Left Forum Panel

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INoSA at Left Forum 2015

New York City May 29-31

We've partnered with May First/People Link to bring together leading technology activists from all over the world who are working to defend the knowledge commons and to protect access to the internet. Given the centrality of electronic communications to our work, it is critical that we remain vigilant to the politics surrounding information and communications technology.

**The Internet and the World's Struggle for Survival -- the Next Five Years**

Friday May 29 5:00 pm-6:45 pm Eastern time Session A L.76
This panel features technology activists from Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, India and a leader in the recent U.S. struggle to defend net neutrality here. These speakers will help us think about some of the opportunities and challenges surrounding the technology many of us have come to take for granted.
Chair: Alfredo Lopez, May First/People Link

  • Juan Gerardo Dominguez Carrasco -- Leadership Committee Chair, May First/People Link
  • Alice Aguilar, Progressive Technology Project
  • Malkia Cyril -- Director, Center for Media Justice
  • Shamika Goddard, Union Theological Seminary technology chaplain.
  • Shahzad Ahmad, Bytes for All, Pakistan--
  • Joseph Torres, Outreach Coordinator, Free Press (which organized campaign defending Net Neutrality)
  • Jackie Smith, Professor of sociology, University of Pittsburgh, Coordinator of International Network of Scholar Activists, and editor of open access Journal Journal of World-Systems Research, one of the first peer-reviewed open access scholarly journals, launched in 1994.
    • Smith stressed the need for activists to become producers and not merely users of technology. Activists must be more informed and skilled regarding technology, privacy, net neutrality debates. Scholar-activists can play a role in facilitating skills transfer and helping raise consciousness on campuses.
    • The World Summit on the Information Society ten year review process is currently underway, and a high level ten-year review will take place at the Unite Nations in New York. General Assembly will discuss a draft text on world information and technology policies. The draft text should be available in September, and this conference provides a good opportunity to raise consciousness and to help the general public better understand the issues at stake. RESOURCE: **Towards a People's Internet** by Latin America in Movement provides perspectives from the global South on net Neutrality and internet governance, and the chapter by Norbert Bollow, WSIS+10: issues, actors, what to expect, what to achieve is particularly helpful to understand this important international meeting.
    • Open Access Week 2015 is October 19-25, 2015. Organize an event on your campus or tap into online programs and resources. See http://www.openaccessweek.org/ for more details.

Resisting Technology Privatization and Surveillance: Roles for Scholar-Activists

Sunday May 31 12:00pm - 01:50pm in Room 1.107, John Jay College, The City University of New York, 524 West 59th st, New York, NY 10019

Panelists will help scholar-activists better understand some of the issues surrounding open access publishing and open data, internet security and surveillance, and software issues. We've brought in some leading technology activists to help demystify some of the debates and to share some of the analyses of communications and publications industries that are often overlooked by academic researchers. Since these affect our work directly, it is critical that we inform ourselves on these topics.
Chair: Jackie Smith, International Network of Scholar Activists

  • Barry Cohen, Associate Dean of College of Computer Science, N.J. Institute of Technology& Moderator of Portside,an online alternative media source dedicated to realizing the democratic potential of the internet and other new technology.
  • Seda Güses, post-doctoral fellow, Media, Culture and Communications department and Information Law Institute at New York University. Studies privacy and surveillance issues and is active in Turkish organization advocating digital rights.
  • Peter Murray-Rust, Director ContentMine, University of Cambridge, UK
  • Rebecca Kennison -- K|N Consultants which works to foster broad knowledge infrastructure transformation and to expand opportunities for disadvantaged populations. K|N is behind the Open Access Network. Kennison was one of the first staff members of the Public Library of Science and the founding director of Columbia University's Center for Digital Research and Scholarship.
  • Benjamin Cockelet, teaches community organizing at New York University and founded the Project on Organizing, Development Education and Research (PODER), a citizen-led corporate accountability initiative in Latin America.
  • Seeta Peña Gangadharan, Senior Research Fellow at the Open Technology Institute. Seeta's work is on digital inequalities and discrimination, media justice and communications rights.