There are a few consistencies that have emerged through the years that explain how we work at Build Up, and as an extension, what shape the Build Peace conference takes. We want to hold spaces for conversations and contributions where peacebuilders can speak for themselves. We make our values explicit and seek to embed them in our work. These include diversity, access, inclusion, and cross and transdisciplinary thinking. We also test and learn by doing and iteration.
Now in its 6th iteration, the Build Build conference is the evidence of these working principles. The Build Peace community has grown through the years to now include innovative people, initiatives and organizations from Myanmar to Columbia, the U.S. to Kenya, Syria to South Africa, and nearly everywhere in between.
Unfortunately, many of these important contributions are often missed due to distance, time, funding, and/or politics as the conference changes locations each year. We are cognizant of this every year, but this year it is especially salient as the United States implements an ongoing travel ban and visa denials are at a high.
Given this challenge, the values we hold, the voices we want to hear, and this year’s conference theme exploring borders, we are exploring how we can transcend physical and political limitations to convene this larger community online in an integrated way with the Build Peace Online Conference Hub. If you haven’t signed up yet, do so here.
We hope this space is one where you can share and make connections with colleagues both at the conference and those participating remotely.
How to get the most out of the online conference hub:
- If you will be in San Diego, download the app to access the program on the go and stay tuned on happenings and announcements.
- If you are joining remotely, use the browser or the app to do the same, and join or start conversations there. This will be our primary space for interaction with you over the three days! In the events section, the sessions and workshops that list “livestreamed” or “online” in their locations will be accessible to you! Add these to your calendar to be sure not to miss them.
- Make connections. Update your profile with your photo, location, and affiliation. You will be featured in the Members section, where you can see others who have registered and use the private messaging system to reach out to them. Did you really like that short talk you heard and want to talk more? Reach out to invite them to sit by you at lunch! Are you wondering if anyone else from your area is also tuning in to the livestream? Search for them and see if you could meet up to do any of the online workshops.
- Share your work, your questions, the problems you’re trying to solve, your successes, and your concerns! Share these in comments, in messages, and if you have resources, upload these to the Files section. Let’s mobilize this global, interdisciplinary community of practice from wherever we are to build networks and knowledge that will advance our work building peace.
Whether you’ll be online or in San Diego, we’re very excited to see and hear from you next week.