A Peacemaking Project by Michael Aaron I.

What is the injustice we are solving?

The exchange of advice, ideas, and insights from one generation to the next is broken. In-person conversations with successful thinkers, doers, and creators are not accessible to the students that need them the most. TILE is the world's largest conversation series: working with students in 250 locations and 41 countries, we make conversations with innovators, leaders, and entrepreneurs accessible to teens everywhere.

Our Compassionate Solution:

To solve this injustice of social capital not being distributed equally
we will address access to important advice, ideas, and insights
by making conversations with innovators, leaders, and entrepreneurs accessible to everyone.

Our Project Plan:


  • Launching 1,000 chapters in 100 countries
  • Being featured in a major news outlet
  • Expanding our efforts in conflict zones

We will increase my / our compassion by...

trying to expand our reach worldwide.

How will you show courage?

By not being afraid to push boundaries and take unorthodox steps.

How will you collaborate with others?

By empowering students globally.

How will you know you are moving in the right direction? (What are specific ways you can measure your impact?)

By gathering and analyzing data from surveys.

Key Steps

  • Increase social media engagement
  • Launch new marketing efforts
  • Hire five more volunteers
  • Translate our proprietary manual into more languages


How did the project deepen your team's understanding of the injustice?

While an injustice can happen to us, I don't believe we can fully understand an injustice until we've heard how it has affected other people. Being able to connect with students worldwide, all from incredibly different backgrounds, while learning about the way social capital affects their well-being, dreams, and pursuits helped us gain a more comprehensive and profound understanding of our mission and work.

How did your community change as a result of your project?

Thanks to Peace First's help, we were able to launch a remarkably successful Instagram campaign in a handful of developing nations, bringing TILE's resources to places where TILE talks do not currently take place. We launched 50 new chapters in 6 new countries, creating leadership development and volunteering opportunities for over 150 students. Many mentioned in their TILE chapter applications how grateful they were for the ability to learn from local leaders and bring together their communities for vital conversations.

How many people were impacted by your project?


In addition to those directly impacted, are there additional people you feel were indirectly indirectly impacted or reached? If so, how many? (This might include people who read about your project, families of people that attended your workshops or received services, etc.)

Each chapter brings in about 1,000 students for conversations over the course of each season. Our 50 new chapters will bring in 50,000 attendees to TILE conversations over the next year, and will create leadership development experiences for another 150 chapter leaders.

How did your team learn more about the people affected by the injustice?

The TILE chapter application (on our website) asks for comments, questions, or suggestions as students commence the TILE process. This is usually where students interested in starting a TILE chapter also express their frustration and experiences with the social capital gap in their community.

What did your team learn?

We learned that social capital is an even more glaring and unaddressed issue than we anticipated, especially in regards to students interested in learning and pursuing careers in innovation, leadership, and entrepreneurship. This cemented our belief that conversations can play a tremendous role in making a change, especially in communities with severely limited resources.

What challenges did your team overcome?

At one point, we were receiving more new chapter inquiries than our team could handle. We had to bring in extra volunteers to handle the volume.

How have you involved others in designing, carrying out, or expanding this project?

Primarily through our chapter model, which allows us to share resources with underserved youth worldwide. We have also started hiring volunteer interns for TILE to expand our social media presence.

What advice would you give to someone starting a peacemaking project?

Just go for it, and talk to as many current peacemakers as you can to get a sense of the project roadmap. There's really nothing scary about it, and everyone is willing to help you out, especially if you care deeply and want to make a change.


Amani A. Peace First Staff
6 June 2018 17:25
Dear Michael,

Congratulations to you and your team on finishing your peacemaking project, well done!

Thank you so much for taking the time to share your work during the project implementation and what you have learned so far! I am on the Peace First team and wanted to say thank you for your amazing work and for taking time to share your work.

I would like to provide you with some feedback based on your Reflection, which we hope will help you to celebrate your incredible accomplishment and reflect on how to grow and develop your project in the future: I really appreciate that you were able to create a virtual space where students from around the world can connect with innovation, leadership, and entrepreneurship to exchange ideas and advices. Also, it was great to learn that your project created opportunities to hire interns to volunteer to expand the TILE's social media presence.

Would you be able to share some insights or feedback or comments from the participants on the website? We would love to learn more and get a better sense of the impact of the project!

We hope you will stay in touch and keep us up to date as you continue your work to create change!

Fish S. Peace First Staff
9 March 2018 8:36
Congratulations! Your project has been selected to receive a Peace First Challenge mini-grant. We will be in touch soon with details about this payment.

The mini-grant process is also a space for you to get feedback on your peacemaking project. We hope you will use this feedback to further strengthen your project. Please see the feedback on your mini-grant below.

There are a few things that are really exciting about your project -- first and foremost, your insight about the distribution of social capital and your goal to make it more accessible to everyone. I especially love your plans to translate your materials, and launch TILE in underserved communities, so that it can truly be accessible for all. I'm also glad to see you plan to gather and analyze data from surveys -- and interested to hear more about what those surveys will contain. And your concrete goals will be great guideposts -- though I'm wondering if you also have "midpoints" charted out between now and 1000 chapters.

Ways to strengthen:
I wanted to reiterate Raul's feedback about going a little deeper into the ways in which your work reflects compassion. When we spoke on the phone, you shared a lot of great insights about the potential of TILE to bring folks together across lines of difference, and the way you have worked with young people who are suffering from the lack of access to social capital you discuss, involving them in your work. It would be great if you could reflect this on your project page as a model for others. Additionally, I'd love to hear more about how you will target outreach efforts to serve students and communities with the most need. Happy to help you think about how to do this - and connect you to folks on our digital team if you need support around designing a social media strategy.

Congratulations and best of luck with your project!
RaulPF C.
1 March 2018 15:39
Hi Michael!

Thanks again so much for posting this project.

As part of the Peace First project-making process, we give formal feedback on your compassionate insight. Once your insight is all set, then you can move forward with your mini-grant application if you need funds to help move your idea into action!

I admire your vision to reach far and wide with such an interesting initiative to make knowledge accessible to everyone.

When looking at your insight, can you clarify if what you mean is that you want to address "the lack of access to important advice, ideas, and insights?"

I was wondering if you have had the opportunity to chat with people that have not had access to that type of knowledge to understand how they have felt about that once they had access to that new information? We have a tool to help you set some of those discussions: https://www.peacefirst.org/resource/understand-1-talking-others

Also, I was wondering if you could reflect a little more about how you want to increase your compassion. We see compassion as the act of being able to cross lines of difference when trying to understand the root cause of an injustice and when trying to identify ways to solve that injustice. It would be fantastic if you could spend a little bit more time on your project details to make it even stronger.

Please let us know if we can help in any other way.



Fish S. Peace First Staff
1 March 2018 9:43
Hi Michael -- thanks for posting. Really excited about TILE -- especially the focus on increasing access to social capital. A member of our team will be along soon to give some feedback on your insight, but for now, just wanted to say we're glad you're here :)
Jenna G. Peace First Staff
1 August 2018 15:51
Hi Michael!

Jenna here--I'm a member of the Peace First team, and I wanted to let you know that I really like your project, it is incredible that you were able to create a space for students from around the world to learn, collaborate, and connect! I hope that you'll submit an application to tell your story at the first-ever Peace First Summit on 9/16!

Applications are due today, August 1--you should have more information in your email inbox. Here's the application link: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSd6X9fTrSTC6PoXjLpVUtNlJgZHbd5QdB6-hgxlC-d7DBlK_g/viewform Please let me know if you have any questions--I hope you'll apply!

Jenna :)