Hacks to build peace

December was a busy month for our #peacehack team, with hackathons in Colombia and the UK.

Our #peacehacks bring together peace practitioners, designers and developers to create new ideas to build peace – and prototype them – within just a few days.

Colombia peacehack group for Build Peace and International Alert

For the first hack, we returned to the Build Peace Conference, which took place at Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá, Colombia. Over 30 peacehackers came together to examine the theme of citizen participation in peace agreements, vital to building lasting peace.

Our teams took on the challenge and developed some excellent peacebuilding ideas, including:

  • A conflict monitoring system for Myanmar
  • A game to explain the mechanism of blockchain
  • A personal testimony platform where citizens can upload and share issues and stories
  • A storytelling app about conflict and peace in different contexts
  • Using social media to monitor gun use

Colombia Build Peace peacehack with International Alert

Connecting artists and peacebuilders

Our judging panel, represented by International Alert, Build Up and Peace Nexus Foundation chose La Panga, a platform that connects creatives and peacebuilders through online matchmaking to create alternative peacebuilding stories. Jerry McCann, Senior Advisor at Build Up, said:

We love how artists are reaching out to technology to expand the way in which they can have impact in their country.

La Panga winners at Build Up Colombia peacehack with International Alert

We would like to thank all the participants for taking part, and to Build Up for their logistical support.

We’d also like to thank the team from Tupale who provided the participants with use of their platform for prototyping.

Design for peace

For the second hack, we returned to London to help facilitate the Design for Peace hackathon at Central Saint Martins, London, organised by LATRA. The first day was an all-day summit where experts in the field shared their experiences around four themes: design innovation, wellbeing, digital education and social entrepreneurship.

Design for Peace hackathon Central St Martins

This was followed by a two-day hack where over 25 designers, architects and creatives developed three solutions, with the chance to win a development prize of €1,000:

  • Project Nisa: curating educational content and community
  • Tatatawar: training ambassadors and sharing knowledge through online plus offline gatherings
  • Folding for the future: extending the lifecycle of objects like tarpaulin and jerry cans, and re-purpose them for wellbeing, growing, etc.

The judges saw a great opportunity for collaboration between Project Nisa and Tatatawar, and so awarded them as joint winners, merging the two projects. The projects will be taken back to the LATRA incubator on Lesvos to start their next stage of development.

Find out more about #peacehack and how we're working with communities to build technology for peace.