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.
- Build Peace 2014
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.
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 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 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 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
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
02. Designing peacebuilding projects that utilize technology
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
03. Technology and peacebuilding impact evaluation
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
Polarization, Depolarization, and Data
Chair: Jonathan Stray (Columbia Journalism School)
Creating complex information systems: using ICTs to cover the last mile
Chair: Anahi Ayala Iacucci (Internews)
Peace for sale
Chair: Monica Curca (PAX Manifesto)
Blueberry Soup: film screening & discussion
Chair: Eileen Jerrett (Blueberry Soup)
Acting Together on the World Stage: film screening & discussion
Co-chairs: Anneliese Abney, Inbal Ben Ezer, Jennifer Largaespada (Brandeis University)
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)
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.)
Online gaming and peace
Chair: Dudi Peles (Games for Peace)
Grassroots cultural innovation in the Philippines
Chair: Clara Balaguer (The Office of Culture & Design)
Tapping into the brain’s empathy circuit
Juan Pablo Hourcade
PeaceJam: Building an Interconnected Global Peace Movement
MasterPeace.org – Collaborate for Peace
Voices from the Rwanda Tribunal
Fostering Compromise Solutions in a Label-Divided World
Libyan Youth Voices: fostering peace and development
Peace is everyone’s business: Mass SMS to prevent violence
Hacking the Border
Carlos Miranda Levy
make a friend, make Peace
Mobile Audio-Visual Unit
Muktar Hersi Mohamed
Kokoro: a Game for Ethics Education and Learning to Live Together
Valerie De Pauw
Constitution Design: How to Negotiate Avoiding the Shopping Cart Syndrome
InformaCam – Verified and Secure Mobile Media
People Power: The Game of Civil Resistance
Narco Cartels & Open Empowerment
Accounts of the Conflict: digitally archiving stories in and about Northern Ireland
The Mojez Briefing Project: Raising Awareness about Different Opinions in Syria
Platform for Peace: ICTs for Greater Participation in Peacebuilding in Mali
Elections data for the people in transitioning MENA countries
Conflict Transformation: Skills and Strategies for Change
Mahallae – building digital communities across conflict zones
Peaceful Online Interaction
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 (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 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.
Tech Community and “the Crowd” in Myanmar
PIVOT (Palestine Israel Visual Optimization Tool)
Wireless, Smartphone-Based Explosives Sensors
“Beats from the Interior” and other projects for youth activists in Tunisia
Social Media to Support Dialogue and Diversity in Yemen
Build Peace 2014 was possible thanks to the generous support of our sponsors.