Daanish is an investigator at BeAnotherLab, a transnational interdisciplinary group that uses art, science, and technology to promote empathy and perspective taking among diverse communities; thereby facilitating shared civic action across identity fault lines. BeAnotherLab uses VR, neuroscience, embodiment, and storytelling to allow users to feel themselves in the body of another person. By day, Daanish works at the United Nation’s Department of Political Affairs, focusing on peacebuilding in Iraq. From 2014, he has been an MIT research affiliate in Arts, Culture, and Technology.
Born and raised in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Daanish has lived and worked in New York for 18 years. After 9/11, he worked as a community organizer to assist immigrants facing discrimination under the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System, a system for registering non-citizens on US soil that was initiated in 2002 as part of the War on Terrorism. From 2007 to 2015, Daanish worked at the UN Alliance of Civilizations, a special initiative of the UN Secretary-General that pursues experimental approaches in investigating the role of identity in violent conflict. In 2014, Daanish joined the art-science collective BeAnotherLab to develop conflict-resolution applications for The Machine to Be Another.