What I learned at Build Peace (by Jonathan Stray)

[This post was originally published on Jonathan Stray’s blog.]

The organizers of Build Peace tell me it was the first conference specifically on peace and technology, and they should know. I don’t know the peace building field very well, but I could see that some of its leading lights were in attendance. I learned quite a bit, and I am very glad I went.

I have to start by saying I don’t think “technology for peace” is a sure win. My understanding is that peace building is incredibly difficult work, and rarely truly successful, and I don’t see why technology necessarily changes that. Yet I am also a technologist and I presented some of my own data-driven peace work at the conference. Clearly I believe it might be good for something. There is a great need for conversations between capable conflict resolution workers and thoughtful technologists — hence this conference. Here are some of the things I think I learned.

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