Peace Entrepreneurship: Color Up Peace


Visual Peacetech was largely inspired by the work of Color Up Peace, taken here as an example of peace entrepreneurship. Visual Peacetech develops the notion of ‘peace entrepreneurship’ both theoretically and practically through a series of outreach practical peacebuilding initiatives. 

Logo of Color Up Peace, by Lisa Glybchenko.

Color Up Peace is a peacebuilding startup that works at the intersection of art-making and technology to leverage artistic innovation as a peacebuilding tool. Color Up Peace was founded by Lisa Glybchenko in 2016 as Lisa’s response to Russia’s war against Ukraine. From a student initiative at the American University in Bulgaria, Color Up Peace has grown to have projects/programs not only in Ukraine, but in about 15 other countries (e.g. Israel-Palestine and Kenya), as well as a special support program for Ukrainians who relocated to Finland during Russia’s 2022-2023 full-scale war against Ukraine.

Lisa presenting her entrepreneurial project at the event “Startup Tampere: Regional hubs as the new honeypots for investors”, Helsinki, Finland (Slush side event), 2022. Image credits: Damon Beckford.

The idea behind Color Up Peace is to encourage participants to think about peace and what peace means to them; to create opportunities for sharing visions of peace through digital visual means; to foster futures design of peace arrangements in the form of off-digital collective image transformations; to challenge the abundance of violence-centered and colonial imagery in media reporting and popular culture; and to employ digital image transformation as a means of democratic futures design and futures implementation. As the first and the core initiative of Color Up Peace went, Color Up Peace invites people from all over the world to submit photos of what peace is to them which Lisa turns into coloring pages (by drawing each one by hand digitally) for others to engage with and transform the original vision of peace. Color Up Peace will now also focus more on AR technologies for futures design, based on Lisa’s research within the Ph.D. 

Color Up Peace coloring books
Color Up Peace coloring books. Art and design by Lisa Glybchenko.

This digital-artistic futures design is at the core of such Color Up Peace activities as international trainings, context-specific workshops, virtual exhibitions, 9 art books, and a newly developed ed-tech piece to support people affected by war – especially Ukrainians.

Lisa presenting Visual PeaceTech and Color Up Peace at the 2022 Designs for a Cooloer Planet Exhibition at Aalto University, Finland. Photo credits: AVP staff.

News on recent projects:

Color Up Peace recently finished a Nordic-Ukrainian initiative to create (digital) arts-based support programs for (displaced) Ukrainians 💙💛 and their host communities in Vaasa & Tampere, Finland 🇫🇮; Reykjavik, Iceland 🇮🇸; Kyiv, Kharkiv & Chernivtsi, Ukraine 🇺🇦. The programs attracted around 250 participants and received overwhelmingly awesome feedback. We printed 390 artbooks and distributed them in Ukraine, Finland and Iceland. These workshops “Art for Ukraine – Art for Peace” were created for Ukrainians in Ukraine as well as displaced Ukrainians and their host communities in Finland and Iceland. Lisa Glybchenko conducted the workshops. For reflection, she made a video art piece below and a virtual exhibition available at this link. The project was conducted with the help of funding from the Culture and Art Programme Grant by Nordic Culture Point / Nordic Council of Ministers.
Play video on YouTube (opens in new tab)

Yelyzaveta Glybchenko