The PeaceTech Living-Learning Community at Conrad Grebel University Colleges welcomed its first residents and members in September 2019. Since then, students from all faculties have become involved as residents, associates, or peer leaders during their undergraduate degrees. Each member brings diverse experiences to the community, contributing to the interdisciplinary nature of discussions outside of the classroom about the intersection of technology and peace in society.

Read on to learn about the PeaceTech LLC experience from past participants.


Reflections from the PeaceTech Living-Learning Community

Rebecca Koole (2019-2021)

Rebecca smiling with her long hair down

Roles held: Community Member and Peer Leader

How have you engaged in innovation, peacemaking, or social justice since your time in the PeaceTech LLC?

My experience at the PeaceTech LLC has been a catalyst for me volunteering, taking steps towards pursuing a peace tech related career, and even starting a venture of my own. I find myself more confident asking the tough questions to peers in daily life but also to the decision makers of our society.

Looking back, what do you believe is the greatest strength of the PeaceTech LLC community?

As an Arts student, as well as a female interested in tech, I believe that gender representation and faculty diversity is the PeaceTech LLC's biggest strength. There is always someone to challenge your point of view or offer a unique perspective.

What is one thing you would say to students considering joining the PeaceTech LLC?

PeaceTech is full of surprises! I know that many of our members in the past have developed new interests or passions that they never even knew they had. It's a great experience. Honestly there is nothing to lose!

Even if your exposure to tech is limited, what you have to say will always prove to be valuable to the group!


Neil Brubacher (2019-2021)

Neil wearing a rusty red collared shirt and grey backpack in front of a mountain

Roles held: Community Member and Peer Leader

Why did you choose to live in the PeaceTech LLC?

As a student in a technical field, the chance to set aside time each week to reflect on the implications of the things I'm learning in class was very appealing from a vocational perspective. The chance to connect with and learn from peers in other areas and years of study was an awesome bonus!

Looking back, what do you believe is the greatest strength of the PeaceTech LLC community?

The PeaceTech LLC creates a space for peers from all areas of study to have focused discussions on themes of technology, justice, sustainability, and more, on equal footing. Grebel is the perfect ecosystem of academic diversity from which to draw out these conversations, and the Peacetech peer leaders work hard to make sure everyone who shows up has a platform to teach and to learn.

You do not have to be an 'expert' in technology or peace to join - the beauty of Peacetech is coming together to share areas of interest and expertise, expanding our knowledge and perspectives bit by bit.


Hannah Brubacher Kaethler (2019-2020)

Hannah wearing a light beige and grey scarf in the sunshine

Roles held: Community Member and Peer Leader

Why did you choose to live in the PeaceTech LLC?

I chose to be part of the PeaceTech LLC because of my skepticism of technology and the harmful ways in which it can be harnessed and used. I was curious about the perspectives of others; as a non-engineer, talking to engineers about the impact the technology and infrastructure they create for good and in promotion of peace gave me hope, but also opened my eyes further to the importance of intentionality in design and creation necessary for anyone creating new technologies or infrastructure.

What do you believe is the greatest strength of the PeaceTech LLC community?

As a multidisciplinary community, there are so many opportunities to learn from your peers, understand other perspectives, and have in depth multidimensional discussions that challenge and expand your own views. The integration of these conversations into daily life makes it so much easier to become a critical thinker and use the knowledge you gain from more official meetings in your every day activities. If you want to work towards peace in the world, this group is for you!

One day you're discussing whether or not AI and Machine learning should be governed by the federal government or an external party, and the next day you're playing volleyball on the same intramural team.


Grace Wright (2019)

Roles held: Community Member

How have you engaged in innovation, peacemaking, or social justice since your time in the PeaceTech LLC?

Since leading the PeaceTech LLC I've been involved with the MEDA team for the Pandemic Challenge, have gotten involved in Women in Technology groups through co-op, and have been involved in research surrounding AI applications in defense with Project Ploughshares.

What do you believe is the greatest strength of the PeaceTech LLC community?

The greatest strength of this LLC is its interdisciplinary design. Conversations about technology tend to be concentrated within certain groups or disciplines, but as we're realizing how pervasive its effects on society are, broadening the inclusion of people involved in the discussion about responsible innovation and technology is crucial.

The connections between UWaterloo, Grebel, and the Centre for Peace Advancement provide a unique setting to bridge perspectives and experiences related to peace, technology, and governance.


Charity Nonkes (2019)

Roles held: Peer Leader

Why did you choose to live in the PeaceTech LLC?

PeaceTech was an opportunity to connect with other like-minded students and learn from each other. It was a way to connect my passion for peace with emerging technologies.

How have you engaged in innovation, peacemaking, or social justice since your time in the PeaceTech LLC?

After graduating from UWaterloo with a PACS degree, I started a Masters of Environmental Sustainability at the University of Ottawa. Within the environmental field I regularly encounter concepts discussed in the PeaceTech LLC.

The greatest strength of the PeaceTech LLC community is the opportunity to connect with other students, provoking interesting conversations at the intersection of peace and technology.


For more information about joining and experiencing the PeaceTech LLC community, visit the PeaceTech LLC webpage or get to know the Current Peer Leaders.