Peace Games: A Non-Profit’s Journey from Birth to National Expansion (A)

Case Solution

Susan Rosengrant, Herman B. Leonard
Harvard Kennedy School ()

As a freshman at Harvard University in 1992, Eric Dawson began working on a social project called Peace Games, a one-day festival that teaches school-age children about peace and cooperation. However, Dawson had bigger ideas for the show. Working first at Harvard and then through the independent nonprofit he founded, Dawson Peace Games transformed from a simple community celebration into a year-long conflict resolution curriculum in eighth grade kindergarten that I wanted to implement in schools across the country. Yet just as challenging and critical as the scheduling itself was the need to create, fund, and manage an organization capable of moving the project forward. This case tells the story of how Dawson developed the Peace Games in the Boston area; he established an outpost of the game of peace on the outskirts of Massachusetts; and attempted to launch a major nationwide expansion that was deemed necessary not only to reach large numbers of children and communities, but also to attract the funding the organization needed to survive. HKS Case Number 1795.0

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