While the internet has let us do many things in the last couple of decades, one of its overarching achievements has been bringing people from around the world together and humanising them. In an effort to continue this trend, muslims and christians from the Philippines on either side of a forty year conflict are planning to get together via web conferencing to attempt to see the other side’s point of view.
The two parties will have around 6,000 people as part of the mass video call, with over 500 miles between them. Some will will be in Manilla, while the others will be in Illigan City, but they’ll all be part of the conference, that will see questions asked and answered by both sides through the use of huge, cinema size screens. As well as fighters from both sides, representatives acting as negotiators for both will also be present.
“The presence alone of both sides of the panel sends a good message that at last here are two erstwhile adversaries coming together and telling people how a conflict we have had for generations has been resolved through peaceful negotiations,” said the negotiator for the Mindanao Islamic Liberation Front (via The Guardian).
This whole process was conceived and put together by PeaceTech, an organisation that for the past six years has been pushing for technology to help bridge the gap between two sides of a conflict, to encourage a diplomatic end to the fighting. There’s also a heavy emphasis on educating younger people within the military groups, since they have only been told horror stories by their elders and experienced their enemies in combat. Humanising them through communication could help change these views.
PeaceTech plans to extend the use of its technology through Asia and the Middle East.
KitGuru Says: This sounds like a fantastic use of VOIP technology. Certainly better than your average Chat Roulette session anyway.