Nadia El Imam, a Council of Europe technology / internet expert, writes:
On October 26, I participated in a conference on ‘Internet and democratic change – Net activism, empowerment and emancipation.’
Organised by the Swedish International Development Copperation Agency (SIDA) and The Julia Group, a non-profit organisation working for a free and open internet, the Net4change conference provided an opportunity to share experiences. It also focussed on developments in the Middle East and North Africa.
I was invited to the #net4change in my capacity as Creative Director of Edgeryders, a project run by the Social Cohesion Research and Early Warning Division at the Council of Europe and co-funded by the European Commission.
An important part of the Edgeryders project is to gain an understanding of what tools, processes and strategies the young, and not so young, are using to make our voices heard in society.
During Net4Change, many questions were raised and answered about the role that the Internet and social media play in affecting real change. In the case of Egypt, several of the so-called ‘blogger revolutionaries,’ have a long history of participating in progressive political activism and are annoyed at the tendency to overrate the role of the Internet and social media in longstanding progressive struggles in the country.
Nadia El Imam’s summary of the main issues raised during the conference.
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