Interdisciplinary Inquiry

Report: New Media and Conflict after the Arab Spring


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.

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Open data and digital mapping used for promoting justice initiatives


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. 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.

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New guide on tweeting for peace and social change


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.  

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New brief published on business and human rights by the Center for Sustainable Economies


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.

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July 6 - Celebrate the Shift Network's 'Nonviolence Friday' of the Summer of Peace


The goal of the Summer of Peace 2012 is to activate the largest global commitment to peace in one season in the history of humankind. The Summer of Peace 2012 is produced by The Shift Network in partnership with Pathways to Peace, Culture of Peace Initiative (CPI), The Peace Alliance, PeaceDayTV, Alliance for Peacebuilding, Gaiafield Project, International Cities of Peace and Push4Peace, along with numerous co-sponsors. Together, the goal is to mobilize grassroots participation of people worldwide to accelerate humanity’s shift to a culture of peace.

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New Social Media Site Launched for Activists


Lokashakti, a nonprofit organization based in New York City, is dedicated to promoting peace and social justice through collective nonviolent action. Lokashakti recently announced the launch of a new social media site for activists, the Lokashakti Peace & Social Justice Network. Unlike other social media, the Lokashakti Network is noncommercial and exists mainly to facilitate real-world activism, embodying the phrase, “Think globally, act locally.”  

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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.

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Can technology promote world peace through global cooperation and collaboration?


A new article posted online in Atlantic Monthly asserts that technoogy may make the world less conflict-prone, asking: Is this Pax Technologica? The article was adapted from Ayesha & Parag Khanna's Hybrid Reality: Thriving in the Emerging Human-Technology Civilization. The problem with many technological solutions, however, is their tendency to create a new set of problems.

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Social Transformation professor Marc Pilisuk encourages action on rising student debt levels


by Marc Pilisuk

Student loan debt has surpassed one trillion dollars, exceeding the total of credit card debt in our country. Yet unlike other types of debt, student loans cannot be used as a reason for declaring bankruptcy. Many Saybrook students - like students everywhere - are adversely affected by crushing levels of student debt.

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The Top 100 Documentaries Inspiring the Shift to a Sustainable Paradigm


The nonprofit organization Films for Action uses the power of film to raise awareness of important social, environmental, and media-related issues not covered by the mainstream news. Their goal is to provide citizens with the information and perspectives essential to creating a more just, sustainable, and democratic society. The Films for Action website has cataloged over 900 of the best films and videos that can be watched free online, and they have just released a list of the top 100 films inspiring a shift to a more sustainable world.

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