Traditional peace building approaches consider stopping all types of violence and a well established post-conflict process as a pre-condition to any successful attempt of socio-economic transformation in conflict zones. The experience of the Basque Country demonstrates the opposite. A successful movement of socio-economic transformation based on local public and private partnerships and endogenous investment can be co-created under the most difficult conditions. A cross political spectrum commitment with social cohesion and sustainable human development as the driving forces of this economic transformation is the most important factor to understand this experience. From this perspective, peace and reconciliation are not a pre-condition for socio economic development but a natural consequence of an integral movement of transformation. Social innovation is therefore, the necessary tool to approach the transformation process. Global economic factors and market needs must be part of the strategy but social impact and local culture will play an even more important role in generating a new narrative of transformation and tangible interventions that will have a direct impact on peoples lives. Many post conflict zones have tried to apply a pure “market logic” to design their economic development needs and have failed to provide concrete peace benefits for the most deprived communities. A new period of “ business as usual” that will only benefit a few from the peace building process will alienate the majority of the population and it will generate very active opposition pockets in the most deprived communities. A peace and reconciliation process is a magnificent opportunity to build a new society based on sustainable human development values. Movement building and social innovation are the tools to make it possible.