Last year, following the events of the Arab Spring, Egyptian activists and bloggers gathered in Cairo to participate in an open format dialogue on the question of Islamism in their country. One main difference between this event and other conversations that may have been occuring at the same time, however, is that each speaker was limited to 140 seconds - an oral version of Twitter's 140 character limit for tweets. This format was dubbed a "Tweet Nadwa" - nadwa being the Arabic word for forum or symposium.
The Conflict, Social Action, and Change Division of the Society for the Study of Social Problems announces its 2013 Graduate Student Paper Competition. The deadline for entries is January 31, 2013.
The blog WeGov is an attempt to report on groups and individuals who use technology in a variety of innovative ways - increasing government transparency, fighting corruption, opening data, and solving civic problems. WeGov blogger Anna Lekas Miller recently wrote a post where she describes new venues offering support for LGBT youth in the Middle East.
Conflict resolution education (CRE) is a key component of social transformation. The Conflict Resolution Education Connection is a web site devoted to the promotion of CRE throughout the world. Creducation.org webmaster Bill Warters has developed a new iPad App that provides a great way to browse the field of conflict resolution in education and find ideas for instruction and training activities.
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) website features a post by Ozonnia Ojeilo describing the way that mobile phones, social media and other web-based resources have been used to disseminate warnings about potential violence in troubled hot-spots, facilitate rapid responses to emerging conflicts, analyze trends and inform better programming.
In the last 10 years, global food prices have risen twice as fast as inflation, according to the World Bank. An estimated 44 million people crossed the poverty line during the food price spikes of 2008, as riots occurred around the globe. Food insecurity is upon us again, as prices continue to rise sharply.
A report from the United States Institute of Peace’s Centers of Innovation for Science, Technology, and Peacebuilding, analyzes the role of social media in the Arab Spring protests of 2011–12. The report, Blogs and Bullets II: New Media and Conflict After the Arab Spring builds on a previous report, published in 2010 by USIP Press, titled Blogs and Bullets: New Media in Contentious Politics, and applies its five-level framework for studying and understanding the role of new media in political movements.
New technologies are making it easier to publish and share data. In turn, data can be used to create interactive maps, depicting crises in real time. SahelResponse.org is one example of this. When a food crisis ramps up, donors and humanitarian organizations must move fast to respond, typically involving coordinating information across working groups, situation reports, and informal networks.
The Peace and Collaborative Development Network (PCDN) has posted A Guide to Tweeting for Peace and Social Change - a helpful resource for those using social media for transformative social change. Since its founding in 2006, Twitter has rapidly grown to be one of the most powerful online platforms for connecting hundreds of millions of individuals and organizations around the world.
The United States Institute for Peace (USIP) has just released a report called Business and Human Rights: An Issue whose time has come. USIP’s Center for Sustainable Economies hosts a taskforce on business and peace, which explores creative and effective ways in which the corporate sector could avoid fomenting conflict while being aware of actions that could promote peace.