Digital Technology is changing the outlook of the world with many countries using it as a means to bring about revolution against “evil” regimes. In a breath of fresh air, citizens of the Philippines are using digital technology to end it.
A planned mass video conference on Wednesday hopes to bring more than 6,000 young Pilipino Muslims and Christians from opposing sides of a 40-year conflict in cities separated by hundreds of miles like Manila and Iligan City. Organizers hope the conference will help both sides to get past long-standing stereotypes.
Muslim and Christian victims of the conflict will share personal experiences on how the conflict has negatively affected them. A negotiator from the Government and one from the Mindanao Islamic Liberation Front will speak on a tentative peace deal that could end decades of conflict and create a new autonomous region in the Philippines.
PeaceTech is the organization who introduced the concept of mass video conferencing for peace-building and education in Asia in 2006, and is holding this conference as well.
Both groups will gather in a large gymnasium in their respective cities and interact through movie theater sized monitors that should allow the groups to directly participate through question-and-answer sessions, and other interactive activities.
The conference is planned to last 4 hours and organizers hope it will help bridge the gap between the warring factions.
PeaceTech founder Robin Pettyfer, whose father was a British officer and mother a prisoner of war, explained:
“I am conscious that today’s young generation has an opportunity and responsibility to use the internet to come together in ways that all previous generations could never do – to learn that we just might have more in common than what we have always been told.