Build Up recognises and catalyses better local peacebuilding through innovation.

WHAT WE DO

Policy & Research

We develop think-pieces and conduct research to explore what innovation can bring to peacebuilding.

Working with Innovators

Through our Fellows programs, we support local peacebuilders to lead the design and implementation of innovations in their communities.

Implementing Innovation

We directly implement a handful of innovative peacebuilding projects in two focus areas: participatory video and depolarization on social media.

Community of Practice

We convene Build Peace, the leading global conference on peacebuilding and innovation, which convenes 300+ practitioners and thinkers annually.

We organize Build Peace, a conference and community that brings together practitioners, activists, academics, policy makers, artists and technologists from around the world to share experience and ideas on using technology, arts and other innovations for peacebuilding.

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 small, dedicated 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. We also regularly collaborate with Associates and Fellows, and are supported by a Board of Advisors.
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Michaela Ledesma

Co-founder + Team
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

Co-founder + Team
Helena has over a decade of experience in peacebuilding, focusing on innovation design. She has worked in Sudan, South Sudan, Central African Republic, Guinea-Bissau, Libya, Cyprus, Myanmar, Nepal, Somalia and Iraq. Helena often writes and speaks about peacebuilding, polarisation and innovation.
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Jacob Lefton

Team
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

Team
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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Jerry McCann

Team + 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. As well as full team member, Jerry is the Secretary of Build Up’s Board of Advisors.
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Kate Mytty

Team
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

Team
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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Claudia Meier

Team
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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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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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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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 the Treasurer of Build Up’s Board of Advisors.
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Sanjana Hattotuwa

Advisor
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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Jen Gaskell

Co-founder
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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