(Dates have changed to September 27-29!!!)
Beyond its military origins, Internet was developed as a collaborative initiative, designed and controlled mostly by civil society under principles of democratization, horizontality and free exchange of knowledge. But with its massification and models of profitability, digital corporations sought to take over control of the net, soon to become the main monopolies of our era that are gaining more and more influence over every sphere of life.
Against this background, a global process of consultation and exchange to call for an Internet Social Forum (ISF) began two years ago. The initiative draws on the realization that Internet represents a powerful transforming force for our societies in their multiple spheres. This new technology can be extremely useful for solving many of the problems humanity faces today; but only if its development is oriented by a concerted social and political endeavor in benefit of the broadest public interest. In practice, lacking adequate social and political oversight, the powerful actors leading technological change have been able to exploit this situation to consolidate their own power and interests.
The ISF aspires to articulate concepts, proposals and alternatives around which people and social organizations can identify and gather, aiming to dispute the drive for a people’s Internet. A first ISF is being planned towards the end of 2017 in Hyderabad, India, under the principles of the World Social Forum (WSF) charter.
The current initiative proposes to launch a Latin American and Caribbean regional process within the framework of the ISF, combining a preparatory remote phase and a regional encounter.
Place: Ciespal, Quito
Date: 27-29 September 2017
Conveners: Agencia Latinoamericana de Información – ALAI, the Foro de Comunicación para la Integración de NuestrAmérica – FCINA, Medialab – Quito.
To raise awareness of issues related to the new digital era, in particular around recovering citizen control of Internet;
to advance a regional agenda of inputs to the ISF as well as regarding the issues in general.
Character of the event:
A central agenda around 4 main thematic axes (2 per day) and a final session of conclusions and agreements, aimed at reinforcing and complementing the previous debate and in view of establishing a regional agenda. Preparatory work will be organized around each theme. Thus, rather than a dynamic based on presenting papers, the proposal is to start with a short presentation of the results of the preparatory work for each theme, followed by a debate.
Related parallel activities can be considered.
Transversal themes: commons vs concentration of power, technological sovereignty, governance, gender and diversities
Knowledge (communication, culture, education)
Work and labor
Democracy, State and security
Territory, environment and life forms
and their corresponding sub-themes
Results: Inputs for regional follow-up in terms of reflection/action, as well as contributions for the global ISF process. The consolidation of an online regional dynamic, beyond the event.
Participants: Mainly social and civil society organizations from different sectors that share the principles of the WSF charter. Academics, individuals, political organizations, State entities, etc, are also welcome to take part. Participation in the event will be self-managed (everyone covers their own expenses).
Preparatory dynamic: A space for online discussions will be opened. The summary of these exchanges will be used as a baseline to open the debates in Quito.
On the basis of a synthesis of the issues of each thematic axis, written and audiovisual awareness-raising materials will be produced to broaden the call for participation.
For further information or to participate in the process: firstname.lastname@example.org