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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).

Wednesday, May 16 • 16:00 - 17:00
Lightning Talks: Civic Tech vs. Civic Accountability: Where ICT and Governments Intersect

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Secrecy Costs, Openness Pays: How open contracting not only boosts transparency and accountability, but also saves money for governments (President, Right to Know Coalition)

Speakers: Michael Karanicolas

Every government in the world, from the richest to the poorest, works within a limited budget, and every public body faces pressure to bring down costs, or to maximize the quality of what they deliver with the budget they are allocated. In the context of public procurement, the vast sums of money at stake mean that even tiny efficiencies can be enormously valuable. According to the World Bank, public procurement accounts for around a fifth of global GDP, and up to 50% of total government expenditure in developing countries. According to the OECD, around 10-20% of that money is lost every year to corruption.

Civil society groups have long advocated for transparency as a facilitator of democratic participation, enhancing relations between citizens and the State, and promoting public accountability. However, new research shows that transparency in public contracting processes also provides substantial financial benefits to implementing governments, primarily by boosting the competitiveness and efficiency of contracting processes, by fighting corruption, and by facilitating public oversight.

This session will present new research on the impacts of open contracting from a set of case studies carried out by Michael Karanicolas for the Open Government Partnership. These include evidence that Ukraine's ProZorro open contracting system has saved the government nearly USD 1.5 billion since it was established in 2015, on a total budget of just USD 5.5 million. Paraguay's open contracting systems have saved the country USD 72 million on office supplies alone since 2010, while Virginia's eVA system has reduced costs by around USD 450 million.

Resistance or cooperation? A look at civic tech movements and their relationships with governments (Civic Tech Toronto and Open Culture Foundation)

Speakers: Anowa Quarcoo & Aaron Wytze Wilson

While they often aim to solve problems and step into gaps that the government isn’t filling, civic tech movements don’t have universal relationships or interactions with the establishment. This lightning talk will compare civic tech movements in Toronto (Canada) and Taipei (Taiwan), and draw on examples from other jurisdictions, to explore civic tech's relationship with government.

Soon We Are All Miners. A Look Into How Blockchain Mining May Impact the Future of Work. (General Catalyst)

Speakers: Rene Reinsberg

This lightning talk will start with a high-level overview of various blockchain consensus algorithms and examine how different designs may lead to different outcomes in participation and governance. Given the rise of blockchain-based applications, the talk will try to provide answers to the question of what needs to happen so that more people are able to participate in this emerging ecosystem, in the broader context of how technology in general, and blockchain more particularly, is shaping the future of work.

"We don't need human rights because we have phenomenal economic success" (Maruah)

Speakers: Leong Sze Hian

Singapore is widely regarded as the economic miracle in modern times - but it has very low rankings for human rights, press freedom, electoral freedom, etc, - Why? - The secrets to its success and the link to human rights?

avatar for Leong Sze Hian

Leong Sze Hian

President, Maruah
He has served as president of 4 professional bodies, honorary consul of 2 countries and founding advisor to the financial planning associations of 2 countries - an alumnus of Harvard University, has authored 4 books, quoted over 1500 times in the media , has been a radio talkshow... Read More →
avatar for Michael Karanicolas

Michael Karanicolas

President, Right to Know Coalition
avatar for Anowa Quarcoo

Anowa Quarcoo

Co-founder, Civic Tech Toronto
An award-winning strategic communications professional, Anowa has worked at all three levels of Canadian government. She is a 2015-2016 CivicAction Diversity Fellow and is also Co-founder of Civic Tech Toronto, one of North America’s largest civic tech communities. Anowa is interested... Read More →

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