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

Practicing Peace and Conflict Diplomacy in a Complex World

Practicing Peace and Conflict Diplomacy in a Complex World

Monday, June 14, 2021

By: Ashish Kumar Sen

A combination of a weakening liberal international order, sharpening U.S.-China rivalry, growing transnational threats, shrinking space for civil society and rising nationalism and populism has complicated the practice of peace and conflict diplomacy. A new volume of essays examines approaches to such diplomacy in this complex environment.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Global Policy

10 Things to Know: Biden’s Approach to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

10 Things to Know: Biden’s Approach to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Thursday, June 10, 2021

By: Ambassador Hesham Youssef

Coming into office, the Biden administration was clear that the Middle East would largely take a backseat in its foreign policy agenda. But recent developments in Jerusalem and the 11-day war on Gaza forced the Israeli-Palestinian conflict back into the forefront of international attention and revealed elements of the administration’s approach to the conflict. U.S. policy on the conflict has long been a point of bipartisan harmony, with more consensus than contention. The Biden administration’s emerging policy largely aligns with past administrations’ policies, with a few notable differences. But can this approach advance peace amid this protracted conflict?

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Peace Processes

Tribunal Gives Voice to China’s Uyghurs Amid International Gridlock

Tribunal Gives Voice to China’s Uyghurs Amid International Gridlock

Thursday, June 10, 2021

By: Lauren Baillie; Rachel Vandenbrink

Over the past week, members of China’s ethnic Uyghur minority have provided moving testimony about their persecution to the Uyghur Tribunal, an unofficial, civil society-led investigation into possible genocide and crimes against humanity committed by Beijing. Although the “people’s tribunal” is not backed by any government and its findings will not be binding on any country, the hearings play an important role in providing recognition to victims’ suffering and in strengthening the legal argument for a U.N. Commission of Inquiry or other international accountability mechanisms. As such, the tribunal serves as an important tool for civil society to move atrocity prevention efforts forward when U.N. or international court action is blocked.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Human Rights

A Global Democratic Renaissance or a More Volatile World?

A Global Democratic Renaissance or a More Volatile World?

Thursday, June 10, 2021

By: Anthony Navone

With a staggering array of immediate crises facing the world — from the COVID pandemic to a global increase in extremist violence — it sometimes feels difficult, perhaps even impossible, to look beyond the current moment and envision what the world will look in the coming decades. However, looming demographic, economic, environmental and technological shifts are already starting to affect the global geopolitical environment — not only worsening our current crises, but inciting new ones should we fail to put in place long-term strategies to address them.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Democracy & Governance; Economics & Environment; Justice, Security & Rule of Law

Lebanon on the Brink of Historic Breakdown

Lebanon on the Brink of Historic Breakdown

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

By: Osama Gharizi; Mona Yacoubian

Lebanon’s devolving economic and financial crisis could potentially be one of the world’s three worst since 1850, according to a World Bank report released last week. The increasingly dire situation — exacerbated by the COVID pandemic and last year’s Port of Beirut explosion — has likely dragged more than half the population below the poverty line, as unemployment soars and the price of basic goods surges. Already accomplices to this economic collapse due to years of corruption and mismanagement, Lebanon’s leaders have been reviled for their limited response. With Lebanese exasperated with their increasingly desperate situation, there could be widespread social unrest and a major breakdown, which would have important humanitarian and regional security implications.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Democracy & Governance; Economics & Environment

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