Register Now for the Social Movements/Digital Revolutions Conference Oct. 21-23!
All Open Media Boston viewers are invited to attend the Social Movements/Digital Revolutions Conference on Oct. 21-23, 2011 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Lesley University in Cambridge, Mass. The event is being organized by this publication, Massachusetts Global Action, the Organizers' Collaborative and TecsChange in cooperation with a growing list of sponsors including the Boston Media Reform Network, Free Press, Lesley University, MIT Center for Civic Media, and MIT Comparative Media Studies. SM/DR incorporates the 2nd Digital Media Conference and the 11th Grassroots Use of Technology Conference.
Check out our website - and register here a.s.a.p. here: http://www.digitalmediaconference.org(and be sure to spread the word from that site to your social media accounts on Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus)
Conference Registration Fee: $30 (sliding scale, $20 for students, low-income and unemployed individuals); co-sponsoring organization rates available (contact: email@example.com)
SM/DR is being called to look at new developments in technology, social media, journalism and the creative world from the perspective of grassroots movements for social justice. We’re also interested to discuss and debate some of the key issues facing creators and progressive organizers today.
The conference will kick off on Friday Oct. 21st at MIT Room 10-250 with a Town Hall Meeting on Media and Democracy. The event will feature an expert panel - including a New York Times staffer and a filmmaker TBA - that will reflect on the future of journalism, media and democracy through the lens of the new documentary Page One. With the Internet surpassing print as our main news source and newspapers all over the country going bankrupt, Page One chronicles the transformation of the media industry at its time of greatest turmoil. A number of clips from the film will be shown, each will be discussed by the panel in turn, then the floor will be turned over to the audience to help determine what this development means for our democracy - and for grassroots social movements working to revive it.
The conference proper will begin on Saturday Oct. 22nd at Lesley University's Doble Campus, and will feature panels focusing on our Social Movements/Digital Revolutions theme. The rest of the weekend will be filled out with a number of workshops on related topics and practical tutorials on social media and digital media.
The weekend is aimed at technologists, social media mavens, grassroots organizers, students, and the general public.
The workshop schedule is just being put together now; so, we're organizing 2 informational conference calls for folks who'd like to propose one. Anyone who'd like to join either call is welcome.
Lunchtime Call: Monday, September 26, 2011, 12 noon - 1:00 p.m.
After-work Call: Monday, September 26, 2011, 5:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Conference Call Dial-in Number: 424-203-8400 Access Code: 184850#
[note: this is NOT a toll-free call; long-distance charges may be incurred]
From Cairo's Tahrir Square to Madrid's Plaza del Sol to the Wisconsin's Capitol Building grassroots social movements seem to crystallize out of invisible digital & social networks. Each movement demonstrates a distinctive efficacy and finds a unique place in national and global histories. Each one defines a moment that is also publicly constructed through interplay of traditional, often state- or corporate-controlled broadcast media and our still novel, semi-permeable, social media. Against the twin powers of state and capital, these movements may not yet have prevailed, but they are undeniably changing relationships of power and therewith, oppositional strategy.
For progressive organizers in the United States, the challenge is to weave together the particular stories of our struggles—be they in defense of rights we long thought won (collective bargaining, pensions, affirmative action, social security, due process) but that are now under threat; or in recovery of rights years ago ceded or compromised (good jobs, authorship, fairness doctrine, affordable higher education, privacy); or in pursuit of rights long sought but never achieved on a national scale (health care, green cities, mass transit, secure housing).
The emerging social-movements rising to these challenges have many actors, each with diverse skill sets and disciplinary inclinations. Their work has many moving parts - raising many questions to be answered and introducing new skills to be learned. Though global in aspiration and framing, our conference will start from the perspective of communities in the vortex of social change processes that are profoundly defined by economic location, race, gender, sexuality and place in the class struggles of our time. As such our conference traverses big-picture questions, organizing strategy and tactical choices. Reflecting the breadth of issues, workshops are being organized into three primary tracks:
1. Privacy, the Digital Self, Public Action
a. How to Protect Our Privacy?
b. How to Act in the Public Arena?
c. What Are the Regime Changes Needed to Protect Privacy?
Examples of substantive topics under this theme: Wikileaks, Facebook & other social media (including games), Second Life and other virtual worlds, FBI Spying on Activists, Privacy Toolkit; Individual, Organizational and Cloud-Based Data
2. Digital Media and Democracy
a. How Do We Positively Empower Individuals and Communities to Tell Their Own Stories?
b. What Tools Are Now Available to Empower Our Projects? How Do We Use Them?
c. Which Media Changes Impact Our Democracy? How Do We Promote or Oppose Them? How Can We Build a Better, More Democratic Media at All Levels?
Examples of substantive topics under this theme: Democratizing Public Media, Expanding Community Media, Challenging Corporate Media
3. Building Grassroots & Cultural Organizations, Networks and Movements
a. What Are the Digital Challenges to Grassroots Organizing?
b. Which Digital Solutions Actually Solve Our Problems?
c. How Have the Digital Revolutions Changed Resource Mobilization?
d. Concrete Issues and Meaningful Solutions (including housing rights, debt, health, employment, climate justice, peace and education)
Examples of substantive topics under this theme: Micro-donations, Foundations, Funding Strategy, GPS and other location-based services, Webinars, Decision & Deliberative Conversation Tech (including voting & polling), Data Sharing, Collaborative Research
That's it for now. See you at the Social Movements/Digital Revolutions Conference!
Jason Pramas is Editor/Publisher of Open Media Boston. Suren Moodliar is the coordinator of Mass. Global Action. Pramas and Moodliar are co-coordinators of the Social Movements/Digital Revolutions Conference. They can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.