Category Archives: Digital Strategy

National Peace Academy’s Peacebuilding Peacelearning Intensive

From July 17th – 24th, I attended, along with approximately 45 other participants from around the world, the National Peace Academy’s Peacebuilding Peacelearning Intensive, held on the Champlain College campus in Burlington, VT.  The goal of the intensive was to “nurture your holistic development as a peacebuilder by engaging in deep reflection and critical inquiry into your own worldviews, values, principles, and assumptions…In supporting the development of peace systems we [NPA] will engage you in a reflective and integrative planning process that will culminate in the development of your own unique, ‘Peacebuilding Plan Proposal.'”

This was a truly transformative experience and one of the best workshops/community gatherings in which I have ever participated.  The diversity of people that were in attendance, the quality of presentations, the power of the reflective processes, and the community that was built around our visions for peace was something that furthered my commitment to the beloved community of peacebuilders and peacelearners across the globe.  Continue reading to learn about my experience over the five days.

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2011 Fletcher Summer Institute

From June 19-24, I attended, helped organize, and presented at the 2011 Fletcher Summer Institute for the Advanced Study of Nonviolence Conflict. This yearly institute is the only professional level course of its kind offered in the world that explores the strategic use of nonviolent civic action – strikes, boycotts, mass demonstrations, civil disobedience, etc. – as a method of fighting for and defending human rights, social justice, and democratic self-rule.

This year the institute brought together 45 participants from 26 countries and delved into topics such as forming a movement, the paradox of repression, citizen journalism and movement media, negotiations and transitions, and the role of third party actors in supporting civil resistance movements. My colleague, Nicola Barrach, and I co-presented a session on digital and social media in civil resistance, which looked at the uses and limitations of digital technology, social media, and the internet in waging nonviolent struggle.

In addition to presenting, I also helped coordinate various media elements of the institute by integrating the use of our FSI alumni network Facebook group page as a platform for continued discussion and resource sharing; organizing live, communal note-taking on Twitter with the #fsi11 hashtag; curating and sharing key tweets and resources mentioned during the different sessions using Bundlr; recording audio interviews with participants and presenters and sharing those recording on Twitter using Audioboo; and conducting longer video interviews with select participants and presenters for the ICNC website and our On the Ground Interview Series.  Needless to say, I did not get much sleep, but I did have a great time, learning a lot from some amazing organizers, activists, and educators!  Continue reading to learn more about the institute, the various sessions, and some of the key take-aways from each.

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Workshop on Citizen Journalism and Civil Resistance

For the last six days I was in Madrid, Spain to help facilitate a workshop that married the two fields of citizen journalism and civil resistance.  The goal of the workshop was to prepare journalists, bloggers, and communicators from around the world to better understand the strategic dynamics of nonviolent social movements so they can more effectively report on these struggles in ways that will help them to succeed.  26 citizen journalists participated in the workshop coming from the following countries: Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, UK, Phillipines, Mexico, Spain, Israel/Palestine, Brazil, Yemen, Bahrain, Egypt, Macedonia, Ukraine, India, Sri Lanka, Lebanon, Serbia, France, and Finland.

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Spring 2011 Semester Begins at AU

The spring 2011 semester at American University has begin and my dad and I continue to teach EDU285 – Education for International Development.  This semester marks the fourth time we’ve taught this course and we are continuing to find new ways to make the class better – introducing appropriate amounts of content, incorporating a diverse set of activities and exercises, and utilizing new online tools to enhance student learning.  This semester there are three main changes from previous semesters: (1) a Twitter feed (@AUedu285) to follow stories related to education and international development, (2) a website redesign, and (3) more guest speakers.

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Civil Resistance and the Dynamics of Nonviolent Conflict

This week I finished facilitating ICNC’s  eight-week course, Civil Resistance and the Dynamics of Nonviolent, which is offered in partnership with the United States Institute of Peace.  This is the second iteration of this course – by far the most popular fall 2010 course offered through USIP’s academy – and we’ve made some significant improvements from last time.

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Interview with West Papuan Activist, Herman Wainggai

One of the best parts of my job is having the opportunity to meet amazing people who are on the front lines of nonviolent movements across the world.  Earlier this year, I started an online initiative interviewing nonviolent action takers in order to share the stories, experiences, and perspectives of these individuals and their movements so that the rest of the world may be made aware of their struggle.  In this interview I speak with Herman Wainggai, a leader in West Papua’s self-determination struggle.

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The Digital Duel: Resistance and Repression in an Online World (Webinar)

This past Thursday I presented my very first webinar, The Digital Duel: Resistance and Repression in an Online World, which looked at the emerging role of digital tools, new media, and the Internet in waging nonviolent struggle across the world.  It also looked at how repressive regimes are also using these same tools to censor and clamp down on dissent and civic mobilization.

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