What is Peacetech? A New Environment Brings New Opportunity
From Kenya to Colombia, Afghanistan to Indonesia, media and technology is being used in innovative ways to counter age-old drivers of conflict, ranging from election violence and inter-ethnic tension, to resource shortages and gender violence. The spread of technology is producing a transformation in conflict management and peacebuilding.
Peacetech is a new industry that brings together engineers and activists, MBAs and conflict experts, social scientists and data scientists to design, develop, and adapt new solutions to counter conflict and strive for peace. Technology can be used as a tool to mobilize people for peacebuilding and to create spaces for discussions. Peacetech can accelerate the development of solutions, distribute them faster, and engage more people in generating ideas and collaborative problem-solving.
For example, virtual reality (VR) has been used to generate empathy by creating brief but powerful immersive experiences, allowing the user to internalize a message. Analytics has been used in the field to assess cognitive, emotional, and behavioral dimensions related to conflict, providing new information and data visualization for decision makers. And social platforms, such as Skype, have been used to connect people worldwide with tutors to teach new languages, while providing empowering work opportunities to refugees.
C5 and PeaceTech Lab, along with support from AWS, are collaborating on the PeaceTech Accelerator, the first major international peacetech program powered by cloud innovation and dedicated to scaling startups around the world. The mission of the PeaceTech Accelerator is to produce innovative technology that manages, mitigates, predicts, or prevents conflicts.
“Today, people can send pictures, money, and information around the world with the click of a button,” said Sheldon Himelfarb, CEO, PeaceTech Lab. “Even in places experiencing some of the worst violence on earth, I see cell phones charging and air time selling. It’s up to each and every one of us to decide whether we use these tools to prolong conflict or build peace. The Accelerator is the embodiment of our commitment to support entrepreneurs who are dedicated to using their talents and technology for good.”
The PeaceTech Accelerator provides the mentorship and training needed to scale both for-profit and not-for-profit peacetech initiatives rapidly, securely, and cost-effectively to produce technology that can be used as platforms for peace.
Learn more about the PeaceTech Lab and how to apply for the PeaceTech Accelerator here.