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27 September 2017 | Updated on 23 August 2022

Disco-techs are informal peer-learning events designed to bridge the gap between technical and political solutions on issues related to internet rights and freedoms. The topics of this event change annually, but we always call it a “Disco-tech” because the format of the event is very unique: we are connecting policy to tech in a social atmosphere.

The Disco-tech is proactive. Presenters and participants share best practices, visionary ideas and make connections that will have direct impact on their work. Short talks on the chosen topic for the event showcase projects, tools and problems to raise awareness, and inspire and mix up discussion among participants. 

Numerous disco-techs have reached hundreds of people at Internet Governance Forums (IGFs) and one RightsCon since 2013 in Bali, Sarajevo, Istanbul, Joao Pessoa, Guadalajara, Paris, Tunis and Berlin. Holding the Disco-tech before or during the IGF is an opportunity to bring together advocates for rights-centred internet governance from around the world with local groups. Participants are also invited to follow up at the Disco-tech booth in the exhibition hall that we hold during the IGFs.

To make this space possible, we have worked with: Alternatif Bilisim (Turkey), AccessNow (US), Amnesty International, Berkman Center, Citizen Lab (Canada), Electronic Frontier Foundation (US), Hivos (Netherlands), IFEX (Canada), ISOC, Mozilla (US), Yemen Portal, ARTICLE 19, Rhizomatica (Mexico), Digital Empowerment Foundation (India), Zenzeleni Networks (South Africa), AlterMundi (Argentina), Luchadoras (Mexico), Tactical Technology Collective (Germany), One World Platform (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Derechos Digitales (Chile), Access Now (US), Coding Rights (Brazil), Point of View (India), Turkish Pirate Party, Web Foundation, and the list keeps growing!

A glimpse of Disco-techs through the years:

In 2019, The environmental impact of ICTs, by APC and partners.

In 2019 (at RightsCon), Internet shutdowns in Africa, by APC and Hivos/Digital Defenders Partnership, Columbia Global Freedom of Expression, Columbia Global Centers | Tunis and close partners.

In 2018, Disability and accessibility to the internet, by APC and Hivos Digital Defenders Partnership (DDP).

In 2017: Criminalisation of technical expertise, by APC, ARTICLE 19, IFEX, Access Now, Greenhost and Aspiration (watch our video with highlights).

In 2016: Community networks: Civil society’s efforts to improve connectivity in local communities, by APC, IFEX and ISOC.

In 2015: Anonymity, by APC, Coding Rights and Tactical Technology Collective. 

In 2014: Censorship and circumvention, by APC, Tactical Technology Collective and Web Foundation.

In 2013: Privacy, surveillance, and security online, by APC and Tactical Technology Collective.