Build Peace 2014 *DRAFT*

The first Build Peace conference was held at the MIT Media Lab on April 4 and 5, 2014. It was the start of a conversation and of a community.

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Over 250 people from more than 30 countries attended Build Peace 2014. Participants came from national and international NGOs, the UN system, academic institutions and the private sector. The conference had four broad lines of inquiry, each representing a function technology can play in peacebuilding: information, communications, gaming and networking. Panels and working sessions were also structured around the three stages of peacebuilding programming: conflict analysis, program design and impact evaluation.

Throughout the conference, we were humbled by the candid approach of practitioners, academics and technologists alike. Conversations ranged from measuring polarization, to capturing voices from the Rwanda tribunal; from hacking the border in the Dominican Republic to designing the constitution in Egypt; from teaching activist power in a video game, to building peace villages on Minecraft. White papers produced for the conference and videos of all plenary sessions are available below.

Reflections written by conference participants are in our blog archive. All conference presentations are also available in this public drive.

Asi Burak

Asi Burak is an award-winning game creator, tech executive, and social entrepreneur. He is the President of Games for Change (G4C), a nonprofit with the mission to catalyze social impact through digital games and the Executive Producer of the Half the Sky Movement games. Prior to that, Burak co-founded Impact Games and created the internationally acclaimed “PeaceMaker” and “Play the News” gaming platforms. A native of Israel, Burak is a faculty member at the School of Visual Arts’ new MFA in Design for Social Innovation.

Waidehi Gilbert-Gokhale

Waidehi Gilbert-Gokhale is the Director of Organizational Development and Volunteer Engagement at Soliya, a non-profit that combines best practices for constructive dialogue with innovative use of new media technologies. Waidehi managed Soliya’s flagship Connect Program, an online cross-cultural education program. Having lived, studied and worked in the United Kingdom, India, South East Asia and North America, Waidehi believes firmly in the power of effective cross cultural exchange.

Sanjana Hattotuwa

Sanjana Hattotuwa is a Special Advisor to the ICT4Peace Foundation, where he works to further the use of ICTs in crisis information management and peacekeeping initiatives at the United Nations. He is also a Senior Researcher at the Centre for Policy Alternatives, a Fellow of the Centre for Information Technology and Dispute Resolution at the University of Massachusetts, and the founding editor of the award-winning Groundviews. In 2011, Sanjana was the first Sri Lankan to be awarded a TED Fellowship.

Ethan Zuckerman

Ethan Zuckerman is director of the Center for Civic Media at MIT, and a principal research scientist at the MIT Media Lab. His research focuses on the distribution of attention in mainstream and new media, the use of technology for international development, and the use of new media technologies by activists. With Rebecca MacKinnon, Zuckerman co-founded international blogging community Global Voices. In 2000, Zuckerman founded Geekcorps, a technology volunteer corps.


01.Use of technology for conflict analysis

Explores how:

Different practitioners and organizations are using mobile and internet technologies and the data they might generate to analyse evolving conflicts in a more accurate and timely way, and provide better advice to peacebuilders responding to conflicts.

Chair: Francesco Mancini, International Peace Institute

Panelists: Chris Tuckwood, The Sentinel Project; Anne Kahl, UNDP; Christopher MacNaboe, The Carter Center; Jerry McCann, Interpeace

Download the white paper

 View panelist presentations.

02. Designing peacebuilding projects that utilize technology

Explores the:

Considerations that need to be taken into account when designing technologically-enabled or focused peacebuilding projects, including determining what technology is needed in specific contexts, intended and unintended outcomes and wider ethical concerns.

Chair: Rachel Brown, Sisi Ni Amani

Panelists: Stephen Wonker, Innovations in Peace; Jim Williams, Raabta; Audrey Bottjen, AECOM; Ben Rempell, USAID/OTI

Download the white paper

View panelist presentations.

03. Technology and peacebuilding impact evaluation

Explores how:

Practitioners can assess the impact that technology is having on peacebuilding. Questions of how technology can be leveraged to facilitate impact assessments will also be addressed.

Chair: Susanna Campbell, Graduate Institute Geneva

Panelists: Peter Van de Windt, Voix des Kivus; Sabina Carlson, Future Generations Haiti; Larry Susskind, MIT and Harvard Law School; Emile Bruneau, MIT Saxe Lab; Patrick Vinck, Harvard Humanitarian Initiative

 Download the white paper

 View panelist presentations.

Working Sessions

Polarization, Depolarization, and Data

Chair: Jonathan Stray (Columbia Journalism School)

View working session presentation.

Creating complex information systems: using ICTs to cover the last mile

Chair: Anahi Ayala Iacucci (Internews)

View working session presentation.

Peace for sale

Chair: Monica Curca (PAX Manifesto)

Download the white paper
View working session presentation.

Blueberry Soup: film screening & discussion

Chair: Eileen Jerrett (Blueberry Soup)

Watch the film trailer.

Acting Together on the World Stage: film screening & discussion

Co-chairs: Anneliese Abney, Inbal Ben Ezer, Jennifer Largaespada (Brandeis University)

Watch the film trailer.

Disrupting Warbuilding ICTs

Chair: Ross Weistroffer (The Fletcher School)

Current Challenges: Information Communication Technologies for Human Rights Documentation

Co-chairs: Kyle Matthews (Montreal Institute of Genocide and Human Rights) & Colette Mazzucelli (Center for Global Affairs @NYU)

Download the white paper.

Supporting deep dialogue and deliberation in socio-technological systems

Co-chairs: Tom Murray (Senior Research Fellow, School of Computer Science, Univ. of Mass. Amherst) & Tim Bonnemann (Founder and CEO, Intellitics, Inc.)

Download the white paper
View working session presentation.

Online gaming and peace

Chair: Dudi Peles (Games for Peace)

View working session presentation.

Grassroots cultural innovation in the Philippines

Chair: Clara Balaguer (The Office of Culture & Design)


Ignite Talks

Tapping into the brain’s empathy circuit
Juan Pablo Hourcade

Watch video

PeaceJam: Building an Interconnected Global Peace Movement
Donovan Arthen

Watch video – Collaborate for Peace
Alexandra Bizerova

Voices from the Rwanda Tribunal
Batya Friedman

Fostering Compromise Solutions in a Label-Divided World
Steven Rubenstein

Watch video

Libyan Youth Voices: fostering peace and development
Ayat Mneina

Watch video

Peace is everyone’s business: Mass SMS to prevent violence
Cindy Chungong

Hacking the Border
Carlos Miranda Levy

Watch video

make a friend, make Peace
Ronny Edry

Watch video

Mobile Audio-Visual Unit
Muktar Hersi Mohamed

Watch video

Kokoro: a Game for Ethics Education and Learning to Live Together
Valerie De Pauw

Watch video

Constitution Design: How to Negotiate Avoiding the Shopping Cart Syndrome
Sawsan Gad

Watch video

InformaCam – Verified and Secure Mobile Media
Bryan Nunez

Watch video

People Power: The Game of Civil Resistance
Ivan Marovic

Watch video

Narco Cartels & Open Empowerment
Antoine Nouvet

Watch video

Accounts of the Conflict: digitally archiving stories in and about Northern Ireland
Adrian Grant

Watch video

The Mojez Briefing Project: Raising Awareness about Different Opinions in Syria
Samer Kanjo

Watch video

Platform for Peace: ICTs for Greater Participation in Peacebuilding in Mali
Mahamadou Diakite

Watch video

Elections data for the people in transitioning MENA countries
Kate Cummings

Watch video

Conflict Transformation: Skills and Strategies for Change
Philani Ndebele

Watch video

Mahallae – building digital communities across conflict zones
Nilgun Arif

Watch video

Peaceful Online Interaction
Moustafa Amin

Watch video


Art Exhibitions

Build Peace 2014 showcased the work of  four artists who use their creative medium to examine conflict and foster peace.

Peace in Our Pockets

Peace in Our Pockets follows the inspirational Kenyan activists of Sisi ni Amani as they work to strengthen civic engagement, build democracy, and defuse violence in the lead up to the 2013 national elections.

Emmanuel Letouzé

Emmanuel Letouzé (Manu Cartoons) is a French-born, Brooklyn-based, political cartoonist who is a Fellow at the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, a PhD candidate at the University of California, and the founder of Data-Pop.

Thin Green Line Map

The Thin Green Line Map is part of a larger documentary film project regarding mobility across Cyprus’s buffer zone in the form of romantic or sexual relationships.

Turning Tables

Turning Tables helps vulnerable young people express their grievances, hopes and dreams. They build a creative environment for learning new skills and sharing experiences, and an opportunity to pursue a better tomorrow.

Technology Fair

Advice 4 Quarters

First Mile GEO

Tech Community and “the Crowd” in Myanmar

Change Assembly


Peace Innovation Lab

PIVOT (Palestine Israel Visual Optimization Tool)


Syria Data Discussion


Wireless, Smartphone-Based Explosives Sensors

“Beats from the Interior” and other projects for youth activists in Tunisia

Egypt Parallel Constitution


Social Media to Support Dialogue and Diversity in Yemen

Peacebuilding Data Blog & the Real Housewives of Syria




Build Peace 2014 was possible thanks to the generous support of our sponsors.