OTF Solidarity Summit Recap

OTF held its seventh summit on Jan 11-15, 2021. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year's meeting took place online.
Fri, 2021-02-12 06:48

OTF held its seventh summit on Jan 11-15, 2021. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s meeting took place online. In total, 135 people attended the week-long summit. In recognition of the community’s support and resilience in the face of unprecedented and escalating threats to internet freedom, the theme of this year’s summit was Solidarity. This community-designed, community-led event would not have been possible without those in the internet freedom community who have volunteered their time before and during the summit.

To reflect this theme, several of the summit’s sessions focused on discussing and exchanging learnings on building resilience and overcoming shared challenges. The summit also provided space for fellow Human Rights and Technology donors and community members to discuss improving diversity and representation in decision making and addressing the concerns of communities at risk.

The summit opening highlighted Megha Rajagopalan and Alison Killing’s work, who are working to expose human rights violations in Xinjiang, and Arzu Geybulla, an Azerbaijani journalist who focuses on digital authoritarianism and its implications on human rights and press freedom in Azerbaijan. Throughout the week, participants discussed the COVID 19 pandemic impact on technology and collaborations in the internet freedom space and its impact on the communities at risk. Sessions also included funding digital security support, alternative funding, and prototyping from ideas to communities.

Each year since its inception, OTF holds it’s annual summit, which brings together projects, fellows, partners, community experts, and Advisory Council members as part of OTF’s community building commitment. The summit has proved to be an important space to facilitate collaborations between different projects and across disciplines and helps exchange knowledge and expertise among the participants on addressing the most pressing issues and challenges facing the Internet Freedom community. Additionally, the summit provides a space to introduce the community to new tools and projects, helps inform OTF’s strategy for the year ahead, and provides the opportunity for developers, activists, journalists, researchers, and trainers to connect and network.