We're a social enterprise that amplifies citizen participation in peacebuilding 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 other peacebuilding objectives.

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 publish field manuals and research on uses of technology tools and arts methodologies to build peace.

We support innovative, local peacebuilders.

DISCOVER THE BUILD PEACE FELLOWS PROGRAM

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.

INTERESTED? CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT MORE AND LEARN HOW TO APPLY.

  • 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

Co-founder + Co-director
Michaela is a peacebuilding specialist with fourteen years of experience designing and supporting innovative, context-specific projects in conflict and post-conflict environments including Colombia, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Kenya, Sudan, South Sudan, Central African Republic, Timor-Leste, and Uganda.
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Helena Puig Larrauri

Co-founder + Co-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

Co-founder + Co-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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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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Jacob Lefton

Associate
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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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 Interpeace’s programs in Burundi and Rwanda.
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Julie Hawke

Build Peace Team Member
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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Ellada Evangelou

Build Peace Team Member
Ellada is a cultural worker, dramaturg and community organizer, with expertise in Theatre of the Oppressed methodologies. She currently works as a researcher and facilitator at the Cyprus Dialogue Forum.
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Kate Mytty

Build Peace Team Member
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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Natascha González-Pearson

Build Peace Team Member
Natascha strives to nurture people and projects, with special interests in education, youth and peacebuilding.
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Nathalie Bittar

Build Peace Team Member
Nathalie is an interactive consultant with experience in marketing and product management. She is also the director of Blue Nile Lotus yoga studio.

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