Introducing a new way to take action, make change, and build a Betterplace at RightsCon

At RightsCon, furthering the collective impact of our global community is at the core of our mission. For this reason, we are continuously looking for new ways to amplify the efforts of those working on human rights in the digital age.

Taking place in only a few weeks (May 16-18) in Toronto, Canada, RightsCon is Access Now’s annual summit on the intersection of human rights and technology, and it has grown to gather an estimated 2,000 participants from across the globe. (If you haven’t registered yet, make sure you do that now before tickets sell out!)

This year, we’re excited to introduce a new partnership with a Toronto-based company called Betterplace. We’ll be using the mobile Betterplace app at RightsCon to give you the opportunity to join fellow participants in a core set of campaigns and initiatives that we can tackle together as a community.

Building community through Betterplace at RightsCon

Here’s how it will work: we will use Betterplace during RightsCon to connect you with a selection of actions you can engage with in-person and with our global community. In using the app, you earn points after completing an action such as visiting our Digital Security Helpline clinic to improve personal security online, or sharing your internet shutdown story with #KeepItOn to help advocate for an end to shutdowns. In addition to helping our community make a difference for human rights, each point you earn when you complete a task during RightsCon will translate into experience points, which will make you eligible for exciting prizes (extra special swag!).

Over the next few weeks, we’ll give you the rundown on how to make the most out of Betterplace. We’ll also launch the universal RightsCon task: one task that our whole community can come together to complete, demonstrating their power. We’ll let you know more about that soon!

What is Betterplace?

Here’s the nitty gritty. Betterplace is a mobile web application built to encourage and facilitate civic participation online. It aims to bridge organizations working on campaigns with individuals seeking to meaningfully contribute to issues they care about. It helps those individuals — people who are concerned about problems in their community, country, and world — become more involved activists. As people do tasks, they receive increasingly tailored recommendations for new actions they can take that are aligned to their skills, interests, and values.

In many cases, supporters of a cause are interested in making a difference in their community or the world, but they’re not sure what to do. Our hope is that by taking many small steps together, we can achieve leaps and bounds for the digital rights community.

How does Betterplace work?

This is what you’ll see when you use Betterplace:

  1. Search for the issues you care about.On Betterplace, you can find campaign and task recommendations curated just for you. Unlike platforms that promote the agenda of one particular cause, or recommend the same tasks to everyone, Betterplace helps you set your own agenda for change.
  2. Take action: choose which tasks you want to complete. We’ve been using the word “task” a lot. Tasks form the core of the Betterplace platform. They’re what organizations use to achieve their campaign goals. A task might be: spreading the word on a campaign by tweeting about it, sending an email to your local government representative, providing research support in an issue area of your expertise.
  3. Get rewarded: earn points for your tasks, unlock new abilities.Not only does completing tasks open new app possibilities — you can upload your own campaigns and tasks — there’s also a reward system (the “points” we mention above). Every time a task is validated, you earn points.

What next? Explore the Betterplace app

We’ll update you on details about using Betterplace at RightsCon in the coming weeks. In the meantime, you can learn more about it.

Get the app

You can get the app by visiting better.place from your mobile phone. Betterplace’s platform is being built on the decentralized technology of “Ethereum.” The blockchain version to be released later this year is designed to withstand fraud, censorship, and third-party interference. For this reason, rather than downloading it in an app store, it is designed to run as a homescreen app on any device you use.

Tell us your ideas

Would you or your organization like to propose a universal task for Betterplace for RightsCon? Send us an email at [email protected] and we’ll get in touch.