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Illustration of a hand holding a smart phone which shows the Treaty of One Heart app—a heart beats in the centre of the screen in time with the user, and country flags appear showing how other people in different countries are using the app to sync their heart beat at the same time

Treaty of One Heart

A treaty between states at conflict committing them to ritual breathing via a smart phone app to minimise tension

The Treaty of One Heart was a semi-finalist in Futuring Peace 2020—a competition calling for designers and futurists to evoking speculative futures of fostering peace, run by the UN Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (DPPA) and Design Futures Initiative

Design fiction synopsis

It’s 2022. Europe tensions are rising. Joe Biden leads the US and Kim Yo-jong has taken leadership of North Korea. Power shifts continue to disrupt, and measures for conflict-prevention and human rights continue to be impaired. Conflict is inevitable!
Just as the boots of troops fall into a rhythm as they march toward conflict, so too can the hearts of leaders and citizens of conflicting states fall into synch and contribute to tension minimisation.

Two screens showing the Treaty of One Heart app—one shows a world leader's heart breathing-in and out, while the other screen shows citizens of conflicting countries syncing their hearts

How the treaty works

Leaders maintain peace with mindfulness by syncing their hearts through controlled breathing

An illustration explaining the Treaty of One Heart app and how a world leader uses it to sync their breathing an heart rate with another world leader

Leaders and citizens maintain mindfulness throughout the conflict cycle to minimise tension

An illustrative poster explaining the Treaty of One Heart app and how it is used through the cycle of conflict.

Breathing, mindfulness and minimising tension

Protracted conflicts rush leaders into making significant decisions, while spot-fires of internal conflict spark emotionally charged reactions that might further prolong the conflict.
Controlled breathing can strengthen leader’s and citizen’s capacity to make calm and grounded decisions by filtering out the emotional distraction of rising tensions. Controlled breathing clears the bloodstream of the stress hormone cortisol while increasing the vitality hormone DHEA; reduces anxiety and blood pressure; allows us to control our emotional state; and fosters strong cognitive performance. [1][2][3]

Values championed

Empathy, unity, commitment

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