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Message from the Dean

Technology, Peacebuilding and Social Change

Drone flies the skies

Emerging technologies have taken the global village to a heretofore-unimaginable and fast-paced dimension. The technology era in which we find ourselves continues to expand our agency, connectivity and access to information. For us at the Kroc School, the role of technology in saving lives and building sustainable communities worldwide is a central theme. We seek to understand how technological developments -- from drones to digital mapping, big data to crowdsourcing -- contribute to peacebuilding and social change, and reflect on ethical implications of how that technology is used and by whom. Then we go beyond knowledge generation, creating courses and programs to prepare professionals with new tools for systemic change.

This month we host the California Consensus for Peace through Technology (CalCon) for the second year, which brings together academics, practitioners and investors from around the world to share “pitches” for projects that use technology in new ways to address pressing issues such as inclusive democracy, early conflict warning and interventions, and community engagement. Projects involve the use of big data to track the illicit gun trade or to analyze criminality levels and patterns. Other projects focus on use of mobile technology to build resilience, manage conflict or provide effective and efficient humanitarian relief.

CalCon is much more than an academic conference. It is a platform for analyzing the existing ecosystem in order to identify gaps and opportunities in which new technologies can support transformative change. At CalCon, participants meet partners to implement multidimensional solutions leveraging technology when and where appropriate. The outcome is greater scale and higher impact through collaborations.

While CalCon is very much still in the “lean startup” mode, some of last year’s projects are already being implemented and this year’s pitches promise to offer fresh and creative ways of dealing with the global surge of violence, conflict, organized crime and authoritarianism. At the Kroc School we lead by adapting a California model of innovation to build communities of leaders capable of fostering peaceful and prosperous communities.

Begin quote For us at the Kroc School, the role of technology in saving lives and building sustainable communities worldwide is a central theme. – Dean Marquez

Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies

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Phone: (619) 260-7919
Fax: (619) 849-8123
krocschool@sandiego.edu

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San Diego, CA 92110

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