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Young Women Leading Technology and Innovation Youth Roundtable

The ‘Young Women Leading Tech and Innovation’ was a youth roundtable hosted by the Generation Equality Action Leaders Digital Grassroots on 27th January 2021. The 90-minute session was attended by over 190 participants from at least 30 countries across the globe. It featured four keynote speakers who brought their perspectives to four key priority areas of the Action Coalition for Technology and Innovation:

 

  • Valentina Muñoz Rabanal (Chile), Programmer and president of AMUJI, talked about the development of gender-transformative tech solutions.
  • Somaya Faruqi (Afghanistan), Leader of the Afghan Girls Robotic Team, talked about bridging the gender gap in digital access and literacy.
  • Jianne Soriano (Hong Kong), Advocate for Women and Ethnic Minorities, Youth4IG Outreach Lead, talked about building safe digital spaces for women, free from abuse.
  • Charlette N’Guessan (Ivory Coast), CEO of BACE Group, talked about building inclusive innovation ecosystems.

 

The youth roundtable opened with Audrey Fontaine, a member of the Generation Equality Youth Task Force. Representatives from Digital Grassroots, Uffa Modey, and Esther Mwema, gave opening and closing remarks, and Anouchka Dybal (Action Coalitions Secretariat, UN
Women) moderated the session.

 

The roundtable was built as an interactive dialogue which provided participants with the opportunity to share their views and react to the speakers’ inspiring statements.

AI Wellness Space at MozFest 2021

AI Wellness is a transformative space-changing artificial intelligence into authentic intelligence. This Space will channel community knowledge and experiences with technology to inform the future of human-centered AI that benefits society and individuals.

 

If you are a dreamer, innovator, artist, technologist, storyteller, healer, or defender of healthy online communities, please join us.

 

We invite you to contribute by sharing stories about how AI shapes our lives, by demystifying technology with understanding, and by creating community-centered solutions for healthier AI.

 

Together, we will envision AI that promotes joy, healing, and wellbeing for all.

 

Read More …

Global Culture and Heritage Space at MozFest 2021

Have you ever wondered who we are, where we come from, and where are we going? We each carry with us our own culture which shapes our everyday lives and perspectives. Our paths converge on the internet: a digital space for preserving history, celebrating heritage, and learning what we share and what makes us unique. The Global Culture and Heritage Space at MozFest is a welcoming space for diverse people to bask in their heritage and share tips on how they’ve created dynamic cultural communities – both online and in-person.

 

MozFest 2021 tickets are live now and we would like to invite you to join us in the Global Culture and Heritage Space.

 

Why Global Culture And Heritage?

Are you looking to spice up your work and make it more accommodating and inclusive of others? MozFest has always provided a unique platform for technologies, governments, small and big tech companies, and everyday internet users to converge for electrifying activities that build trustworthy AI and shape a healthy internet. This year, it’s time to re-discover and map the paths of our culture and heritage at this collaborative festival. The Global Culture and Heritage Space will empower us to think critically about which cultures are not widely recognized and how to connect with other ways from different walks of life from our own.

Who Should Attend Global Culture And Heritage Sessions and Events?

This Space is open to everyone who would like to share their cultural experience as it affects their community and those who are interested in discussing solutions to problematic societal and cultural norms that influence the digital space. Bring your home culture to MozFest through the many exciting festival experiences hosted within this Space. Participants will learn more about the importance of global cultural considerations – both online and offline – while developing trustworthy AI. The Global Culture and Heritage Space will also explore digital inclusion issues faced by minority cultures, sharing important bits of their culture that require support from all of us to preserve their heritage through modern-day tech.

Meet The Space Wranglers

Global Culture and Heritage Space Wranglers at MozFest 2021

Global Culture and Heritage Space Wranglers at MozFest 2021

Be Part of Virtual Mozilla Festival 2021

DIGRA at Mozfest 2019

Digital Grassroots has been part of the Mozilla Community since 2018. This year, we are excited that co-Founder and Global Lead Uffa Modey is a Mozilla Festival Wrangler in the Global Culture and Heritage space. Our Founder and Chief Strategist, Esther Mwema is a Mozilla Festival Ambassador and is also wrangling the AI Wellness Space. We are eager to have our community join as facilitators in the first ever Virtual Mozilla Festival taking place in March 2021.

 

The Mozilla Festival 2021 Call for Proposals is now open. MozFest is looking for incredible, participatory, accessible, and inclusive sessions about #trustworthyAI and other topics! MozFest is co-designed with the community, welcoming sessions on a wide range of topics relevant to trustworthy AI and the internet health movement. MozFest harnesses the collective power of unexpected partnerships — from analog artists and public interest technologists to policymakers and queer activists — to creatively disrupt the status quo and reframe and reimagine our online world.

Whether your session application consists of digital storytelling, lecture series, AI workshops, community-centred think tanks, or a combination or none of these, we are looking to work with individuals and groups who are critically exploring issues around the development and implementation of AI.

Anyone can submit a session – you don’t need any particular expertise, just a great project or idea and the desire to collaborate and learn from festival participants. Since it’s online this year, we’re especially eager to see session proposals from those that haven’t been able to attend in year’s past due to travel restrictions. We have some tips on how to design your inclusive and engaging session.

If you or someone you know is interested in leading a session at MozFest next year in March 2021, you can submit your session idea here! The deadline is November 23, 2020.    You are also invited to contribute to 6 Trustworthy AI Projects here. We look forward to having you be part of the #InternetHealth movement.

Ambassadors Program Mini-Hackathon

Digital Grassroots Ambassadors Program provides a soft landing introduction to internet governance and digital rights issues for youth from underrepresented regions. However, as digital technologies and human lives evolve daily, the program content needs to be constantly updated in order to keep up with the trends and challenges faced by our vibrant community.

 

The 3-day Ambassadors Program Mini-Hackathon was an open event that created a platform for everyone concerned about internet technology to review the DIGRA Internet Literacy Course content and provide insight into relevant information that should be included in the course in order to make it more impactful and relatable to underserved youth.

Meet the Expert Moderators

  • DGRA hackathon expert moderator 1
  • DIGRA hackathon expert moderator 2

Resources

  1. Day 1 – meeting recording
  2. Day 2 – meeting recording
  3. Day 3 – meeting recording
  4. AP mini-hackathon resource directory

What next?

Special thanks to our amazing community members who joined us for this 3-days activity and shared their valuable insights and knowledge with us.

 

The outcomes of this hackathon will be updated in the next version of the DIGRA ILC and made openly accessible by the community.

 

Do you have ideas, comments, or questions about how we can make this activity bigger and better? Would you like to contribute to this hackathon in the future? If yes, we will love to hear from you. Please reach out to Team DIGRA via email.

DIGRA Virtual Community Chill

Folks, it’s been a minute and we have missed you here at Digital Grassroots.

 

We are back with an exciting event dubbed the DIGRA Virtual Community Chill. We are eager to give you updates on what has been going on behind the scenes. You will all meet our new cool team of young community leaders who are shaping the evolution of Digital Grassroots; from Ambassador to a team member -Isn’t that cool?

 

This event is for you, our DIGRA community to get to know avenues through which you can actively partner with us and contribute to our initiatives in your context. We will also use this opportunity, to update you on our upcoming projects and share pathways for you to get involved in our activities going forward.

Digital Grassroots engages youth in internet governance, connects grassroots communities to institutions that enhance their autonomy in digital citizenship, and creates services that respond to the digital needs of underserved communities. We uphold the values of working and leading open and this event embodies just that. We are creating this space for us to interact better, listen to your community concerns, and have you openly meet our new team members.

Sign up to join us on 18th September 2020 from 10 am – 11.30 am UTC.
You can sign up until 1 hour before the event when we will send out the Zoom link to all who registered.

 

We look forward to having you at our virtual community chill. Cheers from Team DIGRA

Sharing Perspectives from Underrepresented Communities on Internet Inclusion and Governance

What challenges do youth from underrepresented communities face in developing global policy for ICT  and digital technology and what opportunities exist for their inclusion? 

In the next 5 minutes, we will like to hear your youth voice on;

How can youth learn about core internet principles relating to openness, privacy, security, inclusion, and decentralization? 

How can youth contribute to global policy development that shape our digital future? 

What role do internet stakeholder organizations have to play in promoting digital literacy for internet governance among youth? 

 

The outcomes of this survey will feed into our organizational research for young people from underrepresented communities globally to relay  their concerns and aspirations on how to impactfully engage internet governance issues.

To be presented at RightsCon Online 2020.

 

Kindly complete by 24 JULY 2020

I Want To Do That Too!

On October 27 of 2019, DIGRA President Esther Mwema and Vice President Uffa Modey hosted the session “I Want To Do That Too!” at 2019 MozFest. The session participants created a collectively written open letter for digital inclusion in modern age technology letter.

Read the full letter below:

“Hello Readers!

 

We are the attendees of “I Want To Do That Too!” session in the Digital Inclusion space of 2019 Annual Mozilla Festival. Our goal for inclusion in modern technology is yours as well and we invite you to join us in raising awareness on the challenges surrounding the use of new and emerging technology for people from minority groups.

A lack of inclusivity creates a digital divide which silences voices and prevents collective action on behalf of the under-represented group. A lack of access also contributes to limited opportunity in education or jobs. Without a collection of diverse voices, opportunities for innovation are stymied, which ultimately reduces the rate of socioeconomic development for all.

We want to be included; we don’t want our age, gender, sex, race, physical disability and social economic status to limit us from accessing digital services. This experience of inclusion in our present day can be limited in circumstances such as disability or social economic costs, any form of social discrimination online and services that are only available in certain regions and not others.

Technology must not be used to profile us, discriminate or spy on us. We want to have autonomy of technology so that we are not just consumers but also owners, inventors and creators. We want to be able to understand technologies and content so it should be in a language that we speak and understand. We want to have affordable access to devices and the Internet so that we can also benefit from being part of the digital world.

We call on all Internet stakeholders to explore avenues for promoting inclusion in digital technology. Key issues for review should include cost of internet connectivity, affordability of smart devices and equity and justice for human rights online. There should be transparency and accountability in technology design. Users should be able to trust that their interests are represented during policy development for ICT.

We hope you keep the fight going!”

Learn more about this letter here

Community Leaders for Internet Health | an Open Leaders X program

Esther Mwema (@hadassahlouis) and Uffa Modey (@Fafa416) are passionate about engaging youth in internet problems. They founded Digital Grassroots in 2017, and now they’re adding an open leadership program to their grassroots efforts. Over the past few months, Esther and Uffa have been working to launch Community Leaders for Internet Health during Open Leaders X.

I interviewed Esther and Uffa to learn more about Community Leaders for Internet Health and how you can contribute to the work.

What is Community Leaders for Internet Health?

Community Leaders for Internet Health will spotlight internet issues in diverse local community contexts and collaborate with local leaders to engage with tools for open campaigning towards Internet Health. Our program enables people in underrepresented regions to assess the state of the Internet in their community and share their stories on the challenges and opportunities encountered.

Why did you start Community Leaders for Internet Health?

Community Leaders for Internet Health was started as an avenue to raise awareness on the internet principles required to maintain a healthy internet ecosystem among youth from underrepresented communities. We realised that although young people now increasingly have access to the Internet, they are not often aware or included in defining best practises that ensure that the internet remains an open, inclusive, bottom-up and safe medium.

How does your program connect participants to the internet health movement?

This programs aims to identify individuals who can lead community driven projects on internet health. In this 6 weeks program, we educate the participants on key internet themes using the issues highlighted in the Internet Health Report as a reference point (openness, privacy & security, web literacy, decentralization and inclusion). The participants will also be guided on how to design and implement minor projects on internet health within their community. Through these projects, the participants can contribute to the internet health movement by documenting and sharing their experiences in fueling a healthy internet in their community.

What did you learn by bringing your program to MozFest 2019? How are you continuing the momentum after the festival?

Showcasing the Community Leaders for Internet Health program at MozFest 2019 enabled us to get relevant feedback on ways to make the program more impactful. We were able to build upon Mozilla Festival 2018 in which we showcased the Digital Rights Monopoly game to bring awareness on digital inclusion issues affecting young people we are working with. In 2020, we are putting our two MozFest experiences into practice.

Through our 6 week program, participants will collaboratively learn open leadership models necessary for raising awareness on the impact of the internet on society. The participants will also receive guidance on open campaigning for the Internet Health Report from their assigned mentors. We believe the collaboration between mentors and community leaders will keep the internet health movement active even up to the next MozFest.

How can others get involved in your program?

  • Participate: If you’re interested in becoming a community leader for internet health, apply here by January 30!
  • Publicize: We need help in publicizing the program. We would like to impact on a wider community across the globe so we invite everyone to help us promote the program call for applications on their platforms.
  • Mentor: We also need mentors for our program participants. Our mentors are Industry experts on internet health who can provide guidance to the participants while they implement their desired project. If you will like to mentor with us, kindly sign up here by January 30.

Lastly, we invite everyone concerned about capacity building programs on internet health to contact us with collaboration ideas for an impactful program.

READ THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE HERE