Why We’re Excited About The Internet Freedom Festival

From March 6th to 10th, over 1400 individuals will converge in Valencia, Spain for what is being billed as the ‘Global Unconference of the Internet Freedom Communities.’ In our humble opinion, we think calling a participatory event at this scale an ‘unconference’ is a huge disservice as the format is much more engaging and productive than a traditional ‘conference’ with panels and presentations. But it is the ‘Festival’ nature that we are looking forward to participating in. This format and the individuals coming together are now more important than ever as those that threaten freedoms, including those provided by the Internet, are sharpening their knives and moving in for the kill. We are looking forward to exchanging knowledge and expertise with peers, building solidarity with the diverse range of social change efforts that will be represented and building pro-active strategies that will undermine the long term efforts of our opponents.

FabRiders is running two workshops that we hope will provide benefit and value to participants, along with getting participant’s to share their expertise with us:

  1. Developing and Supporting Community/Network Centred Resources

    Monday, March 6th at 2:30pm in the Theatre. For those of us involved in the creation of resources aimed at supporting and building the capacity of networks and communities, we can struggle with getting individuals to contribute their knowledge, particularly over the long term. In this workshop, we will explore how to share ownership, enable community/network contribution to content development and support collaboration. We will examine examples from LevelUp, Amnesty’s Decoders and Tor. By the end of the session we will have a list of best practices based on our experiences. Participants will also have an opportunity to become part of a network of resource creators to help guide a new FabRiders’ toolkit. This session is for community managers, communication specialists and/or anyone who is involved in developing content or resources.

  2. Hacking User Centred Design for Social Change, Thursday, March 9th at 3:45pm in the Theatre. We will examine how to strengthen social change campaigns by applying the principles of user centred design employed by software/tech designers. User-centred design tries to optimise the development of a product around how users can, want, or need to use a product, rather than forcing the users to change their behaviour. For social change campaigners, user-centred design can be characterised as a multi-stage problem solving process that not only requires campaigners to analyse and foresee why stakeholders are likely to benefit and become involved in a campaign, but also to test the validity of their assumptions. You can learn more about our approach to Hacking User Centred Design.

We are also looking forward to the following workshops:

Along with a lot more that we haven’t discovered yet as there are more than 200 sessions.

We are also looking forward to connecting with many of our long-term collaborators, including Aspiration, EngageMedia, Huridocs, The Engine Room, Greenhost, Article 19, Amnesty, & The Mozilla Foundation.

There will also be socialising! Including a Chelsea Manning “Welcome Home!” Benefit Party for freedom of expression political prisoners. APC, Amnesty, Courage Foundation, eQualitie, Derechos Digitales and Aspiration are hosting a benefit party as part of IFF’s International Women’s Day festivities on Wednesday night, 8 March at 10:00 pm at Radio City. Manning was recently pardoned for blowing the whistle in 2010 on the Iraq War, which then ended in 2011. She’s an important activist in the internet freedom community for using the online platform Wikileaks. We stand with Chelsea, whistleblowers and truth tellers in this digital age of hyper-secrecy and disinformation. Additionally the event will raise awareness for political prisoners still at risk around the world with a poster series and gallery display at the IFF and benefit venues. Suggested Donation is 10€ which will go to the Chelsea fund (via ACLU)

Are you going to be at IFF and want to meet up? Let us know! Send an email to info (at) fabriders.net.

Are you designing a workshop session for the Internet Freedom Festival? Check out Tips for Designing an Effective Workshop Session.