Save the date! Disco-tech 2019 on the environmental impact of ICTs

Publisher: APCNews     Berlin, 12 November 2019

The Association for Progressive Communications (APC) and partners are hosting their ninth Disco-tech event in conjunction with the 2019 Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Berlin, on the evening of 26 November. We invite you to join us for this peer-learning event about utilising the potential of information and communications technologies (ICTs) in strategies to mitigate and adapt to the climate crisis.

Event details
  • Date and time: Tuesday 26 November 2019 from 19:00 to 22:00.

  • Venue: SchwuZ, Rollbergstraße 26, 12053, Berlin.

  • Food: Refreshments will be served at 19:00 and a light dinner will be provided during the break.

Please RSVP to discotech@apc.org or use the online form.
Disco-tech on ICTs and environmental sustainability

APC and partners are hosting their ninth Disco-tech event in conjunction with the 2019 IGF in Berlin, on this occasion with a focus on the environmental impact of ICTs.

Environmentally sustainable ICTs are past due. In recent decades, predictions that capitalist innovations and ICTs would automatically solve critical environmental issues such as climate change have not only not been fulfilled, we have seen the opposite. The expansion of ICTs has spurred production, consumption and disposal of computers, mobile phones and networking devices, increased energy consumption and increased usage of transport and commerce, all of which are having adverse effects on the Earth’s natural resources and on humanity.

Sustainability relates to the environmental and social implications of the materials, energy and labour involved in digital devices throughout the whole ICT cycle and ecosystem (including formal and informal workers in the tech and e-waste sectors, end-users, servers, network devices, cables, radiation). A circular economy makes the most of resources and minimises waste and pollution: used resources that become new resources, keeping materials and products in use, and regenerating natural systems.

Historical data, simulations and real-time satellite observations can be processed quickly to track patterns and inform decision making. Yet access to environmental datasets is uneven at best, and many civil society groups around the world continue to experience barriers to access this information, despite improvements and commitments by governments to open data.

We want to share, highlight, coordinate and find ways to scale up best practices of electronics producers and consumers, policy makers and civil society organisations who are doing something to achieve lasting environmental and social justice about and through technology and circular economy processes. We need to create more resilient societies that mitigate environmental and social impacts before the climate crisis reaches irreversible dimensions.

While many initiatives have succeeded in creating individual and local awareness about the environmental impact of ICTs, much greater understanding is needed about how the tech industry can build more durable and environmentally friendly devices, how our own devices work or can be repaired, modified or enhanced, and how devices can be reused and recycled for the benefit of our neighbours.

Around the world, activists, engineers, researchers, social enterprises and others are acting to make ICTs part of the solution to the environmental emergency, and a great deal can be learned from them.

What will we do?

In this edition, Disco-tech will provide a safe space for participants to share their experiences in mitigating the environmental and social impacts of ICTs, and facilitate the cross-regional collaboration with key actors who can link local struggles and global action.

The Disco-tech at IGF 2019 will:

  • Explore the indicators, challenges and opportunities that define the situations we are facing and ways we can mitigate environmental impacts and improve social resilience.

  • Bring to light personal and collective stories of ways to handle the environmental impact of ICTs and improve people’s lives at an individual, national or regional level.

  • Share related strategies, initiatives and actions, including tech demos, policy ideas and advocacy strategies.

Disco-tech is proactive. Presenters and participants will share best practices and visionary ideas and make connections that will have direct impact on their work.

IGF attendees will be able to access our work at an exhibition booth throughout the conference. The booth is an exploratory space that will be used for formal and informal meetings and to amplify key actions from the evening event.

Provisional list of speakers
  • Alexandra Lutz, working at the European Parliament, France

  • Anulekha Nandi, Digital Empowerment Foundation, India

  • Camila Nobrega, Intervozes, Brazil

  • Florencia Roveri, Nodo TAU, Argentina

  • Isedua Oribhabo Access Now, USA

  • Kemly Camacho, Sulá Batsú, Costa Rica

  • Leandro Navarro, Pangea, Spain

  • Manfred Santen, Greenpeace, Germany

  • Michelle Thorne, Mozilla, Germany

  • Pavel Antonov, BlueLink, Bulgaria

  • Vandria Borari, indigenous leader from Borari peoples, Pará, Brazil

 

About Disco-tech

Disco-techs are informal evening events that are designed as learning exchanges, to bridge the gaps between technical and political solutions to attacks on internet rights and freedoms. In order to ensure meaningful exchanges between techies, activists and policy advocates, informal discussions in a comfortable setting are sparked by stimulating short presentations during an evening event the day before a major forum like the IGF or RightsCon.

Disco-techs have been held at the IGF since 2013 and have focused on Counter-surveillance and Cybersecurity (2013), the 16 Days of Activism to End Violence Against Women and Girls campaign (2013), Internet Censorship, Blocking and Filtering (2014), Privacy and Anonymity as Fundamental Rights (2015), Community Networks (2016), Criminalisation of Tech Expertise (2017), and Disability and Accessibility to the Internet (2018). A special Disco-tech on internet shutdowns in Africa was held on the eve of RightsCon Tunis in June 2019.

 

About APC

The Association for Progressive Communications (APC) is an international network and non-profit organisation founded in 1990 that wants everyone to have access to a free and open internet to improve lives and create a more just world.



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