We transform conflict in the digital age.

WHAT WE DO

Our approach combines peacebuilding best practices, participatory methodologies and digital technologies to identify and address emergent challenges to peace.

Policy & Research

We develop think-pieces and conduct research to explore opportunities to use digital technologies for peace and emergent challenges to peace related to digital technology.

Peace Innovation

We use digital technologies to build peace: we support peace innovators across the globe, working with local organisations to design and implement technology interventions to peacebuilding processes.

Digital Conflict

We transform conflicts that happen in digital spaces: we conduct research and interventions to address polarization on social and digital media in contexts across the globe.

Participatory Data

We support peacebuilders to produce, analyse and share quantitative and qualitative data. We have adapted two methodologies – participatory video and participatory polling – to the specific needs of peacebuilders.

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OUR VALUES
  • At Build Up, we are honest, open and vulnerable.

    We’re not experts, we value knowledge, we engage in cross and trans disciplinary thinking. We give space to learn, encouragement to grow, and sometimes to err. We work with and support ourselves and others as whole people. We place stewardship, respect, love, peace and non-violence at the heart of our work. And our style is a bit punk: non-hierarchical, diverse and a little bit irreverent.

WHO WE ARE

Build Up is a non-profit with a global team. Our core team brings together diverse skills: mediation, negotiation, facilitation, peacebuilding, marketing, media, filmmaking, design, coding, data analysis, social media, metal-work, graphic recording and more.
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Michaela Ledesma

Director + Co-founder
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

Director + Co-founder
Helena has over a decade of experience advising and supporting UN agencies, multilateral organisations and NGOs working in conflict contexts and polarized environments. She specializes in the integration of digital technology and innovation processes to civic initiatives.
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Maude Morrison

Deputy Director
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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Kate Mytty

Community Transformation Lead
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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Julie Hawke

Dialogue & Learning Lead
Julie draws on years of mediation, facilitation, and youth development experience to enable an increased and diversified group of people to access learning, networking, and intercultural dialogue opportunities through online education and virtual exchange.
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Claudia Meier

Social Cohesion Lead
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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Jacob Lefton

Tech & Design Lead
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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Jerry McCann

Peace Engineer + Board Secretary
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. As well as full team member, Jerry is the Secretary of Build Up’s Board of Advisors.
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Mahmoud Bastati

Program Manager
Mahmoud Bastati is a Syrian activist whose experience covers management, community mobilization, communications and advocacy. He has been involved in youth initiatives, local charities, and local as well as international NGOs.
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Mira El Mawla

Program Manager
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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.
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Simon Safieh

Associate
Simon Safieh is an independent filmmaker, born in Tartous, Syria. He has scripted and directed documentaries for the UN, and worked on his own independent films. He is currently the creative director of Peace Lens.
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Bailee McCune Rasmussen

Online Facilitator
Bailee has spent her last four years receiving an undergraduate degree in Intercultural Peacebuilding at Brigham Young University-Hawai’i. She graduated in June 2019 and is now living in Virginia. She loves working with The Commons as well as doing freelance mediation, and digital marketing work.
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Danny Becker

Online Facilitator
is a Boston-based higher education professional at MIT’s PKG Center for Public Service, where he leads the Center’s civic engagement initiatives and student engagement strategy. Danny is currently pursuing a Master of Social Work degree from Boston University.
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Monique Mullenaux

Online Facilitator
Monique is a conflict resolution professional focusing on legal alternative dispute resolution. Her work includes domestic, contract, and community mediation and training.
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Michelle Johnson Blimes

Online Facilitator
Michelle is a university instructor and peacebuilding facilitator based in Hawaii. She currently teaches courses to help domestic and international students adapt to university life and is a facilitator for The Commons Project and the David O. McKay Center for Intercultural Understanding.
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Diana Dajer

Board Chair
Diana is a PhD candidate of Socio-Legal Studies at the University of Oxford, a Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship Research for Action Awardee, and the director and founder of Policentrico.
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Rodrigo Davies

Board Treasurer + Co-founder
Rodrigo is a civic technologist and researcher whose work focuses on designing, building and analyzing tools that widen and deepen participation. Rodrigo is the Treasurer of Build Up’s Board of Advisors.
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Sanjana Hattotuwa

Board Member
Sanjana is a Senior Researcher at the Centre for Policy Alternatives, Special Advisor at the ICT4Peace Foundation, Founding Editor of Groundviews, TED Fellow and Ashoka Fellow. Sanjana sits on Build Up’s Board of Advisors.
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Chip Hauss

Board Member
Chip is a professional peacebuilder with a focus on systems and wicked problems after years as an academic.
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Leah Jones

Board Member
Leah is a technologist based in San Francisco. Until recently, she was a Director of Engineering at Slack.

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