Technology, Innovation, and Peace

In the last few weeks, I’ve had three opportunities to see the progress we’ve made in see how information technology can be used to spark innovation in peacebuilding and just how much more progress we still have to make.

First, we at the Alliance for Peacebuilding attended the second annual CalCon conference at the University of San Diego’s Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice. I helped organize the event, and my colleague Stone Conroy made two pitches. Most of our time was spent hearing critiquing, and building momentum behind a humber of pitches on such topics as mapping peacebuilding activities, developing games in conflict zone, and using the Internet to foster reconciliation. Following up on the keynote address by Shamil Idriss of Search for Common Ground, we spent the three days exploring how IT could revolutionize our work. There was one problem, however. We did not have enough people in the room with the financial resources to turn those ideas into reality. That said, I did get to meet Eva Dimitriadis of C5Capital who invited AfP to the second event in my three weeks of intellectual exploration. Continue reading “Technology, Innovation, and Peace”

Build Peace 2015

Look just below the surface of any wicked problem these days and you are likely to find that there is a technological issue among its causes and that they will also figure in whatever ways we try to deal with it.

With that in mind, the Alliance for Peacebulding was delighted to co-sponsor the recent Build Peace conference which I attended at the end of April in Nicosia, Cyprus. Build Peace

It was the second such event organized by four remarkable young social entrepreneurs who call themselves as Build Up^. The first drew some 200 people to the iconic MIT Media Lab in 2014. They decided to hold the second one in Cyprus so that it could include events on both sides of the divided island of Cyprus’s “green line.”

This time, about 250 people from over 60 countries attended. The first day’s sessions were held at Bedestan–a restored church and open air market–in the Turkish half of the city. The second day’s session were  held at a number of locations on the Greek side of the border.

Bedestan

Continue reading “Build Peace 2015”