Spring 2020 Peer Leaders: Conrad Heidebrecht | Rebecca Koole

Conrad Heidebrecht

Program: 3rd year Systems Design Engineering

Conrad Heidebrecht PortraitQ. What made you apply to be a PeaceTech Living-Learning Community Peer Leader?

A. I have loved being a part of peacetech in the past and found it to be an enriching and meaningful experience. I applied to be a PeaceTech Peer Leader because the experiences and discussions I’ve had have given me lots of insight and ideas on how to expand and develop the PeaceTech community. The world under COVID-19 also presents a new and unprecedented opportunity to explore the impact of peace and technology on an unfolding crisis, in real time. I am excited to tackle all the new challenges, ideas and innovations that arise, and I can’t wait to share my passion for peace and technology with the community.

Q. What are you most excited for in this position?

A. I think the most exciting part about this position for me is all the opportunity for learning. This mindset has been constant since I’ve started my journey with PeaceTech. I've loved the guest speakers, discussions, and opportunities to expand and apply PeaceTech in the workplace. As a peer leader I am looking forward to being able to apply my own experiences and insight to help direct learning, connect with knowledgeable people, and bring the PeaceTech community closer together in these isolating times. The world changing effects of the pandemic also accentuate the importance of PeaceTech, and allow our group to take on new meaning. I’m excited to explore how we can learn, adapt and respond in these difficult times.

Q. What does PeaceTech mean for you?

A. For me, PeaceTech  is a journey of ethical and responsible innovation through applying peace and a sense of accountability to the tech industry. As well, we can explore ways in which our understanding and application of peace can develop through technology. Talking about peace and technology together is important especially because I believe as my education and work in tech continues, so should my investment in thinking about PeaceTech. PeaceTech took on new meaning during my time abroad, as I worked for Demine Robotics in Cambodia, developing a solution to clear landmines. I learned first hand what humanitarian work looks like, as well as the importance of applying a comprehensive and empathetic perspective to technological development. 

 Rebecca Koole

Program: 3rd Year Honours Arts and Business

rebecca koole portraitQ. What made you apply to be a PeaceTech Living-Learning Community Peer Leader?

A. It is rewarding to witness such a passionate group of of individuals dive deep into the implications of technology and peace. I have been personally challenged to think more critically about how technology can and should be used in the world. Being able to collaborate with so many like-minded individuals has made an impact on both my understanding of tech as well as what I hope to achieve in my future career. I wanted to help others get just as much out of PeaceTech as I did. 

Q. What are you most excited for in this position?

A. We live in exciting times with the world constantly changing around us. I am beyond thrilled to see what becomes of the conversations that are sparked, the ideas that are shared, and the big questions that are asked. PeaceTech has the potential to serve as an excellent foundation as young minds set out to solve some of the world's biggest challenges. 

Q. What does PeaceTech mean for you?

A. To me, PeaceTech is a community of individuals seeking to not only genuinely challenge themselves, but to challenge others. PeaceTech serves as a catalyst for personal growth and a means of broadening our understanding of the world around us.