Past and Present Accomplishments
For over twenty-nine years and with limited resources, we have worked hard to accomplish what at times seemed impossible. Initiatives launched in health, literature, politics and psychology helped change the relationship between two Super-Powers.
We continue to stay on the cutting edge of citizen diplomacy in ever expanding areas of the world in conflict. Dulce Murphy, a founder and an executive director of Esalen’s Soviet-American Exchange Program and the president and executive director of The Russian-American Center, assumed the leadership when it received its non-profit status in 1994. In 2004, The Russian-American Center changed its name to TRACK TWO: An Institute for Citizen Diplomacy.
Murphy has worked extensively with Russia and the Soviet Union since 1980 and continues to expand the mandate of TRACK TWO and citizen diplomacy. Most of TRACK TWO’s advisors and board members also worked with the Esalen Soviet-American Exchange Program and The Russian-American Center. In our various incarnations, we have accomplished the following.
Visited the Soviet Union during the US boycotted Olympic games and gave speeches prior to the Olympics in Tbilisi, Georgia on human potentialities and possibilities for Soviet-American cooperation in various fields.
Gathered a group of diverse Americans at Esalen Institute to discuss the worrisome state of the US-Soviet relationship. It was at this historic meeting that the decision was made to found the Esalen Soviet-American Exchange Program. And it was also at this meeting that TRACK TWOs chairman of the board, Joseph Montville coined the term “Track Two Diplomacy,” diplomacy that parallels government diplomacy. Founders of the Exchange Program, Dulce and Michael Murphy, first Executive Director and founder Jim Hickman and founder Mary Payne were in attendance, as well as current board member Jay Ogilvy and advisor John Marks.
Sponsored the first of six conferences on “Citizen Diplomacy” where the term “track-two diplomacy” that refers to private-sector initiatives between Soviets and Americans and supplements formal diplomatic channels was coined by TRACK TWO’s Chairman of the Board, Joseph Montville.
Pioneered the first spacebridges, allowing Soviet and American citizens to speak directly with one another via satellite communication, an innovative new technology at the time. These spacebridges inspired subsequent satellite teleconferences between Soviets and Americans, including an ongoing Congress-to-Supreme Soviet teleconference.
Initiated the first of four Erik Erikson Symposia on the political psychology of Soviet-American relations with career diplomat Joseph Montville and psychologists Erik and Joan Erikson. The Erikson meetings resulted in a special edition of the quarterly journal Political Psychology entitled “A Notebook on the Psychology of the US-Soviet Relationship,” Joseph Montville was editor.
Co-sponsored a conference entitled “Faces of the Enemy.” Speakers, including Sam Keen, Ashley Montagu, Robert Bly, and Soviet diplomat Valentin Berezhkov, discussed the psychology and politics of enmity, propaganda, and projection.
Provided a forum for Robert Bathurst, a Naval Attaché at the US Embassy in Moscow in 1962 and was Adjunct Professor of National Security Affairs at the Monterey Institute of International Studies in California. He developed the first seminars at Esalen bringing Americans together with Soviet exiles and émigrés to compare Soviet and American cultures.
Spent the winter in Moscow furthering the early work of the Esalen Soviet-American Exchange Program. Through Soviet colleagues, Dulce and Michael Murphy were able to legally rent an apartment at a time in Soviet-American history when that was almost impossible. They were among a handful of Americans aside from diplomats and media correspondents to live there at that time.
Met Norman Mailer and introduced him to the Soviet Writers’ Union, a friendship that led to a long involvement with Soviet and American writers and eventually to Russia joining the International Pen Club.
Met with Werner Erhard, founder of Erhard Seminar Training (est) while the Murphy’s were living in Moscow. This was his first visit to the USSR. Werner gave lectures and met with many of our colleagues in Moscow during his first visit to the USSR. His primary translator was Vladimir Pozner, well-known Soviet and Russian radio and television personality.
Furthered the work of the Health Promotion Project through meetings of high-level Ministry of Health officials including Yevgeny Chazov, who is a member of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War. He was charged with promoting research on the probable medical, psychological and biospheric effects of nuclear war. The group was awarded the Nobel Peace prize on December 1985. On the occasion of the award, Chazov gave the acceptance speech in Oslo. Meetings such as this led to continuing seminars, conferences and personal connections among medical specialists from the United States and the USSR/Russia. These gatherings continue to this day.
Hosted Sam Keen the noted American author, professor and philosopher and for 20 years a contributing editor at Psychology Today magazine, gave lectures at the Academy of Sciences, did research for his book Faces of the Enemy and was interviewed by Vladimir Pozner for his television series on exceptional people.
Hosted Professor Michael Harner, the American anthropologist who gave an enthusiastically received lecture on South American Indian shamanism at the Institute of Ethnography and Anthropology of the Soviet Academy of Sciences in Moscow at the invitation of the director, Professor Valery Tishkov. This meeting led to a long-term relationship between the Academy of Sciences and Professor Harner.
Hosted Linda Tellington-Jones, a Feldenkrais practioner and founder of Tellington-Jones Equine Awareness Movements (T.E.A.M. Club) and an expert on animal healing. She was invited, under the Esalen Soviet-American Exchange Program to work with veterinarians and horses at the well-known Arabian horse auction in Pyatigorsk, Russia. This meeting led to further work with animals, veterinarians at zoos, racetracks and farms throughout the Soviet Union.
Helped create the Association of Space Explorers with Astronaut Rusty Schweickert, the first forum in which Russian and American astronauts and cosmonauts could share their experiences in space and their hopes for the future of space exploration.
Signed one of the first agreements between an American private-sector group and the USSR Ministry of Health. This agreement has facilitated work in the areas of health promotion, productivity in the work place, and non-pharmacological methods of treating disease and stress, as well as agreements with the European branch of the World Health Organization, responsible for the USSR in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Co-produced a spacebridge on Chernobyl and Three Mile Island with the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the USSR Academy of Sciences, and Internews.
Signed the first agreement between a non-governmental agency and the USSR Union of Writers, beginning a long-term collaboration between Soviet and American novelists, playwrights and poets which eventually led to the founding of the Russian International Pen Club.
Organized and sponsored the first visit to the Soviet Union of energy specialists and physicist Amory Lovins of the Rocky Mountain Institute in Colorado. The group was received by Academician Yevgeny Velikhov, Vice President of the USSR Academy of Sciences and continues to act as a consultant to a number of Russian institutes on matters of energy efficiency.
Hosted Academician Abel Aganbegyan, then Rector of the National Academy of the Economy, for his first tour of the United States as one of Gorbachev’s chief economic advisors. This led to the development of a management-training program in Moscow with senior executives from across the Soviet Union.
Hosted a delegation of Soviet economists from Academician Leonid Abalkin’s Economics Institute, USSR Academy of Sciences. On this trip came an initiative from the Furth Foundation to generously donate funds to create an international competition for the best proposal offering a practical solution to the question of ruble convertibility as a problem of international trade. Esalen committed itself to work with the Furth Foundation and the USSR Academy of Sciences to conduct the competition. Prize money totaling $42,000 was awarded to the authors of six of the over 600 papers submitted to the competition. Award recipients were chosen in May 1990.
Hosted a second delegation of eminent Soviet writers including Vladimir Karpov, First Secretary of the USSR Union of Writers, satirist Mikhail Zhvanetsky, playwright Viktor Rozov and short-story writer Tatiana Tolstoy who toured the United States and met with Susan Sontag, Norman Mailer, Kurt Vonnegut, and other American writers to facilitate the entry of the Soviet Writers’ Union into the International Pen Club, which monitors government censorship and freedom of expression around the world. The Writer’s Union did indeed join the Pen Club as a central event of Soviet glasnost. Esalen and TRACK TWO consider this to be one of their most important contributions to the Soviet Union’s opening to free speech and democracy.
Worked with Stephan Schwartz, the founder of Los Angeles non-profit foundation The Mobius Society, on a Soviet-American service oriented exchange program with artists, writers and curators of contemporary art and with the director of The Foundation for Social Innovations Gennady Alferenko in Moscow. Letters of Agreement with The Center for Artistic Culture and the Institute for Social Innovations in Moscow were signed to launch this project. Artlink designed and carried out a survey of museums, universities, and other institutions conducting Soviet-American exchange programs in the arts. A database was created of this information and was made available for free to institutions and media in both countries. This database was widely used by a previously closed art community opening to the world.
Facilitated the Bilson-Willens Initiative. Two businessmen, Harold Willens and Wes Bilson, wrote a letter offering pro bono consultation to some Soviet enterprises interested in putting quality consumer goods in the Soviet stores. Their letter was printed in the weekly periodical Argumenty i Fakty, circulation 20 million, and drew over 4,000 replies from across the Soviet Union.
Organized a delegation of Americans to participate in the inaugural conference of the USSR Association of Peace Through Culture, formed in honor of Nicholas Konstantin Roerich, 1874-1947, one of the most highly revered Russian artists in the Soviet Union.
Launched the Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) project committed to bringing together Soviet and American specialists to share experiences and develop healing processes. Esalen collaborated with Earthstewards Network and numerous Vietnam veterans’ organizations and treatment centers to host the first group of Soviet veterans of Afghanistan to visit the United States.
Coordinated, in conjunction with the United States-based International Center for Economic Growth and Moscow State University, a conference entitled “Entrepreneurship in the World Economy.” The conference drew participants from around the world, including Hernando de Soto, Peruvian economist and author of The Other Path, Leopoldo Solis, senior advisor to the president of Mexico, Mussamel Huq, founder of the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh, Gifford Pinchot, author of Intrapreneuring, and Pavel Bunich, a principal economic advisor to Gorbachev.
Hosted Boris Yeltsin on his first trip to the United States partnering with the Foundation for Social Innovations, USA and USSR. The Esalen Soviet Program arranged meetings for Mr. Yeltsin with President George H. W. Bush, Vice President Quayle, National Security Advisor Brent Scowcroft, former President Ronald Reagan, and many other leaders in business and government. The nine-day trip covered eleven cities and gave Mr. Yeltsin his first realistic look at our country and our government.
Signed an agreement with the USSR Academy of Sciences Economics Department, headed by Academician Abel Aganbegyan to promote entrepreneurs in the USSR. A first training for the Academy was conducted by Marshall Fitzgerald, founder of Stanford Telecommunications, and Bob Medearis, founder ofg Silicon Valley Bank,and was held in Suzdal, outside Moscow.
Signed an agreement with the Estonian Institute of Management Studies and the Estonian Business School to train managers from the Baltic republics. Esalen has been conducting seminars in Estonia since 1987.
Celebrated, with Soviet counterparts including the USSR Union of Writers, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the publication of The Grapes of Wrath. Events were held in Steinbeck’s home town of Salinas, California and in Moscow, with leading Steinbeck scholars at Moscow State University, a festival of Steinbeck films, an exhibit of original Steinbeck memorabilia and photographs by Horace Bristol, as well as lectures on Steinbeck’s life and works were held at the Writers Union in Moscow and attended by large audiences. The five Soviet specialists in American literature visited the United States to participate in the 10th Anniversary of the Steinbeck Festival in Salinas. Steinbeck visited the USSR during the height of the Cold War and was a favorite writer among Soviet Citizens.
Hosted a conference on Stalin and Glasnost at Esalen Institute in Big Sur. A number of Soivet specialists and American Sovietologists, historians and political psychologists participated in this historic meeting.
Began the Esalen Dialogue Project that continued for several years. The participants met at regular intervals to discuss the major changes occurring in both nations, not only in terms of glasnost and perestroika in the Soviet Union, but also in terms of how both nations interact in the emerging information age and global economy.
Evolved the Ethnic Conflict Resolution Project from the Stalin and Glasnost conference at Esalen. The project aimed to promote the political/psychological preconditions for fostering a non-violent, pluralistic democracy in the light of recent historical crimes. Originally conceived as a comparative look at the tyranny of Stalin and Hitler and its impact on the politics and destiny of each society.
Began discussions about a Coaching Education Project that evolved from an Esalen Exchange Program trip to the USSR in May 1989 and from subsequent discussions among the Soviet Sport Committee, Esalen guests, former 49er Head Football Coach Bill Walsh, sports psychologist Glen Albaugh and Dulce and Michael Murphy. Recommendations were made at that time for future Soviet-American collaboration. As a result, Glen Albaugh and Ted Leland, soon to be Director of Athletics at Stanford University, led an Applied Sport Psychology Workshop in Moscow.
Signed an agreement with Mobius and the Esalen Soviet-American Exchange Program making Artlink part of the overall Esalen effort to further exchanges in the arts.
Conducted a Coaching Education Symposium at the University of Pacific with highly respected coaches from the Moscow Institute for Sport and Physical Culture, where all Soviet national team coaches of the time were educated. It was from this elite coaching education institute that the Soviet participants for this project were selected.
Hosted Ivan T. Frolov, then Editor and Chief of Pravda and a Secretary of the communist Party Central Committee, for his first visit to San Francisco. Dr. Frolov was the leading Soviet philosopher of medical ethics and a close personal advisor to Gorbachev. His delegations met with leading American philosophers, sociologists, journalists, educators and political figures for discussion on perestroika, philosophy and social transformation.
Awarded the Furth Ruble Prizes, an international competition for the best proposals offering a practical solution to the question of ruble convertibility in international trade. Prize recipients were chosen by a panel of Soviet and American scholars that included Abel Aganbegyan, Joseph Brada, Ed Hewett, and Nobel Laureate Wassily Leontief.
Sponsored the first Russian-American conference on psychoneuroimmunology (PNI), an interdisciplinary field concerned with the relationship between psychological processes and the functioning of the immune system. This conference led to productive Russian-American collaborative research in the field and to a follow-up conference, held in 1991 at Leningrad's Institute for Experimental Medicine. This collaborative work that led to the signing of a long-term agreement to work with the World Health Organization in health related issues.
Developed a number of programs through our relationships with the USSR Ministry of Health and the USSR National Research Center for Preventive Medicine. Our concerns included disease prevention and health promotion in the workplace.
Signed an agreement with the World Health Organization (WHO) Europe that called for Esalen to facilitate greater Soviet participation in WHO conferences and initiatives.
Welcomed a Soviet citizen as a member of the Exchange Program staff. Psychologist Viatcheslav (Slava) Loutchkov worked in the United States and studied the interplay of psychological, social, economic, and ideological factors in perestroika. Among the many projects developed during his five-year stay: he analyzed the means of applying perestroika to the science of psychology, worked on an English-Russian, Russian-English dictionary of psychological terms and seeded the idea for an English language library of psychological literature at Moscow State that exists to this day.
Hosted an Ethnic Conflict Resolution in the Soviet Union: The Heritage of Stalinism conference at Esalen Institute that included Soviet and American experts and historians dialoging about the Stalin era and its ramifications to world history. Originally conceived as a comparative look at the tyranny of Stalin and Hitler and its impact on the politics and destiny of each society, the symposium was revised to become a collaboration among American and Soviet scholars, officials, and writers on the psychological roots of ethnic conflict and new discoveries on ways to heal the wounds of such conflict.
Sponsored two American artists to go to Russia and report back to the professional art world on their survey of contemporary unofficial Soviet art—which they did in the professional journal, ART. That same year Artlink raised funds to import a wide spectrum of supplies providing contemporary unofficial artists with art supplies that were unavailable in the Soviet Union at that time.
Convened a conference on coaching education at the University of Pacific in Stockton, California that included well-known Soviet and American coaches and sport psychologists. The competitive excellence of Soviet athletes during this time boasted 28 coaching educational institutions in the USSR under the sponsorship of the Soviet Sport Committee (Goskomsport). It was from this elite coaching institute that the Soviet participants for this project were selected.
Continued to assist isolated contemporary Soviet artists to enter the world art community. By the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, Artlink was no longer necessary and the program ended.
Organized a conference in Moscow to address the resurgence and persistence of neo-Bolshevism in Russian society. Russian and American participants confronted the Bolshevist mentality and discussed ways to alter it to embrace democratic pluralism rather than totalitarianism. This conference was the first meeting held at the new Gorbachev Center in Moscow, moderated by Joseph Montville and attended by Mikhail Gorbachev.
Played an instrumental role in a conference held at the Vatican in Rome, to raise awareness of the emotional and physical needs of people with disabilities.
Hosted a major conference at Stanford University, entitled “Toward the Further Reaches of Sport Psychology,” where prominent coaches, athletes, and sport psychologists from Russia and the United States discussed current trends in theoretical and applied sport psychology. Notable US participants included Stanford and NFL coach Bill Walsh and NFL and USC coach Pete Carroll.
Sponsored an ethnic conflict resolution conference in Washington, DC to influence the political climate in Russia. Civil liberties and civil rights in a democratic society were addressed.
Hosted four members of the Russian Duma, a member of the Russian Federation Council and a leading political commentator, all democratic centrists, met with American specialists in Washington DC to discuss the values of civil society. Three subjects dominated the dialogue: critical Russian self-analysis, shortcomings in US policy toward Russia, and the relevance of Western civil society guidelines for Russia today.
Continued to work with Chernobyl Children's Project. With assistance from TRAC, children from the areas affected by the 1986 Chernobyl disaster and American peers worked together to develop new skills, confidence, and lasting personal relationships.
Sponsored twelve Russian teenage tennis players from Russia’s Far East for tournaments with counterparts from the United States Tennis Association NorCal and the National Junior Tennis League.
Sponsored fourteen highly ranked young tennis players from Northern California to the Russian Far East to compete with their counter-parts in Khabarovsk and Vladivostok.
Conducted a leadership conference at Esalen, Big Sur, California, that developed alternative scenarios for the future of Russian-American relations.
Initiated a program with Lindisfarne Press to publish English language editions of major Russian philosophers, including Solovyov, Berdyaev and Bulgakov. Nine volumes in this series were eventually published with the help of a generous grant from Laurance Rockefeller.
Participated in the Forbes Management Forum of Management and Policy in San Diego, California. Vladimir Pozner, Mark Garber, Jay Ogilvy and Dulce Murphy participated in a panel discussion with several hundred business leaders about Russian-American relations and “Russia: America’s Blind Spot”, the title of Pozner’s speech.
Established the Library of Psychological Literature at Moscow State University and began collecting psychology books and journals from American psychologists to form the basis of this much needed educational partnership in psychology.
Began the Historical Reflections Project. Filmed interviews with Russian and Americans in Russia and the United States who have participated in important ways in the transition from the end of the Cold War to the beginnings of democratic governance and a free market economy.
Inaugurated the First Benefit Conference week entitled Russian-American Dialogues at Esalen Institute. A highlight was the lecture by Russian scholar Valentin Berezhkov who talked about his personal experiences during World War II. He was Stalin’s interpreter and was present at many of the major meetings of world leaders, including the one in Tehran, with Stalin, Hitler, Roosevelt and Churchill.
Published the first in a series of monographs entitled Future Scenarios On Russian-American Relations. These scenarios highlight the risks and opportunities inherent in possible post Cold War outcomes for Russia and the United States.
Sponsored a summer salon in Moscow at the Kapitsa Dacha (country house) that continued work on the Historical Reflections Project and the Memorial Library of Psychological Literature.
Held meetings, during the summer, at the Institute of Polio-Myelitis in Moscow to help further our work to improve vaccine production and distribution in Russia. Prior to those meetings we hosted Professor Sergei Drozdov, the Director of the Moscow Institute in Washington DC, and had meetings sponsored by the Center for Disease Control and the Sabin Institute at Sabin’s headquarters at Georgetown University.
Began collaboration with the Institute of Psychology and Psychotherapy to bring a psychologist to Berkeley, California to join the staff at Berkeley Mental Health (BMH) for a program set up especially for the exchange of information about the delivery of public mental health services in the United States. The psychologist Alexander Zinchenko spent almost a year doing clinical training there in order to incorporate his knowledge into a similar program for the development of public mental health services in Russia.
Sponsored the second annual TRAC Benefit Conference. The theme was “Russia in Crisis,” held in Pebble Beach, California. The conference re-emphasized and strengthened our sense of joint commitment. Well known economist, Abel Aganbegyan, and political scientist Alexander Tsipko gave us up-to date information on the financial collapse in Russia that occurred just days after our return from Moscow.
Began discussions with the Hoover Institution at Stanford University to archive our years of work with the former Republics of the USSR.
Developed a project with Abamedia on its Historical Reflections media project, which includes film interviews with major contributors to Russian and Russian-American oral histories and archival research that will eventually become part of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.
Co-sponsored the third annual TRAC Benefit Conference with the Global Business Network (GBN), a worldwide organization that specializes in futures research and scenario planning. Our program was titled “Futures For Russia.” Representatives from Ford Motor Company, Cargill, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, Saudi Aramco, Fannie Mae, and Texaco attended the meeting. Economist Abel Aganbegyan, technology entrepreneur Igor Kulgan, Russian writer and journalist Viktor Erofeyev and sociologist Manuel Castells presented up-to-the minute reports on the situation in Russia.
Co-sponsored the Ballet Beyond Borders project with the Russian Cultural Fund in Moscow. Leading Russian and American dancers of the San Francisco Ballet toured the former Soviet Union, performing in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Donetsk, Ufa, Kiev, L’viv, Alma Ata, Tallin and Vilnius.
Celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Esalen Soviet-American Exchange Program.
Dedicated the Viatcheslav Luchkov Library of Psychological Literature on September 19, 2000 at Moscow State University. The American Ambassador James Collins, the President of Moscow State University, and other prominent Russian academicians spoke at the event.
Organized a lecture by TRAC Board member Mac McQuown, hosted by Abel Aganbegyan at the Academy of the National Economy in Moscow to an important group of Russian Bankers and Investment Specialists.
Organized lectures led by psychologist, author and president of Esalen Institute Gordon Wheeler and Esalen Institute founder and chairman, Michael Murphy to students and faculty at the Moscow State University Psychology Department.
Helped coordinate the inaugural program to Russia of Students of the World (SOW), a project of Duke University students to immerse themselves as curious, eager and open architects of the future.
Sponsored its annual conference at Esalen in early October, soon after the September 11th disaster, with a stimulating group of Russians, Americans and Central Asians. The impromptu focus of the conference was “The World as We Know it Has Changed.” The participants agreed to promote solidarity between Russia and America, address Muslim conflicts with the West, and explore possibilities for long-term Russian-American ventures.
Participated in the first phase of an exchange of computer technologists and archivists from Russia, at the University of Texas in Austin, and at the headquarters of Abamedia, in Fort Worth, Texas, the home of the Russian Archives Online (RAO).
Sponsored an open to the public conference at Esalen for people interested in meeting our Russian and American delegates. These newcomers were encouraged to participate in open discussions, to bring fresh life and new ideas to the table. Current Russian-American issues were discussed, as well as ethnic conflict throughout the world. We continued our pledge to work together to eliminate terrorism, and address Muslim conflicts with the West.
Held a meeting with our Board of Directors in Moscow at the Literary Gazette Headquarters in September. The purpose of the meeting was to assess the state of the US/Russian bilateral relationship. Those in attendance included Vladimir Pozner, Alexander Tsipko, Davlat Khudonazarov, Sergei Kapitsa, Abel Aganbegyan, Tatiana Kameneva, Valentin Kamenev and Viktor Erofeyev from Russia and Dulce Murphy, Michael Murphy, Joseph Montville and Stephan Schwartz from the United States. We explored the importance of setting a constructive policy toward Muslim minorities in Russia and the United States and searched for ways to address the downturn in Russian-American relations.
Raised funds to purchase new books and equipment for the Luchkov Library of Psychological Literature at Moscow State University. This made it possible to expand the inventory of books, journals and support technology vital to the library’s expansion. This is Russia’s largest English language psychology library and it is a valuable asset to the university. The TRAC board unanimously appointed Margarita Luchkova, as the director of the Library.
Sponsored the third tour of the “Ballet Beyond Borders” project that includes leading Russian dancers and members of The San Francisco Ballet, who performed in Santa Fe, New Mexico to sold-out audiences. Two of the pieces were performed and choreographed by principal dancer Yuri Possokhov, formerly of the Bolshoi ballet in Moscow and the San Francisco Ballet.
Co-sponsored with Esalen Center for Theory and Research the first of five conferences addressing religious fundamentalism bringing together Hindu scholars and activists from Europe, America and India to explore how to respond constructively and creatively to an increasing barrage of hate campaigns, ban movements, and political threats directed against scholars of Hinduism.
Co-sponsored in September a conference on Islamic religious fundamentalism at Esalen Institute. We brought together scholars, activists, and religious leaders to discuss Islamic fundamentalism in an effort to promote a greater understanding of and to consider responses to the dangerous rise of religious nationalism in the contemporary world. Members of the Islamic community included people from Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, and Egypt, as well as scholars in various relevant fields and the Pulitzer Prize winning writer Lawrence Wright.
Traveled as a TRACK TWO delegation to Russia with board member Jay Ogilvy, advisor Michael Murphy, and director Dulce Murphy. They met with members of our Russian board of directors, furthered our work with the Luchkov Library of Psychological Literature at Moscow State University, and interviewed over forty people on the future of Russia and China.
Co-sponsored the Judaism Fundamentalist Conference in September at Esalen Institute, bringing Jewish and other religious scholars and activists together from Israel, the United States and Europe to discuss the motives and historical experiences that have generated aggressive and violent behaviors between various religious and ethnic groups.
Co-sponsored a reunion at Esalen to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the founding of Esalen Institute’s Soviet-American Exchange Program, now TRACK TWO. Citizen Diplomats from the United States and Russia gathered to reflect on our shared history and on how the lessons we learned during the 1980s and 1990s might be applied to major conflicts today.
Chronicled and published 25 Principles of Citizen Diplomacy compiled during the 25th reunion at Esalen. These principles were distilled from our work with Russia and the Soviet Union and can be applied to our complex relationships with Islam, with Iran, and with China over the longer term.
Co-sponsored a Christian Fundamentalism Conference at Esalen Institute in April that brought together scholars, activists, psychologists, ministers and theologians to discuss the religious and political roots of intolerance evidenced by certain forms of Christianity.
With the Esalen Center for Theory and Research we held the first meeting of our Islamic Outreach program in Mill Valley, California, gathering together Muslim and non-Muslim Americans from the San Francisco Bay Area. The gathering included a black American Imam, an Afghan, a Tajik Ph.D. candidate from UC Berkeley, an Iraqi-American journalist, several TRACK TWO board members including chairman of the board Joseph Montville and other prominent citizen diplomats. The discussion revolved around the need for educating Americans about Islam and led to proposals for an outreach campaign in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston and New York City.
Launched a research and development project as part of TRACK TWO’s out-reach to other countries and cultures on the Muslim Diaspora within Russia and Central Asia to explore the possibilities of Russian, American and Islamic cooperation in Russia and Central Asia to address Muslim conflicts with the West.
Co-sponsored the first Abrahamic Family reunion Strategic Planning Workshop at Esalen, where strategic planning for future work was discussed with leading members of the Jewish, Christian and Muslim communities. This was the beginning of a project that aims to bring peace and reconciliation to countries in political, cultural and religious turmoil. The first phase of this work will be focused primarily in the United States.
Traveled to India to explore possible working relationships and projects with the Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry, India and the international city of Auroville. This was the first visit for Dulce Murphy and Michael Murphy’s return visit after fifty years. He gave lectures, worked with members of the organizing committee in Auroville, and collaborated with colleagues on the valuable archives at the Ashram.
We continue to work on the project entitled Toward the Abrahamic Family Reunion funded by the Fetzer Foundation and directed by TRACK TWO’s chairman of the board Joseph Montville. This project fosters reconciliation between Christians, Jews and Muslims through a Five-Cities program in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington, DC, New York and Boston.
Traveled to Pondicherry, Auroville and New Delhi, India where Michael Murphy, co-founder of Esalen Institute and Chairman of the Board Emeritus, moderated a three-day symposium relating Sri Aurobindo’s philosophy of transformative practice to current world affairs. As a member of the Advisory Council of Auroville he participated in meetings to further the work of this unique international community. The connections made during this trip to India further the work of our Outreach programs in Citizen Diplomacy.
Began the second phase of the Abrahamic Family Reunion project, funded by the Fetzer Foundation and the Esalen Center for Theory and Research aims to bring peace and reconciliation to countries in political, cultural and religious turmoil. Leading members of the Jewish, Christian and Muslim communities met at Esalen to discuss strategic planning for future work. This United States based project works to heal the conflicts of these three great religious communities and their historic relationship.
Continue to support and develop TRACK TWO’s Library of Psychological Literature at Moscow State University by donating books, journals and educational CDs requested by the staff. We also help them upgrade their computer technology so they can access the vast psychological information available on the web. Our collaboration helps to bring the most up-to-date research available to the library that is vital to the successful training of future psychologists in Russia. Professors from Stanford, Yale and other leading universities continue to visit and lecture there and donate their works.
TRACK TWO became the non-profit sponsor of a cutting-edge documentary film event in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. More than 40 filmmakers and industry professionals from the US, Lebanon, Kuwait, the UAE and Iran, gathered to explore the role of documentaries in cultural diplomacy. “Documentary Voices: Pulling Focus” garnered media attention and support from the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority, as well as from the Dubai International Film Festival.
Participated in the Esalen Center for Theory and Research conference on Global Potentials coordinated by TRACK TWO board member Jay Ogilvy. The conference held at Esalen focused on the BRIC nations—Brazil, Russia, India and China. Participants from each of these countries were represented, as well as guests from Turkey and South Africa.
Are working closely with a new Esalen Center for Theory and Research and TRACK TWO project called Potential China. The first meeting was a conference at Esalen Institute that included Chinese journalists who were visiting scholars at the Department of Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley. The founder of this project is Xiao Qiang, a faculty member of the Department of Journalism.
Hosted the third annual conference of the Abrahamic Family Reunion at Esalen. TRACK TWO and the Esalen Center for Theory and Research with the support of The Fetzer Foundation we coalesced an inter-faith leadership team of clergy and practitioners in the Bay Area and Los Angeles. We shared theories of change, “best practices”, educational materials and models for inter-group work. The powerful group interactions with the Abrahamic faiths helped us with commitments and projects for our ongoing work.
Continue the long process of archiving the historical materials of our citizen diplomacy work over the past almost thirty years. The TRACK TWO Archive Project collects and annotates primary source materials documenting US, USSR and Russian citizen diplomacy of the 80’s and 90’s and will make this material available for the first time to scholars and the public. These materials will serve as a resource for those who wish to study our role in US-Soviet relations and assess the extent of its contribution to ending the Cold War. It is likely that the archives will be housed at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.