The fourth Build Peace conference took place in Bogotá, Colombia on December 4, 5 & 6, 2017. The conference theme was “Making paper count: new forms of citizen participation in peace agreements”.

Build Peace 2017 took place in Bogotá (Colombia), at Universidad de los Andes. The conference hosted over 350 peacebuilders from more than 40 different countries who came together to discuss new forms of citizen participation in peace agreements.

Peace agreements have often been criticised for not being representative of the population beyond the elites, and calls have been made to widen citizen participation before, during and after an agreement. Build Peace 2017 explored innovative approaches to amplifying participation in all phases of a peace agreement, and bridging the gap between top down and bottom up peacebuilding initiatives.

The conference aimed to inspire through reflection on challenges and impacts across three sub-themes: inclusion and exclusion in peace negotiations; implementing peace agreements; healing, coexistence and reconciliation.

All conference presentations can be watched on our YouTube channel. A full conference report, including short descriptions of all talks and workshops, is available here. The conference mixtape can be accessed here.

Dialogues & Panels

Diana Weymar & Catalina Cock Duque

A conversation between Diana Weymar and Catalina Cock Duque about creativity and public imagination for peaceful futures. Diana Weymar is a textile artist based in the United States and Canada. Catalina is the Executive Director of Fundación Mi Sangre (My Blood Foundation), an organization created in 2006 by Juanes, the musician, and composer, so that the children and young people who have been affected by violence in Colombia may become agents of change, and contribute to the building of a culture of peace.

Nikki de la Rosa & Juan Fernando Lucio

A conversation between Nikki de la Rosa and Juan Fernando Lucio about how information and communication technologies can help citizens to monitor peace agreements. Nikki directs the International Alert thematic program in the Philippines on inclusive political economy, multi-stakeholder dialogue processes, and accompanying local governments, community leaders, and business corporations. Juan is the Director of PASO Colombia, Sustainable Peace for Colombia, at One Earth Future Foundation.

Sanjana Hattotuwa & Juanita León

A conversation between Sanjana Hattotuwa and Juanita León on social media, viral news, and the future of confidentiality in peace negotiations. Juanita is the Director of La Silla Vacía, which she set up with seed capital from the Open Society Institute. Sanjana is a Special Advisor to the ICT4Peace Foundation, where he works to promote the use of ICTs in crisis information management and United Nations peacebuilding initiatives.

Panel: peacetech in the Colombian context

This panel featured concrete examples and lessons from the ground and discussed the use of technology for peacebuilding in Colombia.
Alfonso Reyes, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, Universidad de los Andes
Omar Rincón, Director, Center for Journalism Studies, Universidad de los Andes
Javier Guillot, Coordinator, Public Innovation Team (DNP)
Juan Diego Restrepo, Director of

Panel: theory and practice in peacetech

This panel discussed the collaborations between theory and practice in the use of technology for peacebuilding, discussing the opportunities, challenges, and main insights of research for peacetech.
Angelika Rettberg, Associate Professor, Universidad de los Andes
Ana María Ibáñez, Full Professor, Universidad de los Andes
Jean Marie Ndihokubwayo, Senior Researcher, CENAP


Disinformation overload: trust in the age of fake news


Prototyping Peace: Toolkits for Team and Community Accords

Organizer: Build Up / Dropbox

Innovation in Participation – the cases of Colombia and Canada

Organizer: Reconciliation Canada

Do engineers have a role in the implementation of a peace agreement?

Organizer: PeaceTech Lab / Drexel University / Build Up

Whole-of-Society Conflict Prevention and Peacebuilding

Organizer: London School of Economics

Taller de Memoria y Reconciliación a través de la práctica del Kintsugi

Organizer: Fundación Prolongar

Maperos sociales y comunitarios con OpenStreetMap

Organizer: Fundación OpenStreetMap

La importancia del taller en la construcción de memoria histórica

Organizer: Centro de Memoria, Paz y Reconciliación

SOLE (Self-Organised Learning Environments)

Organizer: SOLE Colombia

Mapeo y análisis de datos de desplazamiento forzado

Organizer: Center for Spatial Research

Yoga for Resilience

Organizer: Feet on the Ground

Co-innovating a social design brand with artisans/designers in Colombia & Belgium

Organizer: !DROPS / Value4Chain

Automatic for the peaceful: social media analysis and bots for peace

Organizer: Creative Associates / Build Up

Creative Dialogue: music & film as a tool for youth communication and social cohesion

Organizer: Turning Tables


Organizer: UNAOC / OmniumLab / Ideas por la Paz

Líderes de paz, multiplicadores de la reconciliación

Organizer: Asomuca

Innovation in Conflict Prevention: Brainstorming a Platform for Mediators and Peacebuilders

Organizer: Igarapé Institute

The Frame Design Process: Participatory Peacebuilding and Transformative Leadership

Organizer: Activate Labs

The Private Sector’s Role in Creating and Supporting Peace

Organizer: One Earth Future Foundation

Community-Level Data Collection to Support the Peace Process: Adapting the Everyday Peace Indicators approach

Organizer: Everyday Peace Indicators

Herramientas técnicas y forenses para la investigación de violaciones a los derechos humanos en el Sistema Integral de Verdad, Justicia, Reparación y No Repetición

Organizer: EQUITAS

Build Peace Lab: supporting local innovative peacebuilding projects

Organizer: Build Up / Movilizatorio

Dealing with the past in post-conflict societies: ICT supporting the inclusion of pluralistic perspectives

Organizer: GIZ-ProPaz / Heinrich Böll Foundation

Minecraft used as bottom-up participatory solution for urban planning co-creation

Organizer: Liliana Carrillo

JINSO (Juego de emprendimiento e innovación)

Organizer: Appiario

Blending Capitals for Peace

Organizer: TheBC.lab

Emprendimientos de Paz para el Departamento de Nariño

Organizer: PeaceStartUp

Educación para la paz y la reconciliación trabajando con la relación mente-cuerpo

Organizer: Universidad de los Andes

Be the Change

Organizer: Twitter / Centre for Democracy and Peace Building

Participatory photography for peacebuilding

Organizer: Fotosynthesis / Tahafuz

Transformando un espacio de terror en un lugar de memoria, educación y reparación

Organizer: Museo Sitio de Memoria ESMA

GIS for Peace: the convening power of Geographic Information Systems

Organizer: GICHD

Short Talks

Storytelling, Journalism, and Counter-Narratives for Peace

Ala Oueslati, Peace Activist, YaLa Young Leaders (Tunisia)

How to get your project governmentalized

Arik Segal, Founder, Conntix (Israel)

Internal Displacement Mapping

Bruno Siqueira, System Engineer, Igarapé Institute (Brazil)

Emergent – Building Peace Territories from School Narratives

Claudia Aparicio Yañez, Directora Ejecutiva, Fundación Dividendo (Colombia)

Building Memory through new pedagogies

Paola Morales Escobar, Desarmados (Colombia)

Games for Peace

Reech Malual, Member, Junub Games (South Sudan)

Reconciliation strategies as seen by millennials

Daniel Buriticá, Fundador, Red Colombiana de Jóvenes – RECOJO (Colombia)

Opportunities for peacebuilding in the hot phase of military conflict

Daria Kuznetsova, Project Coordinator, Donbass Dialogue Platform (Ukraine)

Arts, Dialogue, Peacebuilding

Darren Ferguson, Beyond Skin (Northern Ireland)

Rituals of Peace

Ed Maklouf, Founder, Gather Citizen Tech (United Kingdom)

Innovating new forms of public participation in peace processes in the midst of war

Stephen Gray, Adapt Research and Consulting (Myanmar)

Radio as a tool to generate trust and strengthen governance

Willington Gutiérrez, FTZ Studio SAS (Colombia)

“Campesino” Mappers — Social and Community Cartographers

Fernando Castro Toro, Tallerista, Fundación OpenStreetMap (Colombia)

Digital storytelling on Gender Based Violence

Harriet Adong, Executive Director, Foundation Integrated Rural Development (Uganda)

Road Infrastructure, Soil Mechanics and Peace Building

Jaime Wills Sanín, Civil Engineering Instructor, Universidad de los Andes (Colombia)

Organizational Network Analysis for measuring Rapid Response Activities

Jesús Eduardo Coronado Escobar, Program Officer, Colombia Transforma (Colombia)

Collective writing as a tool to weave peace

Joan Serrat Montagut, Reading and writing promoter, SOM Editorial Colectiva (México)

CivicTech: Technology for social change

Juan Pablo Ruiz, Responsable Wingu Colombia, Winguweb (Colombia)

A Window to Dream

Laura Bernardelli, Agencia para la Reincorporación y la Normalización (Colombia)

Peace on Wheels

Marcela Fernández and Gabriela Bruna, PAZabordo (Colombia)

Arts Program

Interwoven Stories

Interwoven Stories was created in 2016 by Diana Weymar, and has since been or is being facilitated at several locations in the USA and at Build Peace 2016 & 2017. It is a community-based, socially engaged textile project which uses visual narratives and text to explore themes of community, identity, transformation, loss, memory, and material culture. All pages are donated back to the community organization and the Interwoven Stories pages are exhibited through North America and in other countries with Build Peace.

Build Peace mixtape 2017

The theme of Build Peace 2017 is “Making paper count: new forms of citizen participation in peace agreements”. And for paper to count, people have to feel it with their whole body, they have to dance it. With this reflection in mind, Luis Puig brings us another mixtape this year, along with a rap that summarises what the songs contribute to our conversation at Build Peace 2017. Read the rap and listen to the mixtape here.


#peacehack is an initiative of International Alert that brings peace practitioners, designers and developers together to develop new ideas and prototype solutions used to help build peace.

In 2017, Build Up, Policéntrico, and International Alert invited participants from the conference to come and present their problems on the theme so hackers would be able to dive into creating real tech solutions straight away.

A range of problem statements were presented, from the strategic use of blockchain, to participatory mapping tools, to a tool to foster collaboration in hackathons, to video letters.

The hackathon was a useful process for projects to kickstart and test possible solutions. We know that four of the projects have continued to develop their solution after the hack.


Build Peace 2017 was brought to you by Build Up in partnership with Policéntrico.
Build Peace 2017 was made possible thanks to the generous support of the people of the United States through their Agency for International Development (USAID), as well as the PeaceNexus Foundation, the Heinrich Böll Stiftung, New Markets Advisors, the Greater Bogotá Convention Bureau, the Universidad de los Andes, the Alcaldía de Bogotá and the United Nations in Colombia.
We are also very grateful for the support of our local allies.