The Call for Proposals for RightsCon Costa Rica is now open!
The Call for Proposals for RightsCon Costa Rica (June 5-9, 2023) is now open! Don’t miss out on the opportunity to shape the agenda on human rights in the digital age. The deadline to submit a session proposal is January 12, 2023 at 23:59 Pacific Standard Time.
Why submit a proposal? Hosting a session at RightsCon is a chance to connect with our community, build facilitation skills, learn from experts and leaders, and advance solutions to shared problems.
The RightsCon program is global and expansive in scope, and sourced through an open Call for Proposals. Anyone with a perspective to share on human rights and technology is welcome to submit a session idea. Each year, our team works with the Program Committee, a panel of invited experts and advisors, to review 1000+ proposals and select the sessions which will run in our program.
RightsCon Costa Rica, our first hybrid summit, will host a projected 10,000 participants from 150 countries. Building on more than a decade of experience convening both online and in-person, our 2023 edition will draw on the unique environment of our host country and region, and will continue to strengthen the accessibility of our custom virtual event platform. To learn about our vision for a hybrid model, check out our most recent blog, and read on for an overview of the Call for Proposals, including steps to submit your session, evaluation criteria to keep in mind, and important updates to our session formats.
Get started on your proposal
Review our available resources
Whether you’re new to RightsCon or you’ve participated in our summit since the start, the Guide to a Successful Proposal is one of the best resources at your disposal. Use our step-by-step instructions to map out your session goal, decide on your program category and format, and tailor your proposal to our evaluation criteria.
Our team does not look for “perfect” proposals – we look for potential. We want to know what topic or issue you’re excited about, which perspectives you plan to invite into the conversation, and what you hope to learn from the RightsCon community as a result of your session. Have a clear sense of what you want to achieve in the room. Your goal doesn’t need to be lofty or complex, but you should see your session as the first step in a journey, or a stop along the way to reflect and replenish the “well” of ideas and inspiration that fuel action.
Read about our program priorities
RightsCon Costa Rica will support 19 program categories, which capture the full breadth of the issues facing the technology and human rights communities. These categories include:
- Artificial Intelligence
- Business, Labor, and Trade
- Conflict and Humanitarian Action
- Content Governance
- Data Protection
- Digital Security for Communities
- Emerging Technologies
- Freedom of the Media
- Futures, Fictions, and Creativity
- Global Cyber Norms and Encryption
- Governance, Politics, and Elections
- Human Rights-Centered Design
- Internet Access and Inclusion
- Internet Shutdowns and Disruptions
- Justice, Litigation, and Documentation
- Online Hate and Violence
- Organizational Capacity and Funding
- Privacy and Surveillance
- Tactics and Contexts for Activists
The Program Committee reviews proposals based on category, to prevent duplication or repetition, and identify topics which need further exploration. In addition, proposals may be assigned to one of our “intersecting themes” – such as health or disability rights – which cut across some or all of our program categories.
In 2023, we will introduce a set of thematic advisors to the Program Committee to look at proposals which fit into both a category and a theme, and ensure the review is as holistic as possible. We are especially interested in sessions linked to gender justice, labor rights, and environmental sustainability, topics which are covered in more depth in our blog post on thematic priorities.
Explore our session formats
Our team has adapted many of our tried-and-true session formats for a hybrid environment, based on feedback from our network and research into peer events. RightsCon Costa Rica will support six formats intended to facilitate participation and collaboration.
- Dialogues, roundtables, and workshops are 60-minute sessions which are publicly listed in the program and filled on a first-come, first-served basis. These formats emphasize interactive approaches, hands-on learning, and direct consultation.
- Private meetings are invite-only, 75-minute sessions, oriented around a defined project and strategy, and a specific set of stakeholders.
- Tech demos and lightning talks are 8-10 minute sessions delivered in front of a live audience and followed by a short Q&A period. You can find more details about these formats in our Guide to a Successful Proposal.
You may notice some subtle differences from our past formats. For example, our team made the decision to reframe “panels” as “dialogues” to reinforce the participatory nature and purpose of the format, and ensure facilitators and speakers talk “with” not “at” our community.
Check our online, in-person, and hybrid options
In addition to format, you can choose to host your session online, in-person, or hybrid.
- In-person sessions are held at our venue in San José and will be scheduled from 9:00 to 17:00 Costa Rica time. Rooms for exclusively in-person sessions include minimal technical capabilities to ensure more dynamic face-to-face interaction. If you select this option, all facilitators, speakers, and participants should plan to attend in-person, as your session will not be accessible to virtual participants.
- Online sessions are hosted entirely on our virtual summit platform and conform to a more flexible schedule to accommodate participants in different time zones. If you run a session online, you are welcome to join us in-person, but all speakers, facilitators, and participants will access the session from personal devices.
- Hybrid sessions are held both online and at the venue, and are primarily intended to broaden access for participants. Most sessions in our hybrid program will be scheduled on Costa Rica time, and at least two facilitators must be physically present. If you select the hybrid option, we will also ask you to choose from one of four unique approaches: one-way, playback, two-way, and repeat.
In-person and hybrid sessions may offer the option for speakers and facilitators to tune in virtually; however, this option is room-dependent and will not be available to all formats. We will communicate with session organizers about capabilities for your chosen format and environment once your proposal is accepted into the program.
We can only accept a limited number of hybrid sessions in 2023, due to technical and financial constraints. Our team continues to explore paths to expand participation in the summit, and we are conscious of limiting interaction to a screen in a room, or introducing technical choreography that disrupts the flow of your session. The scope and scale of our program will be informed by the principles of participatory design, the needs of session organizers, and the cost and capacity of production.
What’s next for RightsCon Costa Rica?
Stay tuned! Our team will continue to send updates about the Call for Proposals and communicate about our program. If you’re not already, subscribe to the RightsCon rundown for news straight from the source.
If you submit a proposal by the deadline, you can expect to hear back about the final status of your session in late March 2023. Session organizers will receive resources, training, and orientation opportunities in the lead up to the summit, and we welcome applications to our Community Support Fund (opening in early 2023!) for those in need of direct financial assistance to travel to Costa Rica or participate virtually in the summit.
If you’re part of a network or coalition that may benefit from our platform, you can connect with us at [email protected] and share the Call for Proposals on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. We can’t wait to hear from you!