This article was originally published by Pakistan Point.
In collaboration with the Accountability Lab, a Peace Incubator has been established at the Muhammad Nawaz Sharif University of Agriculture (MNSUA). According to a handout issued here Friday, started as a pilot project, the two organizations will engage and train at least three cohorts of 25 students each and at least 10 faculty members in helping them build the skills for innovation, creativity, and social entrepreneurship around peace promotion and conflict mitigation.
The broader concept behind the incubator is to orient the students about importance of promotion of a peace oriented eco-system in the society and the ways to do so. It will also expose them to the larger socio-economic benefits of a thriving peace ecology that is a pre-requisite for a society’s welfare and betterment. The peace incubator is expected to culminate in conception and implementation of creative peace actions implemented within the premises of the university but with a focus on creating an environment that is open to accepting diversity, that celebrates social, ethnic, racial, and religious heterogeneity, and that has a wider tolerability for its fundamental social norms and values.
The youth in Multan, whose majority belongs to Saraiki ethnicity, is usually less likely to receive exposure to ideas that are a routine for their counterparts in the developed world. Bridging this gap, the MNSUA and the Accountability Lab agreed in August this year to start an incubator where students may be trained on crucial skills such as social entrepreneurship, innovation, ideas inception and development, networking skills, modern information and advocacy tools, and on communication skills etc.
After completion of the training, the students will be encouraged to come up with ideas that, to them, can help promoting a pro-peace environment within the university and in their surroundings. The top ideas will then be presented at a larger learning event hosted at the university towards the end of the project. This pilot phase of the incubator is set to last until December this year.