Events, workshops, konferencer og medlemsarrangementer

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Onsdag 10 November 2021, 09:00 - 20:00

Internet for all, by all – infrastructure, access, availability, and safe spaces

Global Focus is happy to be part of the new global initiative Tech for Democracy, spearheaded by the Danish government. Tech for Democracy brings together civil society, governments, and the tech industry to work in global action to find concrete solutions to ensure that technology and digitalization work for – and not against - democracy and human rights. Global Focus is determined to ensure that global civil society and citizens’ voices are at the forefront of Tech for Democracy.


Global Focus invites you to be part of Tech for Democracy´s Days of Action - five days of multistakeholder dialogue on how technology can support democracy and human rights. Each Day of Action is dedicated to an overarching theme and will include a myriad of sessions hosted by actors from around the globe and across all time zones. All sessions are virtual on an encrypted platform and free of charge.


If you need Closed Captions for accessibility, then it is available in the meeting settings on the BlueJeans app. Otherwise we recommend using the browser to access the sessions on BlueJeans.





Digital infrastructure serving the public interest, internet shutdowns, digital divide, digital equity, accessibility, online violence, cyber feminism, access for all, cost of access etc.


{slider title="SESSION 1 - Public Interest Infrastructure" class="icon"}

09:00-10:00 UTC+1


The scale of disinformation and hate speech; undermined business models for local news production; Cambridge Analytica and the Rohingya genocide; as well as the monopolization and privatization of data-driven knowledge about our societies are all symptoms of a larger systemic problem with our digital infrastructures (search engines, internet cables, social media platforms, app stores, etc.).


This session looks to move beyond "fixing" existing digital infrastructures like Google, Facebook and TikTok and asks what we might build if we constructed digital infrastructures designed to serve the public interest instead.


Accepting the gravity and complexity of the challenge, the session looks to set an ambitious vision but equally important to identify what initial first steps we can take to get there. What solutions already exist? What frameworks can be used to score the public interest value of a given digital tool? How do we ensure that the wave of solutions being envisioned and built by local communities, local movements, local journalists, local techies, local youth that all have a vested interest in the wellbeing of their local communities remain under their control while being scaled? What local and global coalitions are needed to ensure our digital infrastructures serve the public interest, democracy, and human rights? 



International Media Support



Nadim Nashif, Founder & Director of 7amleh - The Arab Center for the Advancement of Social Media, Palestine

Rishad Patel, co-founder, Splice Media, Singapore

Dr. Theresa Züger, Head of the Public Interest AI research group & co-lead of AI & Society Lab at the Humboldt Institute for Internet & Society, Germany

Moderator: Magnus Ag, Public Interest Infrastructure Advisor, International Media Support, Denmark



{slider title="SESSION 2 - Strengthening Digital Security Through Apps" class="icon"}

10:00-11:30 UTC+1


The safety of human rights defenders is at stake from authoritarian regimes that are tracking the online presence of human rights defenders and thus causing serious danger that has resulted in unlawful arrests and even death in some instances.


Through our innovation, we provide a safety tool for at-risk digital rights defenders. This innovative tool can be accessed for free and once a laptop, phone, or digital appliance for a human rights defender is stolen or hacked, our innovation helps their critical information to be safeguarded in a cloud technology space.



One more percent



Halima Nyota, Commonwealth Youth Peace Ambassador Network, Kenya:

Halima was recently appointed to the Commonwealth Youth Peace Ambassador Network where she’s expected to work towards strengthening and optimizing grassroots, national, regional, and Pan-Commonwealth youth participation in promoting sustainable and the fight against violent extremism. As Commonwealth Youth Peace Ambassador, Nyota is tasked with the role to help in implementing the domestication of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2250. She convenes Matungu Social Justice Center that enhances participation of women and girls in preventing violent extremism and young women participation in leadership and policy advocacy with a key focus of countering social injustices in western Kenya.


Raphael Mimuon, Horizontal, USA:

Raphael is the founder of Horizontal, a non-profit that leverages technology for rights and justice. Horizontal empowers activists, journalists and human rights defenders to operate safely in the face of surveillance, censorship, and repression. At Horizontal, Raphael oversees the design and implementation of all programs, including digital security trainings and the design, development, and deployment of tools and apps for civil society groups. Raphael has trained dozens of grassroots groups and movements around the world and has consulted on digital security for organizations like Oxfam, Reporters Without Borders, and Vital Voices Global Partnership.


Brian Malika, One More Percent, Kenya:

Brian Malika has founded One More Percent which is a non for profit media organization that amplifies voices of marginalised populations like people with disabilities, women in rural areas and youth living in slums among others. Brian malika believes that the ambition for achieving a just and fair world for all by the year 2030 as defined by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals is achievable when traditionally marginalized people at the grassroots level speak out their mind for a prosperous world through an open and fair media that is anchored on intellectualism.


{slider title="SESSION 3 - Freedom of Expression, digital technology and Gender Justice" class="icon"}

11:00-12:00 UTC+1


In October 2021 the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to freedom of opinion and expression delivered a groundbreaking report to the UN General Assembly on Freedom of Expression and Gender Justice 1. The report covers a number of issues that demonstrate how information and communications technologies (ICTs), and in particular the internet, have become an enabler of women’s freedom of expression and participation in public life, while also providing new grounds for human rights violations against women and gender non conforming people to take place and be amplified.


This session will invite commentators to discuss some of the report’s findings and propose concrete measures aimed at the implementation of the report’s recommendations.



Association for Progressive Communications (APC) 



Neema Iyer, Afro Feminist Data, Pollicy Jac sm Kee, Using technology to advance feminist organizing and gender-just outcomes 

Numun Fund Danya Centeno, Social media and gender based violence online, Twitter

Gayatri Khandhadai, Hate speech and misogyny in the internet, Challenge Project

 Facilitator: Paula Martins, Association for Progressive Communications, APC


{slider title="SESSION 4 - Tech and Innovation – the key to democratizing sexual and reproductive health for women and girls?" class="icon"}

11.00-12.30 UTC+1 


For the first time in decades, the global situation for girls’ and women’s sexual and reproductive health is declining. Teenage pregnancies, maternal and newborn deaths, and domestic violence have gone up, while access to menstrual hygiene and family planning services have gone down. COVID-19 has exacerbated global inequalities for girls and women and their bodies.


How can tech and innovation help solve some of the biggest challenges for sexual and reproductive health and rights for girls and women?


Real Relief, Lulu Lab, Maternity Foundation, Africa Design School, and PlanBørnefonden share experiences, discuss opportunities and potential challenges of designing, rolling out and scaling innovative solutions for girls and women in the Global South. Solutions that hold great potential for strengthening democracy and democratic processes, enhancing civic engagement, and promoting health and rights for girls and women globally.



Real Relief



Matilde Juul, Lulu Lab

Trine Angeline Sig, Real Relief

Anna Frellsen, Maternity Foundation

Anne Smith Petersen, PlanBørnefonden

Aïda Ahouanmenou og Ralph Gnonlonfoun, Africa Design School, Benin



{slider title="SESSION 5 - Internet Access Censorship" class="icon"}

12.30-14.00 UTC+1 


Internet censorship is a global threat. It is a stepping stone towards the dismounting of the global internet, creation of toxic country-wide filter bubbles, an enabler of tribalism.


The solutions-oriented session will review various forms of combating Internet censorship: 1) regulatory level (what can International community do to prevent new countries from slipping towards censorship), 2) infrastructure level (how companies can ensure global access to the internet), 3) civic level (what NGOs can do to help the citizens get their digital rights back).



Teplitsa (Technologies for Social Good)



Jillian York, Director for International Freedom of Expression at Electronic Frontiers Foundation. Berlin, Germany.

Vasilis Ververis, Founder of Magma Guide Project, censorship researcher at Humboldt University of Berlin. Germany

Shames Abdelwahab, Community Manager at Tunnelbear VPN. Toronto, Canada

Nikita Istomin, expert at RosKomSvoboda, legal expert at Digital Rights Center. Moscow, Russia (wiki article on RosKomSvoboda)


{slider title="SESSION 6 - The information accessibility challenge for persons with disabilities in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic" class="icon"}




{slider title="SESSION 7 - UX Clinic: Improving Digital Tools with Human Rights-Centered Principles" class="icon"}

14:00-15:00 UTC+1 


Seeking and internalizing community feedback to improve digital tools can be expensive and challenging. This clinic style workshop invites tool teams to join a dialogue with design and user experience (UX) experts with rich experience working in civil society to explore a community-centered, rights-protected approach to gather feedback.


The workshop takes the format of a speed-dating style focused-group discussion. Participants are encouraged to bring the projects or tools they are working on with questions or challenges they are facing. The workshop aims to provide immediate design and UX aid and advice for the improvement of the tools to further protect the communities they are serving. Further, the workshop welcomes the opportunities to open up collaborations and long term support.


Georgia Bullen, Executive Director of Simply Secure

Eriol Fox, Product Manager & Designer at Simply Secure

Sage Cheng, Production and Creative Lead, Access Now

Juliana Castro, Senior Designer at Access Now



{slider title="SESSION 8 - Ending internet shutdowns: our collective responsibility" class="icon"}

15:00-16:30 UTC+1 


This session will draw speakers from diverse stakeholder groups including civil society, government, private sector and academia to discuss how to join efforts to end internet shutdowns around the globe. As governments continue to impose internet shutdowns during critical moments, there is the need for an open discussion about the impact of these shutdowns on human rights and the responsibilities of each actor to bring an end to shutdowns.


The session will conclude with written recommendations from panelists which will be submitted to the organizers to be included in the Tech for Democracy Civil Society Charter that will be presented at the virtual Tech for Democracy conference on November 18th. 



Access Now



Allie Funk, Senior Research Analyst for Technology and Democracy, Freedom House

Niki Masghati, U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor

Alissa Starzak, Vice President, Global Head of Public Policy, Cloudflare

Anastasiya Zhyrmont, Outreach Coordinator for Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Access Now

Moderator: Carolyn Tackett, Deputy Advocacy Director, Access Now



{slider title="SESSION 9 - #UNmute: Technical solutions to facilitate meaning civil society participation at the UN" class="icon"}

15:00-16:30 UTC+1 


This session focuses on identifying and discussing technical solutions that may already exist or can be developed, which can assist in ensuring meaningful participation of civil society in UN processes. The session takes the form of a dialogue between the tech sector, government officials, and civil society, and draws on the recommendations presented by the #UNmute initiative while emphasising the digital technological aspects of better participation of civil society at UN meetings.


Background: The #UNmute initiative aims to ensure and enhance meaningful and inclusive civil society participation in UN processes. At the outbreak of COVID-19, as UN meetings turned virtual and threatened to mute and effectively exclude civil society from UN processes, governments and global civil society came together to prevent this development. While online UN meetings created an opportunity for far more participation from civil society online, free of visa restrictions and travel costs, than ever before it also has proved challenging for civil society to be allowed in the virtual room of negotiations and in interactive dialogue.


Through a series of online and hybrid events and campaigning, the #UNmute initiative has successfully shed light on and identified solutions to ensuring better civil society participation at UN online and hybrid meetings. A list of recommendations has been signed by no less than 52 member states and more than 250 civil society organisations from around the world.


Moving forward, the #UNmute Action Coalition under the Tech for Democracy initiative will work towards finding tech solutions that ensure meaningful participation of civil society at the UN both during and after the pandemic.




Government of Denmark

Government of Costa Rica

Global Focus



Farah Kabir, Country Director, ActionAid Bangladesh

Laura O’Brien, UN Advocacy Officer, Access Now  

Louis Charbonneau, UN Director, Human Rights Watch

Marie-Louise Koch Wegter, Deputy Permanent Representative of Denmark to the UN in New York


Moderator: Sara Brandt (Global Focus)


{slider title="SESSION 10 - Horizon Scanner book presentation / Academic action" class="icon"}

17.00-18.30 UTC+1


In 2019, a group of interdisciplinary scholars used 'horizon scanner' methodology to analyze the impact of developing technologies on civil society. The result of this meeting was the book "Horizon Scanner: The Role of Informational Technologies in the Future of Civil Society" that was published in early 2021. If democracies plan to survive against the future challenges, they have to adopt methods of forward thinking analysis.


Global Focus invites academics, policy makers, and civil society activists to discuss the methods and the conclusions of the book.



Global Focus



Adi Kuntsman, PhD, Reader in Digital Politics, Department of Politics, Manchester Metropolitan University

Tetyana Lokot, PhD, Associate Professor in Digital Media and Society, School of Communications, Dublin City University

Alexey Sidorenko, PhD, Teplitsa. Technologies for Social Good

Stanislav Ronzhin, Researcher and PhD Candidate at the Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC) of the University of Twente


Moderator: Gregory Asmolov, Lecturer in Digital Entrepreneurship, Department of Digital Humanities, King’s College London 



{slider title="SESSION 11 - Digital Rights Start with Connectivity" class="icon"}

18:30 - 20:00 UTC+1 


Digital rights start at the point of connectivity. Half of humanity is unconnected. Bringing them online, ensuring they are not left behind by digitalization, requires concerted effort and investment into extending networks. How people are connected, and by whom, is an often overlooked and extremely important piece of individual's relationship with the internet. And, as the infodemic has all too well shown, simply connecting people is only the beginning.


This session will present perspectives on current efforts to end the digital divide that ensure the infrastructure built to bring people online is built in a way that paves the way for their rights as they come online.



Connect Humanity



Jochai Ben-Avie, CEO of Connect Humanity

Anriette Esterhuysen, Chair, UN Internet Governance Forum Multistakeholder Advisory Group

Derek Slater, Global Director Information Policy, Government Affairs, and Public Policy at Google

Moderator: Chris Worman, TechSoup  





Please register and select sessions below


   Digital security and
   the digital resilience pathway



The authoritarian playbook 

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