Jaffar Alizadeh, MA SID/COEX’17 (Iran)

Head shot of COEX student Jaffar Alizadeh
Jaffar Alizadeh, MA SID/COEX’17

"We learn how to make an impact where no one else can"

Topol Fellow in Nonviolent Practice

“COEX provides both theoretical knowledge and practical skills to promote nonviolence. There can be no peace without development and no development without peace.  My background is in economics and for a long time I believed that development is an economic phenomenon. This program provides a completely different approach to development, in which economics is one aspect out of many.

It is really incredible that at Heller there are so many approaches to nonviolent interventions that I am learning to master. We can think about any social problem and try to design a solution for that. Most of our papers and essays are about addressing a problem or conflict, analyzing it and suggesting some solutions. At Heller, I learn how to think logically, how to put my ideas into the right frameworks and how to design an intervention so my idea or solution can cause a lasting impact. We have the advantage of using hundreds of other brilliant minds here for help. Everyone brings a unique point of view at the Heller School.

I want to make an impact wherever I am. I believe the COEX program is turning me into an effective nonviolence practitioner. I think an entrepreneur is someone who can make an opportunity and build a business at the right time and right place. A development and coexistence practitioner can/should do the same thing at the wrong time and place. We learn how to make an impact where no one else can or when it is not economically feasible.”