What's the Catch at Chaos Communications Camp

Chaos Communications Camp, like the World Cup, is something so special that it only happens once every four years. It’s a few thousand hackers, artists, and activists camping together in Germany. We come together to share skills, stories, and ambitions, including how to get into space and provide secure internet in austere places. There’s brightly colored hair everywhere, and a slowly improving gender ratio, and stickers on laptops, and a gig of data to your tent.

Communications through a community organizing lens

Session: How to do Online Communications as an Organizer At Aspiration, we strive to apply community organizing principles to all the work we do. In practice, this means the principles that guide our greater mission should be embedded into internal organizational processes. For example: how does one approach website design or event facilitation with a frame of inclusion and collaboration? In the case of online communications: how can the principles that guide face-to-face organizing be applied to the digital realm?

At the Allied Media Conference in June, we were given space to host a workshop that explored these ideas. Titled "How to do Online Communications as an Organizer", this session asked participants to think about how their on-the-ground experiences could be applied to communications tactics. We shared some planning templates (Publishing Matrix!) in the process, but ultimately, participants led the exploration and found their own ways to apply their knowledge.

Forays in creating a healthier online ecosystem

Weaponized Social is an emerging program that seeks to support a healthier online ecosystem. Since our last gathering in New York, we've been to Nairobi on May 2nd, hosted WeapSoc SF in our office home in San Francisco, and facilitated a highly relevant event, the International Workshop on Misogyny and the Internet in MY home base of Cambridge, MA. We've continued to build out the Weaponized Social Wiki with notes from conversations, projects, and possibilities.

Weaponized Social in Nairobi

In Nairobi at AkiraChix, we further refined the checklist for making safe space and started two projects: FaceOff and Trolling the Trolls. FaceOff provides space for highly visible people to interact in a nuanced way, posting back to short-form spaces, so as to ask their constituents to be better balanced. This is a response to the very real occurrences of politicians calling their online followers to take action (sometimes violent) in offline space. Trolling the Trolls seeks to use language patterns from sock puppet accounts to find those accounts sooner, and respond to them before they have a negative impact on the speech of marginalized individuals online. Yvonne, who suggested this, also introduced me to ZeroTrollerance which was then represented by Peng! Collective.

How can humanitarian response be decentralized?

For a long time, it wasn't possible to include everyone's voice in planning or decision-making without impossibly large amounts of time. There was no way to listen, at scale. So aggregation and centralization became common, especially in times of urgency, even with the troubles these tend to cause.

But now, with the technologies we have, we can *listen*, in high resolution and in high fidelity. But technology isn't a silver bullet. We also need the political will and the personal values to make that happen. With Aspiration's new Digital Humanitarian Response program, we get to support some of the rad people willing and able to make these movements happen. In May, we hosted the Humanitarian Technology Festival at MIT. The Digital Response Wiki provides resources and notes, and here are some top-level highlights from the event:

Beatrice onboard as Human Rights Technology Lead

Visit Beatrice's personal site

We are excited to introduce Beatrice Martini, our new team member and Human Rights Technology Lead. Originally from Italy, Beatrice now lives in Berlin, Germany and will work from overseas to drive capacity building efforts with human rights-oriented NGOs from around the world.

We are looking forward to having her at the helm of this multi-dimensional program, which will involve articulating technology practices, facilitating digital security literacy, and the pursuit of a shared language among stakeholders in the human rights technology ecosystem.

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