Build Peace is a conference event series and community of practice that brings together practitioners, activists, academics, policy makers, artists and technologists from around the world to share experiences and advance knowledge on emergent challenges to peace in a digital era, and peacebuilding innovations to address these challenges. Under this umbrella, each year Build Peace focuses on one central theme, linked to the location where the conference event takes place.
The most public aspect of Build Peace is a conference event: an inter-disciplinary space that runs over three full days. Around 300 people gather annually at Build Peace conference events. Participants come from more than 60 different countries, working in national and international NGOs, the UN system, academic institutions, civil society organisations, grassroots organizing and the private sector.
We believe that the Build Peace community is defining new pathways to build peace that focus on enhancing citizen participation in peace, using technology and creativity as critical tools, entry points or frameworks. Past conferences have served as catalysts for new projects and partnerships. Our partners and participants regularly express their appreciation for the conference as a venue for both discussion and networking. We view the conference event as a catalyst for the strengthening of the ecosystem of social innovation for peace, focused on that year’s topic and location. We organise research, conversations and interventions before and after the conference event to support a broader conversation that goes beyond the conference event.
Build Peace is organised by Build Up, a non-profit that transforms conflict in the digital age. The conference event has to date been held in Boston (2014, hosted by the MIT Media Lab), Nicosia (2015, hosted by UNDP), Zürich (2016, hosted by the ICT4Peace Foundation at ETH Zürich), Bogotá (2017, co-organized with Policéntrico and hosted by Universidad de los Andes), Belfast (2018, co-organized with the Centre for Democracy and Peacebuilding and hosted by Ulster University), and San Diego / Tijuana (2019, co-organized with Activate Labs and hosted by the University of San Diego and the Escuela Libre de Arquitectura).