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New Technology for Conflict Prevention

#sxsw #tech4peace


For decades, conflict prevention practitioners have searched for creative ways to bring about human connections that bridge opposed positions. Public information campaigns, reconciliation conferences and exchanges between groups all provide the reflective space for alternative narratives.
As online and mobile connectivity increases, new ways to connect people and build social cohesion are emerging. Peace messages delivered via SMS can have a wider and more timely reach. Reconciliation conferences can be supplemented with online collaborative formulation of peace agreements, drawing on one-texting practices. Exchange visits can be augmented by online interactions, building on existing social networks. Platforms for collaborative design and funding of community projects can be used to identify and deliver “peace dividends.”
This panel will explore how peacebuilding practitioners leverage new technologies to create virtual adaptations of traditional conflict prevention activities.



Anne Kahl Programme Specialist, Conflict Prevention United Nations Development Programme

Anne Kahl is Conflict Prevention Specialist with the Conflict Prevention Group, Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery of the UN Development Programme (UNDP). Her work with Conflict Prevention focuses on building national and local capacities, as part of development assistance, for the prevention and resolution of violent conflict or potentially violent tensions, and for the constructive management of diversity or rapid change. She also works on how to integrate technology 2.0 in collaborative prevention and immediate response mechanisms.
Prior to joining BCPR in 2010, Anne was working at the UNDP Country Office in Lebanon as Special Assistant to the UNDP Resident Representative/UN Resident Coordinator, where she was supporting UN inter-agency coordination and liaising with the political mission in addition to initiating and developing the UNDP LIVE LEBANON initiative aiming at engaging the Lebanese diaspora in support of local development projects in Lebanon. Anne has previously been Middle East Director for the Danish NGO GAM3, working on conflict prevention through sports, and has been working with the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs at the Department for the Middle East and North Africa. Anne has a MA in Political Science from the University of Copenhagen and has professional training on conflict analysis, peace building, international humanitarian law and humanitarian assistance.

Helena Puig Larrauri Peacebuilding Consultant Change Assembly

Helena Puig Larrauri is a peacebuilding practitioner, with experience in the use of technology for conflict prevention. She served as peacebuilding specialist and analyst at UNDP Sudan until 2012, working with communities to identify conflict perceptions and build local capacities for peace. She is currently a freelance consultant, working on projects for UNDP, the International Peace Institute, the Open Society Institute, the Sudanese Development Initiative, Mercy Corps and others. In 2010 she co-founded the Standby Task Force, an online volunteer technical community for crisis response. Prior to 2007, Helena worked as a project manager for the Mayor of London and as a risk manager for Standard Chartered Bank.

Helena holds a Master in Public Affairs (Economics) from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School and a Bachelor’s degree from Oxford University (where she also served as Student Union president for one year).

Margarita Quihuis Dir, Stanford Peace Innovation Lab Stanford Peace Innovation Lab

social entrepreneur and mentor capitalist, Margarita Quihuis’s career has focused on innovation, technology incubation, access to capital and entrepreneurship. Her accomplishments include directorship of Astia (formerly known as the Women’s Technology Cluster), a technology incubator focused on women entrepreneurs where her portfolio companies raised $67 million in venture funding, venture capitalist, Reuters Fellow at Stanford, and Director of RI Labs for Ricoh Innovations. She is a member of the research team at Stanford’s Persuasive Technology Lab and directs the Stanford Peace Innovation Lab where she conducts research in Innovation, mass collaboration, persuasive technology & the potential of social networks to change society for the better.

As Director of RI Labs for Ricoh Innovations, Inc. she oversaw research efforts centered around discovering market opportunities from generational behavior (Millenials), cloud and mobile computing, emerging social technologies, crowdsourcing and open innovation.

Her past efforts include access to development capital through the productive use of remittances in Mexico and developing and advising mobile banking companies that serve the needs of transnational workers and their families. In 2004, Women's eNews named her as one of their '21 Leaders for the 21st Century' and was one of WITI's Women to Watch in 2003. In 2007 she was named 'One of The 100 Most Influential Latinos in Silicon Valley' and received the Maestro Award by Latino Leaders Magazine in 2010.

Ms Quihuis has served as a consultant to the US State Department on entrepreneurship. She has been widely quoted in the Asian Venture Capital Report, NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, US News & World Report, Forbes ASAP, CNN and CBS MarketWatch.

Ms. Quihuis sits on the boards of UnaMesa, Women’s eNews, and the James Burke Institute. She is a past board member of the Forum for Women Entrepreneurs, and was a member of the screening and coaching committees for Springboard.

Patrick Meier Dir of Social Innovation Qatar Computing Research Institute & PeaceTXT

Patrick Meier (PhD) is an internationally recognized thought leader on the application of new technologies for crisis early warning, humanitarian response and resilience. He presently serves as Director of Social Innovation at the Qatar Foundation’s Computing Research Institute (QCRI) where he develops next-generation humanitarian technologies by leveraging Big Data Analytics, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Social Computing.