Announcing the Global Voices Citizen Media Summit 2008

Global Voices and Global Voices Advocacy are pleased to announce the Global Voices Citizen Media Summit 2008, which will take place in Budapest, Hungary on June 27-28, 2008 with the support of the McCormick Tribune Foundation, the Berkman Center for Internet and Society and MediaHungaria.

The event will bring together the members of the Global Voices citizen media project and its wider community with a diverse group of bloggers, activists, technologists, journalists and others persons from around the world, for two days of public discussions and workshops around the theme “Citizen Media & Citizenhood”.

My creation

Images from the 2006 Global Voices Summit in Delhi, India

The Global Voices Summit provides an opportunity for us to share the knowledge in our dynamic global community with bloggers, activists, students and media professionals. The meeting will explore important developments in citizen media spearheaded by people outside North America and Western Europe and investigate how the growing number of people distributing information globally can help affect lasting social change.

The first day of the Summit, hosted by Global Voices’ Advocacy section, will be devoted to discussions about censorship and the challenges facing free expression online. The second day will highlight cutting-edge applications of Web 2.0 on electoral campaigns in emerging democracies; tackle issues of translation and the idea of the world wide web as a multi-lingual space; and showcase citizen media solutions in emergency situations. The day two program will also include a hands-on workshop in building activism tools using free, web-based services such as Google maps, Twitter and online video-sharing sites.

An overview of the Summit program is posted at the end of this message. A Summit web site with registration information and a updated program will be available within the next couple of weeks, but feel free to contact me at if you have further questions or for information about sponsorship.

Please add the Global Voices Citizen Media Summit to your calendars. We hope you'll join us in Budapest!


Global Voices Citizen Media Summit 2008
Budapest, Hungary – June 27-28, 2008


June 27, 2008

Session 1: “Toward a Global anti-censorship network”
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?

Session 2: “Citizen Media and Online Free Speech”
Citizen Media confronts the threat of censorship and oppression. Some case studies from Kenya, Burma, Egypt and Hong Kong.

Session 3: “Living with censorship”
Participants share their experience of living in countries where government censorship is a
reality and of being part of organized efforts to combat it.

Session 4: “Frontline Activists meet the Academy: Tools and Knowledge”

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 movements that need them? And how do we facilitate the flow of information and from the activists back to the developers so the latter can design more appropriate tools?

Session 5: “NGO's and on-the ground activists: Defending the Voices”

How can NGOs most effectively work with on-the-ground free speech activists to combat censorship?

June 28, 2008

Session 1: “Web 2.0 Goes Worldwide”
The second incarnation of the internet means much more than social tagging, RSS, and trackbacks. Thanks to the steady proliferation of broadband connectivity throughout the developing world and the innovations of international web entrepreneurs, some of the most exciting online developments today are 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 Bolivia, Botswana, Colombia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Session 2: “The Wired Electorate in Emerging Democracies”

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, Armenia and Iran and poses the question: is citizen media having an actual impact on democracies in transition?

Session 3: “Digital Activism Workshop”
Are you prepared for the next emergency in your blogosphere? In this session we break into group workshops for some hands-on training from activists who have used these tools to create mashups like the Access Denied map, which highlights censorship of Web 2.0 sites,, a presentation designed to visualize and document the post-election violence in Kenya, as well as report on crises using tools such as SMS and Twitter.
Group A) Google Maps mashups
Group B) SMS groups and flashmobbing
Group C) Campaigns for arrested bloggers
Group D) Video distribution
Group E) Reporting with micro-blogging tools

Session 4: “Translation and the Multilingual Web”

In the short history of global communication via distributed computer networks, numerous thinkers, specialists, media critics, social activists and writers 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?

Session 5: “Citizen Media to the Rescue”
In moments of political upheaval, governments often silence the mainstream media either legally or with threats of violence. The only ones left to tell the story are citizens who witness it and share pictures and reports online. In this session we investigate the impact citizen media has had on emergency situations in Myanmar (Burma), Pakistan, and China, both internationally and locally.


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