Workshop Stories from Minas Gerais, Brazil

A few weeks ago, part of the Civic Media team traveled to Brazil to hold a set of workshops in Sāo Paulo and Belo Horizonte (a city in the state of Minas Gerais) to explore how citizen monitoring might be useful in holding elected officials accountable for promises they make about infrastructure. (For a detailed analysis of some of our assumptions going into the workshops, check out Chelsea Barabas’ post).

In both Sāo Paulo and Belo Horizonte, we conducted three-day workshops. In this post, I want to give a brief account of the workshop we held in Belo Horizonte, as well as share a few profiles of our attendees to give some more insight into the motivations of our participants and their rich lives outside of the event. In the coming weeks, I’ll produce a few more posts to describe the Sao Paulo workshop in more detail, and explain some of the design considerations that have come out of both workshops.

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Improving Digital Security & Privacy Practices

This past week I attended a behavior change and digital security workshop hosted by the Tactical Technology Collective in Berlin. Tactical Tech does fantastic work supporting people who engage in information advocacy and activist projects (Rahul, a researcher at the MIT Center for Civic Media, has previously written about his work with the collective). Tactical Tech has long been involved in the digital security space, working on projects like Security in a Box — an introductory handbook aimed at advocates and human rights defenders trying to learn best practices and tools to improve their digital security. They also have a neat project called Me and My Shadow, an awareness raising campaign to get people to think more about the invisible traces left behind from their online and mobile phone activity. 

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