6 Tech Companies Changing The Face of Peacekeeping

PeaceTech lab started as part of the Unites States Institute for Peace but became a separate nonprofit last year, to expand the organization to include the private sector.

“We have this phenomenon around the globe where we have a lot of projects,” said Sheldon Himelfarb, president of PeaceTech Lab, adding, “It’s like a thousand flowers blooming, but how do you really harness the potential here so that it’s amplified over the ones using technology to do harm.”

Himelfarb was president of the lab when it was part of USIP and has been involved in tech since the 1990s. Under his leadership, PeaceTech Lab has conducted exchanges in places like Iraq, where they gather players from a variety of fields to fix a problem — from mappers and designers to local leadership — so that good ideas actually have a chance to be implemented.

In Iraq, for example, one project has been to create a system where IDs can be processed faster to try to address the crisis for internally displaced peoples. Himelfarb is now working to expand these spaces and ideas. “We are really working on the heartbeat of the lab right now.”

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