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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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Friday, May 18 • 16:00 - 17:00
Sci-Fi as Strategy: Imagining and Planning for the Future Using Speculative Fiction

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Science fiction has long been an inspiration for many in the internet freedom field.  But it can also be a tool for thinking about the future of our work, just as more and more companies, think tanks, and government offices are working with science fiction writers to imagine and plan for a range of possible futures.  In conversation with an internet rights advocate who has applied science fiction in his own work, a small panel of professional science fiction writers and futurists will discuss how sci-fi is increasingly being used—in corporate boardrooms, tech research labs, policy think tanks and even the halls of government—as a tool for innovation, strategic foresight, and generating positive future visions, and will workshop approaches for how you can use it in your own work. We’ll look at where such “sci-fi prototyping” has and hasn’t been useful, talk about the unique uses of dystopian vs. utopian fiction, consider some of the basic techniques for engaging in such “science fiction thinking,” and give the audience the tools they need to better imagine a range of scenarios for the future of the internet—and better imagine how they can impact those futures in the here and now. We’ll also examine how science fiction can be a tool for giving voice to—and imagining better futures for—underrepresented communities, looking at the example of “afro-futurism”. 

avatar for Kevin Bankston

Kevin Bankston

Director, New America's Open Technology Institute
Internet rights advocate and Director of @NewAmerica's @OTI. Previously rolling nerdy from @ACLU in NYC to @EFF in SF to @CenDemTech in DC. Fighting to prevent dystopia.

avatar for Deji Bryce Olukotun

Deji Bryce Olukotun

Head of Social Impact and Policy, Sonos
Deji is the Head of Social Impact at Sonos, where he leads the company’s grantmaking, policy, and social activations. He is an attorney with a background in social justice activism and a fiction writer. His novel After the Flare, a dystopian thriller set in the United States and... Read More →

Karl Schroeder

Science Fiction Author and Futurist

Friday May 18, 2018 16:00 - 17:00 EDT