Today marks the start of #SXSWInteractive, one of the world’s largest conferences focused on interactive technologies and online innovation. And WITNESS will be there. Fresh from this week’s events at RightsCon, we’ll be continuing our focus on the challenges and opportunities of citizen witnessing for human rights.

My colleague Madeleine Bair, curator of our Human Rights Channel, and I will be at SXSW. We hope you’ll follow us on Twitter at @samgregory@madbair and @witnessorg for updates, and we’ve included panel hashtags below so you can follow from wherever you are.

Here’s where we’ll be:

MONDAY Mar. 10th : Hacking Attention: Media, Technology and Crisis, 5:00-6:00pm, Austin Convention Center,  Room 9ABC, #sxsw #HackAttn with Madeleine Bair of WITNESS,  Adaora Udoji of News Deeply, Josh Stearns of Free Press, and Matt Stempeck of the Center for Civic Media at the MIT Media Lab.

TUESDAY Mar. 11th: Caught in the Act: Mobile Tech and Human Rights 12:30-1:30pm, Austin Convention Center, Room 10AB #sxsw #ICT4Rights with Harlo Holmes of the Guardian Project, Christophh Koettl of Amnesty International and Sam Gregory, WITNESS.

We also wanted to give a shout-out to some other human rights, #video4change, visual storytelling and technology for change panels here that piqued our interest.

Video, Multimedia and Technology for Change:

FRIDAY Mar. 7th (today) : Teeny Tiny Video, Great Big Impact, 11:00am-1:30pm, AT&T Conference Center, Classroom 203, #sxsw #teenytiny with Aaron Bramley of Lights Camera Help, Bill Simmon of VCAM, and Michael Hoffman of See3 Communications.

MONDAY Mar. 10th : MultiPlatform Strategies for Making Good Happen, 9:30-10:30am, Driskill Hotel, Driskill Ballroom, #sxsw #makegood with transmedia producer Caitlin Burns, WITNESS friend and social  impact strategist Lina Srivastava, multi-platform producer Liz Nord and Morra Aarons-Mele, founder of Women Online

MONDAY Mar. 10th : Geek Out for Good: Apps that Change the World, 3:30-4:30pm, Austin Convention Center, Room 9ABC, #sxsw #Geek4Good with Allie Carter of the Center for Community Change, Brian Doll of GitHub, Dan Walmsley of NationBuilder, and Lawrence Grodeska of

TUESDAY Mar. 11th : Viteracy Now! Cause Video & the Proof Imperative, 9:30am-1:30pm, AT&T Conference Center, Classroom 102, #sxsw #causevideo with Jefferson Graham of USA Today, and Marcia Stepanek of New York University.

TUESDAY Mar. 11th: Changing the Changemakers: Non-Profit Innovation. 11am-12pm. Austin Convention Center, Room 10AB. #sxsw #hackchange. All-star cast of change-making tactics and strategy innovators here including Karina Brisby (Core Collaboration), Michael Silberman (Mobilization Lab at Greenpeace), Michael Grenetz (Digital Innovation, Sierra Club) and Erika Kochi (UNICEF Innovation Unit).  Come and why not stick around for the 12:30pm WITNESS-led session on Caught in the Act: Mobile Tech and Human Rights in the same room!?

Facial Recognition and Cameras Everywhere:

SUNDAY, March 9th: Glassholes: The Cultural Dissonance of Technology. 3:30-4:30pm, Sheraton Austin, Capitol EFGH. WITNESS has had a test pair of Glass as part of the Explorer program – and has been looking at both human rights usages, but also concerns about privacy and consent – so we’re curious about this one. With Elise Hu (NPR), Tim Jordan (Glass Developer Program), Patrick Miller and Perry Fair.

TUESDAY Mar. 11th : Facial Recognition: The Good, the Bad & the Ugly, 11:00am-12:00pm, Hyatt Regency Austin, Texas Ballrooms 1-4, #sxsw #ArcSoft with Caroline Tien-Spalding of ArcSoft Inc.

Curation and Context in Social News:

SUNDAY Mar. 9th : Accurate, Fair & Safe: The Ethics of Social News, 12:30-1:30pm, Austin Convention Center, Room 18ABCD, #sxsw #UGCEthics with Eric Carvin of Associated Press, and Mandy Jenkins of Digital First Media.

TUESDAY Mar. 11th : Curation is the Cure for Information Overload, 12:30-1:30pm, Sheraton Austin, Capitol ABCD, #sxsw #curatecure with Jim Spencer of, and Steve Rosenbaum of

Are we missing anything great? Let us know via the comments or tweet it to us!

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One thought on “WITNESS at SXSW 2014: Talking Media, Mobile, Technology and Human Rights

  1. And one more on Monday 3:30-4:30pm, including Nathan Freitas from our partners at the Guardian Project,

    “Spies on All Sides: We Can’t Opt Out”

    The government is tracking who you call and when. Snoops are reading your emails. Internet companies like Facebook, Google, and Yahoo are working with companies you’ve never heard of to compile deep, secret profiles of millions of us, sell the data, and make billions.

    We’re being surveilled from all sides.

    This panel will address practical responses to the creeping techno-surveillance state. How are individuals and communities responding when so many of our private details are being hoovered up, in secret and for secret purposes? What are the best practices for navigating the spy-infested waters of the Internet?

    We’ve reached a point in which opting-out is no longer an option. Instead, we must arm ourselves with new digital habits, policy solutions and grassroots pressure to protect our digital rights.

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