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Smart Tools for Smart Power: Simulations and Serious Games for Peacebuilding


Thursday, July 16, 2009 from 9:00 AM to 3:30 PM (EDT)

Smart Tools for Smart Power: Simulations and Serious...

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Afternoon-Only Registration   more info Ended Free  

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Event Details

The United States Institute of Peace invites you to:


Simulations and Serious Games for Peacebuilding

At the United States Institute of Peace 

1200 17th Street NW, Washington, DC 200036

Thursday, July 16th, 2009

9:00 am to 3:30 pm

USIP's Center of Innovation for Science, Technology and Peacebuilding hosted a full-day multimedia showcase of state-of-the-art simulation and "serious gaming" tools that promise to transform the way that peacebuilding organizations train, plan and collaborate. The "Smart Tools for Smart Power" event featured presentations from such innovators as IBM, the Army War College, EBay, Lockheed Martin, Second Life, and USIP's own Education and Training Center.  U.S. Deputy CTO Beth Noveck presented the keynote address, in which she noted that the Obama administration sees "serious" games as an important, largely untapped way to enable innovation in government and civic engagement.

The event explored how the latest online and scenario-driven simulations and 3D virtual environments can be applied to sharpen decision-making skills and lay the foundation for more effective peace operations, negotiation, and cooperation. Washington DC attendees were given hands-on demonstrations of state-of-the-art tools, some with current application to conflict management and some to inspire new ideas for the peacebuilding community.

The event also engaged more than 300 online participants from 24 countries as varied as Kenya, Spain, Mauritania, Israel, and Brazil. Many of them participated in an active parallel discussion and Q&A with presenters, through chat and social networking platforms like Twitter, where some 30 users discussed the event's proceedings throughout the day.

The event, conducted in collaboration with Lockheed Martin's Center of Innovation and Eastern Mennonite University's 3D Security Initiative, also marked the beginning of an unprecedented public-private innovation partnership. Going forward, USIP's "Smart Tools for Smart Power" initiative aims to help all organizations that seek to mitigate violent conflict take full advantage of the most cutting-edge simulations, analytics, serious games and other technology-enabled decision-support and collaboration tools.


Morning session:

Beth Noveck, Keynote

  Deputy Chief Technology Officer, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy

Jason Dechant

  Strategy, Forces and Resources Division, Institute for Defense Analyses

Charlie Hargraves

  3D Immersive Virtual Environment Program, Lockheed Martin

Jon Wilkenfeld

  Director, Center for International Development and Conflict Management, University of Maryland

Steve York and Ivan Marovic

  “A Force More Powerful,” York Zimmerman

Afternoon session

Scott Sechser

Second Life, Linden Lab

Col. Philip Evans

  Director, Operations & Gaming Division, U.S. Army War College

Skip Cole

  Senior Program Officer, Education and Training Center, U.S. Institute of Peace

Colin Rule

  Director, Online Dispute Resolution, EBay

Michael Martine

  Director of Strategy & Planning, IBM

Sheldon Himelfarb, Moderator

  Associate Vice President, Center of Innovation for Science, Technology, and Peacebuilding, U.S. Institute of Peace

Lisa Schirch, Moderator

Director, 3D Security Initiative, Eastern Mennonite University


This event is part of the Center’s ongoing “Smart Tools for Smart Power” initiative to identify cutting-edge technologies that may enable peacebuilding organizations to better prevent and resolve violent conflict through data-driven decision-making, information sharing, analytics, and online collaboration.

If you would like more information about the initiative, please contact Joel Whitaker (jwhitaker@usip.org) and Anand Varghese (avarghese1@usip.org).

The “Smart Tools for Smart Power” initiative is led by the US Institute of Peace’s Center of Innovation for Science, Technology and Peacebuilding, co-sponsored by USIP’s Education and Training Center and Center for Post-Conflict Peace and Stability Operations, in partnership with the 3D Security Initiative of Eastern Mennonite University and Lockheed Martin’s Center for Innovation.


Media Inquiries: Please contact Lauren Sucher (lsucher@usip.org) in the USIP Office of Public Affairs and Communications.

Have questions about Smart Tools for Smart Power: Simulations and Serious Games for Peacebuilding? Contact IFES and USIP

When & Where

U.S. Institute of Peace
2301 Constitution Ave NW
Washington, DC 20037

Thursday, July 16, 2009 from 9:00 AM to 3:30 PM (EDT)

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The International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) is an independent, non-governmental organization providing professional support to electoral democracy. Through field work, applied research and advocacy, we strive to promote citizen participation, transparency, and accountability in political life and civil society

The United States Institute of Peace is an independent, nonpartisan institution established and funded by Congress. Its goals are to help prevent and resolve violent international conflicts, promote post-conflict stability and development, and increase conflict management capacity, tools, and intellectual capital worldwide. The Institute does this by empowering others with knowledge, skills, and resources, as well as by directly engaging in peacebuilding efforts around the globe.


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Smart Tools for Smart Power: Simulations and Serious Games for Peacebuilding
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