(make these two reports on past Congress separate pages)

French Techie Congress (April 2-3, 2010)

April 2, 2010 -- Paris, France

About 20 technologists gathered at a Techie Conference one of whose major events was the Techie Congress. Using the Collaborative Democracy Workshop technology, participants agreed to the following points:

  • We should be developing open source, decentralized and non-hierarchical systems to diffuse our messages simultaneously to many people, proposing them concrete ways to participate

  • We should promote access to the internet, including the ability to copy, modify and redistribute all software and all information, as a basic human right. Defend it as a common space and prevent its privatization.

  • Server administration: we should use a centralized organization only as a starting point and then give rights to differents groups developing a horizontal web of trust and give a toolkit that people could deploy and use where and as they want
  • Some advocacy groups developped crowd sourcing tools to collect and publish informations, should we take a look at that and mutualise some developpement

  • Strategy for efficient technology use in social movements: Promote a good quality dialogue between people knowing the culture needs and practices of participants in movements and techies with social/political vision
  • Activist should develop a set of political principles to guide the development of technology for every project.

L'Activiste devrait développer un ensemble de principes politiques pour guider le développement de technologie pour chaque projet.

  • Techies should be able to fully participate in all levels of decision making for campaigns or movements in which they are providing their labor.

Techies Il devrait être capable à pleinement participer à tous les niveaux de la décision que fait pour des campagnes ou des mouvements en lequel sont en train de fournir son travail.

  • We should work toward ways to close the socio-economic barriers to technological access and understanding and reflexively examine places where we contribute to those barriers.
  • Build on existing tools and practices that are developed from organisations who are building alternatives within the social movements

Construire sur des outils et des pratiques existents qui sont développées d'organisations que sont en train de bâtir alternatives dans le mouvements sociaux

  • stimulate movements to organize collective discussion about their use of internet and how to increase visibility and visioning of online possibilities for the movement agenda. This strategy is to change the way we relate to the internet as a space, rather than a collection of tools approached individually.

USSF Techie Congress

Detroit, Michigan

Thursday, June 24, 2010 - 1:00pm

At the United States Social Forum in Detroit, Michigan (USA) on June 24, 50 politically progressive technologists came together to make history: the first U.S. Progressive Techie Congress. The Congress was sponsored by four tech organizations: May First/People Link, Agaric Design, Openflows and the Progressive Technology Project.

The Congress is part of an International effort to build discussion, among progressive technologists, of our rights and reopnsibilities within the movement for social transformation.

After nearly five hours of collaboration and discussion, the Congress emerged with a consensus on the following principles:

  • Technological decisions have political consequences. These decisions need to reflect the politics of our movements. Every technology we adopt has embedded power relations. Technology structures how we are able to communicate and who is able to communicate. Technology use is highly influenced by NGO and government procurement, spending, and regulation. Our movements should work to change policies and spending, create more transparency, as well as work to develop technologies that are attendant to our needs.

  • Participatory Technology Design. We understand that technology should be driven by the needs of the movement as a whole. We all have the responsibility to voice our ideas about socially responsible use of technology; at the same time, specialized tech skills, like all specialized skills, create power dynamics that we must recognize. We must engage in ongoing dialogue as a movement to address the ways that power structures become embedded in technology, and include everyone as far as possible in all aspects of technology design.

  • Digital Inclusion: Technology should be accessible to all, and the movement should actively move to break down those barriers to access including language, hardware and connectivity. We should work on technology to break down other barriers, and not construct new barriers. Technologies need to be designed with the end user in mind, this includes translation, accessibility, youth education, and access to computing resources.

  • Social Sustainability: Technology we build or implement should retain its usefulness to people and organizations in the movement. It must be usable and accessible. It should support multiple platforms, open standards, and data portability. It must be economically feasible for the organization to maintain. We must include documentation and training sufficient to give groups control over the technology that serves them.

  • Community Owned Infrastructure: Our communities have the right to design, own, use and control the network, hardware, and software we rely on. The movement has the responsibility to support and steward this community-owned infrastructure. Techies within the movement have the responsibility to explain and advocate for community-owned infrastructure.

  • Data privacy: Our social movements have a right to be free from surveillance, both governmental and private. We should encourage our movements to make political choices to protect the privacy, security, and data of both individuals and organizations.

  • As we do tech work with the movement, we must work against systems of power, privilege, oppression and exclusion. We must work collaboratively across identities, groups, languages, and borders. We must specifically commit to strengthen the voices of oppressed peoples including people of color, women, gender-oppressed people, LGBTQI people, Indigenous peoples, migrants, immigrants, low-income people, people with disabilities, and people of all ages, education levels and technological skill. We must actively engage, train and collaborate to nurture a movement that celebrates diversity.
Last modified 11 years ago Last modified on Jul 26, 2010, 9:38:57 PM