Coffee & Conflict

Join us on Zoom every third Monday of the month for Coffee & Conflict, a discussion on the dynamics of conflict locally and around the world, with a focus on current events. Grab your steamed milk latte, double shot Cappuccino, or six-step Starbucks order and get ready for an engaging discussion – or whatever your drink of choice might be. On the table are niche topics that include (appropriately) the coffee industry; water resource disputes; surveillance and cyber-attacks; and sharing economy industry regulation disputes. To take a global focus, pressing issues (as I write this) include the farmers protesting legislative changes in India; the Myanmar Rohingya genocide and military coup; and the plight of Uighurs (mostly Muslims) in Chinese detainment camps. At home, the lobster fishery dispute in Nova Scotia; the historical and current treatment of Indigenous people; and the Meng Wanzhou extradition case that preceded the rise of tension rise between Canada and China and resulted in the arbitrary detainment of Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, are among the issues that come to mind.

Coffee & Conflict is a facilitated discussion hosted by Aaron Leakey and Alena Astashenkava (Asta) which intends to promote awareness of and create dialogue about, current local and global conflict. You don’t have to be an expert in conflict or the topic to attend! Bring coffee (or whatever your refreshment of choice is), and see you online!

Coffee & Conflict – Session 1

March 15th noon-1:30 PST

Zoom link:

Coffee & Conflict – Session 2

April 19th noon-1:30 PST

Zoom link:

Coffee & Conflict – Session 3

May 17th noon-1:30 PST

Zoom link:

Coffee & Conflict – Coffee vs. Tea

July 5th noon-1:30 PST

Zoom link:

Coffee & Conflict – The Housing “Choice”

August 15th 1:00 – 2:30 PST

In person and by zoom: Zoom link:

Email for details on in-person event

Coffee & Conflict – The Housing “Choice” Part 2

September 20th noon-1:30 PST

Zoom link:

Coffee & Conflict: The Plight of Refugees

October 18th noon – 1:30 PST

Zoom link:

Aaron Leakey is an instructor in the justice sector, and trains family mediators who provide out of court dispute resolution. Aaron studied dispute resolution at UVIC and theology at Regent College (in a past life). He reads everything he can get his hands on, such as books of every type, weekend editions of the Globe and Mail, nutritional labels, and the back of cereal boxes. So passionate is he about conflict resolution, that he very much likes to discuss it, chew on it, debate it, and most importantly, practice it. Aaron studies in the discipline of dispute system design, and is hopeful about the prospect of new institutions that are designed to achieve “justice.” On the side, he is up early to train in CrossFit, practices meditation and breath-work, and hikes BC’s beautiful mountains.

Alena Astashenkava (Asta) is a conflict coach and facilitator specializing in the Insight approach. Alena holds a BA in Professional Communication and an MA in Conflict Analysis and Management from Royal Roads University in Victoria, B.C. As a practitioner of the Insight approach to conflict and change management, Alena applies curiosity to discover threats that parties in conflict defend against, supporting expanded thinking and decision making when it comes to choosing actions in conflict. Alena sees conflict as an opportunity to engage and to improve our understanding of each other. Her purpose is to find and foster a greater desire for mutual goodwill using principles of mindful communication and compassion.As a co-founder of Still Life Canada, a non-profit organization that brought healthcare providers and bereaved parents together for participatory-action research to improve services for Greater Vancouver families, Alena experienced the benefits of engaging in ADR to support building of collaborative relationships between groups in conflict. She dedicated the past decade to facilitating support groups and coaching individuals through life’s big changes.

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