Conference Program

What’s going on at Build Peace 2020? Find out about our core themes and all the conference sessions & speakers. The conference will take place on November 6 – 8, 2020 at Philippi Village (Cape Town, South Africa) and online.

Social Justice & Pandemic in the Digital Age

Digital technologies are already having an effect on how identities are lived, on the shape of the urban realm, and on the use of surveillance to express and sustain socio-economic inequality. The pandemic is now amplifying these inequities. The externalities associated with the pandemic (such as misinformation) and the associated response (such as increased surveillance) are likely to be long lasting. The pandemic happening in a digital age is raising a set of particular social justice issues.

The Build Peace 2020 conference will focus on social justice and the coronavirus pandemic in the digital age as this plays out across three relevant sub-themes: identity polarization, urban space, and surveillance capitalism. We will explore the effects of digital technologies on social landscapes that have been affected by the pandemic and a variety of social justice issues. We will also share initiatives that use digital technologies, creative solutions and social innovations to address these same social justice dynamics.

We are monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic to determine whether it will be possible to hold a physical gathering in November 2020 in Cape Town and any travel restrictions. Acknowledging the uncertainty, we have designed Build Peace 2020 as both a physical gathering and an online gathering, run in parallel on November 6 – 8, 2020.

To allow that flexibility, all plenary sessions will be livestreamed and recorded; all workshops and break-out sessions will have online versions that will allow full participation; all fair stands will have a virtual space for exhibition and asynchronous interaction on the online conference platform. We will provide updates on the physical gathering as we get closer to November, to allow participants wishing to attend in person to make travel arrangements.

We will organize our collective inquiry across three sub-themes

Identity Polarization

How are digital technologies influencing the formation and deconstruction of identities and identity-based conflict? How has the pandemic interacted with identity polarisation? How does this affect power dynamics related to identity?

What are the initiatives that are utilizing technologies and other social innovations to challenge polarization in online spaces and offline?

Urban Space

How are digital technologies influencing the organisation of and conflict around urban space, and how does the digital divide affect power dynamics in urban space? How has the pandemic interacted with these conflicts around urban space?

What are the initiatives that are utilizing technologies and other social innovations to address conflicts around urban space?

Surveillance Capitalism

How is the rise of surveillance capitalism affecting other conflict dynamics? How has the pandemic interacted with surveillance capitalism? How does this affect power dynamics related to socio-economic justice?

What are the initiatives that are utilizing technologies and other social innovations to challenge securitization and defend privacy?

Online

Join us online and participate to our conference from home

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