Roundtable on Technology, Science, and Peacebuilding of the National Academies and the U.S. Institute of Peace

Areas of Interest:

Competitiveness, Ethics

Project Type:

Other Study

Latest Update: February 11, 2015
To address the challenges associated with preventing and managing violent conflict, the National Academies, led by the National Academy of Engineering (NAE), and the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) are establishing a Roundtable on Technology, Science, and Peacebuilding. The roundtable will leverage the potential of technology and the disciplines of engineering and science to contribute meaningfully to peacebuilding. Specifically, the roundtable will provide a forum for key stakeholder groups (government, industry, academia, and the NGO community) to 1) consider how the application of technology and of knowledge and methods from engineering and science can serve the goals of conflict prevention, peacemaking, and peacekeeping and 2) explore opportunities for stakeholder collaboration and action on key issues
Primary Contact: Proctor Reid
202.334.2815

Violent conflict causes suffering and destabilization throughout the world. Today, there are some 100 nascent, active, or post- conflict situations across the globe. Annually, hundreds of thousand of people die as a direct or indirect result of these conflicts. Many more suffer life-changing physical or mental disabilities, and large numbers are displaced from their homes. Added to the human costs of conflict are economic and social ones, including damage to infrastructure, destruction of agricultural capacity, lost worker productivity, and devastated social institutions.

To address the challenges associated with preventing and managing violent conflict, the National Academies, led by the National Academy of Engineering (NAE), and the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) are establishing a Roundtable on Technology, Science, and Peacebuilding. The roundtable will leverage the potential of technology and the disciplines of engineering and science to contribute meaningfully to peacebuilding. Specifically, the roundtable will provide a forum for key stakeholder groups (government, industry, academia, and the NGO community) to 1) consider how the application of technology and of knowledge and methods from engineering and science can serve the goals of conflict prevention, peacemaking, and peacekeeping and 2) explore opportunities for stakeholder collaboration and action on key issues.

In a unique collaboration, the roundtable will be jointly overseen by the National Academies and USIP. The two organizations share a distinguished record of public service, and each brings unique strengths to the partnership. The National Academies have unmatched access to the world’s top experts in engineering, science, and medicine; demonstrated convening powers; and a reputation for impartiality. USIP brings strong connections to the peacebuilding and diplomatic communities as well as a long history of fruitful engagement in international peacebuilding activities. 

Broad topics the roundtable may initially consider include:

  • natural resource scarcity,
  • data gathering and information management,
  • education and training,
  • science, engineering, and health diplomacy.

Roundtable membership will consist of U.S. and foreign government agencies, global technology-intensive industries, U.S. and international NGOs, and academic research centers/programs.  The roundtable will supplement the expertise of its members through establishment of ad hoc working groups and the commissioning of papers, as needed.  The roundtable will meet three times per year, and convene at least two focused workshops around these meetings. Published summaries of the workshops, commissioned papers, meeting agendas, and other written materials associated with the work of the Roundtable will be made available on NA and USIP websites.   

Roundtable members will benefit directly through access to a diverse group of leading thinkers, novel ideas and new opportunities outside their usual span of activities. Industry members, for example, may gain insights into existing as well as possible new markets; government members may build new, strategic linkages and have exposure to pioneering technologies, while NGOs may create novel partnerships with public- and private-sector institutions. In this way, the roundtable will foster formal and informal collaborations between roundtable members on key areas of mutual interest

Project Status
Completed
Project Sponsor

The National Academies, U.S. Institute of Peace, U.S. Department of Defense, Qualcomm, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of State, National Science Foundation (ENG-1126841), and CRDF Global