lighting, Diplomacy

#Cybermediation: What role for blockchain technology and natural language processing AI?

05 October 2018 -

Geneva, online

Event description

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

  • Social media

  • (Big) data

  • Artificial intelligence

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.


If you have any questions about this event, please contact