Recent news from the Center for Civic Media

Recent news from the Center for Civic Media

HOPE X: Diversity in Tech Meet-Up

Liveblogged at HOPE X.

In this Meet-Up we broke out into groups to talk about common problems related to diversity in tech and to brainstorm solutions. This documents the reports that each breakout group gave.

Problem: How to balance radical inclusion with creating safe spaces for minorities?
Solution: Encourage meaningful interactions that go beyond "don't do this."
Solution: Make space sometimes available to closed groups.

Problem: Tech has an image of lacking diversity, which turns people off.
Solution: Help diverse communities develop technical skills internally.

Problem: Differences in ingrained communication styles. The loudest voice often wins.
Solution: Employ different techniques, e.g. roundtables. Encourage a focus on awareness of language, such as gender neutrality.

Problem: How to move from being unaware of a lack of diversity to making improvements.

Problem: Narrow definitions of success, such as entrepreneurial stereotype.

Problem: Lack of buy-in on importance of diversity.

Problem: People taught from an early age that they can't do tech.

HOPE X: Wireless Meshnets: Building the Next Version of the Web

Liveblogged at HOPE X. Presentation available here.

Kevin Carter - Technologist, Writer
Peter Valdez - NYC Meshnet
Kurt Snieckus - NYC Meshnet

Kevin begins by asking "why build a new network?" The internet has grown far beyond any scale that was predicted. Things like security were added after the fact. Control of the network has shifted from academic, to corporate and political. The internet is becoming less democratized with threats to Net Neutrality and increased surveillance. Governments can and do intercept router hardware and install malware.

Mesh networks are decentralized. Peers relay information to each other and connect by peering with any other connected node. One example is Hyperboria which runs the cjdns protocol. Other protocols include BATMAN. Decentralized networks put power back in the hands of the users. Although NYC Meshnet uses cjdns, they focus on using whatever technology works, and evolving as necessary.

Awesome Insights from Hack 4 Diversity

This past weekend I attended CODE2040’s second annual Hack 4 Diversity, a weekend-long hackathon focused on addressing issues of diversity within tech. CODE2040’s summer fellows, along with some amazingly helpful and inspiring members of the broader community, spent the weekend working on projects to promote diversity in a sector that is still comprised largely by white males. Teams explored a broad range of challenges that minorities and women face along the path to entering the professional world of tech.

Vojo Development Gig

Via Sasha:

Vojo logo

The team at is looking for an amazing developer who believes in free software and social justice, to work with us on a short-term gig to support exciting new projects in Mexico and Brasil!

We are gearing up to work with the Centro de los Derechos del Migrante (Center for Migrant Rights) on a project focused on justice in labor recruitment practices in Mexico, and with Correio Nago in Brasil to conduct Vojo workshops in Afrobrasilian communities in 5 states during the coming year.

We’re looking for a talented, passionate developer to help us localize so that these projects will be successful! Interested? Read on :)

Teachable Moments (español)

Mariel (@faeriedevilish) provided this translation, for which we are immensely grateful.

Un panel en la conferencia de Medios Cívicos de MIT y Knight trató sobre la segunda oportunidad de la open web (red abierta), y los problemas a los que nos enfrentamos con el crecimiento de este movimiento. Los panelistas fueron Mark Surman, Director Ejecutivo de la Fundación Mozilla, y Seamus Kraft, Director Ejecutivo de la OpenGov Foundation. Mark comenzó con la historia de la open web, cómo nació Mozilla en 1997 y dónde ve el movimiento hoy. Luego la conversación se dirigió a Seamus, quien hizo su primer login hace 17 años cuando Mozilla fue fundado.


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