DPI Online Roundtable Meeting, ‘Peace and Technology Series: Exploring the Opportunities and Growing Impact of Emerging Technologies on Peace and Conflict Resolution Processes’, 9 April 2020

This Roundtable, which took place on the 9th of April 2020, was the first in our new series of Online events. Due to the health and safety challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic poses, DPI has re-planned its forthcoming events to run them via online platforms. This global pandemic will have many impacts on conflict resolution, ranging from exacerbating violence to instigating ceasefires. DPI recognises not only the vital importance of keeping dialogue alive during this time of uncertainty, but also in finding innovative ways to use technology and understand the openings that COVID-19 can offer conflict resolution and peace building. There seemed no better way to begin our online activities with our first roundtable in a new series of events focusing on the role of new technologies in peace processes. Participants comprised DPI’s core youth group – young figures with diverse professional and political backgrounds from across Turkey (including Ankara, İstanbul, Mardin, Diyarbakır and Zonguldak), including political parties youth representatives, civil society workers, social workers, university students, and academics. The group listened and engage with an insightful presentation delivered by Dr Emre Korkmaz from the University of Oxford and Centre for Technology and Global Affairs. Dr Emre discussed the different ways in which technology can contribute to peace and democratisation, including the opportunities and challenges that surround utilizing emerging technologies in a way that optimises the allocation of scarce resources, connect people and groups across borders, and help relocate power from corporations and states to communities and individuals. Participants also engaged on the topic of how young people, as the primary users of new technology, are best placed to take advantage of the opportunities provided by new technologies and help break down the barriers to youth inclusion in conflict resolution processes. This Roundtable provided a valuable platform for this group of diverse, committed and influential young people to continue to engage in an open and frank discussion about major conflict resolution themes, even in challenging times. We were also delighted to be joined, virtually, by representatives of the EU, DPI Board Members and advisers from DPI’s Council of Experts. The RT forms part of a larger series of activities planned in the context of the project: “Supporting inclusive dialogue at a challenging time in Turkey”, supported by the EU and the Norwegian government.