The RightsCon program is the pillar of our Summit Series. Expansive in scope, the program supports 400+ sessions and 15+ tracks focused on the intersection of human rights and technology. Join us in San José, Costa Rica and online from June 5 to 8, 2023.
“The RightsCon community is really busy with the work of changing the world.
It’s really busy with the work of changing each other.“
Mutale Nkonde, AI for the People
Meet and connect with the RightsCon community
Debate ideas, share lessons, and ask questions
Build solutions, coalitions, and strategies
First introduced in 2022, the RightsCon Studio invites prominent and trusted speakers from around the world to reflect on critical issues and interact with our community. Confirmed speakers for RightsCon Costa Rica include Amandeep Singh Gill, the United Nations Secretary-General’s Envoy on Technology, Meredith Whittaker, the President of Signal, and Timnit Gebru, the Founder and Executive Director of the Distributed Artificial Intelligence Research Institute (DAIR).
Meet our Studio Host: Melissa Chan
Melissa Chan is our RightsCon Studio Host and an Emmy-nominated journalist based between Los Angeles and Berlin. She has reported everywhere from Cuba to Canada, Mongolia to Moscow, North and South Korea. These days she focuses on transnational issues, often involving China’s influence beyond its borders, as well as the rise of global authoritarianism and ebb of democracies.
Frequently Asked Questions about the Program
Where and when will RightsCon Costa Rica be held?
In 2023, RightsCon will be a hybrid convening taking place in San José, Costa Rica and online through the RightsCon platform, from Monday, June 5 to Thursday, June 8. The venue for in-person participants is the Costa Rica Convention Center, a bioclimatic, eco-friendly, and sustainably-designed space located near the airport and just outside the city center.
The RightsCon platform, which we have used since 2020, will host the full program as well as provide access to online programming with features that enable networking between participants including one-on-one and group chats, and creative spaces for connecting and socializing. The platform will use different video streaming and conferencing services, including Vimeo, Zoom, and Frameable (previously Social Hour).
How do I get a ticket for the event?
Both in-person and online tickets for RightsCon Costa Rica can be purchased here, with early bird pricing available until March 13th. The cost of a ticket should never be a barrier to participation, and free online tickets are available for all, as well as free and discounted tickets upon request for in-person participants.
What is RightsCon’s approach to a “hybrid” program?
Hosted both online and in-person, RightsCon Costa Rica will mark our first hybrid summit. The program will support different session formats intended to foster moments of connection and collaboration, and a schedule which will enable live participation across different time zones.
Rather than create a “one size fits all” approach, our intention is to build a hybrid model based on the needs of our community and develop flexible opportunities for both online and in-person audiences, whether simultaneous or asynchronous.
Organizers can choose to host your session online or in-person. Online sessions are run entirely on our custom summit platform, while in-person sessions are held at our venue in Costa Rica. Our team is also exploring hybrid production elements which promote the principles of participatory design, such as simultaneous video conferencing, mirrored sessions, and replays, and we will communicate with session organizers about specific production requirements in April 2023.
You can read more about our hybrid event model, and the considerations and factors which will inform our approach, in our recent blog.
How do I host a session at RightsCon?
RightsCon’s program is sourced through an open Call for Proposals. You can choose from a number of formats and submit up to 5 proposals for consideration. The Call for Proposals closed on January 19, 2023.
Why should I contribute to the program?
RightsCon equips session organizers to build skills, networks, and strategies for action. You’ll receive resources and training to increase your facilitative leadership, and opportunities to connect with other organizers before the summit starts. RightsCon’s global platform can raise the profile of your work and provide direct access to thousands of participants with the power and expertise to take your ideas to the next level.
What topics does the program cover?
The program is broad in scope and supports many topics of continued importance for our community, including data protection, artificial intelligence, privacy and surveillance, content governance, digital security, connectivity, business and labor practices, and cyber norms.
We also look for new issues to prompt exploration. Recent summits introduced program tracks on art and activism, human rights-centered design, and humanitarian action, and intersecting themes on health, environmental sustainability, disability rights, and gender justice.
You can find the list of program categories for RightsCon Costa Rica in our Guide to a Successful Proposal. These categories will inform the final tracks that participants use to navigate the program and find sessions of interest.
Who evaluates the Call for Proposals?
Access Now works with a Program Committee to review the Call for Proposals. Every year, we invite academics, technologists, creators, activists, business leaders and policymakers from around the world to chair the Program Committee and help us select proposals based on our core evaluation criteria (relevant, actionable, original, diverse, and participatory). We also look holistically across categories and take other factors into account, such as gender and region, in order to create the strongest and most inclusive program possible.
What is the impact of the RightsCon program?
RightsCon positions our community to secure commitments, develop resources and campaigns, and set standards for human rights. Our summit has launched government initiatives, such as Tech for Democracy and the Technologist Code of Ethics, produced coalitions to fight internet shutdowns and prevent the misuse of digital identity systems, prompted statements from UN experts, and established principles for non-discrimination in AI and the online sale of medicines.
Learn more about RightsCon’s impact in our most recent Outcomes Report.
What do I do if I missed the Call for Proposals deadline?
Unfortunately, we are not able to accept session proposals after the deadline has passed. However, participants play an important role in the RightsCon program, and many of our formats place an emphasis on interaction and collaboration as the means to achieve outcomes.
The summit supports industry leaders, advocates, technologists, policymakers, investors, funders, creatives, and journalists from around the world – and your contributions are part of what makes RightsCon unique. That’s why we need you in the room, whether as a session organizer, speaker, facilitator, or participant.
RightsCon Costa Rica Program Committee
The Program Committee is composed of Access Now staff and external experts who review and advise on the selection of sessions for our program. Co-chairs play a crucial role in ensuring the program reflects the interests and experiences of our community, and forms the core of the summit experience, whether online or in-person.
Mary AnnunziataDevelopment Manager, Grants and Institutional Giving, Access Now
Wai Phyo MyintAsia Pacific Policy Analyst, Access Now
Priscilla Ama AddoPresident, Young Health Advocates Ghana
Namrata MaheshwariAsia Pacific Policy Counsel, Access Now
Sanjana SrikumarLegal Fellow, Access Now
Xiaowei WangResearch Fellow, Logic Foundation, Center on Race and Digital Justice
Ángela AlarcónCampaigner, Latin America and the Caribbean, Access Now
Laura O’BrienSenior UN Advocacy Officer, Access Now
Tetiana AvdieievaLegal Counsel and Project Manager on AI and Digital Rights, Digital Security Lab Ukraine
Abir GhattasInformation Security Director, Human Rights Watch
Mher HakobyanAdvocacy Advisor on AI Regulation, Algorithmic Accountability Lab (AAL), Amnesty Tech
Cindy RegidorJournalist, Editor and Founder, El Confidencial, Nicas Migrantes
Bridget AndereAfrica Policy Analyst, Access Now
Tarcizio SilvaFellow, Mozilla Foundation
Jochai Ben-AvieCo-Founder and CEO, Connect Humanity
Emmanuel Vargas PenagosProject Coordinator: Social Media 4 Peace in Colombia, UNESCO
Mercy MutemiNzili & Sumbi Advocates/MS Law
Igor CamposRightsCon Design and Multimedia Lead, Access Now
Isabel EbertSenior Research Fellow, Institute for Business Ethics, Adviser, University St Gallen (HSG), UN Human
Alina RaduCEO, Ziarul de Garda
Marine UldryHuman Rights Policy Coordinator, European Disability Forum
Estelle MasséEurope Legislative Manager and Global Data Protection Lead, Access Now
Sage ChengHead of Design and Creative Production, Access Now
Keren WeitzbergSenior Lecturer and Fellow, Queen Mary University of London
Michael CasterAsia Digital Programme Manager, ARTICLE 19
Patricia Cruz MarínLawyer and Advocacy Officer, Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL)
Fanny HidvégiEuropean Policy Manager, Access Now
Anastasiya ZhyrmontCampaigner, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Access Now
Caterina RodelliEU Policy Analyst, Access Now
Willmary EscotoU.S. Policy Analyst, Access Now
Wojtek BoguszHead of Digital Protection, Front Line Defenders
Luis Márquez GarridoRightsCon Program Coordinator, Access Now
Laura OkkonenInvestor Advocate, Access Now
Felicia Anthonio#KeepItOn Campaign Manager, Access Now
Riana PfefferkornResearch Scholar, Stanford Internet Observatory
Amanda MengResearch Scientist, Internet Intelligence Lab, Georgia Tech
Isedua OribhaborBusiness and Human Rights Lead, Access Now
Zach Rosson#KeepItOn Data Analyst, Access Now
Nancy ReyesAccessibility Lab Founder, Web Accessibility Consultant
Katitza RodriguezPolicy Director for Global Privacy, Electronic Frontier Foundation
Marwa FataftaMiddle East and North Africa Policy Manager, Access Now
Izak C. RosenfeldAssociate General Counsel, Access Now
Alex ArgüellesHolistic Security Lead, Access Now
Tiernan MorganDevelopment Manager, Institutional Knowledge, Access Now
Dhevy SivaprakasamAsia Pacific Policy Counsel, Access Now
Mag MachSecurity Incident Handler, Access Now
Gayatri KhandhadaiHead of Technology and Human Rights, Business and Human Rights Resource Centre
Reine ZahreddineGrants Program Officer, Access Now
Agneris SampieriPolicy Analyst, Access Now
Jaimee KokonyaAfrica Campaigner, Access Now
Alan ClarkOntological Mechanic, Futurist, Graphic Novelist, Super Villain
Chérif El KadhiMENA Policy Analyst, Access Now
Marianne Díaz Hernández#WhyID Campaigner, Access Now
Victor KapiyoTrustee, KICTANet
Vrinda BhandariAdvocate, Supreme Court of India; Of Counsel, Internet Freedom Foundation
Daniel LeuferEurope Policy Analyst, Access Now
Rand HammoudSurveillance Campaigner, Access Now
Mohamed KimbugweDigitalisation and Human Rights Technical Advisor, GIZ Uganda
Nikki GladstoneRightsCon Program and Community Manager
Enrique Julian Gasteazoro ElizondoCommunications and Engagement Director, Access Now
Kassem MnejjaMiddle East and North Africa Campaigner, Access Now
Thobekile MatimbePartnerships and Engagements Manager, Paradigm Initiative
Sarah HarperRightsCon Program Manager, Access Now
Lina AlhathloulHead of Monitoring and Communication, ALQST For Human Rights
Luis Fernando GarcíaExecutive Director, Red en Defensa de los Derechos Digitales (R3D)
Bishakha DattaExecutive Director, Point of View
Raman Jit Singh ChimaAsia Policy Director, Senior International Counsel, Access Now
Luca BelliProfessor and Director of the Center for Technology and Society, Fundação Getulio Vargas (FGV)
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