Honoring the transformative potential of technology
We dream of a “future electric” – where safe communication is a fundamental human right, where technology deepens relationships instead of exploiting them, and where we honor the transformative potential of technology grounded in the organizing wisdom of our elders and teachers.
In this track we will celebrate the “community technology” successes that have come before as we plan for what is to come. We have opened local radio waves, created principles for digital justice, built networks of community technologists, fought for the communication rights of incarcerated people, defended internet openness, and trained communities in how to build out and distribute internet connectivity. Learning from these stories, we will explore emerging tech tools and practices to recover from disasters [or climate emergencies], resist rising fascism, and to help us protect our communities against oppressive technologies like predictive algorithms and data profiling.
Coordinators of this track are Greta Byrum, Seeta Peña Gangadharan, Hannah Sassaman, Janice Gates, Di Loung, and Helyx Chase.
Call for Participation
“Suppose you had the revolution you are dreaming about…how would you live? Start living that way now!” - Paul Goodman
“We need to do what I call visionary organizing. Recognize that in every crisis, people do not respond like a school of fish...visionary organizers look at people, recognize them and encourage them, and they become leaders of the future.” - Grace Lee Boggs
Technology has infinite potential -- destructive or productive, harmful or healing, insurrectionist or institutional, liberating or repressive. This goal of this track is to build a vision for the electric future we want to see.
We invite you to join us as we explore the community technology strategies and tools to get ready and stay ready. We are looking for a mix of hands-on workshops and strategy sessions on how to use old and new communications technologies that will help us survive and thrive in the face of growing crises.
We would like to hear from those who lived under or studied oppressive regimes or governments and survived disasters, as well as those who have helped to lead media and technology campaigns across different eras and contexts.
Some examples of what we are looking for:
- Rich case studies and stories about responding and rebuilding in a natural or political crisis; hands-on teaching sessions for how to use technology to build and sustain our communities in the face of oppression
- Tools for protecting our security under a totalitarian regime
- Reflections on the learnings of victories like net neutrality and prison phone justice
- Strategies for resisting rollbacks of our communications freedoms under a Trump administration
- Technical and social knowledge sharing sessions for low-power FM, local wireless, or other community infrastructure
- Models and standards for local governments seeking tools to protect residents from attacks and injustices
- Tours of Detroit projects and initiatives embodying a positive vision for our electric future
If you are a community organizer, technologist, researcher, historian, policymaker, or if you are just interested in how we can learn from the past successes and failures of movements for technological self determination, we invite you to join us in supporting our vision of a healthy, vibrant, and just electric future.
Questions? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org