The PeaceTech Lab will work at the intersection of technology, media, and data to devise means of reducing violent conflict around the world. It will be a collaborative space where experts in technology work with experts in conflict management and with fellows from the conflict zones themselves to imagine, develop, and deploy new tools for the field.

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Technology has shifted the power of media and mass mobilization from corporate and state-controlled organizations to communities and individuals. At the same time, new insight into human dynamics and sentiment—the DNA of conflict—is being shared on social networking sites and analyzed more rapidly and profoundly than ever before.

The confluence of these factors is producing a transformation in conflict management and peacebuilding. From Kenya to Colombia, Afghanistan to Indonesia, we are seeing media and technology being used in innovative ways to counter age-old drivers of conflict, ranging from election violence and interethnic hatred, to resource shortages and gender violence.

And we can do better. We can accelerate the development of these new tools. We can distribute them faster. And we can engage more people in early warning, early response, and collaborative problem solving.

We believe the answer lies in moving beyond ad hoc innovation towards a more deliberate model, where engineers and scientists from industry and academia work each day alongside experts in peacebuilding from government, NGOs and the conflict zones themselves. The PeaceTech Lab will be an opportunity to do just this – the first facility of its kind, located adjacent to the US Institute of Peace (USIP) on the National Mall, and in close proximity to US and international agencies with the influence and resources needed to scale new solutions. The Lab will be a separate, privately-funded non-profit organization that will work collaboratively with USIP.

The lab will have three main areas of focus:

  • TECHNOLOGY: Developing technology tools that are customized to meet the needs of citizens and organizations working for peace and positive social change in conflict zones around the world. 
  • MEDIA: Producing curriculum-based radio, television, and other multimedia content to inspire changes in attitudes and behavior.
  • DATA: Using new methods of data collection, analysis, and visualization to improve peacebuilders’ decision-making and collaboration capabilities.

Latest Publications

Whither NATO at 75?

Whither NATO at 75?

Thursday, April 11, 2024

By: Ambassador William B. Taylor;  Mirna Galic

NATO marked its 75th anniversary last week at a celebration in Brussels. While Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has injected the alliance with new life and resolve, the 32-member collective security pact is also wrestling with its future in a world of growing great power competition. In 2022, NATO formally identified for the first time China as a challenge to its interests and collective security. As NATO continues to support Ukraine and look to future global challenges, it also has internal issues to address, ranging from individual member defense spending to the problems posed by the need for collective decision-making among 32 members.

Type: Question and Answer

Global Policy

Myanmar’s Collapsing Military Creates a Crisis on China’s Border

Myanmar’s Collapsing Military Creates a Crisis on China’s Border

Thursday, April 11, 2024

By: Jason Tower

Operation 1027 — an offensive launched in October 2023 by an alliance of three ethnic armed organizations (EAOs) against the military junta in Myanmar — has disrupted hundreds of forced labor scam syndicates operating under the protection of Myanmar’s army, dented the army’s image of invincibility and decimated the lucrative China-Myanmar border trade. A second operation launched on March 7 by another EAO in Kachin State has compounded China’s economic woes by adding to the impact on trade.

Type: Analysis

Global Policy

Linking Early Warning and Early Response Networks to Curb Violence in West Africa

Linking Early Warning and Early Response Networks to Curb Violence in West Africa

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

By: Nate Haken;  Patricia Taft Nasri;  Nikita Reece

A conflict early warning and early response (EWER) ecosystem has been developing in West Africa as multilateral organizations, governments, civil society groups, and others have established systems that detect threats and provide critical information to relevant authorities. Yet individual EWER systems are prone to a range of failures—from gaps in data to decision-making bottlenecks to response coordination breakdowns. This report argues that linking individual systems—a network-of-networks approach—can improve outcomes for people across West Africa and serve as a model for other conflict-affected regions around the world.

Type: Peaceworks

Conflict Analysis & Prevention

How ‘Traumatic Decarbonization’ Can Impact Political Stability and Peace

How ‘Traumatic Decarbonization’ Can Impact Political Stability and Peace

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

By: Aditya Sarkar;  Alex de Waal

The process of decarbonization — that is, the replacement of fossil fuels with non-hydrocarbon-based forms of energy — is essential for the world to meet its climate goals. But in many fragile oil-producing states, hydrocarbon revenues are not just central to national economies. They also bind together the political system through elite revenue-sharing pacts. The rapid, unplanned decarbonization of these countries would spark political crisis, a process known as “traumatic decarbonization.”

Type: Question and Answer

EnvironmentFragility & Resilience

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