The rapid growth of technology has contributed to bringing futuristic items and lifestyles faster than ever. However, there is a massive gap between those who are ready to embrace the change and those who are not. In addition, technology meant to help humans has been misused by those to complicate and perpetuate conflicts. This is happening, among others, through cybercrimes, hate speeches, hoaxes, and discrimination on digital platforms.

Thus, it is time to take further initiatives and use technology as an instrument of peace to promote and bring the positive narratives of peace to society to counter those attempts. A combination of peace and technology could be a way to prevent conflicts, enhance capacity building and create collaborative projects.

This Youth-Tech Workshop is inspired by the ASEAN Institute for Peace and Reconciliation (ASEAN-IPR) Regional Youth Conference on Peace and Tolerance: “Building Unity and Common Understanding in Countering Intolerance and Violent Extremism” held in Jakarta in October 2018 which produced a youth declaration titled “ASEAN Youth Declaration on Peace and Tolerance”. One of the recommendations stated in the Declaration is to “Promote narratives of peace, tolerance, and pluralism through various platforms such as art, creative industry, as well as information and
communication technology (ICT) including social media”.

In October 2019, the ASEAN Youth Organization (A.Y.O) supported by the ASEAN
Secretariat had successfully conducted the ASEAN Youth Conference 2019 in Bangkok, Thailand. This youth-led conference is a testimony that young people are able to create initiatives on a national and regional scale. Thus, A.Y.O will be a strategic partner for this conference to promote the spirit of peace and tolerance among young people in ASEAN member states.

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