprit de corps throughout the day and evening,” as one participant noted. The MC was trained in collaborative, conversational, and interactive skills.

The public evening meeting at a local church opened up a new level of inclusion as we shared the energy and information from the day. The speakers and many of the participants joined in the new venue. This too was a collaborative event, with elected officials joining us.

Both events were beyond successful. The collective wisdom of our ninety international daytime participants at the Santa Barbara University Club was our gold mine/gold mind. Gathered were doctors, scientists, and leaders from Japan, Hawaii, Alaska, Arizona, and California (Santa Barbara). We had accumulated hundreds of ideas and opportunities presented in many different ways to help find possible hidden messages and solutions to the magnitude of this nuclear situation.

The net result of this conference, especially the small group sessions, was a new mindset that anyone can have impact, input, and stimulate change about any situation, no matter how serious, including the Fukushima meltdown, which led attendees to take action. Letters to the editor were written and printed in all the local newspapers. Our local NPR station announced the evening event. The next day, Friday, a respected doctor sent an e-mail describing the potential risks to our health and the environment in which he stated, “I’m not an alarmist, but I’m alarmed.” His e-mail became the inspiration for what was to become the “Santa Barbara Protocol–Fukushima,” which was written by our board members with the assistance of an attorney on our board. An emergency board meeting was called the following Monday, and the Santa Barbara Protocol was unanimously approved.

The creation of the Protocol, too, was a collaborative process and event. Bringing everyone involved with the conference together almost immediately after the event allowed us to review the day, evaluate the experience, review the feedback, and most importantly honor what happened and what was achieved. The Protocol was the final step in this collegial endeavor. Not only did it allow all of us to clarify the experience and acknowledge the magnitude of the concepts and ideas that evolved, but it also didn’t let us rest on our laurels. It helped us step forward and take this endeavor to its next level of evolution—and most importantly to do it together, collaboratively. The Protocol is a story in itself, and if anyone would like to know more, please follow this link to our website

While we on the planning committee felt that the UNA’s convention had been powerfully productive and collaborative, it was the participants’ feedback that told us it was a revolutionary success. In their evaluations, participants reported that the most exciting part of the day was the small-group collaborative thinking session—their contribution to the creative stream of connections that led to new strategies and hope.

In fact, afterward, the e-mails came pouring in, including one from a participant who ended her e-mail, “May it be that Fukushima and many other crises humanity faces will break us open to ingenious, collaborative solutions!” Another wrote, “interesting variety of speakers…a shakening awakening.” One week after the conference, the same noted doctor mentioned earlier held a noontime seminar at the local hospital for more than 200 members of the medical community. His PowerPoint presentation is now on YouTube and at

In the end, our Santa Barbara Protocol made the November Good News Agency's publication, which was e-mailed to 10,000 media and editorial journalists in 54 countries, 3,000 NGOs, and 1,500 high schools and colleges, as well as to more than 24,000 Rotarians around the world, in three language editions: English, Italian, and Portuguese. Our little chapter in Santa Barbara turned the impossible into an international alert.

When the impossible is thrown at you, turn to collaboration as an avenue for solutions. We used the collaboration process from beginning to end of this endeavor. It kept us energized, moving forward, and put no limitations on what was possible. Our “unconventional convention” gave the world the Santa Barbara Protocol, a call to action born from the framework of collaboration. We trusted that the wisdom of collaboration would guide us, and it did. It was truly a shakening awakening!


“Finally, the book about profound, easy to remember tools that will

 change your conversations, with results that will  go beyond words.”

Available at

Join Us For Our World Premiere of Femme: Women Healing The World

When: April 28th 3pm

Where: Marjorie Luke Theater 721 E Cota St.

Fee: $10 for adults, $5 for students

For more information, please refer to the FEMME PDF.

Join Us for Our World Movie Premiere of Femme: Women Healing the World

World Premier of Femme: Women Healing the World

United Nations Association USA, Santa Barbara & Tri-County Chapter presents World Premier of FEMME: Women Healing the World.

DATE: Sunday April 28 TIME:  3:00pm, Doors open at 2:00 (Musical Prelude by Kirstin Candy and Rey Villalobos)

LOCATION: Marjorie Luke Theatre, 721 Cota Street, Santa Barbara Junior High FREE parking

TICKETS: Contact Barbara Muller at 805-968-8567

Sunday, April 28th the UNA-USA proudly present  “Femme: Women Healing the World,  a feature length documentary that shares how the most important and influential women, as well as the unsung, heroic women around the world are transforming and healing our planet from the more than 50 countries visited. Meet them where they are making a difference, through religion, spirituality, science, history, politics, philosophy and entertainment. It’s an invitation to elevate our thinking and change our code of behavior with each other.  How our energies both male and female are complementary and how we can balance these energies with a sense of spirituality.”

“One conversation at a time, explores the relationship that these leading women have with their own personal vision for healing the world. They share intimately, how they deal with the fact that they are women and face the adversities and limitations that have been imposed upon them by a male dominated society. How they overcome the day to day difficulties and clichés rampant in societies all over the world. We then see how their vision and or ‘business plans’ for a new world are in many cases, already in motion and NOW being felt at every level of our society.

In Femme, we explore what our responsibilities to our world are and how we can express them in our daily lives. This is our challenge as human beings as we hear in the interviews with Sharon Stone, Jean Shinoda Bolen, Riane Eisler, Gloria Steinem, local women Marilyn Tam, Barbara Marx Hubbard, Nobel Peace Prize Laureates and many more. We want to help this planet and all of it people experience their true potential through allowing women to express and realize their natural birthright.”

Emmanuel Itier, producer, director and Sharon Stone featured in Femme. Both are available for an interview. Please phone 805 968 8567 and ask for Barbara

Emmanuel is the projects director and producer. He has been a world journalist and filmmaker for many years. The support team for Femme, includes Sharon Stone as our Executive Producer.




Femme: Women Healing the World

Sponsors: Dr. Elizabeth Ingalls, Dr. Patricia Bragg, Bill Allaway and Roseanne Reid

Promo: Follow this link 

Jean Shinoda Bolen: Follow this link

For Immediate Release:

Contact Barbara Muller, UNA President 805-958-8567, or IPhone 805-680-9445

The United Nations Assistant Secretary General Bob Orr Visits our Local UNA Chapter

Bob Orr, the current UN Assistant-Secretary-General for policy coordination and strategic planning, and a Santa Barbara native spoke to our UNA board in January. Orr challenged us for grass root, UNA solutions to issues like climate change, migration and global gun violence. Barney Brantingham, reported in the Independent  “Orr pointed out that more than a billion people go to bed hungry every night. In a world with messes everywhere, the most impossible problems seem to land at the United Nations doorstep.” Now it is our turn to see what our UNA can do to make a difference and face the challenges Orr presented.

Picture on the left: Santa Barbara & Tri-Country UNA president Barbara Muller and Assistant-Secretary-General of the United Nations Bob Orr pose for a picture after Orr’s presentation.

Free Community Forum: The High Cost of Gun Violence

Please join us in a timely and important community forum sponsored by the Santa Barbara Coalition Against Gun Violence and moderated by Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider with representatives from law enforcement, mental health, justice system and public schools. Come listen and discuss the high cost of gun violence not only in terms of lives lost, families shattered and victims injured but also the expensive resources that gun violence requires from our community in terms of the multiple government agencies needed to respond effectively to these critical incidents, such as law enforcement, the court system, public school safety and hospital and mental health interventions. For more information look at our Free Community Forum flyer.

Date: Thursday, February 21, 6:30-8:30pm

Location: Faulkner Gallery, downtown Santa Barbara Library

Dennis Kucinich on Global Peace

Join the local UNA chapter and other members of the community Friday, February 8 at 7:30 to attend a lecture given by Dennis Kucinich, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives. Dennis Kucinich is a passionate and articulate leader for peace and disarmament. He was a strong advocate in Congress to establish a U.S. Department of Peace, and was a leader in the efforts to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The lecture will be held at the Lobero Theatre in downtown Santa Barbara and is open to the public. The lecture is entitled “Restoring Hope for America’s Future through Developing a Culture of Peace.” The event is sponsored by the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation. More information is provided on the Dennis Kucinich flyer. Admission is FREE.