In the fall of 2012, we launched a knowledge innovation fund and received many entries.
Undoubtedly, one of the most interesting ideas was a submission made by the duo Katie Economidou and Dervish Baha. Together they had been trained in the early ’90s in conflict resolution and mediation along with many of their peers, who later went on to do much of the great civil society work on peacebuilding in Cyprus.
Katie and Dervish wanted to create a video depository of the experiences of themselves and their colleagues, and to create a platform where they would invite mediators and conflict resolution trainers from around the world to do the same.
In March of this year, along with the launch of Mahallae, their dream to create one of the world’s first crowdsourced video archives for mediators will start to come true.
Check out our brief interview with Katie:
Q: You and your long time collaborator Dervish Baha were frontrunners in creating this interactive tool on Mahallae, Digi Wisdom for Mediators and Trainers. Can you first of all tell us briefly what we should expect from this tool?
Katie Economidou: You will be able to browse videos over a map of the island to watch short three minute clips of interviews with conflict resolution and mediation trainers who started and developed the citizen peace process throughout the years in Cyprus and made a contribution to spreading the culture of peace around the island.
The videos give you a chance to discover the difficulties and barriers to this process and will also share the advantages and what was learned.
Q: How did you come up with the idea to develop Digi Wisdom for Mediators and Trainers? What do you aim to achieve with it?
Katie: Our intention was to provide people with a user-friendly tool that would enable them to connect with mediators and conflict resolution trainers in Cyprus and around the world who do similar work to theirs, and also share some of the best practices from the mediators’ experiences so far.
Q: Do you have any plans for future development and/or outreach?
Katie: Yes, certainly. The next step is the website that will give the opportunity to mediators and conflict resolution trainers from around the world to upload their videos and success stories, and include training material they develop and use in trainings.
The idea is to assist those who wish to play a role in the conflict resolution in their societies and don’t have the means and resources to do it.
We wish to have open communication with practitioners and exchange knowledge and experiences, to empower each other in our work and become more useful and effective in our work, which started as purely voluntary and is becoming seriously professional.
* This post was originally published on Mahallae’s Tumblr blog