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Welcome to the Official Schedule for RightsCon Toronto 2018. This year’s program, built by our global community, is our most ambitious one yet. Within the program, you will find 18 thematic tracks to help you navigate our 450+ sessions

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Last updated: Version 2.3 (Updated May 15, 2018).

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Thursday, May 17 • 16:00 - 17:00
Civic Storytelling at the Frontlines: Connecting Local to Global Narratives

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Current wisdom would suggest that the global space for civil society is closing. Since the launch of the CIVICUS Monitor in October 2016, CIVICUS’ has been tracking threats to civic freedoms. As of March 2018, our data shows that there are at least 109 countries where civil society space is under serious attack. Yet, amidst this story of desperation, hard-fought battles are being won across the world by civil society groups. What role can technology play in building these stories into a more sensitive, positive, nuanced and less technocratic or legalistic narratives on civil society freedoms?

The workshop aims to build upon work already underway through the CIVICUS Monitor, which tracks threats to civic freedoms in all UN member states, and Innovation for Change (I4C), a community-led network incubating social change and building sustainable solutions for civil society. The workshop will brainstorm ideas to create more personal, accessible narratives on civil society space that resonate with a broader audience in order to bring the discussion about closing civic space beyond the civil society sector itself. By gathering a variety of perspectives, the workshop is focussed on uncovering methods to translate NGO-speak into simple, concise and compelling campaign strategies which reach beyond the traditional human rights focussed community.

A panel of human rights defenders will present “real stories” covered in the CIVICUS Monitor which document a fightback from national civil society, followed by a discussion with workshop participants to identify tools, technologies and strategies that can be used to electrify the global narrative on closing civil society space so that it connects with the general public.

avatar for Kara Andrade

Kara Andrade

Innovation Specialist, Counterpart
Kara is the Innovation Specialist for Counterpart International's Innovation for Change Initiative which supports and starts-up regional innovation hubs in 6 regions: Latin America and the Caribbean, Middle East and North Africa, Africa, South Asia, Central Asia, and East Asia and... Read More →
avatar for Omaid Sharifi

Omaid Sharifi

President, ArtLords
Omaid Sharifi, 31, is a patron of the arts, Co-Founder and President of ArtLords. Mr. Sharifi is a fellow with Atlantic Council, Asia Society and American Foreign Relations Council/Rumsfeld Fellowship. Mr. Sharifi is Winner of Best Animation for Peace and Tolerance Award from MiSK-UNDP... Read More →

Thursday May 17, 2018 16:00 - 17:00 EDT