From Wisconsin to Chile to Santiago, civil society increasingly use digital tools to expand their reach and maximize the impact of their campaigns. This rapid adoption of new technology presents a need for technological and strategic support.
As a research group, we have to date been most interested in questions of how technology has been used to realize social goals. We’re excited to announce that we’re now moving beyond that question into the future tense. How can and will technology be used most effectively for social change?
By consolidating global expertise — from online training events, direct project development support from world-class trainers to existing walkthrough guides — in a secure, private, online space, the engine room’s aim is to build the capacity of a new generation of human rights defenders and citizen advocates. It provides citizens, trainers, and technologists with a place to meet, collaborate, innovate, and seize the opportunities that digital tools offer – while considering and addressing the risks they pose.
We’re not doing it alone. The process of creating this closed-facing (get in touch to be involved) online space is being guided by the organizations that we most trust and have been honored to work with in the past. (See above for a full list!) as well as with the early stage funding support of one of our advisers, Access. These organizations have already proven to be great resources, and we look forward to getting them all in the same room at the end of the month.
We’ll be introducing the project to a wider audience during a working group meeting at the Silicon Valley Human Rights Conference on October 25th. There we’ll describe the project in more detail, define the development process, features, and outline our upcoming pilot training programs in Egypt.