Heidi Kühn, CEO and founder of Roots of Peace, was raised with a pioneer spirit, love for the earth and humanity. Heidi’s commitment to peace was further strengthened during her time attending University of California Berkeley in the 1970’s.
After a cancer diagnosis, Heidi made a promise to God to help others. Inspired by Princess Diana’s commitment to the removal of landmines, Heidi recovered, and lived up to her promise by founding Roots of Peace with a vision of turning “Mines to Vines” – replacing the remnants of war with bountiful vineyards and orchards of peace around the world. Heidi saw the landmines as a cancer of the earth, and devoted herself to saving lives while preventing people and children from tragic death or crippling injuries.
In Heidi’s new book, Breaking Ground: From Landmines to Grapevines, One Woman’s Mission to Heal the World, Heidi shares the story of starting Roots of Peace 22 years ago from the basement of her home in Marin County, California. For two decades, Heidi straddled her role as a mother to four children, while growing support for the Roots of Peace vision. With help from local Napa Valley Vintners, her friends, a community of supporters, the United States Government, the United Nations, World Bank and other organizations, Roots of Peace has planted seeds of hope and peace in eight countries around the world.
In our conversation, Heidi shares the faith and mindset that gave her the courage and resilience that helped Roots of Peace thrive and allowed Heidi to overcome her fears. “Faith not fear” was the belief that allowed Heidi to walk through live minefields, make difficult decisions and keep Roots of Peace alive through multiple hardships.
Heidi has been recognized for her work by numerous world leaders, including Kofi Annan, H.H. Pope Benedict XVI, H.H. Pope Francis and many heads of state and government.
Heidi’s faith, vision and personal story is likely to give you inspiration to pursue the goals that are calling you. Heidi says, “I believe that once we commit ourselves wholeheartedly to a noble cause, there are higher forces that steer us in a certain direction and that come to our aid when we are in need.” After listening to Heidi’s story, and reading her book, you may decide it’s time to pursue your calling, and this is exactly what Heidi is seeking with her book. Heidi’s unwavering belief in a world where children are free to walk without fear of death or injury is a mission we can all support. We hope you enjoy this conversation, read Heidi’s book and join her on the mission of restoring mines to vines.