September 30, 2020

Technology’s role in advancing peace initiatives

From peace hashtags, to peace dialogues via social media, this dialogue will shed light on the power of technology to advance peace initiatives.

September 30, 2020

Technology’s role in advancing peace initiatives

Keep me up to date
From peace hashtags, to peace dialogues via social media, this dialogue will shed light on the power of technology to advance peace initiatives.

On 30 September, DPPA and Shared Studios organized the second session of the “Talking Peace” series. In this conversation, a selected group of innovators, technologists, and community leaders from Afghanistan, Iraq, and Rwanda came together to discuss the power of technology to build peace. The conversation highlighted the potential of utilizing technology, including social media, Virtual Reality and gamification, to educate and inspire communities to challenge ingrained ways of thinking. Discussing an online game with an Afghan woman superhero, or podcast episodes that highlight inspirational Rwandan community role models, the innovators shared ideas of how technology can help advance storytelling to foster peace.

Inspiring Afghan girls through coding and gaming

Fereshteh Forough, the founder of Code to Inspire, the first computer coding school for girls in Afghanistan, discussed the importance of investing in women’s education in order to build peace. Fereshteh spoke about Code to Inspire’s game design class that created a game with an Afghan woman superhero who wears traditional Afghan clothes and saves her parents from being captured:

“The purpose of that game was to tell people that if you provide equal resources, especially for women, their capabilities are the same as men.” Fereshteh said. “Most importantly, we wanted to create role models for women to help them understand that they can be superheroes too. This also changes the perspective of the community that women also can be decision makers.”

Leveraging crowdsourced stories and creative technology to build peace in Rwanda

Marc Gwamaka, Rwandan peace activist, educator, and community leader, created a digital peace learning platform called Ubumuntu that provides peace education resources to teachers and students to train their communities. In order to create those materials, Marc leverages unique tools of crowdsourced storytelling combined with technology. This content is then used in creative ways to reach populations.

“One of the biggest issues is that peacebuilders don’t have content to use in their journey to train others,” Marc emphasized. “We create those materials that can be used anywhere in the world because peace is universal.”

Self-taught iOS developer forging impact in Iraq

Husam is a software and app developer, currently working on an app that will provide virtual tours of Iraqi heritage sites that have been destroyed by ISIS. Through his app, he is building connections between people and places while helping preserve their cultural heritage. He has also built popular apps that help empower visually impaired and elderly populations in Iraq and across the Middle East to create equitable access to services such as mobile banking.

“Let's stop complaining. Let's start learning,” Husam shared. “All you need is the internet and your computer. Start learning development, design, anything. Let's tell the world that we can share high quality content and send peace messages through it.”


A trivia app building peace across the political spectrum in Afghanistan

Sher Shah is a young Afghan entrepreneur who has pioneered many tech ventures in Afghanistan. He created the Geneva App, an application that teaches peace curriculum through trivia. The app, that reaches 500,000 - 600,000 people monthly, was meticulously created to speak neutrally to Afghans across the political spectrum.

“Afghanistan has a lot of ethnic groups. It doesn't take much to divide communities, but it takes a lot to actually bond them,” Sher highlighted. “We’ve been trying to leverage social media to bring communities together and promote messages of peace and neutrality. Through Geneva App, we’ve been promoting peace messages in all three languages with different scenarios representing real life events. We’re trying to educate people, while being neutral, not targeting one ethnic group or side of a conflict.”


Fereshteh Forough

Fereshteh Forough was born a refugee in Iran after her family fled Afghanistan because of the Soviet invasion. Despite the family’s circumstances, Fereshteh earned her Bachelor’s in Computer Science at Herat University, her Master’s from Technical University of Berlin in Germany, and eventually became a faculty member back at Herat University. In 2015, she established Code to Inspire, the first computer coding school for girls in Afghanistan. Leading all aspects of operations and fundraising remotely, CTI has educated more than 200 students so far in coding and graphic design classes. Fereshteh remains focused on a vision of a future for her homeland where young women play a prominent role in society.
Afghanistan

Fereshteh Forough

Fereshteh Forough was born a refugee in Iran after her family fled Afghanistan because of the Soviet invasion. Despite the family’s circumstances, Fereshteh earned her Bachelor’s in Computer Science at Herat University, her Master’s from Technical University of Berlin in Germany, and eventually became a faculty member back at Herat University. In 2015, she established Code to Inspire, the first computer coding school for girls in Afghanistan. Leading all aspects of operations and fundraising remotely, CTI has educated more than 200 students so far in coding and graphic design classes. Fereshteh remains focused on a vision of a future for her homeland where young women play a prominent role in society.
Afghanistan

Fereshteh Forough

Fereshteh Forough was born a refugee in Iran after her family fled Afghanistan because of the Soviet invasion. Despite the family’s circumstances, Fereshteh earned her Bachelor’s in Computer Science at Herat University, her Master’s from Technical University of Berlin in Germany, and eventually became a faculty member back at Herat University. In 2015, she established Code to Inspire, the first computer coding school for girls in Afghanistan. Leading all aspects of operations and fundraising remotely, CTI has educated more than 200 students so far in coding and graphic design classes. Fereshteh remains focused on a vision of a future for her homeland where young women play a prominent role in society.
Afghanistan

Fereshteh Forough

Fereshteh Forough was born a refugee in Iran after her family fled Afghanistan because of the Soviet invasion. Despite the family’s circumstances, Fereshteh earned her Bachelor’s in Computer Science at Herat University, her Master’s from Technical University of Berlin in Germany, and eventually became a faculty member back at Herat University. In 2015, she established Code to Inspire, the first computer coding school for girls in Afghanistan. Leading all aspects of operations and fundraising remotely, CTI has educated more than 200 students so far in coding and graphic design classes. Fereshteh remains focused on a vision of a future for her homeland where young women play a prominent role in society.
Afghanistan

Fereshteh Forough

Fereshteh Forough was born a refugee in Iran after her family fled Afghanistan because of the Soviet invasion. Despite the family’s circumstances, Fereshteh earned her Bachelor’s in Computer Science at Herat University, her Master’s from Technical University of Berlin in Germany, and eventually became a faculty member back at Herat University. In 2015, she established Code to Inspire, the first computer coding school for girls in Afghanistan. Leading all aspects of operations and fundraising remotely, CTI has educated more than 200 students so far in coding and graphic design classes. Fereshteh remains focused on a vision of a future for her homeland where young women play a prominent role in society.
Afghanistan

Fereshteh Forough

Fereshteh Forough was born a refugee in Iran after her family fled Afghanistan because of the Soviet invasion. Despite the family’s circumstances, Fereshteh earned her Bachelor’s in Computer Science at Herat University, her Master’s from Technical University of Berlin in Germany, and eventually became a faculty member back at Herat University. In 2015, she established Code to Inspire, the first computer coding school for girls in Afghanistan. Leading all aspects of operations and fundraising remotely, CTI has educated more than 200 students so far in coding and graphic design classes. Fereshteh remains focused on a vision of a future for her homeland where young women play a prominent role in society.
Afghanistan

Sher Shah Rahim

Sher Shah Rahim is a young Afghan entrepreneur who has pioneered small and big ventures in the country. Some of his work includes million-dollar products such as: WasalPay, CoWorthy, ZMTCoin (the first cryptocurrency in Afghanistan) AfghaNet, and many more. Sher Shah is also a jury at the World Summit Awards (UNDP) where he helps leverage technology to achieve the SDGs, and a mentor at the UNDP innovation lab where he helps young entrepreneurs flourish around the world through online mentorship. Sher Shah’s company has built an app in partnership with Geneva Call that uses trivia to teach peace curriculum. He has also been an inspiring speaker at TED, Internet Governance Forum, Google Developers Group, the Rotary Club and many more places. He is currently the President at Intellectual Applications and Products.
Afghanistan

Sher Shah Rahim

Sher Shah Rahim is a young Afghan entrepreneur who has pioneered small and big ventures in the country. Some of his work includes million-dollar products such as: WasalPay, CoWorthy, ZMTCoin (the first cryptocurrency in Afghanistan) AfghaNet, and many more. Sher Shah is also a jury at the World Summit Awards (UNDP) where he helps leverage technology to achieve the SDGs, and a mentor at the UNDP innovation lab where he helps young entrepreneurs flourish around the world through online mentorship. Sher Shah’s company has built an app in partnership with Geneva Call that uses trivia to teach peace curriculum. He has also been an inspiring speaker at TED, Internet Governance Forum, Google Developers Group, the Rotary Club and many more places. He is currently the President at Intellectual Applications and Products.
Afghanistan

Sher Shah Rahim

Sher Shah Rahim is a young Afghan entrepreneur who has pioneered small and big ventures in the country. Some of his work includes million-dollar products such as: WasalPay, CoWorthy, ZMTCoin (the first cryptocurrency in Afghanistan) AfghaNet, and many more. Sher Shah is also a jury at the World Summit Awards (UNDP) where he helps leverage technology to achieve the SDGs, and a mentor at the UNDP innovation lab where he helps young entrepreneurs flourish around the world through online mentorship. Sher Shah’s company has built an app in partnership with Geneva Call that uses trivia to teach peace curriculum. He has also been an inspiring speaker at TED, Internet Governance Forum, Google Developers Group, the Rotary Club and many more places. He is currently the President at Intellectual Applications and Products.
Afghanistan

Sher Shah Rahim

Sher Shah Rahim is a young Afghan entrepreneur who has pioneered small and big ventures in the country. Some of his work includes million-dollar products such as: WasalPay, CoWorthy, ZMTCoin (the first cryptocurrency in Afghanistan) AfghaNet, and many more. Sher Shah is also a jury at the World Summit Awards (UNDP) where he helps leverage technology to achieve the SDGs, and a mentor at the UNDP innovation lab where he helps young entrepreneurs flourish around the world through online mentorship. Sher Shah’s company has built an app in partnership with Geneva Call that uses trivia to teach peace curriculum. He has also been an inspiring speaker at TED, Internet Governance Forum, Google Developers Group, the Rotary Club and many more places. He is currently the President at Intellectual Applications and Products.
Afghanistan

Sher Shah Rahim

Sher Shah Rahim is a young Afghan entrepreneur who has pioneered small and big ventures in the country. Some of his work includes million-dollar products such as: WasalPay, CoWorthy, ZMTCoin (the first cryptocurrency in Afghanistan) AfghaNet, and many more. Sher Shah is also a jury at the World Summit Awards (UNDP) where he helps leverage technology to achieve the SDGs, and a mentor at the UNDP innovation lab where he helps young entrepreneurs flourish around the world through online mentorship. Sher Shah’s company has built an app in partnership with Geneva Call that uses trivia to teach peace curriculum. He has also been an inspiring speaker at TED, Internet Governance Forum, Google Developers Group, the Rotary Club and many more places. He is currently the President at Intellectual Applications and Products.
Afghanistan

Sher Shah Rahim

Sher Shah Rahim is a young Afghan entrepreneur who has pioneered small and big ventures in the country. Some of his work includes million-dollar products such as: WasalPay, CoWorthy, ZMTCoin (the first cryptocurrency in Afghanistan) AfghaNet, and many more. Sher Shah is also a jury at the World Summit Awards (UNDP) where he helps leverage technology to achieve the SDGs, and a mentor at the UNDP innovation lab where he helps young entrepreneurs flourish around the world through online mentorship. Sher Shah’s company has built an app in partnership with Geneva Call that uses trivia to teach peace curriculum. He has also been an inspiring speaker at TED, Internet Governance Forum, Google Developers Group, the Rotary Club and many more places. He is currently the President at Intellectual Applications and Products.
Afghanistan

Husam Aamer

Husam Aamer is a self-taught software and app developer and petroleum engineer based in Baghdad. Originally from Mosul, he left his hometown following the ISIS invasion. He is currently working on an app that will provide virtual tours of Iraqi heritage sites that have been destroyed by ISIS. Through his app, he is building connections between people and places while helping preserve their cultural heritage. He has also built popular apps that help empower visually impaired and elderly populations in Iraq and across the Middle East to create equitable access to services such as mobile banking.
Iraq

Husam Aamer

Husam Aamer is a self-taught software and app developer and petroleum engineer based in Baghdad. Originally from Mosul, he left his hometown following the ISIS invasion. He is currently working on an app that will provide virtual tours of Iraqi heritage sites that have been destroyed by ISIS. Through his app, he is building connections between people and places while helping preserve their cultural heritage. He has also built popular apps that help empower visually impaired and elderly populations in Iraq and across the Middle East to create equitable access to services such as mobile banking.
Iraq

Husam Aamer

Husam Aamer is a self-taught software and app developer and petroleum engineer based in Baghdad. Originally from Mosul, he left his hometown following the ISIS invasion. He is currently working on an app that will provide virtual tours of Iraqi heritage sites that have been destroyed by ISIS. Through his app, he is building connections between people and places while helping preserve their cultural heritage. He has also built popular apps that help empower visually impaired and elderly populations in Iraq and across the Middle East to create equitable access to services such as mobile banking.
Iraq

Husam Aamer

Husam Aamer is a self-taught software and app developer and petroleum engineer based in Baghdad. Originally from Mosul, he left his hometown following the ISIS invasion. He is currently working on an app that will provide virtual tours of Iraqi heritage sites that have been destroyed by ISIS. Through his app, he is building connections between people and places while helping preserve their cultural heritage. He has also built popular apps that help empower visually impaired and elderly populations in Iraq and across the Middle East to create equitable access to services such as mobile banking.
Iraq

Husam Aamer

Husam Aamer is a self-taught software and app developer and petroleum engineer based in Baghdad. Originally from Mosul, he left his hometown following the ISIS invasion. He is currently working on an app that will provide virtual tours of Iraqi heritage sites that have been destroyed by ISIS. Through his app, he is building connections between people and places while helping preserve their cultural heritage. He has also built popular apps that help empower visually impaired and elderly populations in Iraq and across the Middle East to create equitable access to services such as mobile banking.
Iraq

Husam Aamer

Husam Aamer is a self-taught software and app developer and petroleum engineer based in Baghdad. Originally from Mosul, he left his hometown following the ISIS invasion. He is currently working on an app that will provide virtual tours of Iraqi heritage sites that have been destroyed by ISIS. Through his app, he is building connections between people and places while helping preserve their cultural heritage. He has also built popular apps that help empower visually impaired and elderly populations in Iraq and across the Middle East to create equitable access to services such as mobile banking.
Iraq

Marc J. Gwamaka

Marc J. Gwamaka is one of the co-founders of Peace and Love Proclaimers (PLP) “Youth for Change,” a dynamic peace-building youth organization and he is the initiator of ‘Walk to Remember’ a well-known international education programme used to educate and mobilize youth from all over the world to fight against Genocide. This event has seen heads of states and normal citizens walk together to commemorate the genocide against the Tutsi of 1994. In addition to his work with Peace and Love Proclaimers, Gwamaka has acted in various feature films including HBOs Sometimes in April and Kinyarwanda. Gwamaka is responsible for the day-to-day national youth leadership programmes for Aegis Trust in Rwanda. He developed the youth champions and youth ambassadors’ program which has seen him train over 1427 youth in Rwanda, South Sudan, Kenya and Central African Republic.
Rwanda

Marc J. Gwamaka

Marc J. Gwamaka is one of the co-founders of Peace and Love Proclaimers (PLP) “Youth for Change,” a dynamic peace-building youth organization and he is the initiator of ‘Walk to Remember’ a well-known international education programme used to educate and mobilize youth from all over the world to fight against Genocide. This event has seen heads of states and normal citizens walk together to commemorate the genocide against the Tutsi of 1994. In addition to his work with Peace and Love Proclaimers, Gwamaka has acted in various feature films including HBOs Sometimes in April and Kinyarwanda. Gwamaka is responsible for the day-to-day national youth leadership programmes for Aegis Trust in Rwanda. He developed the youth champions and youth ambassadors’ program which has seen him train over 1427 youth in Rwanda, South Sudan, Kenya and Central African Republic.
Rwanda

Marc J. Gwamaka

Marc J. Gwamaka is one of the co-founders of Peace and Love Proclaimers (PLP) “Youth for Change,” a dynamic peace-building youth organization and he is the initiator of ‘Walk to Remember’ a well-known international education programme used to educate and mobilize youth from all over the world to fight against Genocide. This event has seen heads of states and normal citizens walk together to commemorate the genocide against the Tutsi of 1994. In addition to his work with Peace and Love Proclaimers, Gwamaka has acted in various feature films including HBOs Sometimes in April and Kinyarwanda. Gwamaka is responsible for the day-to-day national youth leadership programmes for Aegis Trust in Rwanda. He developed the youth champions and youth ambassadors’ program which has seen him train over 1427 youth in Rwanda, South Sudan, Kenya and Central African Republic.
Rwanda

Marc J. Gwamaka

Marc J. Gwamaka is one of the co-founders of Peace and Love Proclaimers (PLP) “Youth for Change,” a dynamic peace-building youth organization and he is the initiator of ‘Walk to Remember’ a well-known international education programme used to educate and mobilize youth from all over the world to fight against Genocide. This event has seen heads of states and normal citizens walk together to commemorate the genocide against the Tutsi of 1994. In addition to his work with Peace and Love Proclaimers, Gwamaka has acted in various feature films including HBOs Sometimes in April and Kinyarwanda. Gwamaka is responsible for the day-to-day national youth leadership programmes for Aegis Trust in Rwanda. He developed the youth champions and youth ambassadors’ program which has seen him train over 1427 youth in Rwanda, South Sudan, Kenya and Central African Republic.
Rwanda

Marc J. Gwamaka

Marc J. Gwamaka is one of the co-founders of Peace and Love Proclaimers (PLP) “Youth for Change,” a dynamic peace-building youth organization and he is the initiator of ‘Walk to Remember’ a well-known international education programme used to educate and mobilize youth from all over the world to fight against Genocide. This event has seen heads of states and normal citizens walk together to commemorate the genocide against the Tutsi of 1994. In addition to his work with Peace and Love Proclaimers, Gwamaka has acted in various feature films including HBOs Sometimes in April and Kinyarwanda. Gwamaka is responsible for the day-to-day national youth leadership programmes for Aegis Trust in Rwanda. He developed the youth champions and youth ambassadors’ program which has seen him train over 1427 youth in Rwanda, South Sudan, Kenya and Central African Republic.
Rwanda

Marc J. Gwamaka

Marc J. Gwamaka is one of the co-founders of Peace and Love Proclaimers (PLP) “Youth for Change,” a dynamic peace-building youth organization and he is the initiator of ‘Walk to Remember’ a well-known international education programme used to educate and mobilize youth from all over the world to fight against Genocide. This event has seen heads of states and normal citizens walk together to commemorate the genocide against the Tutsi of 1994. In addition to his work with Peace and Love Proclaimers, Gwamaka has acted in various feature films including HBOs Sometimes in April and Kinyarwanda. Gwamaka is responsible for the day-to-day national youth leadership programmes for Aegis Trust in Rwanda. He developed the youth champions and youth ambassadors’ program which has seen him train over 1427 youth in Rwanda, South Sudan, Kenya and Central African Republic.
Rwanda

Talking peace events

Talking peace events

Afghanistan ::: Bolivia ::: Iraq ::: Rwanda ::: Afghanistan ::: Bolivia

Keep me up to date

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