Program

GLOBAL VOICES CITIZEN MEDIA SUMMIT 2008

Download a PDF of the Summit program here.

June 27, 2008

08:30 – 09:30 Breakfast & Registration

09:30 – 10:00
Welcome & Introduction
Global Voices founders Ethan Zuckerman and Rebecca MacKinnon kick off the Summit with director of advocacy, Sami ben Gharbia.

10:00 – 11:15
Session 1: “Toward a Global anti-censorship network”
MODERATOR: Helmi Noman.
SPEAKERS: Andrey Abozau, (Belarusian activist from LuNet), Chris Salzberg (Global Voices, Japan), Alaa Abdel Fatah (Egyptian Blogger), Ethan Zuckerman (Global Voices), Awab Alvi (Don’t Block The Blog, Pakistan)

Internet censorship by governments around the world has threatened both freedom of expression and free access to information. In response, free speech activists are leading campaigns and creating tools to ensure the rights of internet users, but they often work in isolation and without the support of a community. Why do we need a global anti-censorship network? How can we facilitate the sharing of techniques, best practices and experiences around the protection of online free speech?

11:15 – 11:30 Coffee break

11:30 – 1:00
Session 2: “Citizen Media and Online Free Speech
MODERATOR: Mary Joyce.
SPEAKERS: Ory Okolloh (Kenyan Blogger), Wael Abbas (MisrDigital, Egypt), Mehdi Mohseni (jomhour.org, Iran), Amine (digiactive.org, Morocco), Oiwan Lam (Global Voices, Hong Kong), Au Wai Pang (Singapore)
Citizen media allow for more active and open participation in political processes, but threats of censorship and oppression discourage citizens from expressing their own opinions. This session will present case studies from Kenya, Iran, Egypt, Morocco, Singapore, and Hong Kong.

1:00 – 2:00 Lunch

2:00 – 3:30
Session 3: “Living with censorship”
MODERATOR: Awab Alvi.
SPEAKERS: Helmi Noman (Researcher – Middle East & North Africa), Razan (Free Tariq, Syria), CJ Hinke (Freedom Against Censorship, Thailand), Andrew Heavens (Sudan), Rezwan (Bangladesh), John Kennedy (China)
Dealing with blocked access to popular websites and unclear restrictions about what can and cannot be published online has become an ordinary fact of life for internet users in many parts of the world. This session’s speakers will share their experiences of living in countries where government censorship is a reality, and of being part of organized efforts to combat it.

3:30 – 4:30
Session 4: “Frontline Activists meet the Academy: Tools and Knowledge”
MODERATOR: Ethan Zuckeman.
SPEAKERS: Roger Dingledine (Tor), Nart Villeneuve (Citizen Lab), Isaac Mao (Digital Nomads project, China), Robert Guerra (Privaterra, Cuba), Danny O’Brien (Electronic Frontier Foundation)
The tools to circumvent web filtering and other methods of online censorship exist, but they don’t always reach the people who need them as easily as they could. How can we facilitate better coordination between the developers of these tools and the anti-censorship activists that need them? And how do we facilitate the flow of feedback from the activists back to the developers so the latter can design more appropriate tools?

4:30 – 4:45 Coffee Break

4:45 – 6:30
Session 5: “NGO’s and on-the ground activists: Defending the Voices”
MODERATOR: Xiao Qiang.
SPEAKERS: Elijah Zarwan (Human Rights Watch), Clothilde Le Coz (Bureau Internet et Libertés, Reporters Without Borders), Rebecca MacKinnon (Global Voices & University of Hong Kong), Nasser Weddady (Hands Across the Mideast Support Alliance), Stephanie Hankey (Tactical Tech), Antony Loewenstein (Amnesty International Australia’s campaign Uncensor)
How can NGOs seeking to advance freedom of expression most effectively work with on-the-ground free speech activists to combat censorship?

June 28, 2008

08:30 – 09:30 Breakfast & Registration

09:30 – 10:00
Welcome & Introduction
Global Voices managing director Georgia Popplewell, and managing editor Solana Larsen say hello and present a short video about Rising Voices with director of outreach, David Sasaki.

10:00 – 11:15
Session 1: “Web 2.0 Goes Worldwide”
MODERATOR: Lova Rakotomalala.
SPEAKERS: Catalina Restrepo (HiperBarrio, Colombia), Collins Dennis Oduor (REPACTED, Kenya), Cristina Quisbert (Voces Bolivianas, Bolivia), Mialy Andriamananjara (FOKO, Madagascar)
The participatory web has, so far, been limited to the participation of select communities. Thanks to the steady proliferation of broadband connectivity and digital literacy campaigns throughout the developing world, however, some of the most exciting uses of online tools are now taking place in locations where, merely a decade ago, internet access was rare, if available at all. This panel will gather leaders of cutting-edge Web 2.0 initiatives from Colombia, Kenya, Bolivia, and Madagascar who seek to make the global conversation more representative of the global population.

11:15 – 11:30 Coffee break

11:30 – 1:00
Session 2: “The Wired Electorate in Emerging Democracies”
MODERATOR: Solana Larsen.
SPEAKERS: Daudi Were (Kenya), Onnik Krikorian (Armenia), Hamid Tehrani (Iran), Luis Carlos Díaz (Venezuela)
The rise of blogging, social networking and micro-blogging services like Facebook and Twitter, video- and photo-sharing sites like YouTube and Flickr, and the spread of mobile technology have given ordinary citizens the means, at least potentially, to participate more fully in the democratic process. This session looks at the impact these tools have had on recent elections in Kenya, Venezuela, Armenia and Iran and poses the question: is citizen media having an actual impact on democracies in transition?

1:00 – 2:00 Lunch

2:00 – 3:30
Session 3: “When Biases Meet Biases”
MODERATOR: Xiao Qiang.
Speakers: Isaac Mao(Entrepreneur and Researcher, China), Rebecca MacKinnon (University of Hong Kong and Global Voies), John Kennedy (Chinese Language Editor, Global Voices)
The March 10 protests in Lhasa on the 49th anniversary of the Tibetan uprising against Beijing rule immediately won the sympathy and support of Western media outlets, bloggers, and human rights organizations. From the point of view of many Chinese bloggers, however, the international coverage of the protests boiled down to misinformed anti-Chinese sentiment. What can be done to encourage dialogue in times of such heated disagreement? How is the hegemony of truth constructed in the current global media ecology? What is the role of editorialized websites like Global Voices in presenting multiple perspectives on a single issue, while also adding context for an international, multilingual readership?

3:30 – 4:30
Session 4: “Translation and the Multilingual Web
MODERATOR: Portnoy.
SPEAKERS: Chris Salzberg (Canada/Japan), Paula Góes (Brazil), Rezwan (Bangladesh), Claire Ulrich (France)
In the short history of global online communication, numerous thinkers have fashioned a vision of the Internet as a barrier-free forum for the inter-national and inter-cultural transmission of knowledge, ideas, and information. In practice, however, online communities are still divided by the differing languages they speak. Is online linguistic segregation a technical or cultural dilemma? Will machine translation tools such as Google Translate fulfill the promise of a multilingual web or is it up to human volunteer translators to construct bridges between language-oriented online spheres?

4:30 – 4:45 Coffee Break

4:45 – 6:30
Session 5: “When the World Listens
MODERATOR: Preetam Rai.
SPEAKERS: Neha Viswanathan (India), Juliana Rotich (Kenya), Lova Rakotomala (Madagascar)
The world is talking. But what makes the world listen? Ordinary citizens now have a greater say in the global news agenda when it comes to political crises and natural catastrophes. When bloggers and citizen media activists successfully drive local stories to a global audience, what is their objective? What are the lessons learned, and the next steps along the way?