Build Peace 2015: Where to from here? (by Jennifer Easterday)

We’ve finally had a moment to collect our thoughts after a stimulating weekend in Cyprus at the Build Peace 2015 conference. We were blown away by the enthusiasm of conference participants and the wealth of expertise and ideas being shared! We were also left with a number of burning questions…

Where are all the programmers? Many conference participants highlighted similar challenges to using technology in peacebuilding. Some of these include needing to decide between targeting “low-level” versus “high-level” technology (e.g., feature vs. smartphones), how to process and manage large quantities of data and avoid fragmentation and how to seamlessly reach all of the different devices out there.

These challenges can be addressed by utilizing open technologies like Firefox OS and proven solutions to process big data that are already successful in the private sector. Governments and organizations around the world are discovering the benefits of using open data and are developing insights on how to use this data for good. Open data should be ubiquitous in peace tech, so that organizations around the world can build on it. Also, the Internet of Things is making a big splash in the tech scene, and we believe that it could contribute meaningfully to peacebuilding.

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