faculty & experts
23 May 2022

New Partnership in PeaceTech

On 19 May 2022, the Geneva Graduate Institute and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL) signed an agreement to create the Swiss PeaceTech Alliance, which will bring together complementary knowledge needed to build capacity internationally in the field of PeaceTech. The Institute is proud to further announce that the Geneva Peacebuilding Platform (GPP) has also decided to join the alliance.

Building on the country’s long tradition as a neutral actor engaged in peace promotion, the Alliance will respond to the pressing unmet needs at the intersection of peace and technology. Our ambition is to stimulate peace innovation through concrete tech-based solutions (tech to peace), and the promotion of peacebuilding and peacemaking principles in the design and development of tech innovations (peace to tech).

“The technological turn is creating unprecedented transformations in our societies, polities, economies and even in our individual and collective identities. It is essential that responsible technologies be developed by design and incorporate principles of human rights, sustainability and peacebuilding”, said Marie-Laure Salles, Director of the Geneva Graduate Institute.

To do so, the Geneva Graduate Institute and EPFL intend to leverage their recognised academic excellence in both social and computer sciences, and engage with the Geneva Peacebuilding Platform and a critical mass of peacebuilding experts to build new knowledge and develop innovative practice in PeaceTech, with a critical eye on sustainability and the long-term effects of technology in peace and conflict.

“There is increasing conviction within the international community that peace, sustainability and equity are in tight interdependence,” argued Marie-Laure Salles, Director of the Graduate Institute.

“Expertise and leadership in the hard sciences and technology are of course needed to create technological innovations for PeaceTech. But for PeaceTech to be applied effectively, strong knowledge in the social sciences is also indispensable”, said Martin Vetterli, President of EPFL. “Our two institutions are each recognised world leaders in our areas of excellence – EPFL for technology and the Geneva Graduate Institute for expertise in world affairs, international relations and development”.

The EPFL EssentialTech Centre and the Geneva Graduate Institute will jointly serve as coordinators for operational capacity. They will connect experts from both institutions and beyond, building an interdisciplinary reference group to support PeaceTech initiatives worldwide.

Dr Klaus Schönenberger
Director, EssentialTech Centre, EPFL

Dr Achim Wennmann
Director for Strategic Partnerships, Geneva Graduate Institute