First Symposium on Peacebuilding and Blockchain Tech at Rose Castle

Kalam Research and Media (KRM) and the Rose Castle Foundation (RCF) convened the 1st Symposium on Peacebuilding and Blockchain Technology at the Rose Castle grounds in Cumbria, UK, on 22–23 August 2022. 

Kalam Research and Media (KRM) joined the peacebuilding organisation Rose Castle Foundation (RCF) at their idyllic home at Rose Castle in Cumbria, UK to examine emerging lessons from the field of blockchain technology and their implications for the broader peacebuilding field. The symposium, hosted by Canon Sarah Snyder (Founding Director of RCF), was also a chance to deepen cooperation between KRM and RCF.

The Symposium brought together scholars and tech experts for an intimate dialogue around emerging lessons from the field of blockchain technology and to consider their implications for the broader peace-building field—an exploration of how we can start to build trust virtually.

The Keynote address was delivered by Dr Lisa Schirch, Senior Research Fellow for the Toda Peace Institute and director of their Technology and Peacebuilding Programme. Dr Schirch offered a wide-ranging introduction to the state of play within the emerging field of Peace Tech and offered inspiring food for thought on how peacebuilders can harness a range of tools, including block chain technologies, to catalyse drivers for peace and design for scalable impact.  

Dr Nayed delivered a robust vision for the potential of blockchain technologies to address the unique challenges facing Libya, exploring the potential for sustainable, inclusive advances in banking, national infrastructure, housing and many other sectors. We also heard from young entrepreneurs, Josh Snyder and Chris Bird, co-founders of tech start-up Time Navi, who addressed the transformative potential of blockchain technologies for the next generation of peacemakers.  

Dr Aref Nayed and Professor David Ford signing an MOU between KRM and the Rose Castle Foundation.

At the event, Dr Aref Ali Nayed (Chairman of Kalam Research and Media (KRM), and Professor David Ford OBE (Regius Professor of Divinity, Emeritus at the University of Cambridge and Co-chair of RCF) signed a MOU between both institutions to pursue collaborative work and shared learning in the fields of Interfaith, Conflict Resolution, Peacebuilding, PeaceTech and Blockchain. 

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