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International Committee Event

Presented by NVTC's International Committee and the National Democratic Institute

May 22, 2014

Supporting Democracy in a Tech-Empowered World

Panel 1 Discussion: Digital Security to Protect Human Rights and Democracy Activists

In closed societies, human rights and democracy activists are under threat from governments which are increasingly using digital surveillance as part of a set of tools intended to control and or limit public dissent. In the words of one commentator, "authoritarian rulers once needed to torture dissidents to trace their social networks, now they can go to their Facebook page." The discussion will focus on ways that technology and democracy communities reduce the digital risks faced by individuals who are struggling for political and democratic reform in their own countries.

M. Reda, Chair, International Committee, NVTC; Allied Group

Ian Schuler, CEO, Development Seed; former Official, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, U.S. State Department; former Member, Information and Communications Technology Team, National Democratic Institute
Amie Stepanovich, Senior Policy Counsel, Access

Panel 2 Discussion: Technology, Civic Innovation and Democracy Support

In many countries, trust in representative institutions is in decline and representative institutions have had a difficult time adapting to a more tech-empowered world. Citizens - and "millennials" in particular - are often very civic-minded, but can be frustrated by political parties and traditional political systems. The result has been increased civic activism - but activism that may not always translate into constructive political change. This discussion will focus on the potential of "civic innovation" to reform traditional governing institutions, reinvigorate the quality of our democracies, and offer new ways of engaging citizens in governance.

Alex Howard, Fellow, Tow Center for Digital Journalism, Columbia Journalism School

Scott Hubli, Director, Governance, National Democratic Institute
Amy Ngai, Director, Partnerships and Training, Sunlight Foundation
Megan Ryskamp, Partnerships, Google


Bronze Sponsor: Unity Resources Group
Supporting Sponsor: AHT Insurance

The Ritz-Carlton
1700 Tysons Blvd.
McLean, VA