Big Data for Peace Summer School

August 16th, 2014

Leiden University Peace Infomatics Lab

Big Data for Peace Summer School 2014

How do you use Big Data for peace and security?

Are you a PhD researcher or practitioner in the field of conflict studies, conflict resolution, peace or security studies, with an affinity to Big Data? Then the Centre for Innovation / Peace Informatics Lab is looking for you!


Persuasive tech, youth gang violence and new pathways to shared value in Bolivia

July 30th, 2014


Pervasive fears about crime erode social cohesion and trust, and push people towards isolation. The perception of insecurity in Bolivia has deteriorated significantly in recent years, overtaking unemployment, poverty, inequality or civil unrest as the main public concern. According to official estimates, young people aged 12 to 30 years perpetrate more than 80 percent of violence and insecurity in Bolivia’s major cities. How can persuasive technology and behaviour design be used to improve this situation and rebuild social capital in communities most affected by violence?

The workshop titled “Persuasive Technologies for Youth Gang Violence Prevention”, held at Universidad Privada de Santa Cruz de la Sierra (21-22 May 2014), brought together 60 technologists, government officials, scholars and community activists to rapid prototype web interventions seeking to scale positive engagement between high-risk youths and other groups, and thereby explore new models of social value and wealth creation for citizens, businesses, neighbourhoods, local governments and banking institutions. Led by Mark Nelson, Stanford Peace Innovation Lab Co-Director, the event marked the launch of the Peace Innovation Lab in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, as part of a global field lab network providing rigorous test-beds and global access to markets for technology mediated interventions that deliver positive peace.

Inaugural partners and associates include  Universidad Autónoma de Gabriel René Moreno (UAGRM), Universidad Privada de Santa Cruz de la Sierra (UPSA), Fundación Trabajo Empresa, National Academy of Sciences of Bolivia (Santa Cruz Chapter), Sintesis S.A., Bolivian Chamber of Information Technologies and Open Marabunta.


The UAGRM Faculty of Humanities made this short video  Taller de Technologias Persuasivas of the event. 


Movement for Empathy and Social Wellbeing

July 6th, 2014

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Numerous studies have cited the importance of movement and exercise to reduce personal stress, offset depression and improve overall health and well-being.  As individuals devote more time to their personal devices, there is a corresponding decline in time dedicated to face to face social activities, movement and fitness in the physical world. 

How might mobile social technology be designed to be part of the solution rather than part of the problem? 

Moreover, since studies also show a direct corelation between coordinated physical motion with others and empathy for them, how might we design applications that encourage people to meet to engage in coordinated movement (such as dance, sports and other fitness activities) that would result in stronger social cohesion and empathy? Can we design improved health to increase community peace, and use improved peace to motivate improved health?

Join us for a two hour brainstorming and prototyping sprint as we imagine new ways of rediscovering our bodies, our friends and community, and the larger physical world.



10.30 Doors open

11.00 Welcome & Energizer

11.15 Brainstormer

11.45 Collaborative work:  Ideas and mobile app prototype concepts

12.30 Collective: Share insights

13.00 Lunch´o´clock (*at a local café for those who wish to join)


Mark Nelson & Margarita Quihuis, Co-Directors, Stanford Peace Innovation Lab

More about this event:

Persuasive Technology for Youth Violence Prevention May 21-22, Santa Cruz, Bolivia

May 21st, 2014

Santa Cruz PIL workshop

To kick-start the process of a Peace Innovation Lab set up in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, Stanford Peace Innovation Lab, Gabriel René Moreno Autonomous University (UAGRM), Fundación Trabajo Empresa and OpenMarabunta are organising a 2-day workshop on “Persuasive Technology for Youth Violence Prevention” hosted by the Private University of Santa Cruz de la Sierra (UPSA) on 21-22 May 2014.

Santa Cruz is Bolivia’s economic hub and one of Latin America’s fastest growing urban areas. As in other majorcities in Bolivia, Santa Cruz has a growing problem of violent crime and youth gang activity, leading to neighbourhood decay, loss of businesses and social cohesion.

Not only are gangs growing in number and size, children as young as 12 are now joining gangs, and are recruited at school.

Although the economic impact of youth violence in Bolivia is largely unknown, IADB has pioneered research into the costs of crime and violence in Latin American countries, and found that the impact of insecurity amounts to 7% of GDP.

Through a deep dive into persuasive technology and behaviour design, more than 40 leaders in technology,business, finance, government and non-profit sectors will explore the reasons why adolescents decide to join gangs in order to source, test and scale persuasive experiences that help high-risk youth to make better decisions. Workshop participants will also lay the groundwork for measuring the impact of these technologies and on individual people, communities and the local economy.


  • Fundación Trabajo Empresa
  • Gabriel René Moreno Autonomous University (UAGRM)
  • OpenMarabunta
  • Private University of Santa Cruz de la Sierra
  • Stanford Peace Innovation Labintervention

Data Visualization & Data Journalism

May 14th, 2014

In the non-profit world and civil sector resources can be scarce, but there’s never a shortage of data. Nonprofits track finances, services, outcomes and external data about their issue areas. Embedded in all that data are stories waiting to be told. Stories that can drive political change and inspire higher efficiency. The world’s best news organizations tell data stories digitally with rich visuals and interactives that make complex data accessible to broad audiences. Imagine if non-profits applied the same principles and technologies to data they already track. It is not a future ambition, the tools are already here!

The Berlin Peace Innovation Lab and the Impact Hub welcomed Javier de la Torre, CEO and co-founcer of Vizzulity and CartoDB, companies leading the change for product strategy and business development. As an expert on biodiversity informatics, open data, and mapping software, Javier covered the topics of data analysis, visualization, biodiversity, mapping, and citizen science in his inspiring introduction. He later brought the group discussion to address: How can my organization apply and benefit from data visualization and data driven story-telling?


Berlin Peace Innovation Lab, as part of the Stanford Peace Innovation Lab global network, focuses on how technology is facilitating emerging and measurable social changes toward global peace. The Berlin Peace Innovation Lab provides design frameworks, principles and methodologies for interventions that will increase positive engagement at scale.

The Impact Hub is a rapidly expanding, diverse global network of over 7000+ members in 40+ locations. Each community is a wealth of innovative programs, events, and cutting edge content. Part innovation lab, part business incubator, and part community centre, The Impact Hub offers its members a unique ecosystem of resources, inspiration, and collaboration opportunities to grow impact.


Dynamic Value Networks

April 29th, 2014

The term “Dynamic Value Network” relates to how firms form relationships with other firms and customers to create and capture value in turbulent environments. Advanced capabilities to anticipate consumer/citizen habits, intentions, and behavior constitute inspiring driving factors of new breed of operating models. Leading social media and e-commerce firms are the pioneers, and represent the novel but fast-developing platforms in this space. Together with third parties, they deploy new combinations of resources and capabilities to meet customer needs in a proactive manner.


Despite the development of data analytic capabilities and leveraging of sensor data (big data) from users and their environment, it remains a challenge to model and predict human behavior in the dynamic environment. New elements of behavior become relevant sources of valuable knowledge: opportunity perception, habit formation, and intention and network (pro)action.


Although Internet firms lead these developments, opportunities emerge also for other organizations willing to learn from the Internet practices. For example, organizations from different fields need to share and analyze data on a scale larger than before in order to understand both individual actions and sequences of actions (activity, behavior, habits and experiences). Firms and public organizations need to form adaptive, flexible, and learning – i.e. dynamic – organizational relationships.


This seminar explores and develops these themes through a number of different disciplinary lenses.

Innovation in Social Enterprises

April 3rd, 2014

Are organizations overrating the value of innovation? Can social sector organizations make innovation more productive? What constitutes an organization’s capability for continuous innovation?

Christian Seelos and Johanna Mair of the Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society are engaged in research that aims to generate actionable insights on how productive innovation can occur in social sector organizations, and why it often does not. They touched upon how new ideas are generated or accessed, how they are evaluated, and how they are experimented with, adopted, and finally formalized as new products or services. The workshop was introduced by Mark Nelson of Stanford’s Peace Innovation Lab, and our generous host Julia Rawlins of British Council.

*Recommended reading Innovation Is Not the Holy Grail

* More event photos  here



The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations. We are on the ground in six continents and over 100 countries, bringing international opportunity to life, every day.

Berlin Peace Innovation Lab, as part of the Stanford Peace Innovation Lab global network, focuses on how technology is facilitating emerging and measurable social changes toward global peace. The Berlin Peace Innovation Lab provides design frameworks, principles and methodologies for interventions that will increase positive engagement at scale.

Science Working within Society

March 6th, 2014

On this evening,  the Berlin Peace Innovation Lab welcomed 25 international Ph.D. researchers working at the Food Security Center at the University of Hohenheim to share their personal stories and give the audience a glimpse of their research. The evening focused on how academia can be applied to bridge the gap between science and society. 


Berlin Peace Innovation Lab, as part of the Stanford Peace Innovation Lab global network, focuses on how technology is facilitating emerging and measurable social changes toward global peace. The Berlin Peace Innovation Lab provides design frameworks, principles and methodologies for interventions that will increase positive engagement at scale.

The Food Security Center (FSC) is a university center of excellence in development cooperation at the University of Hohenheim, Germany. FSC is one of five excellence centers of the program ‘exceed – Higher Education Excellence in Development Cooperation’, which is supported by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) with funds of the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) of Germany

Aalborg East Workshop

February 24th, 2014

Mayor Thomas Kastrup-Larsen, the Municipality of Aalborg will open the workshop at a kick off meeting for all the stakeholders in the neighborhood Kildeparken in Aalborg East while Margarita Quihuis and Mark Nelson, Global Co-Directors introduce to the methodologies and also communicate world wide experiences in the area.

The following two days the workshop will continue with co-creation sessions, prototyping and experiments. The software company SenseMate will then develop a mobile app based on the proposals from the participants.

The workshop is organised by Kristian Løbner from COWI and Claus Bjørton from Himmerland Housing Association in cooperation with Morten Karnøe Søndergaard and Niels Einar Veirum from Stanford Peace Innovation Lab. It will take place in February 2014.

Hack for Peace in the Middle East

February 1st, 2014

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAre you a coding geek, (HTML5, PHP, Ruby on Rails, Java Script, Python, C++), problem solver, designer, or a business professional that cares about coding for a cause? Do you think you’re crazy enough to change the world and believe that you can actually do it? Then this event is just for you!

In efforts to turbocharge the startup ecosystem in the Middle East, PITME, in partnership with ‘Code for a Cause,’ will be hosting a Hackathon to bring together 500 techies to assist us in addressing issues that exist in the Middle East. PITME is proudly uniting the San Francisco developer community to hack for a social cause. The 11 PITME Labs Squad 01 teams, representing 6 different countries along with a panel of Middle Eastern studies experts will guide the techies in an effort to make a difference.

Mark Nelson and Margarita Quihuis of Stanford Peace Innovation Lab will provide an overview of peace innovation and behavior design as well as act as judges for the final presentations Sunday evening.

Hack for Peace Schedule

Saturday, February 1st

  • 8 AM – Check-In, registration and breakfast (1 hr)
  • 9 AM – Hack for Peace Welcome Note (30 min)
  • 9:30 AM – Stanford Peace Innovation Lab; Peace Tech Intro (1 hr)
  • 10:30 AM – Partner API (Rackspace, BitTorrent and Wix) announcements (1hr)
  • 11:30 AM – Begin Hacking
  • 12 PM – Lunch
  • 5 PM – Dinner

Sunday, February 2nd

  • 8 AM – Begin Hacking Again/ breakfast
  • 12 PM – Lunch
  • 5 PM – Stop coding submit projects/ Judging begins
  • 8 PM – Hackathon ends
PITME PITME is a social impact organization headquartered in San Francisco that aims at turbo-charging the Middle Eastern startup ecosystem by providing access to Silicon Valley resources. PITME’s initiatives include PITME Labs, an accelerator for MENA growth stage startups supported by 125 top thought leaders in Silicon Valley. Initiatives also include an educational entrepreneurial focused show ‘Technology in a Tent’ among other activities tailored for entrepreneurs and investors in the Middle East.