Can we build a more peaceful world through online commerce connections?
Last January, Hanne Melin Olbe, Director Global Public Policy at eBay Inc, participated in the first edition of the Basel Peace Forum. Following her input at the workshop on artificial intelligence and virtual marketplaces in peacebuilding, she reflects, in an article published on Medium.com, on the role which a new and more inclusive model of trade could play for long-term peacebuilding.
She describes how the online commerce platform enables trade patterns different from traditional trade. She argues that this model of trade could contribute to peacebuilding, highlighting three of its features that have been found to play a role in reducing conflict: First, platform-enabled trade enables trust creation between individuals across distance. Second, it empowers broader based economic growth by including micro and small enterprises as well as firms in remote areas. Lastly, it allows for export diversification, reducing the risk of conflict a fragile country faces when its export is centered on commodities and thus vulnerable to price changes.