Cambridge Peacekeeping, Climate and Conflict Lab (CPCCL)

About the Lab

Climate-related shifts continue to shape human conflict and put pressure on existing structures, resources and networks established to prevent and mitigate these scenarios.

At the Cambridge Peacekeeping, Climate and Conflict Lab (CPCCL), we aim to stimulate versatile research, facilitate effective knowledge transfer and support informed practitioner action in order to counteract the challenges of modern peacekeeping.

The CPCCL fosters an interdisciplinary space which prioritises bridge-building and collaborative action to address the overlaps in climate change and human conflict. We explore cutting edge research and coordinate partnerships within and beyond academia in order to support the work of the wider peacekeeping community. We take a proactive approach, encouraging the pursuit of opportunities for resilience building and adaption that prevent the need to rely on outdated and inadequate ‘reactive’ policy and action.

Our activities are guided by the belief that inclusive social innovation, which is suited to and inspired by local knowledge, will ensure that societies are equipped to deal with climate shifts across a variety of contexts.

United Nations vehicle with soldiers.

Our workstreams

Four work streams, informed by critical reviews of theory and practice, currently serve as the basis of the lab activities.

Spot and Stop

Fast evolving technologies provide abundant opportunity to identify possible sites of conflict, build local resilience and inform response systems. We aim to identify this technology and facilitate opportunities for preventing conflict or inform timely peacekeeping interventions.

This workstream elevates the possibilities to share local knowledge more widely and leverage it to develop resilience which will mitigate the pressures that ultimately initiate or aggravate conflict. The stream takes small and diverse pockets of innovation, connects them, and builds assets from which a wide variety of stakeholders can benefit.

The current activities include a critical review of theory and practice. Reports for publication are underway.


“Peace-gaming” refers to the simulation of peacebuilding, conflict resolution, and diplomacy scenarios, particularly in the context of international relations. It involves strategic planning, role-playing, and scenario analysis and can act as an educational tool, training method or research approach in order to better understand the complexities of peace processes and to develop strategies for promoting stability and cooperation.

This stream aims to build ‘serious’ peace games and simulations for practitioners as well as for formal and informal pedagogical purposes.

The current activities include a critical review of theory and practice and two ‘expert witness’ workshops, coordinated with Falmouth University and the Air University Innovation Accelerator, Alabama, scheduled for February and October.

Climate Mobilities

People have always moved, and continue to do so. Movement due to climate change may well be inevitable. We aim to improve understanding how and why people move, identify how people and places adapt to avoid moving and explore where movement aggravates conflict.

The current activities include a critical review of theory and practice, the development of a workshop and the production of two reports in partnership with Boston Consulting Group (BCG).

Peacekeepers Incubator

Incubators play a crucial role in nurturing early-stage ventures, projects and partnerships. The Cambridge Peace Incubator aims nurture these opportunities. CPCCL will deliver an online incubation programme for social ventures, projects and partnerships working at the intersection of peacekeeping, climate and conflict.

Modelled on Cambridge Social Ventures, global cohorts of up to 15 individuals, teams or organizations will receive up to six months training and advice supported by our experienced and diverse team.

Our people

Neil Stott

Management Practice Professor of Social Innovation

DProf (Middlesex University)

Dr Jarrod Pendlebury

Senior Strategist, Royal Australian Air Force

Jarrod, a senior strategist in the Royal Australian Air Force and Australia’s Military Advisor to the UN, spearheads the UN Department of Peace Operations Innovation Hub. This initiative connects researchers, innovators, and industry to address pressing challenges in global peace operations. With extensive operational experience as a pilot, Jarrod is a key figure in fostering innovation from experience. Active in academia, he focuses on the sociology of strategy and military organisation and holds degrees from the University of Sydney and the United States Air Force School of Advanced Air and Space Studies. He is also an Associate Research Fellow at Cambridge Judge Business School.

Nicole Helwig

Executive Director

DProf (Middlesex University)

Dr Nicole Helwig is Executive Director of the Cambridge Centre for Social Innovation. Prior to joining the centre, Nicole was an Honorary Practice Fellow, engaging with students in the MSt in Social Innovation.

Nicole worked extensively with social enterprises and social entrepreneurs as founding manager of the Centre for Social Enterprise at Memorial University of Newfoundland (2016-2021) where she also acted as programme co-ordinator for Memorial’s MBA in social enterprise and entrepreneurship. She is an Adjunct Professor at Taylor’s University School of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Nicole holds a Doctor of Professional Studies by Public Works from the University of Middlesex, an MBA from the University of Strathclyde (Malaysian international centre) and a BA from McGill University (humanistic studies programme). Nicole also holds a classical ballet pedagogue diploma from the Hungarian Dance Academy.

Paul Tracey

Professor of Innovation & Organisation

PhD (Stirling University)

Bill DeMarco

Chief Innovation Development (AUiX)/Assistant Professor at Air University, USAF

Bill is the Chief of Innovation Development for Air University (AUiX) and works to foster collaboration between AU students, faculty, and partners in the military, academia, and industry. This work is supported by his experience in founding and Chairing the Leadership Department and acting as an Assistant Professor at the Air Command and Staff College (ACSC). Bill, also an adjunct professor at Auburn University, served as a National Security Affairs Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution and is an Associate Research Fellow at Cambridge Judge Business School. He holds three master’s degrees and a doctorate from Middlesex University, London, and is a master coach with GiANT Worldwide leadership consulting.

Sophie Harbour

PhD student in the Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS), University of Cambridge

Sophie is a PhD student in the Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS), University of Cambridge. She researches the concept of care and governance and completed her Masters in Political Theory at the University of Witwatersrand, South Africa with a focus on human rights in theory and practice. Sophie is the Editor of the of the King’s College Entrepreneurship Lab Blog Series and a member of Murray Edwards College.

Who we work with

Boston Consulting Group (BCG)

The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) is a renowned global management consulting firm known for its strategic insights and innovative business solutions. Established in 1963, BCG has consistently been at the forefront of shaping and advising some of the world’s most influential organisations. With a commitment to driving lasting impact, BCG collaborates with clients across various industries, offering strategic advice, operational expertise, and transformative insights. The firm is recognized for its cutting-edge research, thought leadership, and a client-centric approach that addresses complex business challenges. BCG’s diverse team of consultants brings together a wealth of experience, helping clients navigate dynamic markets and achieve sustainable growth.

University of Falmouth

The University of Falmouth, located in Cornwall, United Kingdom, is a vibrant and innovative institution dedicated to creativity, entrepreneurship, and the arts. Established in 1902, it has evolved into a leading university with a strong focus on providing exceptional education in fields such as art, design, media, and performance. Falmouth University is renowned for its commitment to fostering creativity and pushing the boundaries of traditional disciplines. Its industry-focused approach and partnerships ensure graduates are well-equipped for success in the creative and cultural sectors.

Air University: Air University Innovation Accelerator (AUiX)

The Air University Innovation Accelerator (AUiX) is a dynamic program within Air University designed to foster creativity, entrepreneurship, and technological innovation within the United States Air Force. Through AUiX, military professionals and civilian leaders have the opportunity to collaborate, experiment, and develop cutting-edge solutions to complex challenges facing the air and space domains. By leveraging partnerships with industry, academia, and government agencies, AUiX provides access to resources, mentorship, and funding to accelerate the development and implementation of innovative ideas.

Centre for Social Impact (CSI UNSW)

The Centre for Social Impact (CSI UNSW), based at the University of New South Wales in Australia, aims to drive positive social change and tackle complex societal challenges including poverty, inequality, and sustainability. Through rigorous research, innovative programs, and partnerships with government, business, and community organisations, CSI UNSW works to create lasting impact and to foster an interdisciplinary approach which empowers individuals and communities. The Centre plays a pivotal role in shaping policies and practices for a more equitable and sustainable future.

Western Sydney University (WSU)

Based in New South Wales, Australia, the Western Sydney University (WSU) is committed to fostering innovation, social justice, and cultural diversity. This is reflected in its vibrant student community and inclusive learning environment. The university offers a diverse range of programs across various disciplines as well as cutting-edge facilities and resources. It is well known for its research excellence and industry partnerships.