• June 5, 2023

    San José, Costa Rica

  • Empowering the Digital Citizen: Fireside Chats on Meaningful Digital Participation, Co-Designing Content Policies, Building Safety and Trust Features Online


    What is this event about?

    Ahmed X. Medien is a global convener on policy conversations on internet governance, content governance and user-centered participation in developing accountable technology and technological systems that promote societal welfare and social cohesion.


    Throughout the event, experts and thought leaders from diverse backgrounds will engage in fireside chats to discuss critical topics such as effective engagement with tech platforms, multi-stakeholder approaches to content moderation, bridging cultural and technological gaps, addressing gender-based violence, ethical reporting, and safeguarding elections.


    Join us as we navigate the complexities of the digital age and strive to empower every citizen to thrive online. Your presence and contributions are essential in driving meaningful change and shaping a better digital future for all.


    Join us as we navigate the complexities of the digital age, equip policy professionals with tech fluency, and foster a collaborative environment where ideas flourish. Your presence and contributions are essential in driving meaningful change and shaping a better digital future for all.




  • Event Agenda


    09:30 - 10:00 (30 mins)

    Registration & Check-in


    10:00 - 10:15 (15 mins)

    Village introduction and welcome message



    • Ahmed X. Medien (Event and Village Chair)
    • Hallie J. Stern (Disarm Foundation, Event Partner)
    • Maia Mazurkiewicz (Alliance4Europe, Event Parnter)

    10:15 - 10:45 (30 mins)

    Advocating for a Social Internet: Insights from the Integrity Institute Founders on Effectively Engaging with Tech Platforms

    Civil society organizations increasingly recognise the influence of tech platforms on social issues and advocate for a healthier online environment. However, the inner workings of these companies can seem opaque, making it difficult to effectively communicate demands. In this fireside chat, the founders of the Integrity Institute, Jeff Allen and Sahar Massachi, share their unique insights on bridging the gap between civil society organizations and tech platforms. Through their experience in both sectors, they offer strategies for speaking the tech language in advocacy and building relationships with public-interest-minded workers and managers at these companies. Join us for an interactive discussion on advancing a social internet where all can thrive.



    • Sahar Massachi (Integrity Institute, Co-Founder)
    • Jeff Allen (Integrity Institute, Co-Founder)

    10:45 - 11:00 (15 mins)

    Coffee Break (provided on-site)


    11:00-11:30 (30 mins)

    Finding Common Ground: A Human Rights Approach to Online Content Moderation (25 mins)

    With the increasing amount of harmful content on the internet, the question of how to manage online content has become a pressing issue. Traditional approaches have often failed, and there is a growing recognition that a collaborative, multi-stakeholder approach is needed. Join us to discuss how a multi-stakeholder process can drive sustainable progress in online trust and explore ideas for voluntary industry standards and actions that can help reduce online harm. Hear experts in the industry, civil society, and government as they discuss the challenges and opportunities of this approach and how it can be applied to improve online content management. We can find common ground and move towards a safer, more trusted online environment.



    11:30 - 12:00 (30 mins)

    Interventions to Address Technology-Facilitated Gender-Based Violence, from Ideation to Implementation

    Online gender-based violence poses a deepening challenge to democracy, serving as a key tool of illiberalism and democratic backsliding across the globe. It's time to move from admiring the problem to implementing solutions. This panel will discuss best practices around implementing interventions to address this issue from representatives of organizations in technology, government, and civil society.



    12:00 - 12:30 (30 mins)

    Building Bridges: Achieving an Open, Inclusive, Accountable, and Transparent Internet

    The internet has the potential to connect people from all corners of the world, but achieving an open, inclusive, accountable, and transparent Internet requires building bridges across different communities, cultures, and technologies. In this fireside chat, we will explore the challenges and opportunities of creating an internet that serves the global public interest and reflects the values of all stakeholders. We will discuss strategies for enhancing stakeholder participation, ensuring that decision-making processes are informed, transparent, and inclusive, and developing effective mechanisms for resolving conflicts and making timely decisions. Our expert panellists will share their insights on navigating cultural and linguistic barriers, promoting interoperability and standardization, and fostering a sense of ownership and responsibility among all stakeholders. navigating cultural and linguistic barriers, promoting interoperability and standardization, and fostering a sense of ownership and responsibility for building and maintaining an internet that reflects the values of all communities and cultures.



    • Adam Peake (ICANN)
    • Swati Punia (Centre for Communication Governance at National Law University Delhi)


    12:30 - 13:30 (1 hour)

    Lunch Break (lunch provided on-site)


    13:30 - 13:50 (20 mins)

    Rebuilding Trust in Innovation: Pioneering Socially Conscious and Sustainable Digital Ecosystems with AI, Web3, and Media Innovations

    Shifting our narratives from black and white to technicolor, Jenn will discuss how AI, web3, and digital media innovations are creating sideview mirrors in our information highways to create more sustainable and inclusive engineering ecosystems. Why early adopters in this space will have a huge advantage in building the digital ecosystems that make our old systems obsolete. And how to ensure ethical, empathetic, protections for human rights in the face of misinformation, disinformation, and growing digital consciousness.


    Electrical Engineer turned Story Engineer, Jenn is on a mission to challenge what we as humans know to be possible and to inspire a new wave of innovation in the process: one that is socially conscious and sustainable.


    Speakers: Jenn Halweil (#BeyondLab)


    13:50 - 14:30 (40 mins)

    Building Competencies for Civic Integrity Professionals: Strengthening Advisory Relationships In and Out of Tech Platforms

    Based on first-hand experience with Trust and Safety operations during planned and unplanned elections, combined with research findings, the panel will discuss the effective reality and consequences of dismantling of civic integrity teams at Twitter and elsewhere through recent T&S layoffs will have several areas of impact, including additional harms to marginalized groups, reduced trust in online safety, reduced access for credible information, and challenges to equity in commercial content moderation.




    14:30 - 14:55 (25 mins)

    Ethical Reporting and Networked Authoritarianism: A Fireside Chat with Giovana Fleck and Alex Esenler"

    Join Giovana Fleck; the project lead behind the 'Civic Observatory Monitor' and the 'Unfreedom Monitor' projects, and Alex Esenler from OpenArchive for a captivating fireside chat on the interplay of ethical reporting, citizen journalism, and the rise of networked authoritarianism. Gain insights into the evolving landscape of digital media, as Giovana explores the motivations and impacts of digital authoritarianism across cultural and political contexts. Meanwhile, Alex shares OpenArchive's success stories in promoting ethical reporting principles and combating disinformation. Don't miss this enlightening conversation that explores the intersection of media ethics, narratives, and the challenges posed by networked authoritarianism.



    • Giovanna Fleck (Global Voices)
    • Alex Esenler (Open Archive)


    14:55 - 15:20 (25 mins)

    Beyond the Ballot Box: Navigating the Data Ecosystem and Safeguarding Elections Amid Political Uncertainty.

    This session will address the challenges posed by the rise of new political regimes in Europe and their impact on accountable elections administration, representation, and accessibility. Our expert panellists will explore the importance of free and transparent elections and the imperative for election integrity. They will delve into electoral systems' key issues, including voter suppression, disinformation, and cybersecurity threats. The session will provide valuable insights into the current state of electoral systems and explore solutions to ensure that elections remain fair, transparent, and accessible to all. Don't miss this opportunity to learn from experts and participate in a thought-provoking discussion on one of the most critical issues facing democracies today.



    • Omri Preis (Alliance4Europe)
    • Maia Mazurkiewicz (Alliance4Europe)

    15:20 - 15:30 (10 mins)

    Closing message: Ahmed X. Medien (Event and Village Chair)





  • Special Thanks To

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    Ahmed X. Medien (Misinfo Village Chair, Event Chair)

    Ahmed is a systems analyst with a strong background in project development, operations, and coalition building for global organizations. He brings together grassroots organizers, academia, government and private industry for healthier and safer digital public spaces. His organizing work focuses on grand topics in an ever-changing policy discourse and shifting resources: Some of his focus is trustworthy internet, building capacity for intersectional disinformation research and cybersecurity policy.


    Ahmed's most recent work has been defined by his research and knowledge production expertise, chairing and producing global events such as the MisinfoCon global summit series and similar research and Truth and Trust Online Conference. He consults privately with accessibility organizations, political candidates who are trying to make sense of the media and information disorder, as well as trust and safety solutions vendors, to operationalize new research and regulations into processes and products.

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    Hallie J. Stern (Event Guest Co-Host)

    Hallie Stern is an information scientist working on a number of contracts between sectors. Currently, she conducts research & development initiatives focused on digital identity, teaches courses on disinformation and cyber enabled influence, and uses OSINT tools to investigate anomalies in ad-tech ecosystems and algorithms


    She is the Founder and Director of Digital Rapid Response and

    Information Strategy for Mad Mirror Media, is the head threat hunter and a core team member with the Disarm Foundation, and a proud member of the Integrity Institute.


    She holds an M.S. from NYU in Global Security, Conflict, and Cybercrime, where she focused on The Human Side of Cyber Conflict, with practicums and fellowships at The Global Disinformation Index, UMD START, the Dept of State, and the Department of Homeland Security.


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    Maia Mazurkiewicz, (Alliance4Europe, Event Guest Co-Host)

    Maia Mazurkiewicz is an expert on countering disinformation and behavioural changes. She has 15 years of experience in political management, foreign affairs, and communication in administration, business and CSOs. She believes that we need to change the way we communicate, to introduce more understanding in between humans.


    She is a Co-founder and Head of StratCom of Alliance4Europe where she deals with strategic communication, to build more diverse internet. She co-founded Future Forces Foundation that is working for more impactful business.


    She is also Vice-President of the Free European Media Association. In 2017 she co-created Keyboard Warriors in Poland, community that debunks disinformation.




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    Theodora (Theo) Skeadas, (Integrity Institute, Event Contributor)

    Theodora Skeadas is a public policy expert, bringing a decade's worth of experience in bridging the spheres of technology, society, and safety. Her recent tenure on Twitter's global Public Policy team saw her taking the helm on a multitude of policy projects, tackling complex issues such as human rights, disinformation, counter-terrorism, and content moderation, among others. Her dedication to community resilience and economic development is further reflected in her concurrent role as the Executive Director of Cambridge Local First, where she champions a robust local economy.


    Theodora's journey in public policy has been marked by diverse experiences and noteworthy accomplishments. She has consulted at Booz Allen Hamilton, addressing matters of cyber security and data innovation alongside U.S. Federal Government agencies, and served as an independent political consultant, strategically guiding campaigns for notable positions, including the Massachusetts Lieutenant Governor and Cambridge City Council. A proud alumnus of Harvard Kennedy School, she holds a Master's in Public Policy, focusing on International Trade and Finance. Beyond the borders of the United States, she has worked in Turkey as a Fulbright Fellow, collaborated with NGOs in Morocco, and spent a transformative summer with Inspire Dreams in the West Bank, leading a range of programs for Palestinian refugee youths.

  • Contact Us

    If you would like to participate in this event as a speaker or attendee, please write to us.