Turning challenges into opportunities


Date to be confirmed

9:00am to 12:00am

University of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

Organized by:

In collaboration with:

Building a virtual academic research and knowledge hub on SDGs and peace-building challenges linked to business opportunities within the region.

  • Launching the PeaceStartup Cycle - Phase 2 in the United Arab Emirates.

  • Building a map of actors and potential academic partners.

  • Understanding the challenges and business opportunities related to sustainable development (SDGs) and peace-building in the region. 

  • Connecting the SDGs and peace challenges in the region with the UAE academia as well as the business sector innovation and development potential. 

This academic conversation will gather around 15-20 academics from different disciplines as well as outstanding PhD and Master students from the UAE willing to share their ideas and research frameworks in order to identify and better understand the main SDGs and peace-building challenges in the region. 


Some discussion topics will focus on:


  • The general economic and social regional context

  • The actors with leverage in the region, including the international community

  • The main problems to solve

  • The role and positive impacts of the business sector

  • The role of technology as a driver for change


The discussions will be carried under the Chatham House Rules. 








We believe in the potential of the academia as a driver for change. This academic discussion will enable everyone to learn, build and share new perspectives and insights about the new challenges that the region is currently facing and what role the UAE academia is playing as a regional think tank. 


Therefore, we propose a methodology based in a three phase process:


Stage 1. Preparation of the roundtable 

We will share with the participants some of the key challenges faced by the region beforehand. Participants will also be asked to prepare a list of relevant issues for the discussion. We will raise the main real challenges and the different contexts in the region in order to explore ways to address them from a multidisciplinary perspective.


Stage 2. During the roundtable

During the roundtable, we will open the conversation by sharing some ideas about the role of the business sector in conflict and post conflict areas. Some study cases will be brought to discussion. Then we will open the floor to the audience that will discuss about some of the concepts brought to the table. The main goal of the PeaceStartup Academic Roundtable is to collaboratively build a framework on the main challenges within the region based on the on-going research and the gaps around it. 


Stage 3. After the roundtable

The general conclusions of the roundtable will be shared among the participants and a PeaceStartup Research Paper will be published. 



We hope to improve the common knowledge and understanding of the existing research ecosystem around the SDGs and peace-building in the UAE. By sharing key information we will be able to better understand its opportunities and challenges.  Our focus is to put research and academic knowledge at the basis of each PeaceStartup Cycle. 


Each PeaceStartup Cycle aims at “developing technological ventures that solve sustainable development challenges by building a global community of peace businesses”.


The conversation, the materials and the roundtable are aimed at enabling the UAE academic community to meaningful link its research and knowledge to the development of sustainable and innovative business initiatives in the region. 



She works with companies, NGOs and governments to understand and create value for the global sustainable development agenda.


Maria is also the founder of Business and Human Rights (BHR), a consultancy firm that helps big companies to understand the global development agenda.

maria prandi

Juan is passionate about the possibility of transforming businesses to create long term value with a high social and environmental impact. 


As an entrepreneur, Juan has built four companies in a complex context such as Colombia. He received the Business for Peace Award 2015 of the Business for Peace Foundation (Oslo) for his ideas about connecting the potential of technology with the global agenda.  

Juan Andrés Cano 

John researches business operations in conflict zones. He looks specifically at how businesses can mitigate political risk and enhance peace in conflict and post-conflict zones and how international businesses can limit their legal exposure as a result of foreign operations in conflict and post-conflict zones. 


John is Head of Sustainability and Associate Professor of Management at the American University of Sharjah.




Please register through this form. Subject should be: PeaceStartup Roundtable AUS.

Name *

Email *



¡Bien! Mensaje recibido



Soon to come...







Email *

Thank you!

  • Facebook - Grey Circle
  • Twitter - Grey Circle
  • LinkedIn - Grey Circle
  • YouTube - Grey Circle

© 2017  PeaceStartup Foundation