The Kindred Credit Union Centre for Peace Advancement strives to inspire and equip students to be changemakers by:


Map the System group pitchingCatalyzing interdisciplinary teams to spark innovation

Students at the Drone Gallery LaunchBridging theory and practice by engaging academics, activists, and artists

Branka and Cesar with student at 2017 Opportunities FairBuilding networks and pathways for high impact careers


Ways to get involved:  


Academic Courses

The Centre for Peace Advancement is located at Conrad Grebel University College, home to Canada's first Peace and Conflict Studies Program. The following courses are taught by Centre for Peace Advancement staff and research fellows.

Winter 2021 Course Offerings

PACS 201: Roots of Conflict, Violence and Peace

An examination of influential theories about the sources and nature of conflict, violence, and peace. Contributions from the social sciences as well as the humanities will be explored, with attention to connections between interpersonal, intergroup, and international levels of analysis. This course is taught by affiliated faculty member Eric Lepp.

PACS 301 Special Topics: The Future of War and Peace: Drones, Robots, and the Role of Peace Research

Advances in technology and the increasing use of drones, robots, artificial intelligence (AI), and cyberwarfare has changed the landscape of war in the future. This will require a new set of responses from peace advocates, and peace research will play an increasingly important role. Join Cesar and Branka from Project Ploughshares, located at Grebel in the Centre for Peace Advancement, one of the world’s leading organizations in leveraging peace research for policy responses and social good. (Note: This course is back by popular demand!) This course is taught by Branka Marijan and Cesar Jaramillo from Project Ploughshares.

PACS 329/LS 344: Restorative Justice

This is a seminar course investigating the history, theory, principles, practices and people of restorative justice. Taught by Centre for Peace Advancement Coordinator Michelle Jackett and Community Justice Initiatives Executive Director Chris Cowie.

PACS 490/620 Special Topics: Map the System

As we enter the third decade of the 21st century, humanity is confronted with a mounting series of historic crises requiring unprecedented interdisciplinary responses. This course will utilize systems thinking to equip students to research cutting-edge peace and justice challenges, and better position them to pursue systemic change in the midst of this complex context. Learning outcomes will be achieved through participating in Map the System, a global competition organized by the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship at the University of Oxford. Map the System provides the opportunity for student teams to present their understanding of a system related to their chosen local or global challenge, their understanding of existing solution efforts, and their identification of impact gaps or levers of change. This course is taught by Centre for Peace Advancement Director Paul Heidebrecht.


Employment and Engagement Opportunities

Check out our Employment and Engagement Opportunities page for jobs in the Centre for Peace Advancement.

Read about Charity and Grace's experiences as Communications Assistant in the Centre for Peace Advancement.

Read testimonials about the student experience at the Centre for Peace Advancement.


Map the System

Beginning in 2018, the Centre for Peace Advancement has been coordinating the University of Waterloo's participation in Map the System, a global competition that challenges you to think differently. This is not a pitch competition, but rather a discovery process for students of any discipline who have an interest in social and environmental change.

Tackling global challenges starts with understanding a problem and its wider context by exploring, probing, and researching all of the connecting elements and factors around it.

Learn more about Map the System.

Read about Map the System 2019-2020.

Read about Map the System 2018-2019.



Each fall, Conrad Grebel University College sends a team to the MEDAx Pitch Competition. This competition is for next generation of start-ups  that aligns with Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA) values. It is held in the spirit of MEDA’s mission and vision, to encourage and foster social-minded innovation, a space in which MEDA has over 60 years of experience. The Centre for Peace Advancement is active in building, supporting and mentoring the team.

Read more about the 2018 MEDAx team.

Read more about the 2019 MEDAx team.


Peace Innovators Scholarship and Mentoring Program

The Peace Innovators Scholarship and Mentoring Program is a year-long program that equips young leaders with skills to tackle a problem they are passionate about in their community. This program is open to students entering their final year of high school.


PeaceTech Living-Learning Community

The PeaceTech Living-Learning Community is a community of students from diverse disciplines that explores the intersection of peacebuilding and technology - critically reflecting on the social impact of technology, and fostering the creation of "tech for good."

The community is made of first - fifth year undergraduate students who are residents, virtual residents, or associates at Conrad Grebel University College. 

Read more about PeaceTech at the Centre for Peace Advancement.

Stay informed about these opportunities.