Learning Soft Skills in Peacebuilding conference was organized in Leppävaara campus 19th of September

The objective of this conference was to present findings concerning training design and collect good practices from military, civilian and police training experts about training practices when preparing personnel to Conflict Prevention and Peace Building

​The conference was targeted to experts working with training and education in peacebuilding from academia, policymaking and training institutes (civilian, police, military).

Personnel deployed on Conflict Prevention and Peace Building (CPPB) missions need to be equipped with the skills and knowledge to perform successfully from the start of their tour of duty in the respective CSDP mission or operation. The Gaming for Peace (GAP) project has consulted experts in the field and reviewed broadly relevant documentation, and identified gaps in training for the soft skills needed to perform successfully in EU missions. Based on this analysis a set of curricula and a specific methodology, multiple player online game, is currently under development in the GAP consortium.

GAP project creates a knowledge around the importance of cultural awareness and self-awareness

One of the universities in this project, Kennedy Institute, has co-operated with Laurea in two different projects. First one is the GAP project and the other one is IECEU project which is a project that looks the effectiveness of EU missions that are deployed abroad to try to build peace around the world.

“I must say, we have had very close connections with Laurea. We are very impressed with the level of investment to research and teaching within this area”, Keiran Doyle from Kennedy Institute says.

The wider influence of GAP project is that it creates a knowledge around the importance of cultural awareness and self-awareness for people and agencies as they deploy in to peace building environments.

“We live in a very connected world, the implications of actions by people at every level within the Peace Building mission can be very influential and perhaps even at times catastrophic. I think if GAP project can build a tool, an instrument that can help people to work in that environment, I think that’s very important contribution to Peace Building”, Keiran Doyle tells.

“The goal of GAP is to think about the social skills peacekeepers need and to train them to work with people who are different than themselves. Whether that is different organization, gender, sexuality, culture among other things”, Principal Investigator Dr. Anne Holohan, Trinity College Dublin, the coordinator of GAP project explains.

There are already existing games that teach soft skills, communication and cooperation, but not yet in the Peace Building context. -“And we are also interested in the roleplaying aspect, to get people play with their online character is something different from already existing games, Dr. Anne Holohan tells.

In the workshops participants were developing the design of the game

The GAP project develops an innovative game environment where Conflict Prevention and Peace Building (CPPB) personnel can experience a range of real life simulated scenarious. real life ge of real-life simulated scenarios.

The participants in the workshops were planning for example how the game is going to look like and feel like and what kind of movement there will be in the game.

Picture 1. Workshop in Leppävaara Campus

One participant of this conference was Jari Mustonen, who has worked as a peacekeeper for different operations around the world for seven years. Jari has also participated a one day workshop for GAP project before. “This is very promising project. I think gaming can be used as a tool when training soft skills. We should also always remember to include face to face communication to the training. It is great that this is not only national but international project focused on EU missions”.

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