Tessa Lewin and Akofa Anyidoho from the Pathways WERPC communications team joined over 130 participants in Green Valley, Bangalore, India for the Info-Activism Camp from 19 to 25th February, 2009. The one week meeting brought together rights activists, ICT experts, journalists and communications specialists from over 30 countries to learn and share skills useful for networking, movement building and advocacy.
The Info-Activism Camp was organised by Tactical Technology Collective (TTC) along with its long term partner Aspiration and funded by Oak Foundation, Sigrid Rausing Trust, Open Society Institute and Hivos. TTC is a global, non-governmental collective dedicated to equipping journalists, human rights and technology advocates, and small and medium sized NGOs, with information, communication and digital technologies to enhance their advocacy work. Primarily based in the South, TTC produces open source software, provides guides and organises ‘sources camps’ and other events to bring together activists who need technical skills and technologists who are in the field of advocacy to learn, share and engage together.
The multi-cultural, highly interactive Info-Activism camp is one of TTC’s projects to achieving their aim of impacting global advocacy work, particularly through the adoption of new technologies and utilising information for action-oriented campaigns.
The first day of the camp focused on framing what info-activism meant to the participants and defining strategies for successful advocacy campaigns, brainstorming on local ideas and offering cases studies of successful applications of some of the strategies. The agenda for the following days was based on the diversity of participant needs with corresponding peer sharing which included sessions on Strategy, Issues Areas, Visualisation and Story-telling, Cooperation and Collaboration, Security and Privacy, Publishing Information and Engaging audiences, Telephony and Voice Communications, and Increasing and Sustaining Participation. Within these sessions were sub-sessions and lab sessions for those who needed one-to-one or small group tutorials for hands-on training.
The camp generated opportunities for networking with advocates and technologists working within similar geographical regions and more importantly for those involved in similar thematic campaigns. This was greatly facilitated by the network mapping peer-experts and sessions.