Technological developments impact all aspects of society. Similarly, they impact the practice of diplomacy. Mediation, the peaceful resolution of conflicts through a third party, is no exception. The #Cybermediation initiative, launched earlier this year, explores mediation in the context of new technology, including social media, big data, and artificial intelligence (AI).
We continue the explorations of the #Cybermediation initiative by specifically focusing on the role of blockchain and natural language processing AI.
Blockchain technology links records using cryptography in such a way that they are resistant to modification. Mediation efforts often build on keeping records and finding evidence that is acceptable as neutral and accurate to all involved. Can blockchain technology serve mediators in providing a neutral record as the basis for conflict resolution?
Recent accomplishments in the area of AI illustrate that it is getting better at being able to understand, process, and generate natural language. It has huge potential to be a tool for mediators. Can AI, by for example analysing large amounts of textual data regarding conflict situations, contribute to a better understanding of a mediation situation and make suggestions regarding the framing and content of a mediation attempt?
This is not a highly technical event. The discussion will be accessible to a general audience with an interest in mediation and the role of new technology. We will give an overview of both blockchain and natural language processing AI and, building on that, make suggestions for potential #Cybermediation activities. Presentations by expert speakers will form the basis of a wider discussion and brainstorming about the future of #Cybermediation as a joint effort between speakers and audience.
When: Friday, 5th October 2018, 10:00 - 11:30 CEST (08:00 - 09:30 UTC)
Where:In situ and online
In situ: Room de Mello, 2nd floor, WMO building, Geneva
Stephanie Borg Psaila (Interim Head of DiploFoundation and Digital Policy Director)
Enrico Formica (Senior Mediation Officer, Department of Political Affairs, United Nations Office at Geneva)
Katharina E. Höne (Researcher, DiploFoundation)
Dejan Dincic (Digital Transformation and Online Learning Specialist)
On 13 March 2018, the UN Department of Political Affairs, DiploFoundation, the Geneva Internet Platform, the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue, swisspeace, and researchers from Harvard University have established a consortium to explore how digital technology affects mediation in preventing and resolving violent conflicts.
The objectives of the #Cybermediation initiative are to:
Inform mediation practitioners about the impact of new information and communication technologies on mediation, including their benefits, challenges, and risks in relation to peacemaking.
Develop synergies between the mediation community and the tech sector.
Identify areas of particular relevance and co-operation.
The initiative focuses on four thematic areas in detail:
Impact of new technologies
DiploFoundation and the Geneva Internet Platform are coordinating the activities of the thematic working groups on big data and AI. Read more on our #Cybermediation project page.
Digital Transformation and Online Learning Specialist
Mr Dejan Dinčić Digital Transformation and Online Learning Specialist
Mr Dejan Dinčić is a digital transformation and online learning specialist, based in Geneva. Formerly technical director of DiploFoundation, he now teaches and provides strategic advice for Diplo. Since 2016 he has also worked as a consultant for international organisations, development NGOs, and UN agencies. He is a sought-after trainer and facilitator who brings topic knowledge, technical expertise, and effective training methodologies to events and workshops.
With professional and academic background in online and distance education, and information technologies, Dejan has more than twenty years of experience in the private, public, and non-profit sectors, and in academia. His major research interests include digital transformation and knowledge management.
Dr Katharina Höne Senior lecturer, researcher, and project manager
Dr Katharina (Kat) E Höne researches, writes, and teaches on a number of issues in the area of diplomacy, global governance, and the impact of technology on international relations. Over the last years, she has focused on research at the intersection of diplomacy and technology. She was part of a research project on Data Diplomacy: Updating diplomacy to the big data eraand the lead researcher and author of Mapping the challenges and opportunities of artificial intelligence for the conduct of diplomacy report, both supported by the Ministry for Foreign of Affairs of Finland. In addition, she has more than 10 years of experience in teaching international relations at universities in the UK and Germany, and in delivering in-situ, blended, and online training to diplomatic practitioners. Kat holds an MA in Diplomatic Studies (University of Leicester, UK) and a PhD in International Politics (University of Aberystwyth, UK). In her work, she is driven by her aim to level the playing field at international negotiation tables through capacity development, and to provide out-of-the-box thinking and inspiration by drawing on her passion for science-fiction.