November 9 2022 AMA

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Date: Wednesday, November 9

Time: 8am EDT / 1pm UTC

Who: Team CommUNITY

Where: On IFF Mattermost Square Channel.

Team CommUNITY's Next Global Gathering: Ask me Anything Event ...

Next year in Fall 2023, Team CommUNITY (TCU) will be launching our first in-person event post pandemic. To help address new challenges and opportunities, TCU is implementing a new format which will be focused on a federated, decentralized model where both organizations and individuals can self-organize. It will also be hosted in a different city :)

We know that many of you have questions, including how to prepare, and what to expect. You probably have lots of feedback you want to share as well!

As such, join us on November 9 @ 1pm UTC and talk directly to TCU staff who will address all your questions, and will be ready to listen to all your feedback. This chat will be hosted on our Mattermost instance in the Square channel.

To prepare, make sure to read our blog post with detailed information about the event: https://www.digitalrights.community/blog/globalgathering2023


Memories of Past In-Person Events :)

Notes

How do people in the TCU's IF Square feel about the new global gathering? How are you feeling about it? What do you all want it to look like?

  • It's long overdue. It should happen. It's needed.
  • So so so excited. I think a lot of us work remotely in this space, and so the lack of these in-person opportunities to collaborate and socialize with people we work with and care about has been challenging on top of the daily COVID-related isolation.
  • I feel like people are working on their own silos. We need some cross pollination to happen. Learn from mistakes and successes. Put brains together.
  • Excitement! Hoping that visa processes (if applicable) aren't too hard to get for ppl in developing countries
  • We do want to know how to host a satellite event, would like to know more. Also! Is it possible to be hosted in another continental? Or should I be around Southern Europe?

It will be smaller in size. Why?

  • In a nutshell because of capacity. Right now because of health, travel, and visa issues, we cannot take care of 1,200+ plus people like we have done in the past.
  • The decentralized model means that the responsibility is divided. But also, this is a reboot, and right now there are critical issues happening in our community, but internally and externally that require immediate attention by decision makers. So the hope is that this small gathering will provide the community the space to make strategic decisions that need to be made about things like the health of our organizations, and the rise in threats we are seeing.
  • However, small does not mean that others can't participate. The decentralized model will guarantee that if you come, there will be a place for you to meet others.

What does a decentralized design event look like?

  • Decentralized means that there will be a bunch of public and private events happening throughout the host city that are organized by either different organizations or people. We are currently reaching out and working with partners, but also will provide individuals with some type of virtual space for folks to coordinate their own gatherings.
  • The Calyx Institute has already committed to organizing a public event at a local restaurant where folks not invited to the 200 person gathering can go for free, and hangout on the beach, because it's literally on the beach. So this means, you can come, not be invited to the 200 person event gathering, and still network, work, and also connect with important folks...while relaxing.

Will you still be helping with travel, as well as visas?

  • Yes, we are trying to fundraise to hire a company that can help you all with that. At a minimum we can do what we have always done, and provide folks with a letter that you can use for your visa application. And the company we hire will hopefully provide guidance.
  • However, what we cannot do is be on top of you to remember to apply early (as there are long queues) or work with you to your security plan. We hope that other organizations that you are either part of, or work with in some capacity can step in to help people.

If my organization wants to organize a satellite event, what do I need to do?

  • Email us immediately! There are so many good opportunities for you to participate and create a kick ass event. We can also help you with local venues etc. Just email team@digitalrights.community.

Where is the event?

  • We can't tell you the exact location yet, what we can tell you is that it will be somewhere in Portugal. And yes, we checked with both EU resources and Portugal is considered part of the mediterranean.

Is the satellite event only located in the hosted city? What if my organization would like to do side events but in the other continents?

  • We can definitely talk about it and we can definitely see how we can fit into the official schedule where we will be listing all satellite events. We would love to talk to you and see if it fits.
  • This is similar to what we use to do for Techno Activism Third Mondays or Coffee and CIrcumvention. We are totally open. Email us!

When will you announce the dates?

  • As soon as we finish some paperwork with the venue. Hopefully in the next two weeks.

How will the invited people be selected? Do we have to apply?

  • So first, let me explain the reasoning and what will happen during the 200 event. We will call it the summit for now. We really want to get organizational leaders, specific experts, and decision makers in the room, because there are some pressing issues that need immediate attention.
  • For example:
    • a) So many of our organizations (and networks) are imploding because of mental health reasons, among others
    • b) the economic climate is getting worse, and in many places so are the socio=political environments
    • c) we have a serious recruitment and retention problem in our space right now.
  • We need decision makers to be able to make important "Course directions' ' immediately. For example, right now, why aren't more orgs doing things like a 4-day work week? What can be done to address the funding shortages we are seeing etc.
  • It will be a combination of identifying people we already know we want in the room, but also having an application process where people can apply to come as well.
  • It will be the same 200 people for three days. (maybe we will go up to 250) but these folks need to do some serious work those three days.
  • We suspect the self-organizing part, which we are already helping organize with partners, will be much more chill, relaxed and fun, but the 250 gathering is really about making some "course correction" decisions. For example, given these organizational health issues, why aren't more orgs adapting things like a 4 day work week? Or what are they doing to improve the health of their orgs

If I'm not invited to the smaller event, how can I participate?

  • There will be so many opportunities! Here are few bullet points:
    • Join one of the many public events that will be hosted by partners.
    • Use Team CommUNITY tools to organize an outing or gathering while in the city. For example, organize a walk, a meeting at the beach, or even a gathering at one of the amazing cafes.
    • If you are an organization, consider organizing your org retreat or organizing a smaller event for X thing (for example, meeting of rapid responders)
    • Also, and most importantly, the city is small enough that there are enough hotels for everyone, but also it will allow for organic meeting of digital rights defenders on the street. Trust us. There will be many options for you to participate

Do I need to RSVP to go to the decentralized event?

  • Yes and no. We are still working on this with partners. But it seems to at least provide some level of coordinate, we will be asking people coming to the decentralized "branch" to RSVP in some capacity

Why should I attend?

  • We can't answer that but here is why we would attend:
    • Beautiful, healing location. We can't tell you how much Portugal has a special healing energy. Also, it's so freaking diverse, and much more integrated than say Spain. We were taken back at how much healing we did when we went to visit. Nature is on another level.
    • We miss you, and you probably miss us. This is a good opportunity to reconnect with old folks, and meet new folks, and recharge your battery with your community in a way that won't be too overwhelming.
    • There will be tons of things to do, as always, just in a more relaxed, laid back way...kinda like those books where you can pick your own adventure

Will glitter (and frankly) the joyful environment be still a thing?

  • 100% Listen, if we can't bring joy and glitter, then there is no need to organize an event. More than ever we need to laugh, have fun, and bring in some of the good old feelings of love and joy that we experienced together in the past. This is why we picked a more beach location: .to bring this joy to another level

How can I best support the event?

  • You can help the event but helping others get there. Meaning, this is a time for us to HELP each other in real ways. This can be helping them secure funding for travel. Helping them with their security plan for travel. Or it can mean, organizing an event while there (remember a gathering can be 10 people on a trail, supporting each other.) And also reminding people that just because things are different doesn't mean that things will be bad. BUT OVERALL, ask each other what you all need to attend, and help each other.