Riane Eisler is a social scientist, attorney, and author whose work on cultural transformation has inspired both scholars and social activists. Her research has impacted many fields, including history, economics, psychology, sociology, and education. She has been a leader in the movement for peace, sustainability, and economic equity, and her pioneering work in human rights has expanded the focus of international organizations to include the rights of women and children. She is president of the Center for Partnership Studies, dedicated to research and education and co-founder of the Caring Economy Campaign, and, with Nobel Peace laureate Betty Williams, of the Spiritual Alliance to Stop Intimate Violence (SAIV).
Dr. Eisler is internationally known for her bestseller The Chalice and The Blade: Our History, Our Future, now in 25 foreign editions, including most European languages and Chinese, Russian, Korean, Hebrew, Japanese, Urdu, and Arabic. Her newest book, The Real Wealth of Nations: Creating a Caring Economics – hailed by Archbishop Desmond Tutu as “a template for the better world we have been so urgently seeking,” Peter Senge as “desperately needed,” Gloria Steinem as “revolutionary,” and Jane Goodall as “a call for action” – proposes a new economics that gives visibility and value to the most essential human work: the work of caring for people and nature.
Dr. Eisler keynotes conferences and speaks at universities worldwide, and consults to business and government on applications of the partnership model introduced in her work. She has spoken at the United Nations General Assembly, and other venues have included Germany at the invitation of Prof. Rita Suessmuth, President of the Bundestag (the German Parliament) and Daniel Goeudevert (Chair of Volkswagen International); Colombia, invited by the Mayor of Bogota; and the Czech Republic, invited by Vaclav Havel (President of the Czech Republic).
She is a member of the Club of Rome, a Councilor of the World Future Council, a fellow of the World Academy of Art and Science and World Business Academy,and a commissioner of the World Commission on Global Consciousness and Spirituality, along with the Dalai Lama and other spiritual leaders.
Other books drawing from her multidisciplinary research include the award-winning The Power of Partnership and Tomorrow’s Children, as well as Sacred Pleasure, a daring reexamination of sexuality and spirituality, and Women, Men, and the Global Quality of Life, documenting the key role of women’s status in a nation’s general quality of life. Her earlier books, drawing from her legal experience, include Dissolution and The Equal Rights Handbook, widely used in the campaign for the Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Riane Eisler was born in Vienna, fled from the Nazis with her parents to Cuba, and later emigrated to the United States. She obtained degrees in sociology and law from the University of California, taught pioneering classes on women and the law at UCLA, and now teaches in the graduate Transformative Leadership Program at the California Institute of Integral Studies.
Eisler has written over 300 articles in publications ranging from Behavioral Science, Futures, Political Psychology, The Christian Science Monitor, Challenge, and The UNESCO Courier to Brain and Mind, the Human Rights Quarterly, The International Journal of Women’s Studies, and the World Encyclopedia of Peace.
Dr. Eisler is the only woman among 20 great thinkers including Hegel, Adam Smith, Marx, and Toynbee selected for inclusion in Macrohistory and Macrohistorians in recognition of the lasting importance of her work as a cultural historian and evolutionary theorist. She has received many honors, including honorary Ph.D. degrees, the Alice Paul ERA Education Award, and the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation’s 2009 Distinguished Peace Leadership Award, and is included in the award-winning book Great Peacemakers as one of 20 leaders for world peace, along with Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa, and Martin Luther King.
Dr. Eisler can be emailed by clicking here.
Betty Williams, byname of Elizabeth Williams (born May 22, 1943, Belfast, N.Ire.), Northern Irish peace activist who, with Máiread Maguire and Ciaran McKeown, founded the Peace People, a grassroots movement dedicated to ending the sectarian strife in Northern Ireland. For her work, Williams shared with Maguire the 1976 Nobel Prize for Peace.
Williams, an office worker and wife and mother, took little part in public life until August 1976, when she witnessed an incident that moved her to speak out. An Irish Republican Army terrorist was shot by British troops while fleeing in a car, and the car went out of control and struck several people, killing three children. Williams immediately began circulating petitions in Protestant neighbourhoods calling for an end to sectarian violence. This activity soon brought her into association with Maguire (then Máiread Corrigan), an aunt of the slain children, who had been similarly galvanized into action. Together they founded the Peace People to advocate for an end to the Northern Ireland conflict.
Williams left the Peace People organization in the early 1980s. Soon afterward she immigrated to the United States, where she resided for two decades before moving to the Republic of Ireland. Williams founded the World Centers of Compassion for Children International in 1997. In 2006 she joined Maguire and fellow Nobel Peace Prize winners Shirin Ebadi, Jody Williams, Wangari Maathai, and Rigoberta Menchú to found the Nobel Women’s Initiative.