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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 • 10:30 - 11:45
The Widening Digital Divide

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The session seeks to foster an interactive discussion amongst participants from diverse regions on the international 'digital divide' that seems to be expanding greatly with accelerating technological advancements and innovation. It seeks to highlight the uneven usage of the internet, as well as to discuss the various indicators that can be adopted to measure this inequality. The session seeks to broaden the conceptualization of digital inequality beyond issues of technological access i.e. existing numbers of subscriptions and digital devices, to disparities in the use and impact of information and communication technologies.

Access to Information Communication Technology is a necessary but insufficient condition for the internet to serve as a driver for economic equality, social mobility, democratic participation and economic growth. Other factors such as information utilization and information receptiveness must be taken into account; individuals need to know how to make use of the information and communication tools once they exist within a community. This ability is influenced by a number of demographic and socio-economic characteristics including: income, education, race, gender, geographic location (urban-rural), age, skills, awareness, political, cultural and psychological attitudes.

The session will also explore the intricate interplay between incessant technological progress and the diffusion of technology, which results in a widening digital divide. Differences in technology such as computer processors, internet speed and technical assistance all have an impact on the extensiveness of internet usage, interaction and contribution that an individual or social group can have online. In 2014, only 3 countries hosted 50% of the globally installed bandwidth potential (10 countries almost 75%). Many ‘international’ services do not work in several developing countries including electronic payment networks, music and video streaming services, and even certain social media engines. This excludes several communities from participating in, or influencing global dialogue.

avatar for Maryam Al-Khawaja

Maryam Al-Khawaja

Bahraini human rights defender
avatar for Chenai Chair

Chenai Chair

Researcher/Comms manager, Research ICT Africa
Chenai Chair’s interest in the ICT sector developed from learning of mobiles for development while writing her master’s thesis titled “Mobile phones for development: How have women in the informal sector used their mobile phones to enhance themselves and their business?” in... Read More →
avatar for Nighat Dad

Nighat Dad

Founder and Director, Digital Rights Foundation
avatar for Melody Patry

Melody Patry

Advocacy Director, Access Now
Freedom of expression, censorship, #KeepitOn, campaigns
avatar for Dhanaraj Thakur

Dhanaraj Thakur

Senior Research Manager, Alliance for Affordable Internet / Web Foundation
avatar for Jutta Treviranus

Jutta Treviranus

Director, Inclusive Design Research Centre, OCAD University
Jutta Treviranus is the Director of the Inclusive Design Research Centre (IDRC) and professor in the faculty of Design at OCAD University in Toronto (http://idrc.ocadu.ca ). Jutta established the IDRC in 1993 as the nexus of a growing global community that proactively works to ensure that our digitally transformed and globally connected society is designed inclusively. Dr. Treviranus also founded an innovative graduate program in inclusive design a... Read More →

Friday May 18, 2018 10:30 - 11:45 EDT