Steve Killelea, The Institute for Economics and Peace
In this episode, it’s a great privilege to welcome to the InnovaBuzz podcast Steve Killelea, the Founder and Executive Chairman of Integrated Research Ltd, The Charitable Foundation, and the Institute for Economics and Peace. He is the creative force behind the Global Peace Index study, the world’s leading measure of peacefulness.
With over 30 years experience in the information technology industry, Steve is highly skilled in international marketing, business and product strategy, and has developed two highly profitable global companies with exceptional track records of accomplishments.
Over the last two decades, he has applied these skills to his global philanthropic activities. First establishing The Charitable Foundation, which specialises in working with the poorest communities of the world, and then the Institute for Economics and Peace. His founding of the Institute for Economics and Peace was recognized as one of the 50 most impactful philanthropic gifts in Australia’s history.
Gill Hicks on InnovaBuzz 104 suggested we interview Steve.
Listen to the podcast to find out more.
Show Notes from this episode with Steve Killelea of the Institute for Economics and Peace
Key points and take-aways from this episode include:
- Steve started two businesses. The first one, a software professional service which ended up getting publicly listed on NASDAQ in 1990. He used a percentage of that to start another company, Integrated Research Ltd. After publicly listing Integrated Research in 2001, Steve took a large sum of the money and established The Charitable Foundation. The foundation works to help eradicate poverty and conflict through humanitarian relief, development assistance and the pursuit of peace.
- The Charitable Foundation uses an investment-minded approach by taking the interest from the charity and using that to fund projects in the developing world, specifically in countries in Northeast Asia and the East and Central Africa. They also did some work in Nepal, India, and Papua New Guinea.
- The Institute for Economics and Peace was established to understand the intersection between business, peace and economics and place special system metrics to measure peace and then prescribe an economic value that changes in peace. Its vision is to make peace tangible, measurable, and something which is achievable and a benefit to all of society.
- The Global Peace Index was born out of Steve’s curiosity of what are the most peaceful nations in the world, what has been done, and how much do we know about peace. If we can’t measure something, we can’t truly understand it. If you can’t measure it then you will not know whether your actions are helping you or hindering you in achieving your aim.
- One of the things that separate it (productising) from a lot of academic work was that: 1. We have a body of work that we keep building on, we kept on reinforcing that brand name. 2. We also put a lot of energy writing this academic work into clear and simple English so that ordinary people can read it and understand it. Objective of the Indexes: first of there is a public good being just being out to measure the peacefulness of nations and being able to do it across a number of different ranges. It’s very good for local discussions around peace, use of multilaterals and many different governments, better understand the state of peace in the said nations and it might be the relationships with the nations or it might be other countries which we’re looking in putting overseas development aid into these countries.
- To understand health, you have to understand healthy people. If you want to understand healthy societies, study the healthy not the weak. This is the thinking behind the concept of positive peace. We’ve spent a lot of time studying violence when we actually should be studying peace. If we want to maintain a highly peaceful society or have a society which is resilient, what you do there is very different than stopping conflict.
- The 8 pillars of positive peace work together as a system – a well functioning government, low levels of corruption, a strong business environment, free flow of information, good relationships with neighbors, high levels of human capital, acceptance of the rights of others, equitable distribution of resources. Countries who are high in positive peace perform better in measures of ecology, inclusiveness and are much more resistant.
- Looking at the world, there are some countries that are a lot more peaceful than other countries. If we can start to understand these kinds of environment, what is a highly peaceful environment and replicate that, the theory is over time we will develop a world that is more peaceful.
- It’s a whole system which comes together which creates the psychology of the country, which will be willing to go to war for its own benefit or one which is only interested in its defense, or one which will then undermine other countries for strategic interests, or ones which will be engaged with positive actions to try and improve the global peace.
- Steve has been working with the Rotary International on developing courses on positive peace that will be rolled out to 32,000 rotary clubs.
- The US Foreign Violence Containment Act is based on IEP’s concept of peace.
- The less money you put into producing bombs the more money you can put into productive means such as leading innovation and driving industries into the forefront of the next wave of technology, stimulate small business, cut taxes, education, and health systems.
- Peace is prerequisite to survive in a society of the 21st century. Peace is in everyone’s interest.
The Buzz – Our Innovation Round
Here are Steve’s answers to the questions of our Innovation round. Listen to the interview to get the full scoop.
- #1 thing to be more innovative –Innovation is based on experience. Don’t stop experiencing life. Don’t stop learning. Experiencing much of life gives you unique insights which others may not be able to see.
- Best thing for new ideas – When you get an idea or a new concept, work it up quickly in a positive way. Have a can do attitude. Don’t sit on the idea and round them up too much. Get them out to the world and see how they succeed. The more quickly you can do that, the more quickly it can take you to another level.
- Favourite tool for innovation – Agile development in the computer company. Communication is the key in innovation and keeping everyone on track.
- Keep project / client on track – Have regular deliverables for clients and your own internal projects. Focus on meeting those deliverables Look at the reason why it is off track. Keep integrity with clients.
- Differentiate – Start with the idea and everything should be built around that. Make sure your message is unique and clearly differentiated. Keep a clear message of differentiation.
To Be a Leader
Make sure you have a clear and differentiated idea. Make sure that what you’re trying to do is driving your company or your product to become the leader, not yourself.
The Institute of Economics and Peace will also soon be offering free online course to train ambassadors of positive peace. You can find more information via Global Peace Index on Facebook and on Twitter.
Steve suggested I interview Joe Stiglitz, Nobel laureate in economics, University Professor at Columbia University, and chief economist of the Roosevelt Institute, on a future InnovaBuzz podcast.
So Joe, keep an eye on your inbox, for an invitation from us to the InnovaBuzz podcast, courtesy of Steve Killelea of the Institute for Economics and Peace.
Cool things about Steve:
- Steve started out not really wanting to go into IT, and was more interested in surfing during his teens. He surfed a lot in Indonesia and used to stay with an Indonesian family, paying 40 cents a day for the room and could live on 20 cents a day for his food. This gave him a real insight of just how poor people actually lived.
- He was the producer and chief financier for the documentary “Soldiers of Peace”, which received The Club of Budapest World Ethic Film Award at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival and also won Best Feature Film at the Monaco International Film Festival.
- In 2016, he was awarded the Luxembourg Peace Prize Award for Outstanding Peace Technology. This among his many other business and philanthropic awards.