New PeaceTXT project aims to use mobile technology to end violence
A good leader initiates and encourages peace and development among all people and is not tribal. (SMS sent to 10,000 Kenyan mobile users)
An exciting new initiative leverages mobile technology for peace and conflict prevention. Initially annouced last year, PeaceTXT is now being deployed in Kenya. Ultimately the messages will be created an distributed by local communities, based on the issues faced by the people themselves.
Conflicts are often grounded in the stories and narratives that people tell themselves and the emotions that these stories generate. Narratives shape identity and the social construct of reality—we interpret our lives through stories. These have the power to transform relationships and communities. The purpose of PeaceTXT is to leverage mobile messaging (SMS) to market peace in strategic ways and thereby generate alternative narratives. SMS reminders have been particularly effective in catalyzing behavior change in several important public health projects. In addition, marketing to the “Bottom of the Pyramid” is increasingly big business and getting more sophisticated. We believe that lessons learned from these sectors can be combined and applied to catalyze behavior change vis-a-vis peace and conflict issues by amplifying new narratives using timely and strategically targeted SMS campaigns.
For more information, see Patrick Meier's blog, iRevolution, where he announces PeaceTXT and describes the Kenya deployment. Meier is the Director of Social Innovation at the Qatar Foundation’s Computing Research Institute.