PEACE(tech) IN PRACTICE
Last night, April 27th 2017, marked the launch of The PeaceTech Accelerator program at the iconic United States Institute of Peace.
The digital age has spawned a whole array of tech-based accelerators across finance, music, sustainability, transport etc. but the time couldn’t be more ripe for an accelerator whose sole purpose is the application of technology for peace.
Backed by C5, PeaceTech Labs, and Amazon Web Services, the accelerator launched with five inaugural start-ups in the for-profit and not-for-profit space, innovating for a more peaceful world. We were extremely proud to be one of them.
One of the overriding themes of the evening, and as emphasized by Andre Pienaar (C5), Sheldon Himelfarb (CEO and President of PeaceTech Lab) and Vint Serf (Chief Internet Evangelist) himself, was the effective application of technology to not only react to conflict and crises but to also proactively prevent, promote and inspire sustainable peace.
What does the practical application of technology for peace look like? In this specific instance, it’s improving education and literacy through an interactive storytelling platform (The Global Sleepover); connecting people in developing worlds through affordable, curated music streaming (Nichstreem); literal peace-building through the art of gaming (Junub Games); crowd- sourcing (or "crowd-guarding") to prevent sexual and gender based violence (Crowdguard); scaling local community and fostering a worldwide sense of belonging through more sociable media. (Wistla)
I haven’t been to many accelerators but I imagine the atmosphere in the competitively ruthless, die-hard walls of most are quite contrary to the collaborative, positive-sum- game nature of this inaugural cohort - coming together with the shared goal to learn and accelerate practical applications for a more peaceful world.
Lexi, Nur, George and Julia keeping the peace