PeaceTech and the Prospects for Critically Engaging Technology to Advance Peace and Sustainability
In recent years, the world’s enthusiasm for new technologies has been accompanied by growing concern over the harmful social and environmental impacts of these same technologies. In response to this “techlash,” a growing movement of “tech for good” initiatives and organizations is emerging. Included in this movement are efforts to support specific innovations that can accelerate rather than derail progress toward various Sustainable Development Goals. This webinar will focus on “PeaceTech,” an emerging field that includes peacebuilders, engineers, and entrepreneurs who critically engage technology in order to address violence, transform conflict, or create the conditions necessary for peace to be sustained. An overview of one particular innovation ecosystem where momentum for PeaceTech is growing—Waterloo region in Canada—will be provided to stimulate a larger conversation about alternative approaches for advancing peace and sustainability. In short, it will be argued that peacebuilders need to devote more attention to creatively engaging the private sector so they can influence the culture and ultimately the norms of the organizations and individuals closest to the development of new technologies.
About the NERPS Webinar Series
The Network for Education and Research on Peace and Sustainability (NERPS) at Hiroshima University in Japan is hosting a series of webinars on the relationship between peace and sustainability in the context of environmental, socio-political, economic, and technological transformations. This series is situated within the urgent need to deal with the implications of global change, including the COVID-19 pandemic, for peace and sustainability. The webinar sessions serve as a platform for rethinking and updating the current discourse on peace and sustainability amidst these global challenges and transformations. Leading experts will discuss the role of resources, digital technologies, migration, governance, and education in peacebuilding, conflict mitigation, humanitarian aid, and capacity-building, among other components that contribute to the achievement of the Sustainability Development Goals, particularly that of Goal 16 on Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions.