James O’Dea

“Love can be the liberating force for humanity, because it’s so primal and so simple, like light, that if it’s allowed to move through us, its movement is endless. Its creativity is endless. It wants to spread. It’s contagious.”



James O’Dea is an author, educator, speaker, activist, and global peace ambassador. Weaving science, activism, spirituality, psychology and systems theory together, he teaches international courses in peacebuilding and social healing and has conducted reconciliation dialogues for over 15 years. Born in Ireland and based in Colorado, O’Dea studied in London, England, and in Vermont. He lived and worked in Turkey and Lebanon where the civil unrest, war and massacre he witnessed influenced him deeply. As co-director of The Social Healing Project, his decades of service work in social healing, restorative justice and conflict resolution have brought relief to many, namely in sensitive zones such as Israel, Palestine, Rwanda and Northern Ireland.

O’Dea has written extensively on evolutionary trends, social healing, science, consciousness and peace. He is the author of bestsellers Creative Stress: A Path For Evolving Souls Living Through Personal and Planetary Upheaval and Cultivating Peace: Becoming A 21st Century Peace Ambassador, heralded as as a brilliant road map for peacebuilding by thought leaders, academics and activists. He has published numerous essays including the much acclaimed You Were Born for such a Time as This (in The Mystery of 2012). He is a contributor to various progressive publications and blogs for the Huffington Post.

James designs unique group intensives in leadership and peacebuilding and currently has an international student body of over 600 Peacebuilders from 25 countries participating in his ongoing Peace Ambassador Training, hosted by The Shift Network. He previously founded and co-led a series of Compassion and Social Healing dialogues, funded by the Fetzer Institute, which brought together leaders and activists from a variety of fields related to human rights, peace, and social reconciliation. He recently launched a groundbreaking worldwise telecourse called Path of the Peacemaker and lectures worldwide on global healing, evolutionary change, consciousness, science and spirituality, and integral approaches to social transformation.

O’Dea spent 10 years as Director of Amnesty International’s Washington Office, where he testified before Congress and met with U.S. Presidents. He subsequently worked for five years as Executive Director of the Seva Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to international health and development. He is on the faculty of the Institute of Noetic Sciences, a non-profit organization founded in 1973 to explore the frontiers of consciousness and global paradigm change. He is an advisory board member of The Peace Alliance, an advisor to Kosmos journal and a former faculty member of the Omega Institute. He is a member of the Evolutionary Leaders, spearheaded by Deepak Chopra, and of Global Systems Initiatives.

Deeply committed to dialogue as a practice, James O’Dea has been recognized as a Champion of Peace, Reconciliation and Forgiveness by the Worldwide Forgiveness Alliance.


Visit his website:

Listen to “You Were Born For a Time Such as This” (spoken word, 16 min)


James O’Dea on Sacred Activism (8 min)

James O’Dea on Peacemaking (6 min)

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