For nearly two thousand years, Silk Road land and sea routs — which created an “intercontinental think tank of human ingenuity” in terms of trade and communication — connected the Mediterranean to Persia, Indian to Japan, and many more places within Eurasia. Media technologies, such as the printing press, even found their way across these merchant paths some years ago. Today, now online, …



Yesterday’s Can You Help Me Now? Mobile Phones and Peacebuilding In Afghanistan panel at the United States Institute for Peace (USIP) showcased experts on Afghanistan from all walks of life—government officials, programmers, and even social media gurus.

This event drew in a crowd of enthusiastic Twitterers using the hashtag #usipmobile, sharing questions and comments throughout the event and …



It’s clear that technology is beginning to play a key role in social change. Look at the role crisis mapping software has played in coordinating earthquake response in Haiti, or the effect that social media such as Twitter have had on demanding government accountability in Iran. These examples and many more leave no doubt about the ever-increasing importance of technological innovation in a conflict-ridden world.

But how …