LIVE WEBINAR: Yala's Use of Online Platforms for Peacebuilding Work

Yala's Use of Online Platforms for Peacebuilding Work

Presented by Arik Segal

Cyberweek 2013-social media for conflict resolution from The Werner Institute on Vimeo.

 

Here is the Prezi presentation Arik followed during the webinar:

 

http://prezi.com/iysnhe7bojcz/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=co...

 

Much has been written on the use of social media in promoting social change, especially since it was massively used in the recent political change processes of the Arab world. However, not much has been said about the use of social media as a platform of peace practices.

Social media, and facebook in particular can be an excellent tool for conducting people-people grassroots dialogue projects.

In my presentation I will discuss the different dimensions which facebook offers to perform virtual people-people dialogue, its advantages and the opportunities it holds to dealing with the most stressing limitations of people-people dialogue: attracting new participants to participate in peace projects, continuity and measurement of success and effectiveness.

I will use examples from one of the projects which I direct: " Yala Young Leaders".  " Yala Young Leaders" started two years ago as a facebook page which offered space for young people from the Middle East to communicate and engage in discussions. Today, it has more than 400,000 members from all over the MENA region and has developed into the most influential movement for young people in the Middle East.

The questions that will be discussed:

What are the different types of social media that is relevant for online conflict management ?

What are the features and advantages of social media platforms in this context ?

How Facebook can be optimized to achieve maximum effectiveness in online conflict management ?

What are the limitations of online platforms in this context ?

How can we use other social media tools for conflict management ?

 

Presenter Bio:

Arik Segal is a mediator and a conflict management consultant in the international political arena, promoting track 2 and track 3 diplomacy initiatives and working in cooperation with international organizations, institutions and NGO's in frameworks that impact decision makers and civil societies.

In the past two years Arik is working as part of the "Yala young leaders movement"
- a facebook based peace movement that has more than 400,000 members and makes use of Facebook a main tool for dialogue and online conflict management. In September 2013 Arik presented his findings regarding the use of Facebook in ODR at the Conflict Research Society annual conference in Essex and is part of a research group that is writing a research proposal about disruptive media (social and new media) and conflict and peace, for a European Commission funding stream called Horizon 2020.

 

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Return to Cyberweek 2013 Homepage

 

 

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****WEBINAR ACCESS INFORMATION****

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Arik - WOW! As always, I'm blown away by the mind-boggling scale you're working at.

Everybody, want to see another advantage of Arik and YALA's work over conventional, face-to-face Track II methods? Check out how YALA is discussed in this article: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2170559 

Hello all, the archive for this webinar is now available. It is embedded in this discussion forum above. Please feel free to continue this conversation by sharing any thoughts, comments or questions in this forum. Enjoy! Bryan

I also have the Prezi that Arik spoke to during the presentation:

 

http://prezi.com/iysnhe7bojcz/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=co...

Sometimes we just have to stand back and be amazed. Consider all the reasons some have let their interest in social media (particularly Facebook)wane a bit, like U.S. parents who think their kids spend too much time on the Internet. Then comes along a report of this crucial work and we realize that information platforms and social media are what you make them. Perhaps we should not curse the amount of time kids spend on Facebook so much but instead guide them more so they can find the resources and get involved with something hopeful and important. My interest in cross cultural dialogue among youth is catapulted to a new level by hearing about this work. I am going straight to the page and clicking "Like Page". Thanks and stay strong in your interests, despite any naysayers!!

Jillian P.

Jillian, 

Thank you so much for this post! 

I think that your post explains why I am often hesitant when hearing that Facebook can be a legitimate and well-received tool for peace building. My parents spent a good share of school nights when I was in later years of high school monitoring the use of social media sites for my sister and I. Facebook over-use is a great way for college students to procrastinate their work. I have had to also learn to monitor my use myself. Therefore, I have a notion about Facebook as a tool for connection and friendship, but also for procrastinating and wasting time. This presentation was wonderful to listen to and watch because it helped me to see a larger perspective on social media as an effective community building and peace building tool.

I really liked this insight: “Facebook’s attractive applications can help in bringing ‘new’ individuals who [are] not necessarily interested in dialogue or peace, but more in the cool and fun surroundings.” Arik followed up by saying that people are busy, there may be high emotions surrounding peace and dialogue work. Therefore, the relaxed and attractive atmosphere that Facebook affords may be a good way to bring people into dialogue and enter into peace building efforts.

In the end, peace work has so much to do with creativity. I appreciate how this presentation explained that we can creatively use tools that we already have in order to continue promoting peace and dialogue across the globe.

Thanks again Jillian and many, many thanks to Arik as well!



Jillian Post said:

Sometimes we just have to stand back and be amazed. Consider all the reasons some have let their interest in social media (particularly Facebook)wane a bit, like U.S. parents who think their kids spend too much time on the Internet. Then comes along a report of this crucial work and we realize that information platforms and social media are what you make them. Perhaps we should not curse the amount of time kids spend on Facebook so much but instead guide them more so they can find the resources and get involved with something hopeful and important. My interest in cross cultural dialogue among youth is catapulted to a new level by hearing about this work. I am going straight to the page and clicking "Like Page". Thanks and stay strong in your interests, despite any naysayers!!

Jillian P.

Catherine,

I think the main point we have to take note of is that, for many, online communication may be the best place for them to share, stay informed, and even build a movement. During a residency at Creighton, one of our students from Egypt participated in a panel discussion. The time frame was right in the midst of Mubarak's fall if I remember correctly. My question for him had to do with what the U.S media had reported about how the activists transmitted information. U.S. news sources reported that the "revolutionists" utilized Facebook to talk, plan demonstrations, etc. So I asked him outright ... did the youthful demonstrators really communicate with each other using Facebook? He reported that indeed they had. I found that fascinating given that I resisted the Facebook hysteria in America. Turns out, it is not just a place for fluff. In certain parts of the world, they make it work as a tool for change. Of course, the change is ongoing, tumultuous and quite scary at times, but the popularity and mass application of Facebook has its place in all of that. 

Jillian

Catherine Keating said:

Jillian, 

Thank you so much for this post! 

I think that your post explains why I am often hesitant when hearing that Facebook can be a legitimate and well-received tool for peace building. My parents spent a good share of school nights when I was in later years of high school monitoring the use of social media sites for my sister and I. Facebook over-use is a great way for college students to procrastinate their work. I have had to also learn to monitor my use myself. Therefore, I have a notion about Facebook as a tool for connection and friendship, but also for procrastinating and wasting time. This presentation was wonderful to listen to and watch because it helped me to see a larger perspective on social media as an effective community building and peace building tool.

I really liked this insight: “Facebook’s attractive applications can help in bringing ‘new’ individuals who [are] not necessarily interested in dialogue or peace, but more in the cool and fun surroundings.” Arik followed up by saying that people are busy, there may be high emotions surrounding peace and dialogue work. Therefore, the relaxed and attractive atmosphere that Facebook affords may be a good way to bring people into dialogue and enter into peace building efforts.

In the end, peace work has so much to do with creativity. I appreciate how this presentation explained that we can creatively use tools that we already have in order to continue promoting peace and dialogue across the globe.

Thanks again Jillian and many, many thanks to Arik as well!



Jillian Post said:

Sometimes we just have to stand back and be amazed. Consider all the reasons some have let their interest in social media (particularly Facebook)wane a bit, like U.S. parents who think their kids spend too much time on the Internet. Then comes along a report of this crucial work and we realize that information platforms and social media are what you make them. Perhaps we should not curse the amount of time kids spend on Facebook so much but instead guide them more so they can find the resources and get involved with something hopeful and important. My interest in cross cultural dialogue among youth is catapulted to a new level by hearing about this work. I am going straight to the page and clicking "Like Page". Thanks and stay strong in your interests, despite any naysayers!!

Jillian P.

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