Activism track

What is open source’s role in our culture and in our politics today? Demonstrate how you’re making a change in the world.

We don’t build open technology or open cultures in a vacuum. Given the political, cultural, and economic crossroads we find ourselves at right now, we’re adding a new track to explore how activists are using technology, how open source communities are supporting activists, and how other open source and activist communities intersect. While we don’t have past examples of activist talks, here are three topics we’d excited to see: ‘What technology security risks should activists pay attention to?’, ‘How can activist communities use open source technology to share information more effectively?’, and ‘What usability improvements will make open source tools more useful to activists?’

Proposals for this track

* #workzoneWTF: crowdsourcing policy change in PDX

Walk or ride your bike around Portland long enough and you'll come across unsafe sidewalk and road closures. To paint a clear picture of this issue, Oregon Walks and The Street Trust (BTA) ran a social media campaign collecting hundreds of photos and videos from citizens using a little tech sauce we whipped up. The pressure was on for City Hall to pass new closure requirements, which they did unanimously. This talk covers the people, the methods, and the open tech used to help move the needle.
Activism 2017-03-29 02:06:41 +0000
Tim Welch

* A Community-Driven Future for Open Data Kit (ODK)

Open Data Kit (ODK) replaces paper surveys with smartphones. ODK tools are open-source and are primarily used by social good organizations to collect data quickly, accurately, offline, and at scale. ODK has been used to collect billions of data points around the world. In this talk, Yaw Anokwa and Hélène Martin, two of the leaders of the ODK community discuss the problems that inspired ODK’s design, demonstrate the impact the tools are having, and describe how the Open Source Bridge community can contribute to an open-source, community-driven future for mobile data collection tools.
Activism 2017-03-07 18:37:38 +0000
Yaw Anokwa, Hélène Martin

* Building #Resist at Meetup: Actual Corporate Activism in the Age of Trump

Learn how Meetup made the decision to create #Resist, a free network of over 1000 Meetups worldwide that anyone could organize with or join, and the questions we had to ask about how a private company could help self-empower the public in an actual way.
Activism 2017-03-31 14:24:19 +0000
Yanyi .

* Democratizing Data: What You Need to Know as a Developer to Keep Your Data Collection and Usage Ethical

By 2020 each person will create 1.7 MB of new data per second flooding us in 44 trillion GB of data! What’s this mean? From Uber’s “ride of shame” scandal to the role of Facebook’s news recommender in the presidential election we as developers must ask how we use data and what the implications are for open source software.
Activism 2017-03-31 14:14:04 +0000
Lorena Mesa

* Digital Activism at Government Scale

Government is huge, slow, and wasteful. You try to use its services, but they’re not doing what they were meant to. _You know_ how to make broken systems work. Join government to solve problems for everyone. … especially under an Administration you oppose.
Activism 2017-04-01 06:37:15 +0000
Yoz Grahame

* Fake Science! Sad! A case study of the perils of Open Data

Open source allows anyone to use their skills to change the world--for better or for worse. In an era where the phrase "Fake News!" echoes from the highest office of the land, we have to cast a critical eye on the works that we promote and participate in. Open Data is no exception, and the use of Open Data to generate Fake Analyses is a real issue that can undermine social progress.
Activism 2017-04-01 02:36:00 +0000
Emily Gorcenski

* Futel: The Network We Deserve

Futel has provided free public telephone service, telephone-mediated art, and live human interaction for several years, and was recognized as Portland's most prolific payphone installer of 2016. Now that we are finally living in the cyberpunk dystopia promised in the 80s, we are poised to seize this moment.
Activism 2017-03-31 06:40:34 +0000
Karl Anderson

* Grassroots activism is hard. Can open source help?

Grassroots activists have to deal with many challenges - including the tools they’re using. Sounds like a great opportunity for open source! This session will survey progressive and transpartisan grassroots activists’ needs and today’s solutions (including techniques that work for explicitly intersectional groups), look at some existing open-source offerings and how they could evolve to better meet grassroots activists’ needs, and identify future directions that could be even more impactful.
Activism 2017-04-01 04:32:17 +0000
Jon Pincus

* Hack Harassment: a New Initiative to Enable Communities to Reduce Online Harassment

In this presentation, we will present the methodology used to create a harassment dataset and classifier, the dataset used to help the system learn what harassment looks like, along with a call to action for anyone interested to get involved with the project directly.
Activism 2017-03-27 21:17:25 +0000
George Kennedy

* IndieWeb 101: owning your content and identity

The IndieWeb strives to create an alternative to content silos and the 'corporate web'. This is achieved through creating a single source of truth for your content and identity aka a personal domain. Let's explore the ramifications of this and answer any questions you might have together!
Activism 2017-03-27 21:45:45 +0000
Wm Salt Hale

* It Can't Happen Here: But what if it does? Open-source alternative communication infrastructure

This talk will focus on what happens when the internet infrastructure we know and love goes down - by natural disaster or human-instigated shutdown (think Mubarak in Egypt during the Arab Spring).
Activism 2017-04-05 08:43:12 +0000
jenka soderberg

* Making dollars and sense of open source funding's future

Sustainably funding public goods is hard, just ask your local government. We know FLOSS benefits everyone, whether or not users contributed to its development. How then can we reach the world of everyone working on software they love while making a livable wage? We have been working on concept called 'crowdmatching' that creates a network effect through mutual assurance to fund the commons.
Activism 2017-03-27 21:36:43 +0000
Wm Salt Hale

* Making MLIS Classrooms Open Source: Activism, Service Learning, and Building Digital Community Archives

This presentation explores an ongoing project to incorporate digital repository building for community archives within a master's level library and information sciences classroom. The class taught under the pedagogical methods of service learning highlighted (and continues to highlight) the complex relationship between proprietary technology and archival 'best practices.' By reimagining this relationship, students were able to look at how open source tools and technologies better accomplished their desired outcomes to build a small-scale repository for their community partner, one whose narratives and materials were representative of feminist activism in the American South.
Activism 2017-03-30 14:29:20 +0000
Travis Wagner, Elise Lewis

* Morning Keynote — Wednesday

This is the morning keynote for Wednesday
Activism 2017-04-19 03:10:09 +0000
Reid Beels

* Open Aid: How Open Source Tools and Techniques are Transforming Disaster Relief

Open source works best when the stakes are high, volunteers are pouring in and tons of stakeholders need to coordinate their resources, so it shouldn't be a surprise that the open source movement is transforming how individuals and institutions respond to disasters.
Activism 2017-04-09 22:49:41 +0000
Devin Balkind

* Open Source Security for Activists: Changing the world and staying safe

Staying safe in dangerous times is no easy task, especially when you're speaking the truth to power. Despite giving a voice to millions, the internet is now also a place of danger for those who try to use it to amplify those voices and make them heard. I'll be talking about by my experiences as a Nonprofit Security Advisor using Open Source tools and knowledge to help keep activists safe at the coalface.
Activism 2017-04-01 01:52:51 +0000
Chris Daley

* Out of the Game: How Apps Fail Oppressed Users (and what you can do to help)

Apps and websites routinely expose user information in service of social and interactive goals. But what happens when your user has a stalker? Many of these services will compromise the safety of users who are already at risk. Making things worse, some developers resist making changes, with justifications such as "If someone's in that much danger, they shouldn't be doing anything online," and "It's basically impossible to defend against a state actor." This overview will help developers take the risk factors into account, and make development decisions that puts control back into the hands of the users. There's no way to perfectly remove the risk of going online if you're in danger, but people will go online anyway. Many more users at risk are facing technically naive attackers than are facing highly skilled attackers such as state actors.
Activism 2017-03-31 05:29:30 +0000
Azure Jane Lunatic, Alex Byrne

* Running a Leaderless Community

PHPSP is a 8 year old community based on Sao Paulo, Brazil. Who leads this Community? Itself! How? Being a Community!
Activism 2017-04-10 03:00:55 +0000
Anderson Casimiro

* Security, Privacy, and Open Silicon

Threats to personal information security and privacy are proliferating at a rapid pace, as are countermeasures based on open hardware. This talk will review the open hardware information security landscape, from personal password managers and cloud devices to alternative processors that are open all the way down to the transistor level, with a focus on how open silicon is poised to change everything.
Activism 2017-03-31 23:44:24 +0000
Josh Lifton

* Serving social spaces

Shared application servers are a vital building block for creating resilient information networks. Recent advances have made them dramatically easier to deploy and maintain in your home/workplace/community. Come for a tour, stay for a deep dive.
Activism 2017-03-29 06:29:46 +0000
Eric Drechsel

* Sustainability in Open Source for International Development

Duplication of effort, flawed funding models, and overall lack of project maturity has led to the failure of most open source projects in the international development space. In this talk, we'll discuss the plans of the Digital Impact Alliance at the United Nations Foundation to help increase those projects' maturity, quality, and reach -- with a goal of advancing an inclusive digital society using open source for the poorest places on the planet.
Activism 2017-04-07 18:50:49 +0000
Michael Downey, David McCann

* The Death of Data: Retention, Rot, and Risk

I want to problematize keeping deprecated codebases around, and emphasize that mindless retention of data and code just increases our threat surfaces for attack and data corruption. Attackers in the future may be motivated by both ideology and money, and we are responsible for that.
Activism 2017-04-01 01:53:25 +0000
Heidi Waterhouse

* Trolling for Change

Don't wait for companies to change their unethical policies -- go ahead and change their policies for them. This talk will dive into the tech stack of the Yes Men, a culture jamming collective that has spent the past two decades putting words in the mouths of multinational corporations.
Activism 2017-04-10 06:20:49 +0000
Chris Contolini

* Voting-Method-Reform Activism

Activists around the world are experimenting with using voting to coordinate their decisions, and it's obvious that secure, open-source software must handle this form of communication. Yet typically such software is developed without involving "voting architects" who understand the math behind fair and unfair voting methods. Let's bridge this gap. Together we can build surveys and decentralized collaboration systems that bring democracy to very high levels of fairness, especially compared to the intentionally unfair use of single-mark ballots in governmental elections.
Activism 2017-03-13 06:20:31 +0000
Richard Fobes

* Want to own Twitter? The burgeoning Platform Cooperativism movement and what it means for you.

They have started up democratic copies of major platforms. They are building ways to better collaborate using the internet. They’re even talking about citizens buying out and protecting important internet communities like Twitter. Who are these people? They are Platform Cooperativists.
Activism 2017-04-01 06:18:47 +0000
Taylor McLeod

* We are the first line of defense

We, as developers, are the first line of defense for our friends, neighbors, and customers. Let’s own this responsibility and support one another in achieving a safer, more secure tech community.
Activism 2017-03-31 17:09:30 +0000
Eric Mann

* Why you should try volunteer teaching

A talk about my experience teaching classes as a volunteer and how it's an important, rewarding way to help your community
Activism 2017-03-31 18:34:42 +0000
Clarissa Littler