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,
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.