At PeaceTech Lab Netherlands, media, data and tech convene to build new instruments for international security, development and collaboration.
We accelerate the development of these new tools and stimulate faster distribution. We engage people in early warning, early response and collaborative problem-solving in the areas of humanitarian and development aid. Finding new solutions defuses sources of tension and turns them into drivers for positive change.
Water and food security are two of the main focus areas for PeaceTech Lab NL. A rapidly growing world population – expected to be well above nine billion in the next three decades – throws up huge challenges when it comes to access to food and water.
At the same time, technology and digitalization can be powerful drivers of positive change. PeaceTech Lab NL focuses on harnessing these drivers for change to find new solutions to tackle these global challenges.
We also focus on media. Ever-present smartphones and internet access means that it is
no longer just corporations and state-controlled organizations who are influencers.
By using advanced techniques we provide insights into human dynamics and sentiment as shared on social networking sites, like Twitter and Facebook. This analysis is available more rapidly and profoundly than ever before and can be used to help maintain peace and prevent conflict.
The coming together of tech, media and data is producing a transformation in international development, collaboration and peacebuilding. PeaceTech Lab NL is at the heart of this coming together.
VISION AND STRATEGY
We believe in a lively exchange of innovative solutions based on the intensified use of tech, media and data to meet international security and development challenges, especially in the areas of food, water and health.
Our strategy is to facilitate that exchange by offering online and offline opportunities to find the most effective solutions.
PeaceTech Lab NL is initiated by Benjamin Dalmulder, digital analyst and Robert Zaal, media executive. During their years at RNW Media they met many talented young people who deserve our support in making their societies more honest, sustainable and prosperous. Dalmulder and Zaal believe Dutch companies and public organizations have a lot to offer in the areas of water safety, food security and health. These organisations can, in turn, profit from connecting to these talented people and the skills and networks they have. That’s why they founded PeaceTech Lab NL, in close collaboration with the Washington DC-based PeaceTech Lab USA, an initiative of the United States Institute of Peace.
Benjamin is our Chief Technology Officer. He is digital native, specialized in data analysis. You can wake him up for a nice game of analysis any time. This is his Linkedin profile.
PeaceTech Lab NL works at the intersection of technology, media and data to devise new instruments for international security, development and collaboration around the world. We deliver this mandate through three core functions.
The PeaceTech Lab NL is a convenor, facilitating innovation by bringing together Lab staff, experts on development from the global south and technology and media professionals.
The Lab is a center of expertise and a builder, home to cross disciplinary teams building innovative applications and platforms.
PTL NL inspires change in attitudes and behavior. People of different backgrounds, disciplines and skills inspire each other and PTL brings them together.
Peacetech is a new industry that brings together engineers and activists, MBAs and conflict experts, social scientists and data scientists to design, develop and adapt new solutions to strive for peace and support international collaboration and development. Technology can be used as a tool to mobilize people for positive change and to create spaces for discussions. Peacetech can accelerate the development of solutions, distribute them faster, and engage more people in generating ideas and collaborative problem-solving.
For example, virtual reality (VR) has been used to generate empathy by creating brief but powerful immersive experiences, allowing the user to internalize a message. Analytics have been used in the field to assess cognitive, emotional, and behavioral dimensions related to conflict, providing new information and data visualization for decision makers. And social platforms, such as Skype, have been used to connect people worldwide with tutors to teach new languages, while providing empowering work opportunities to refugees.
The United States Institute of Peace, center for conflict resolution, created PeaceTech Lab to prevent violent conflict and promote secure and peaceful societies through the use of data, technology and media. The Lab was founded in 2014 and works for individuals and communities affected by conflict, using technology, media and data to accelerate local peacebuilding efforts. An independent nonprofit organization, the Lab’s mission is to inspire a new industry of peacetech entrepreneurs by bringing together engineers and activists, MBAs and conflict experts, social scientists and data scientists to design, develop and adapt new solutions to counter age-old drivers of conflict.
Prominent partners of PeaceTech Lab USA are Amazon Web Services, IBM, Drexell University, M.I.T University, Facebook, C5 Capital, Channels TV Nigeria, Hum TV Pakistan and numerous others.
PeaceTech Lab is building a worldwide network of Labs to make sure that local knowledge is used and implementation partners are connected. At present PeaceTech Labs are established in Nairobi, Kenya and Lagos, Nigeria. And The Netherlands.
Pim is the Chairman of our Board. He has numerous years experience with Dutch news media .
Marcel is the Board’s Secretary. After 15 years working at Randstad, Marcel is now involved in several projects in Africa, including in Ghana where he is a New Business Development Mentor.
Nancy is our third board member. She is Chief Operating Officer of PeaceTech Lab US, the sister organisation of the PeaceTech Lab Netherlands.
The members of our board do not receive a salary. The members receive an allowance for expenses made within reason.
PeaceTech Exchanges (PTXs). PTXs are mentorship workshops organized to increase the media, data and technology skills of civil society and/or government leaders. PeaceTech Lab NL aims to organize PTX’s in the MENA- and Sub Saharan African regions. Click here to watch a youtube video of a recent PeaceTech Exchange in Kabul.
GroundTruth. The GroundTruth Project of our US Lab colleagues provides early warning of business and security risk due to volatility in fragile states. GroundTruth integrates information from a variety of sources, resulting in dynamic, locally-sourced risk indicators that are used to predict operational disruptions and security threats. The platform combines advanced AI technology, human expertise, and innovations in local data collection from all around the globe and in many walks of life to produce a unique solution for organizations operating in emerging economies.
Signalling. Through content scraping (for example on Twitter and other social media), PeaceTech Lab NL can monitor and track important metrics; what is being said online, how often this is being said and whether there is an increase or decrease in conflict inducing texts.
PeaceTech Summit. During the PeaceTech Summit we explore the relationship between existing companies and emergent peace tech, test possible funding mechanisms, identify what works best to extinguish violent conflict, and chart the way forward for a PeaceTech industry. Visionary pioneers from multiple sectors discuss how enterprises can tackle drivers of violent conflict to create a high-impact peace tech industry. Read a summary of the 2016 Summit here. PeaceTech Summit 2018 will take place on May 8 and 9 in Washington DC. Register here.
The Netherlands PeaceTech Lab collaborates closely with the US PeaceTech Lab through joint programs and activities, branding and staff exchange. The Hague Municipality is a partner for the Lab, facilitating the actual start through co-financing the initial costs, promoting the Lab and sharing its contacts in the international community. A third partner is Rabobank, a valuable addition as a major player in the agricultural sector with a substantive CSR-tradition and portfolio.