[governance] SAVE THE DATE: Disco-tech 2019 on the environmental impact of ICTs - 26 Nov, Berlin

Valeria Betancourt valeriab at apc.org
Mon Oct 28 16:18:32 EDT 2019

Hello everyone,

APC and partners are hosting their ninth Disco-tech event in conjunction
with the 2019 Internet Governance Forum in Berlin, on the evening of 26
November. We invite you to join us for this peer-learning event about
utlising the potential of ICTs in strategies to mitigate and adapt to
the climate crisis.

*Event details*

  * Date and time: *Tuesday 26 November 2019 from 19:00 to 22:00*
  * Venue: *TBC*
  * Food: Refreshments will be served at 19:00 and a light dinner will
    be provided during the break.

*An RSVP message will be sent once the venue is confirmed.

*Disco-tech on ICTs and environmental sustainability*

The Association for Progressive Communications (APC) and partners are
hosting their ninth Disco-tech event in conjunction with the 2019
Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Berlin, on the evening of 26
November, in this ocassion with a focus on the environmental impact of
information and communications technologies (ICTs).

Environmentally sustainable ICTs are past due. In recent decades,
predictions that capitalist innovations and ICTs would automatically
solve critical environmental issues such as climate change have not only
not been fulfilled, we have seen the opposite. The expansion of ICTs has
spurred production, consumption and disposal of computers, mobile phones
and networking devices, increased energy consumption and increased usage
of transport and commerce, all of which are having adverse effects on
the Earth’s natural resources and on humanity.

Sustainability relates to the environmental and social implications of
the materials, energy and labour involved in digital devices throughout
the whole ICT cycle and ecosystem (including formal and informal workers
in the tech and e-waste sectors, end-users, servers, network devices,
cables, radiation). A circular economy makes the most of resources and
minimises waste and pollution: used resources that become new resources,
keeping materials and products in use, and regenerating natural systems.

Historical data, simulations and real-time satellite observations can be
processed quickly to track patterns and inform decision making. Yet
access to environmental datasets is uneven at best, and many civil
society groups around the world continue to experience barriers to
access this information, despite improvements and commitments by
governments to open data.

We want to share, highlight, coordinate and find ways to scale up best
practices of electronics producers and consumers, policy makers and
civil society organisations who are doing something to achieve lasting
environmental and social justice about and through technology and
circular economy processes. We need to create more resilient societies
that mitigate environmental and social impacts before climate change
reaches crisis dimensions.

While many initiatives have succeeded in creating individual and local
awareness about the environmental impactof ICTs, much greater
understanding is needed about how the tech industry can build more
durable and environmental friendly devices, how our own devices work or
can be repaired, modified or enhanced, and how devices can be reused and
recycled for the benefit of our neighbours.

Around the world, activists, engineers, researchers, social enterprises
and others are acting to make ICTs part of the solution to the
environmental emergency, and a great deal can be learned from them.

*What will we do?*

In this edition, Disco-tech will provide a safe space for participants
to share their experiences in mitigating the environmental and social
impacts of ICTs, and facilitate the cross-regional collaboration with
key actors who can link local struggles and global action.

Disco-tech 2019 will:

  * Explore the indicators, challenges and opportunities that define the
    situations we are facing and ways we can mitigate environmental
    impacts and improve social resilience.
  * Bring to light personal and collective stories of ways to handle the
    environmental impact of ICTs and improve people’s lives at an
    individual, national or regional level.
  * Share related strategies, initiatives and actions, including tech
    demos, policy ideas and advocacy strategies.

Disco-tech is proactive. Presenters and participants will share best
practices and visionary ideas and make connections that will have direct
impact on their work. IGF attendees will be able to access our work at
an exhibition booth throughout the conference. The booth is an
exploratory space that will be used for formal and informal meetings and
to amplify key actions from the evening event.

*Provisional list of speakers*

• Leandro Navarro, Pangea, Spain
• Pavel Antonov, BlueLink, Bulgaria
• Manfred Santen, Greenpeace, Germany
• Alexandra Lutz, working at the European Parliament, France
• Florencia Roveri, Nodo TAU, Argentina
• Anulekha Nandi, Digital Empowerment Foundation, India
• Kemly Camacho, Sulá Batsú, Costa Rica

*About Disco-tech*

Disco-techs are informal evening events that are designed as learning
exchanges, to bridge the gaps between technical and political solutions
to attacks on internet rights and freedoms. In order to ensure
meaningful exchanges between techies, activists and policy advocates,
informal discussions in a comfortable setting are sparked by stimulating
short presentations during an evening event the day before a major forum
like the IGF or RightsCon.

Disco-techs have been held at the IGF since 2013 and have focused on
Counter-surveillance and Cybersecurity (2013), the 16 Days of Activism
to End Violence Against Women and Girls campaign (2013), Internet
Censorship, Blocking and Filtering (2014), Privacy and Anonymity as
Fundamental Rights (2015), Community Networks (2016), Criminalisation of
Tech Expertise (2017), and Disability and Accessibility to the Internet
(2018). A special Disco-tech on internet shutdowns in Africa was held on
the eve of RightsCon Tunis in June 2019.

Best regards,

Valeria Betancourt

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