Announcing Forums @ Civic Hall

We are pleased to announce the creation of Forums @ Civic Hall, a curated event series about timely subjects at the intersection of technology and civil society. In addition to regular programming at Civic Hall, Forums @ Civic Hall will be a new series that is focused on debating and refining some of the most foundational questions facing technology, governance, media, and political economy. These convenings, with accompanying content pre- and post-event, will strive to include participants with different political points of view, policy experts, media figures, academics, private sector, advocacy organizations,community leaders, and leading independent watchdogs — all with a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

What kinds of ideas will be discussed?

    Forums are designed to take on big questions. Some of the broad ideas and themes we are looking at include: “Neighbors and Netizens: Designing for Healthy Civic Discourse in Tech Mediated Relationships,” “Personal Health and Platforms,” “The Big Tech Conundrum: Monopoly in the Platform Age,” “Sci-Fi Futures: Using Speculative Fiction to Imagine Alternatives in Tech and Society,” “Bipartisan Technology Regulation: What Is It and How Can It Be Done?” “Managing Content Moderation in A World of Nation-States,” and “The State of the Internet 2019.”

When, where, and how much will Forums be?

    These Forums will run roughly every other month and will take place primarily at Civic Hall. With the support of event partners, we will put together afternoon and evening debates, workshops, and speaker series that create a corpus of knowledge and people around core issue areas. They will be free to Civic Hall members and open to non-members for a nominal fee.  Forums will be livestreamed and recorded, so viewers all over the world can watch, but also ask live questions through Sli.do, an interactive question tool. These recordings, along with written content and reading lists will create a body of knowledge around each of the core issues addressed by Forums @ Civic Hall.

Who is working on these Forums?

These Forums are primarily curated by Civic Hall President and Co-Founder, Micah Sifry and Danielle Lee Tomson, our new Director of Forums @ Civic Hall. You might remember Danielle as Civic Hall’s first  Membership Director. In the past few years and now, Danielle has been working on her PhD at Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism. In 2017 and 2018, she curated Personal Democracy Forum with Micah and Civic Hall CEO and Co-Founder, Andrew Rasiej.

How Can I or My Organization Get Involved?  

    We are always eager to team up with other organizations and collaborate. We are looking for curatorial and/or financial support from mission-aligned organizations who are interested in diving deeper into specific, ongoing issues. Civic Hall is not actively soliciting calls for proposals, but if Forums sound like the kind of thing you or your organization has been waiting to get involved with, please fill out this form, which will be checked on a rolling basis.

When can I anticipate the first Forum?

    We are excited to announce the first Forum will be the evening of February 28th from 5:30-8:30 PM titled “The State of the Internet 2019,”  in partnership with Facebook and Glitch. CryptoHarlem’s Matt Mitchell and Glitch’s Anil Dash will give both give talks on “The State of the Internet 2019,” followed by a conversation with Maurice Cherry, host of the renowned podcast featuring black techworkers, “Revision Path.” This Forum addresses some big questions: “How has the Internet changed?  Where is it going? And aside from calls for regulation or break-up, what else can we do to make and participate in the Internet we want?” Both Anil and Matt will address some of the challenges facing the health of the Internet,  and also offer some creative frameworks on how companies, tech workers, users, and governments can each uniquely contribute to making the Internet a better place, not just top-down, but from the bottom up. We will also welcome members of Facebook’s Government and Politics team to engage the speakers in their perspectives and reflections on the “State of the Internet.”

Buy  your tickets here. If you are a Civic Hall member, the  event is free. Look out in  your Member Monday email for  a complimentary ticket code!