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Our Story

Peace First was founded by a group of young students at Harvard University in 1992 with a simple idea: we can only solve the world’s greatest problems by empowering young people with the skills, compassion, and identity to be changemakers.

With this mandate, the first era of Peace First was launched as a play-based model designed to teach young people about conflict resolution, called Peace Games. Eventually, we also introduced a changemaking curriculum and working directly with teachers and administrators to help students embrace changemaking skills.  

Then, in 2013, we launched the Peace First Prize to recognize and award “best in class” changemakers and provide them with $50,000 to scale their social impact ideas. These prize winners were focused on making lasting social change in their communities by connecting across lines of difference with compassion, standing up for others and ideals with courage, and creating collaborative change by leading with others.

Most recently, we’ve taken our model global. Today, Peace First has developed into the premier community of global changemakers. Young people from anywhere in the world can come to us to receive mentorship, learn, connect with a community of peers, and accelerate their changemaking skills.

Peace First elevates the voices and unleashes the power of young people worldwide to create meaningful change in their communities.

Since our launch in 1992, more than 30,000 young people from across the globe have come to Peace First with an idea to tackle the most urgent challenges in their societies. Our mission is to make resources and tools for effecting change readily available to young people, empowering them with the necessary skills to become leaders of change within their communities.

We support young people with the skills and commitment to solve problems by:

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