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Thursday, March 31 • 9:00am - 10:15am
Promises and Pitfalls of Digital Activism: Lightning Talks

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"And Then They Came For Us: Defending Technologists from Human Rights Abuses"
ID: 262 — Danny O'Brien (International Directors, Electronic Frontier Foundation)
Activists, journalists, and lawyers are frequently front and center in the stories of repression, harassment and unlawful detention around the world. Their work makes them a powerful force for change and for defending human rights. It also makes them a target. Increasingly, technologists are playing the same pivotal role. But do we know how to defend them as effectively? And does it get easier or harder to tell those stories when those targets are not a "they" — but one of us?

"IranCubator: Sparking Iran’s Civic­Tech Sector"
ID: 218 — Firuzeh Mahmoudi (Director, United for Iran)
Several dramatic examples of routine daily human rights violations occur in the Iranian context: ”morality police” attacking civilians in the street, random raids of citizens who posted a controversial tweet, and mass arrest of Viber users who made jokes about Ayatollah Khomeini. All of these are addressable through the suite of online tools being developed at the IranCubator. I will start my talk with a relevant and specific story of one such event to bring the urgency of the Iranian experience into the room. I will then speak to the specific technological solution that we are developing to address the challenge. I will then move the presentation back to the related tools, and the model that is being developed by IranCubator ––the developer network, the security challenge, and other specific problems that we are developing governance and project management solutions to. Finally, I will end with call to action for participants with specific domain expertise to join us in conversation through the conference and beyond.

"Online Rights, Online Duties?'
ID: 286 — Fernando Berdion-Del Valle (Fellow, Harvard University)
Internet rights are on the rise. From well-established concepts, such as the right to privacy, to newly emerging ideas, such as the “right to be forgotten,” the politics of connectivity, as played out in parliaments, think tanks, and corporate campuses, are drenched in the language of rights. The ubiquity of “rights talk” raises a crucial question: do online rights imply online responsibilities? This Lighting Talk takes the idea of online responsibilities and duties seriously. It asks what these duties should look like, whether they should be codified, and what actors – private, public, or non-profit – should assume them. Ultimately, the talk proposes a new approach that may help governments, NGOs, and individuals advocate for a free, inclusive, and just Internet.

"What We Talk About When We Talk About Digital Intersectionality?"
ID: 111 — Danae Tapia (Director of Projects, Derechos Digitales)
In the social sciences and in the studies of discriminations we owe a lot to the concept of intersectionality, mostly famous because of the black feminists who saw their interests co-opted by white logics. It was necessary to identify not a single but every of the oppressive instances that vulnerable groups have to face, as class, gender and any ethnic factor. When we talk about digital rights in Latin America we can’t make the mistake of framing our policy efforts with first world logics.This talk expects to cover the sophistications of an effective approach for working human rights in digital environments in the developing world and propose possible answers exposing a couple of successful case studies where grassroots work and real networking have been key to the analysis of the technological problems in the region.

"Beyond Petitions: The Next Generation of Online Civic Participation"
ID: 328 – Ben Rowswell (Amb. Ben Rowswell, Co-founder, Perennial Software)
Petition sites like Change.org and Avaaz have shown that millions of citizens can change outcomes in global affairs through petitions.  But few global challenges can be reduced to a time-limited campaign that either succeeds or fails.  
To move online collaboration from the margins to the centre of world politics we need campaigns in which citizens participate more deeply and continuously.  If the Facebooks of this world have found out how to motivate billions to engage online, not-for-profits can as well.  Combine social algorithms on user behaviour, machine learning, and robust security into one collaborative platform and you could turn distributed action into a tool to address the thorniest of the world's problems. Amb. Rowswell will outline plans to create such a platform to save lives in Syria.

"Ushahidi: Online Crowdsourcing of Human Rights Reporting"

avatar for Firuzeh Mahmoudi

Firuzeh Mahmoudi

United for Iran, United for Iran
Firuzeh Mahmoudi is the Director of United for Iran, a Bay Area NGO working to improve civil liberties in Iran. After witnessing the 2009 uprising in Iran, Mahmoudi organized a global rally in 110 cities. The day turned to be the largest day of global support for Iran in history. Shortly after, Mahmoudi started United for Iran. Seven years later, United for Iran works to improve human rights, support civil society, and increases civic... Read More →
avatar for Ben Rowswell

Ben Rowswell

Cofounder, Perennial Software Inc.
Co-founder, Perennial Software

Danae Tapia

Director of Projects, Derechos Digitales

Fernando Berdion-Del Valle

Fellow, Harvard University

Thursday March 31, 2016 9:00am - 10:15am
*The Hub*

Attendees (64)