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Mon, Jul 25, 2016

PeaceTech Lab’s Open Situation Room Exchange

The PeaceTech Lab, spun off from the U.S. Institute for Peace, has released a new conflict monitoring and situational awareness platform called the Open Situation Room Exchange or OSRx for short. The project provides regularly updated visualizations of a growing number of datasets that previously were too complicated for conflict intervenors to access in meaningful ways without a tech staff and a data analysis budget. Available views include a global overview and country specific views. A recent interview with Noel Dickover, technical director of global network strategies at PeaceTech Lab provides some background on the goals of the project.

Real-time information: The OSRx pulls in real-time information from both social media and news sources. For social media analytics, we use Crimson Hexagon’s powerful ForSight platform to build social media monitors capture the conversation around conflict, and then send the results via Application Programming Interface (API) to the OSRx. They apply the Global Database of Events, Language and Tone (GDELT) dataset for news analytics. Real-time information includes word clouds, topic wheels and line charts on social media volume and the instability of news coverage.

Structured Indices: The OSRx has incorporate a number of structured indices. These cover the gamut of topics including governance issues, risk of violence, economic concerns, education, gender and technology. Structured indices do not change often - they are usually updated yearly or quarterly.

Of particular interest for the more casual user is the social media monitoring of facebook and twitter for indicators of tension and instability and violence.


Posted by: Bill Warters on 2016 07 25 | Filed under Conflict Resolution  Research Tools  Tech News  

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Thu, Jul 21, 2016

Student Conflict Resolution Center resources at University of Minnesota

The Student Conflict Resolution Center (SCRC) at the University of Minnesota has had a long history supporting students who want to manage conflict effectively. Jan Morse, the director and a certified mediator and ombuds, has 20 years of experience helping students address their concerns. While there is lots to look at and learn from on the site, what caught my attention was the nice collection of DIY guides designed to walk students and faculty advisors through potentially difficult situations. One focus area of note is the collection of materials exploring academic civility/incivility. Nicely formatted and reflecting years of experience working on these issues, the guides are worth reviewing as possible models for similar resources on your campus.


Posted by: Bill Warters on 2016 07 21 | Filed under Conflict Resolution  

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