Morton Deutsch, Linda Hartling, and Evelin Lindner
at Teachers College, Columbia University, New York City, December 2014
There are not enough words in the universe to express our sadness as we mourn the loss of one of the greatest visionary leaders of our time, Morton Deutsch, who passed away March 13, 2017.
Morton Deutsch is at the heart of our transdisciplinary global community, Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies (HumanDHS). His life’s work is written into every aspect of our path-finding global collaborations, and he is a central source of our energy for building a “global human community,” united by the strength of our diversity, united in dignity.
Morton Deutsch was—and will always be—our first Honorary Lifetime Member of the HumanDHS Board of Directors and the first recipient of the HumanDHS Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009. He was a Founding Member of the World Dignity University initiative and inspired one of our most vital initiatives to building peace and dignity in the world, our publishing house Dignity Press.
The late Morton Deutsch launched the field of conflict resolution during the Cold War, on the premise that cooperation brings opponents to a common ground, while competition undermines trust. He is one of the world’s most respected scholars of Conflict Resolution and the founder of the International Center for Cooperation and Conflict Resolution (ICCCR), renamed in 2013 to The Morton Deutsch International Center for Cooperation and Conflict Resolution (MD-ICCCR), at Teachers College, Columbia University, New York City. He has been widely honored for his scientific contributions involving research on cooperation and competition, social justice, group dynamics, and conflict resolution. He has published extensively and is well known for his pioneering studies in intergroup relations, social conformity, and the social psychology of justice.
We are especially grateful for Mort’s extraordinary leadership and support as the founder and honorary convener of our series of collaborative Workshops on Transforming Humiliation and Violent Conflict at Teachers College. He organized the first workshop in 2003, and we are infinitely thankful to the MD-ICCCR for hosting it since then. In December last year, we had our 13th Workshop on Transforming Humiliation and Violent Conflict!
Building on Mort’s foundational insights and leadership, HumanDHS has brought together countless citizens in many parts of the world, gathering in the spirit of ubuntu for dignity conferences across continents: since 2003 in Europe (Paris, Berlin, Oslo, Dubrovnik), Costa Rica, China, Hawai’i, Turkey, New Zealand, South Africa, Rwanda, and Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand. He will be with us in spirit in our future conferences in India (2017), Egypt (2018), and in the Amazon in Brazil (2019).
Mort’s groundbreaking research inspired a world of scholarship, activism, and research on the dynamics of dignity and the impact of humiliation. Our HumanDHS community, as represented by Founding President Evelin Lindner, has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize again this year, for the third time. Mort’s enduring influence can be found in the 26 books published by Dignity Press since its inception in 2012. This includes Evelin Lindner’s books as a global scholar on humiliation and conflict, and her next publication, Honor, Humiliation, and Terror: Humiliation and Terror - Defusing and Preventing an Explosive Mixture, Volume I. This also includes Linda Hartling’s scale to explore the internal experience of humiliation, which has gained global recognition, being translated into Italian, French, Japanese, Korean, Russian, and Portuguese.
Morton Deutsch’s enormous contributions are beyond imagination. He was a living beacon of dignity, walking the talk by building relational bridges through mutually empowering collaboration. His work gave the HumanDHS community the courage to transcend the limits of hyper-competitive individualism to co-create an evolving language of connection that constructively nurtures collaboration. Guided by his ideas, HumanDHS shaped a framework of innovative approaches for working together, such as meeting in the spirit of appreciative enquiry; organizing workshops and conferences around conversations rather than lectures and presentations; applying the African concept and spirit of ubuntu; and developing the art and practice of Dignilogue (dignity + dialogue). These approaches can be seen in the more than 200 videos available through the HumanDHS website.
Morton Deutsch’s vision of a global human community is needed now more that ever. We warmly invite you to join us in our commitment to realize his vision of a better world strengthened by collaboration, dignity, and peace.
Please see Morton Deutsch’ invitation to “Imagine a Global Human Community” and pledge: http://www.humiliationstudies.org/documents/DeutschRemembrance2017.pdf
Please read more about Morton Deutsch’s life and work at: http://www.humiliationstudies.org/whoweare/deutsch.php
A map of the global collaborations inspired by the life and work of Morton Deutsch: