We're a social enterprise that amplifies citizen participation in peace through technology, arts, and research.

PROGRAM AREAS

We work with civic activists, peacebuilders and authorities to identify and apply innovative practices that help them achieve their missions.

Embedding technology in peacebuilding programs

We believe there is great power in democratising technology design. That’s why we work with peacebuilders who want to introduce technology to their programs, from user-centered design, to selecting and managing a developer, to developing and deploying a prototype.

Participatory research for peacebuilding

Community-owned research is a powerful way to develop knowledge networks and structures to support peacebuilding and policy-making processes. We work with organizations that engage in participatory research using a range of qualitative, quantitative & mixed methods.

Community arts for peacebuilding

Arts-based approaches allow peacebuilders to challenge and transform prevalent narratives and identities. We design and facilitate community arts interventions that support reconciliation, national consultations, trauma healing, and trust-building.

Strategic communications for peacebuilders

Whether it’s using social media effectively, setting up an SMS broadcast system, training community filmmakers or designing a peace game, we help peacebuilders identify and implement effective communication strategies for their programs.

We organize Build Peace, a conference that brings together practitioners, activists, artists and technologists from around the world to share experience and ideas on using technology, arts and research for peacebuilding and conflict transformation.

We support innovative, local peacebuilders.

DISCOVER THE BUILD PEACE FELLOWS

The Build Peace Fellows program supports exceptional individuals who want to work at the intersection of peacebuilding, arts, research and technology.

Over one year, the Build Peace Fellows program helps an individual take an innovative peacebuilding intervention from idea to implementation.

Fellowships are awarded through a competitive process in which applicants present a peacebuilding project that they want to develop through the fellowship.

FIND OUT MORE.

  • MENTORSHIP

    Each Fellow is assigned a lead mentor from Build Up who accompanies the project, and four external mentors.

  • TRAINING

    Fellows receive training on participatory methodologies, conflict sensitivity, and user-centered design.

  • GRANT FUNDING

    Fellows receive a grant to cover implementation costs of their intervention up to 10,000 EUR.

  • TECHNICAL SUPPORT

    Build Up works with partners to deliver a working tech prototype and / or provide technical support.

MEET THE TEAM

The Build Up team all have upwards of 10 years of experience in the fields of development, peacebuilding, public policy, media and marketing. We bring together our diverse skills - mediation, negotiation, facilitation, filmmaking, design, coding, data analysis, metal-work, graphic recording and more - to re-think how to build peace.
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Michaela Ledesma

Programs Director
Michaela has more than 16 years of experience supporting the design and implementation of innovative, locally-owned peacebuilding initiatives. A trained mediator, she is passionate about creating & facilitating processes that enable diverse groups to collaborate towards positive change.
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Helena Puig Larrauri

Managing Director
Helena is a peacebuilding practitioner focusing on innovation design and tech-enabled programs. She has worked in Sudan, South Sudan, Central African Republic, Thailand, Libya, Cyprus, Zimbabwe, Nepal, Somalia and Iraq. Helena is on the Board of International Alert and Elva Community Engagement.
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Jen Gaskell

Research Director
Jen is a researcher, facilitator and peacebuilding practitioner, focusing on participatory & mixed methods research, with experience in Syria, Burundi, Cyprus and the Somali region. She has also worked on communication and multi-stakeholder change processes across a range of sectors.
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Jerry McCann

Senior Advisor
Jerry has spent the last 30 years honing his skills as a change agent, from structural engineering in the USA to international peacebuilding around the world. Throughout, Jerry has supported positive change processes, with a deep-seated commitment to and belief in locally-driven, locally-owned solutions.
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Jacob Lefton

Communications & Project Manager
Jacob is craftsperson with a decade of experience in arts, writing, education, and community engagement. His varied work has included metalsmithing, film, animation, and interactive installation, as well as youth writing workshops, educational policy, game design, and social circus.
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Maude Morrison

Program Manager
Maude is a peacebuilding practitioner based in Beirut, Lebanon. Prior to her work with Build Up, Maude worked in Myanmar, managing a conflict monitoring program focusing on religious tensions.
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Sanjana Hattotuwa

Build Peace Advisor
Sanjana is a Senior Researcher at the Centre for Policy Alternatives, Special Advisor at the ICT4Peace Foundation, Founding Editor of Groundviews, Fellow of the Centre for Information Technology and Dispute Resolution at the University of Massachusetts, TED Fellow and Ashoka Fellow.
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Rodrigo Davies

Co-founder + Advisor
Rodrigo is a civic technologist and researcher whose work focuses on designing, building and analyzing tools that widen and deepen participation. Rodrigo is currently the Head of Product at Neighborly, a civic startup based in San Francisco working on municipal bonds.
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Mia Bittar

Associate
Mia is a filmmaker based in Sudan. She has produced broadcast documentaries (for Witness and AlJazeera), short-form documentaries (for UNICEF, USAID, UNDP), news stories, TV commercials and promotional films. Mia has also trained filmmakers and facilitated a participatory video process.
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Claudia Meier

Associate
Claudia is a peacebuilder and humanitarian with a passion for process facilitation, photography, and graphic recording. She currently advises on humanitarian action at the Global Public Policy Institute (GPPi). Prior to that, she managed Interpeaceā€™s programs in Burundi and Rwanda.
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Julie Hawke

Associate
Julie is a peacebuilding practitioner with a focus on youth, education, e-learning, and virtual exchanges. She has worked on peacebuilding projects in Morocco and Tunisia, engaging youth in the use of media for advocacy and social change.
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Kate Mytty

Associate
Kate is a community builder who specialises in book publishing, shaping ideas, building meaningful stories, and connecting people with ideas and ideas with people.
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Zeina Aboul-Hosn

Associate
Zeina is a documentary filmmaker and writer based in Beirut. Her work focuses on issues of culture, identity, rights, and peacebuilding. She has worked with news broadcasters, and regional & international organisations. When not making films or writing, she can be found at her pottery wheel.

Our "Peacetech 101" training course provides a practical introduction to innovation and technology for peacebuilders.

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