Events, workshops, konferencer og medlemsarrangementer

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Torsdag 11 November 2021, 09:00 - 19:00

The authoritarian playbook

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.




The relationship between governments and big tech, criminalisation of online activism, surveillance, internet shutdowns, geopolitical cyber security, anti-democratic content moderation and censorship etc.


{slider title="SESSION 1 - Channelling unheard voices to the world" class="icon"}

09:00-10:30 UTC+1 


The session will focus on the potential of social media platforms to lift untold stories to the world as well as the challenges involved in upholding a free and fair digital space with equal participation.


The session will be hosted by DanChurchAid (DCA) together with their partner Y+ and in cooperation with 7amleh (Hamleh), a non for profit organisation that advocates for Palestinian digital rights. 7amleh’s mission is to create a safe, fair and free digital space for Palestinians. 7amleh studies issues related to Palestinian digital rights, digital activism and digital security capacity building opportunities to Palestinian activists and civil society, and manages local and international advocacy campaigns. Y+ is a digital storytelling platform that diffuses Palestinians unheard voices to the world. Y+ works together with media specialists and Palestinian youth to make their own stories seen and heard by producing videos and digitized content on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter as well as on their website to reach national, regional, and international audience.


This online session will focus on the challenges and the potentials for equal online participation that these two organisations meet and work against.






Nadim Nasif, Director, 7amleh

A social entrepreneur and digital rights defender. He is also the founder and executive director of 7amleh - The Arab Center for the Advancement of Social Media, Palestinian digital rights organization, and co-founder of Wusul Digital Academy, a digital marketing educational center. Nadim is also a senior policy analyst for Al-Shabaka: The Palestinian Policy Network. For the past 20 years, he has worked on youth and community development issues including founding and directing Baladna, The Association for Arab Youth.


Ghadeer Safadi, Communication manager Y-plus

A Jerusalemite feminist activist who has experience in the situation of human rights under occupation. She has taken an interest in the adoption of IHL, IHRL, CEDAW, UNSCR 1325, and UNSCR 2250 in the occupied territories, and have been focusing on international advocacy for the rights of Palestinian youth and women in Palestine.


Mads Frilander, Palestine Country Director, DanChurchAid

Mads Frilander has over 15 years’ experience of international development work in East Africa, South Asia and the Middle East. He has held country and regional leadership positions with different INGOs for over a decade and joined DCA/NCA as Country Director for the Joint Country Programme in Palestine in September 2019. Mads has technical expertise in conflict analysis and sensitivity, conflict transformation and security sector governance. He lives in East Jerusalem with his wife and their two children.



Karina Pultz, Human Rights Senior Advisor, DanChurchAid

Christina Dahl Jensen, Innovation Senior Advisor, DanChurchAid


{slider title="SESSION 2 - Best practices for youth activism and civic engagement using technology as a tool in the Global South" class="icon"}

10:00-11:30 UTC+1 


A large portion of youth culture nowadays is dominated by Internet Communication and Digital Technology. Youth are amongst the most affected, for better or for worse, by tech's rapid evolution. Therefore, it is integral for civil society to ensure that youth is digitally resilient and well positioned to harness the opportunities for strengthening democratic values presented by technology.


In this session, ActionAid Denmark will present insights gathered from working with its global network of young activists, addressing the ways in which technology can and should be used as a strategic tool for advocacy, organising and governance. Examples will be drawn from CODE Nigeria’s Follow the Money initiative on mobilising citizens to track government and international aid spending and from the TurtleWeb initiative addressing the challenge of digital access. TurtleWeb is a VERY slow VPN tool, that helps breach the digital divide via DNS tunnelling, enabling slow access to lightweight web-based applications and most messaging services, even if you are out of data.



ActionAid Denmark / Mellemfolkeligt Samvirke



Mukhtar Modibbo Halilu from Connected Development Initiative (CODE) Nigeria. CODE is an NGO working to strengthen local communities by creating platforms for dialogue, enabling informed debate, and building capacities of citizens on how to hold their government accountable.

Andreas Grarup Nielsen is an activist working with activism and organising internationally for ActionAid Denmark with expert knowledge within direct action, security, and training.


Moderator: Matey Nikolov, ActionAid Denmark.


{slider title="SESSION 3 - Digital emergencies need digital resilience: From the Digital First Aid Kit to Rapid Response" class="icon"}

11:30-13.00 UTC+1 


The increasing number of digital attacks by state and criminal authors put Human Rights Defenders and their organisations at risk. Digital security and holistic care support needs to address these increasing dangers, while at the same time digital resilience and preparedness needs to grow.


This session will focus on the options for Human Rights Defenders and their Organisations during digital emergencies through the Digital First Aid Kit ( and Rapid Response activities. During the session participants can dive into these resources as well as identify missing support elements, which then will be discussed and concrete next steps identified for further action.



Digital Defenders Partnership



Lee Yi Ting & Peter Steudtner, Digital Defenders Partnership


{slider title="SESSION 4 - Teknolojia ya Demokrasia na Ujumuishaji" class="icon"}

13:00-15:00 UTC+1


This session is dubbed a Swahili name ”Teknolojia ya Demokrasia na Ujumuishaji”. The Swahili name literally means “Tech for Democracy and Inclusion”. The session is aimed at holding discussions and conversations that will help to further democracy and inclusion of all citizens in the digital platforms like social media. We will be bringing various duty bearers on board to meet social justice activists, communication experts and royal media presenters. We are also planning on having discussions about implementing a hotline that citizens can link to the authorities when cases of democracy being impoverished arises. Citizens can send a quick text message or make a call when they encounter such cases like brutality, corruption, abuse of human rights and depriving one’s freedom among others.


Now that Kenya is remaining with less than ten months to carry out its general election, we will utilize our social media platform, that is Twitter, to advocate for a fair and transparent election and advocate for peace and calmness during the campaign period and the election period. We will also remind the people that they have the power, and they are the power, people to come out inclusively and choose the right leaders. The twitter chats always reach a larger population and will help a great deal to preach democracy and inclusion, utilizing the existing technology.



Activista Homa Bay



Miss Wanjiku Thiga, Communication and Documentation for Influencing and Advocacy Inspirator, Global Platform Kenya

Mr. Danson Mulwa, Tech for Democracy Advisor, Assistant Communication Chair - Activista Laikipia

Wisdom Kizito, Baliti FM Radio Presenter, co-founder Isiolo TV, Founder NIBC Entertainment

Vickins Bondo, Lawyer and Member of County Assembly Aspirant West Kasipul Ward


Moderator: Reagan Wachira Adek, Communication Chair Activista Homa Bay, Tech for Democracy Advisor.


{slider title="SESSION 5 - Problems in the Pipeline; challenges to democracy that current technologies aren't even capable of creating yet" class="icon"}

13:00-14:30 UTC+1


One of the main challenges to democracy will be Artificial Intelligence (AI) and it may be upon us very soon. In this session, speakers will address how AI can distort democracy in several ways: AI as creator of fake news, AI as fake avatars in debates on social media, AI collecting data across platforms, and AI disrupting the economy faster than democracy and its institutions can react.


After the presentations there will be an interactive discussion about how to prepare for this; you get to be creative.



Nordic Bildung



Ron Folman, Professor of quantum physics, Ben Gurion University, and a social activist, Israel

Pernille Tranberg, Co-founder of Data Ethics, Denmark

Christer Nylander, Engineer, Sweden

Øivind Slaato, desginer, Denmark

Lene Rachel Andersen, Futurist and philosopher, Nordic Bildung, Denmark


{slider title="SESSION 6 - Elevating the truth in today’s digital post-truth era" class="icon"}

14:00-15:30 UTC+1


For many in Africa, social media platforms have become more than just a space to connect. It is where citizens express themselves, expose injustice, and mobilize against authoritarianism. Since the Arab Spring which saw a wave of citizen-led movements ousting authoritarian regimes, many African governments have feared the power of social media and have taken steps to curb freedom of expression online by introducing anti-democratic laws as well as imposing internet restrictions.


This has resulted in the shrinking of the digital civic space whereby dissent is stifled, activists are targeted and citizen voices are suppressed. Ironically, authoritarian regimes have at the same time deployed disinformation tactics to hold on to power by leveraging the ubiquity of new media.

All these create the perfect storm that continues to stir critical concerns around how we can ensure the truth is elevated in the midst of challenges such as internet shutdowns, undemocratic content moderation, and widespread misinformation/disinformation.






Adebayo Okeowo, Africa Program Manager, WITNESS

Nkem Agunwa, Africa Project Coordinator, WITNESS, Nigeria

Dr. Satang Nabaneh, Director of Programs from the Human Rights Centre at the University of Dayton


{slider title="SESSION 7 - The weaponization of fake news" class="icon"}

15:30-17:00 UTC+1 


There is a lot of talk of fake news, but it is in itself a contested and sometimes problematic term. In this panel, we will take a critical look on the concept of fake news: How is this term understood in the broader public and has this concept eroded trust in media even further? Is this even a new concept? And do we risk it being weaponized to undermine critical media and impose censorship?  



Danish Institute for Parties and Democracy



Johan Farkas, University of Malmö:
Johan Farkas is a PhD student in Media and Communication Studies at Malmö University, Sweden. His research explores disinformation, ‘fake news’, racism and political struggles, specifically in connection to digital media. Farkas has written more than 15 peer-reviewed publications in journals such as New Media & Society, Social Media + Society, and Critical Discourse Studies. His debut book, Post-Truth, Fake News and Democracy: Mapping the Politics of Falsehood was published by Routledge in September 2019. Written with Jannick Schou, the book presents a detailed analysis of contemporary discourses of fake news and the post-truth era, offering both a trenchant critique and call for more inclusive forms of democracy. Website: Twitter:


Li Jianing, University of Wisconsin:
Jianing Li is a PhD candidate in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she has been a Knight Scholar of Communication and Civic Renewal and a Helen Firstbrook Franklin Wisconsin Distinguished Graduate Fellow. Li's research centers on misinformation, social media skepticism, and how inequalities across information, racial, social and economic domains shape people’s understanding of the society we live in. Her work has appeared in Journal of Communication, Political Communication, Mass Communication and Society, and Social Media + Society, as well as in public-facing outlets including The Washington Post and Brookings TechStream.Emilie Lehmann-Jacobsen, Asia adviser with IMS (International Media Support). Holds a PhD in media studies from University of Copenhagen and has a background as a journalist working for Danish media. She has been with IMS since 2017 where she advises on programme and strategy development and leads research efforts. She has followed the development of mis/disinformation and hate speech in the region closely and among other things advised on various programmes and projects designed to counter the issues at local, regional and international level. 


Moderator: Maia Kahlke Lorentzen is a writer, tech-activist and public speaker working with the Copenhagen-based cooperative Cybernauterne. She works with countering online harassment, researching online hategroups and extremist subcultures, and advices on internetculture, cybersecurity and digital self-defence. She co-authored the book "Can trolls be tamed" about online trolls and debate on social media, and is a TedX fellow with the talk "Don't feed the trolls fight them". 


{slider title="SESSION 8 - The role of Big Tech in activist repression: Exploring impacts on activists in Vietnam and Beyond" class="icon"}

 16:00-17:30 UTC+1


This session will explore the question of tech companies', such as Facebook and Google, responsibility to activists living under repressive governments and the many ways that they become highly vulnerable in using these platforms. In what ways are big tech companies complicit in increasing journalists and human rights defenders' digital vulnerability?



Viet Tan




Activist: TBC

Lawmakers: TBC

Moderator: Don Le


{slider title="SESSION 9 - Foreign Agents Legislation Meets Technology" class="icon"}

17:30-19:00 UTC+1 


'Foreign Agent' legislation has been one of the most destructive pseudo legal practices that many authoritarian governments have implemented in the last years. In countries like Russia, Ethiopia, Egypt, India and others, governments use discriminatory practices to counter free speech, eliminate critical opinions, and suffocate independent civic actors. Action Days propose to discuss strategies, policies, and concrete actions that will 1) limit the spread of this discriminatory practice and 2) help citizens and civic organizations to survive under the 'foreign agent' legislature.


(NB: Closed event for security reasons)



Teplitsa. Technologies for Social Good



Grigory Okhotin, Founder and director of "OVD-info" a human rights projects that monitors freedom of assembly violations, author of the petition against 'foreign agents' legislation that received more than 150 thousand signatures, Russia

Sara Alsherif, Egypt

Janne Winther, Partner & COO at Acter. Aarhus, Denmark


Moderator: Alexey Sidorenko, PhD, Teplitsa. Technologies for Social Good


{slider title="SESSION 10 - Safe and silenced no more: how can new technologies and AI protect (rather than harm) our right to freedom of peaceful assembly?" class="icon"}

17:30-18:30 UTC+1


International human rights standards have acknowledged that the emerging digital communications technologies offer the opportunity to exercise our right to peaceful assembly either entirely or partially online and that such technologies also play an integral role in organising, taking part in and monitoring physical gatherings as well. On the other hand, digital technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI)-driven surveillance tools, restriction of access to the internet, algorithm-based detection of key words and messages for monitoring political dissent may equally be used to clamp down on our gatherings or cause a chilling effect on them. How much do we know of the impact of new technologies and AI on our freedom of assembly? How can we rely on digital services to empower our right to assemble without undue interferences? And what safeguards do we need to this extent by governments, tech companies and civil society organisations?



European Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ECNL)



Vidushi Marda, Article 19

Laura O'Brien, Access Now

Matt Mahmoudi, Amnesty International


Moderator: ECNL



 Please register and select sessions below

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

Digital responsibility from duty bearers and
the private sector - 
how do we move on from here? 


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