Understanding and Using the Digital Space for Conflict Resolution

Research findings: Personal media ecology

Grantee Information

Name: Matthias Wevelsiep & Juha Törmänen
Institution: Crisis Management Initiative – Martti Ahtisaari Center
Location: Helsinki, Finland
Project duration: January 2013 – December 2013
Funding amount: 30.000,00 EUR

Project Description

The use of social media tools has an impact on violent conflict. However, the scientific evidence showing this is still very weak, and the debate on what effects can be attributed to social media is on-going. This project aimed to further understand and develop the conceptual underpinning of social media networks in relation to conflict, in order to use its potential for conflict resolution. Specifically, it explored how discussion in social media can be used for constructive consensus building dialogue.

Through its specific objectives, the project first contributed to the conceptual clarity of the related terms and concepts. Expert seminars and workshops strengthened the overall view on the subject and assisted the project team to distil promising pilot concepts. As a result of expert interviews and workshops the project team was able to implement two simulations, which can be considered for further integration to new projects.

Involving experts from relevant fields such as conflict transformation and collaborative media in the project has helped creating a community of practice.

The findings of the study can be read in detail in the project’s Final Report.