Vision - We embrace the unity of humankind and envision a world where values guide our lives.
Our Values are:
Mission - ZIPoPo is an international movement whose mission is to work for the betterment of humanity by promoting moral leadership through the application of universal human values. ZIPoPo teaches values and skills by understanding and resolving challenging life situations.
Shamil Fattakhov, Founder and Executive Director
Shamil Fattakhov was a producer for Russian television when the country opened up to the world in the early 1990s. When he looked at Western entertainment he was struck by the conflict promotion done by so much of the programming. He particularly remembered seeing the Jerry Springer show and the way the situations were “resolved” with counterproductive action. He responded by forming the Association for Creative Moral Education or ACME (ZIPoPo is the Russian acronym). Because of his background in journalism, cinema and television, he created a program that helped develop positive decision making around universal principles as a way to help improve society.
What is ZIPoPo
ZIPoPo is an interactive performance program that teaches ethical decision making. It uses a variety of presentation modes, including live performance, radio, television and newspaper columns. It usually involves a dramatic skit, written, performed and directed by the participants. A challenging life situation is presented and resolved through group discussion. ZIPoPo draws on universal human values and positive constructive choices to arrive at ethical solutions. more
The Zipopo Program Outline is 42 pages so for your convenience they are available to download in two formats:
Download Zipopo Program Outline (rtf format)
Download Zipopo Program Outline (pdf format)
Our Values are:
ZIPoPo was developed in 1994 as a live television program in Kazan, Russia. It gained international notoriety at the 1995 UN Women’s Conference in Beijing. Since then it has spread to 64 countries on 5 continents. ZIPoPo is widely used in schools, youth programs, juvenile justice departments and community centers. It can be used in any environment where creative and ethical solutions are needed to difficult problems
The program began by recruiting young people interested in the performing arts. They met on a regular basis and wrote scripts that addressed problems that Russian society was facing. The scripts were then performed on live television in front of a studio audience. The performances stopped short of completing the play and asked the audience members, “What is the wisdom of the world that we can bring to help address the situation?” Then they asked them, “What are the choices that would change the outcome?”
The programs typically showed a lively discussion with the audience members commenting on how they felt the situation should resolve itself. They even came forward to act out the resolution they felt was best for all concerned. Through his own knowledge of script writing, acting and directing as well as producing television programming, Shamil was able to develop a program that had a great influence on the communities where it was shown. When the program moved into the West and people heard the word ZIPoPo, they thought it sounded like hippo. So the program for many Western audiences became the Happy Hippo Show.
This television program grew in popularity, and by the mid-90s actually appeared on 22 television stations throughout Russia. As its popularity increased, Shamil was able to travel to Beijing, China for the 1995 United Nations World Women's Congress where eight performances of the program were held, including a final version in Chinese by local performers. The program so caught the attention of attendees that Shamil received many requests to visit countries around the world and train groups in this performance model. As of 2008, there are performing groups in 63 countries around the world, with over 100 performing groups and 2000 trained moderators. Performances have been given to over 100,000 audience members.
The program has also worked in many difficult areas of the world that are facing violence in society. Grand Duchy of Luxembourg sponsored the program in the Balkans in the late 1990s. In 2002 and 2004, a training was held in Kosovo under the supervision of the United Nations agencies to promote conflict resolution in peacemaking. A project in Cyprus in 2003 was designed to work with participants from both northern and southern sides of the island.
The initiative’s program directors from around the world attended a conference last year in the Czech Republic to share the different models they were using. Some examples included a television and radio programs in Tajikistan, a children’s storybook program in Malaysia, a government-sponsored program in Germany, youth groups in India, Argentinean indigenous programs, Chinese community theater and Russian prison programs. The breadth and creativity of the initiative was amazing.
The program has had tremendous success responding to local culture and adapting to different regions. At its core, it has also shown that throughout the world we all face many similar problems and can benefit from solutions from a variety of cultures. Stories and timelines can be found throughout this website.
Trip Barthel – Unity and Diversity in Conflict Resolution (pdf format)
Trip Barthel – Ethical Perspectives in Mediation (pdf format)
Trip Barthel – A Practical Process for Reciprocal Negotiation (pdf format)
Trip Barthel – emotional intelligence
Reno Gazette Journal - 'Peacemaker' merges Bahai Faith, work (pdf format)
Pavel – positive psychotherapy and HIV Aids
Hamid Pessochat -
German article – Dominique add info on origin of stop and act
Shamil Fattakhov - Report on golden Way in Tartarstan
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