Conflict and technology have always been linked. Whether through the automation of weapons or the use of cyberwarfare. We frequently hear how technology causes destruction and devastation. But what if technological innovation could be used to build peace, change attitudes and save lives?
Worldwide, organisations use technology to track violence, map crime and to undertake surveillance. And not only can technology be used as a preventative method, but it can help to rebuild communities and create harmony as well. Last year, one of our partners did just that.
HIVE Pakistan is a social impact organization based in Islamabad. They help to address extremism and marginalization through innovative campaigns and youth mentoring. In November, they received the Nelson Mandela-Graca Machel Innovation prize for their Better Together project.
The project used a compilation of speeches by the founder of Pakistan, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammed Ali Jinnah, who died in 1948. These speeches, still powerful today, promote female empowerment, social cohesion and interfaith harmony. HIVE projected these messages using holograms of the former Pakistani leader, in sixteen locations across the country. Their work connected people from all walks of life, backgrounds, ethnicities and faiths. Over 50,000 people visited the holograms in person and the project reached out to millions of people online.
Syed Ali Abbas Zaidi, Executive Director of HIVE Pakistan upon receiving the award said:
We know that innovation in peacebuilding has the potential to create even greater change. This project, for example, has seen the intersection between creative media, arts and technology as a means to amplify messages of peace. Technology has helped HIVE to reach beyond the confines of any one community to engage and connect with thousands of people.
Peace Direct is proud to work with partners like HIVE. We are inspired by their work to adapt, evolve, and create innovative ways for communities to build peace.