How to do RightsCon Right

On March 30th-April 1st, we’ll hold RightsCon Silicon Valley 2016, our signature conference that gathers the world’s digital rights activists, company representatives, government officials, technologists, and academics to explore the most pressing issues at the intersection of human rights and technology.

This year, RightsCon will be a richer and more engaging experience than ever. Participants from more than 70 countries will attend, contributing to a diverse, rigorous program of 250+ sessions. We also have a Demo Room that will feature 80 tech demos and lightning talks, private meetings, interactive workshops, and more. At any given time, we may have as many as 10 program sessions happening simultaneously.

In addition, there are satellite events —  Crypto Summit 2.0 and Iran Cyber Dialogue — that let you dig deep into specific digital rights issues with global participation and perspective.

We know having all these options can be overwhelming. Here’s how to make RightsCon work for you:

  1. Follow a track.

We have multiple sessions on specific topics — everything from the debate on encryption policy, to fighting online harassment, to the ins-and-outs of the global push for Net Neutrality. You’ll be able to speak with experts, ask questions, share your ideas, and leave the conference with in-depth knowledge in your area of interest. Use our online schedule tool, Sched, to explore a track on a single topic. To better refine your focus at RightsCon, you can search using Sched and filter the results by:

  • Time of day
  • Theme (“Freedom of Expression” or “Privacy and Digital Security”)
  • Format (8-minute “Lightning Talk” or 75-minute “Panel”)
  • Title (“A human rights approach to cybersecurity”)
  • ID (“ID72”)

The Sched search is helpful, and we recommend you make use of it as you plan out your participation at the summit.

  1. Hop around to get an overview of the future of the internet.

You can also broaden your scope if you like. With the scheduling tool, you can design a program schedule specifically to give you an overview of the most pressing issues in human rights and technology. Select sessions in a variety of areas and “colors,” and learn about topics such as how tech start-ups wrestle with human rights issues; why there’s a battle over Europe’s new Privacy Shield; how to fight internet shutdowns around the world; and what strategies activists in India used to pass the strongest Net Neutrality rules on the planet.

  1. Set up one-on-one meetings before you arrive.

Some of the most effective work at RightsCon takes place in bilateral meetings that allow you to advance your work with trusted partners. Take a look at the program to see who’s coming. While we can’t share contact details of participants for privacy reasons, we encourage you to set up conversations ahead of time. Sched allows you to create your own profile and you can use it to arrange meetings.

  1. Book an appointment with our Digital Security Clinic.

Technologists from our free-of-charge, 24-hour Digital Security Helpline will be on hand to help you improve your digital security practices and guide you on solutions and techniques to protect you or your organization against online threats. Take a moment to sit down with them. Book an appointment for a slot between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. PST during the conference by emailing [email protected].

  1. Check out cutting-edge technology tools in our Demo Room.

The Demo Room will have more than 80 dynamic presentations on the latest software, circumvention tools, and digital security strategies. You’ll hear from practitioners, advocates, and entrepreneurs who are tackling human rights issues and creating the technologies of the future.

  1. Orbit the conference at a satellite event.

We have two important satellite events at RightsCon, our own Crypto Summit and the Iran Cyber Dialogue. Crypto Summit 2.0 will be held on Day 1 of RightsCon, and focuses on the global debate on encryption and the policies around it. The Iran Cyber Dialogue, hosted by our friends at ASL19, takes place the day before RightsCon starts (March 29), and will delve into the technology and human rights issues that impact Iran.

  1. Mingle, mingle, and celebrate.

At RightsCon, we’ll have plenty of opportunities to connect informally. These include rooftop parties with views of the San Francisco skyline, film screenings, hangouts at bars, meetups for coffee, and cocktail get-togethers. It’s a chance to put aside your devices, relax, and talk to other people who are dedicated to keeping the internet open, free, and secure.

We look forward to connecting with you.