IEEE ISTAS 2021 More than Tech for Good: PeaceTech at Waterloo and Beyond

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#IEEE ISTAS 2021 #peace #justice #security #technology #entrepreneurship

Facilitated by Paul Heidebrecht, this panel features engineers, peacebuilders, and entrepreneurs to discuss the intersection of peace and technology. Following Heidebrecht's introduction to the field of "PeaceTech" and its status as a driving force for an area of programming at the University of Waterloo and Kindred Centre for Peace Advancement (Conrad Grebel College), each panelist offers a brief responses to the question "What does the term PeaceTech mean to you?"

The conversation then turns to an in-depth discussion of panelists professional and academic work, with contributions from: Cassie Meyers (CEO of Lunaria Solutions) and Richard Yim (CEO fo Demine Robotics) both of whom have have launched startups that promote PeaceTech goals; Branka Marijan (Senior Researcher at Project Ploughshares); Hannah Bernstein (PeaceTech Living-Learning Community Peer at the University of Waterloo); and Jonathan Smith (Machine Learning Scientist at Layer 6 AI).

In addition to offering an introduction to the field of PeaceTech, the session provided a range of diverse lenses on how this "mindset" can be implemented in various academic and industry contexts, and panelists shared their enthusiasm for seeing greater collaboration between companies, university researchers, government agencies, and peacebuilding organizations. 

The "More than Tech for Good: PeaceTech at Waterloo and Beyond" Special Session took place during IEEE ISTAS 2021 on 31 October 2021. 

Facilitator: Paul Heidebrecht, Director of the Kindred Credit Union Centre for Peace Advancement
Moderator: Emily Charron, Coordinator of the Kindred Credit Union Centre for Peace Advancement


  • Hannah Bernstein, UWaterloo student & PeaceTech Living Learning Community Peer Leader
  • Branka Marijan, Senior Researcher, Project Ploughshares
  • Cassie Myers, CEO and Founder, Lunaria Solutions
  • Jonathan Smith, Machine Learning Scientist, Layer 6 AI
  • Richard Yim, CEO and Founder, Demine Robotics

This session features engineers and peacebuilders, including C-Suite level experts, with connections to the University of Waterloo who are contributing to the growing global movement for PeaceTech.