Internet Freedom Festival 2017

This one have been the best festival so far. How could it not be? So much love crafted into every detail. And still, so many mistakes to learn from. For me, coordinating the code of conduct response team and on call for any issue, this have been a learning experience. Nothing can prepare you for hearing that your own community, the one fighting for social justice, the one you should be safe in, have people that are making somebody else feel uncomfortable. Rape culture is real and is pervasive through our own communities. It is sucking all our energy and souls. We should have been spending our time working on the tools that will help us keep other people safe. Instead, we are thinking of ways to support each other through the space, we are looking for ways to keep the perpetrators accountable.

After so many years working in tech and activism, my moment of discovery, was one afternoon during the women of color, gender non-conforming and trans people meeting. We crafted a letter of support to our sister Nighat Dad and it started like this “The movement to build internet freedom is not simply a movement for technology”. Yes! Exactly that! You “can’t be” in the space of freedom in Internet AND outside and not think about it as something else than technology. Tools are only the shelter to move through our societies, the structure to propose a new world in.

Thanks to everybody that made this possible, the staff that have been working on this for many many months, the volunteers that push through a lot during the week to make it work, the journalists that came to the venue and write articles on newspapers all over Spain, the fellows that put all their energy on the selection of workshops and talks, , the presenters that though about each of the sessions they gave, the participants that fly from all over the world, everybody that had patience and compassion for our mistakes as we are all humans and are trying to do our best, each of us who took care of somebody else through the week.

Now we are starting to think about the year ahead for our next gathering in 2018. We will look at the challenges as well as the things that we want to keep for next year. From the Festival team we want to work people involved in Internet Freedom through the year. Is there a new theme that you want to include? Maybe one about health and not burning out in such a hard space. Did the framework for diversity and inclusion worked for you? Is there anything you want to change about the code of conduct and/or how we are working on it? Is there anything about logistics that was a problem and you would like to see it changing next year?

We learn to solve problems together. Cross culture practices is a learning process and we are all working on it.

Community technology is

  • when you build technology with the community that is going to use it
  • when the technology is open sourced
  • when the decisions on what technology is used are made by their users
  • when the technology infrastructure is owned and controlled by the community that uses it
  • when the education around technology happens in a horizontal space where the knowledge is shared

Collaborative notes from the CommTech gathering at Allied Medica Conference 2015



Open News code convening 2015

Open News have been organizing one day events with techies from different news organizations around USA. These are hackatons kind of events where people bring their projects and they work on them together. It tries to give space for developers to connect and talk about the project at their own newsroom. This year they started with one day of code convening at Write the Docs conference in Portland, OR and I had the opportunity to help with their projects. This are the projects that we worked on.

Web component CSV charts [The Seattle Times]:
A custom element that generates flat charts from CSV input, intended to reduce the load on graphics staff for boilerplate web graphics.

Driveshaft, The New York Times

Developer docs for Largo, INN

Donation Builder, The Texas Tribune

Geomancer, DataMade/Associated Press

Google Analytics/Facebook Insights clients, Stijn Debrouwere

Flatsheet, Seth Vincent

More information at


Cafés de DATA & Open Data Day

Bigger cities than Montevideo seems to have a vibrant community around open data and transparency. People meet to discuss how to help the process of transparency in governments, how to look for data or to hack on new projects. Uruguay had a early quite good freedom of information law (that just changed last year to make it more restricted) and a good open data group in Montevideo’s local government that push to publish interesting public data sets.  From DATA we want o create spaces to discuss, look at projects around the world and hack together on local tools and data analysis.  We started on February to organize a monthly meetup.  The registration and news is at the meetup’s website.

Some of the stuff we talked about in February are:

Data Catalogs 

Freedom of Information Requests
News Apps