IGF 2022 Day 4 Town Hall #81 Digital Rights Learning Exchange

The following are the outputs of the captioning taken during an IGF intervention. Although it is largely accurate, in some cases it may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.



>> UFFA MODEY:  Hi, good afternoon, everyone.  Thank you for joining "Digital Rights Learning Exchange" Town Hall session.  My name is Uffa Modey.  I'm the cofounder and digital lead of Global Grassroots.  I will be moderating this session today.  And in time, I would like all of our amazing speakers here to introduce themselves.

The SMs of this session is to highlight the challenges by digital rights advocates and the democratic values of freely exercising their citizenship in the digital space and beyond it.  We are basically going to outline a program that we held this year.  We had two cohorts of this program, and the essence of this program was to enable activists from underrepresented communities to critically think about the digital rights issues that they faced in their communities and how they are going to go about carrying out advocacy around those issues.

So thank you very much, everyone, for joining.

And to start with, I'm going to pass on to Sarah from NDI to talk about their participation in the program.  Thank you very much.

>> SARAH MOULTON:  Great.  Thank you, Uffa.  So my name is Sarah Moulton, I am the Deputy Director for Democracy and Technology for the National Democratic Institute based in Washington, D.C.  We have offices in about 50 different countries and the world, and we are focusing on strengthening the democratic and political process with government, civil society, political actors around the world.

And for the last several years, our team has been involved with an initiative called the Open Internet For democracy initiative, which in we are working with digital rights activists around the world to strengthen their ability to push back against antidemocratic actions that threaten online space and threaten human rights.

And for the last several years we have been running the Open Internet Leaders Program, and this has been our kind of flagship effort to support emerging digital rights activists to help them do advocacy projects in the local context and strengthen the advocacy skills through a yearlong program.

The challenge with this particular initiative is that we get so many excellent applicants from all backgrounds and want to do something to support them all but can't.  We only select six each year.  So it's a very small group.  And wanted to find another way to engage so many of these politics and there's clearly an appetite for learning ‑‑ you know, being part of this digital rights movement and being able to work on these issues but we couldn't do it.  And so we have been looking for an opportunity to support these emerging activists who are maybe not quite had the opportunity to really be part of the more well‑known or established leadership, fellowship programs.

So we, luckily, through some funding from the Mott Foundation were able to partner with Digital Grassroots, put together and support and kind of an existing core structure that they already had and then make a curriculum that revolved in large part around an open Internet Democracy advocacy playbook that we have. You can find it at openinternet.global.

It gives you steps that you as a digital rights activist can keep in mind as you begin your journey.  So that may include basically some ‑‑ like ‑‑ like stakeholder mapping and how no do up a communication strategy, keeping yourself safe online.  How do you evaluate the success of your campaign?  But it's really a lot of kind of foundational lessons that are hard to get if you are new to the space and you don't know where to start.  What are the best ways to do that?

So together with Digital Grassroots, we are able to support these two different cohorts which I can let them speak more about in detail, but our motivation for that, like again for the whole program, was really that there are so many dynamic individuals who really want to get started in the space but don't have the foundational skills to really take part in the more established programs out there.  So how do we get them?  How do we get them to that place?

So that was our motivation for supporting Digital Grassroots to work together on this initiative and hopefully there will be more opportunities in the future.

>> UFFA MODEY: Thank you very much, Sarah for that excellent overview.  I'm also going to pass the microphone now to Fatu.  And she will introduce herself more, but a bit of an overview, Fatu was one of the participants of the DR program in cohort two.  And she's going to share her insights, highlights of the program, and what participation in that program meant for her.  Thank you very much.

>> Hi, everyone, thank you very much, Uffa and Digital Grassroots for organizing the Internet ‑‑ the digital rights learning exchange program where a lot of Internet activists and fellows also applied, and I was a part of the 20 persons selected for the program.

So the program was very interesting and we have learned a lot on digital rights, how to start a project, what you should do, and also to make it like something very interactive.  When everyone will give their insights, not just to come and write your projects.  Like, if you want to solve a problem, you have to do ‑‑ to you have to solve it by the rules, not do it on your own but you have to interact with the people that are facing the problem, and that's what the teacher is doing the whole program and also after starting your project how to monitor it and do the evaluation.  It's not just start your project and then after there's no follow‑up.  But there's just a lot of skills and also how to do it.  It's not like something ‑‑ like a lot of program.  We participated in a lot of program, but this one was very interesting.  And also the timeline around six weeks, it was not too long, and during the six weeks we learned a lot.  I just have to tell you thank you very much for organizing this program, and I hope over the next few years, instead of only 20 people, you will increase it to more African people.

And so as people from the other continents can also participate on this program.  Thank you very much.

>> UFFA MODEY: Thank you, Fatu and yes, we do understand that there will be a lack of capacity sometimes to do more but now at least we have the blueprint so we are currently discussing how we can make the program more open and more inclusive to accommodate more people.  Thank you very much, once again, Fatu.

I'm going to pass on to Esther now to talk about how the program outcome ‑‑ what the program outcomes were, and the impact the results, resources that were used in delivering this program to our community.  Esther was part of our core team in delivering this program so, of course, she will be talking about from a very informed perspective.  Thank you very much.

>> ESTHER MWEMA: Thank you so much, Uffa.  Thank you, everyone, for coming and those joining online, and in person.  We're very excited to have you here, and we know it's the last day of the IGF.  So it's ‑‑ so if you come to a session, you're really, really amazing.  So thank you.

I will just say that this year we hosted the digital rights learning exchange and the amazing thing is we did it remotely.  We were able to reach 40 digital rights advocates who are able to participate in our program.  So we first opened the call for application and as Sarah said, we wanted it to be reflective of their communities even when they are getting information from the playbook, we wanted them to be able to adapt it to their open work.  So when we opened the call for application, we recruited the first cohort, and through that, four weeks of training, they were able to learn digital rights advocacy tools that they could use for their own communities and the works that they are doing.

The unique aspect of this learning part was that they had to practically learn how to engage in digital rights.  And they had to do it by collaborating with other young people and other advocates in their programs.  So that meant that they had to learn to engage with people they did not know, people they may not necessarily agree with, and we had some stand out projects that came out of that and was presented at a finale event.  So we were able to have specific topics, like Internet shutdowns, hate speech, privacy and violence and also accessibility.  Those were the topics we were working with.

And after the four weeks of learning and the final two weeks was focused on practical ways of monitoring an evaluation and also staying safe online and how they can take care of themselves psychologically and also in terms of digital security.  So this was a very holistic program in the way that even as they were learning to take care of themselves, they were matched with industry experts who they could talk with, in their own sessions, small group sessions, and learn about how they could apply what they have learned in the program.  So after the first cohort, we realized that there was still an appetite and there is a big gap that we have to fill.  So we had to do another second cohort with some of the participants who had applied earlier and we found that the response was really positive in both cohorts and the most appealing part was working with other advocates from different regions and learning from each other, like a cross poll nation and to have a practical campaign at the end.  It was very practical and hands on and a good way to build community and network with other people in ‑‑ in the region who are working on the same issues.

Because what we found was personal stories with the digital rights advocates, whether it be harassment online or whether they lost one of their family members who were digital rights advocates.  So it was a really heartfelt engagement and building of solidarity between digital rights advocates who otherwise would not have had that opportunity to engage.

So that was what was the core essence of our program and I will just summarize it, it was remote learning and then community engagement between the cohort participants and then there was the mentorship and then presenting their final digital rights campaigns which were hypothetical and that we hope that in the future we'll be able to collaborate with others to fund that ‑‑ those projects that come out of programs like this because they are really tackling core issues and doing it from a legal context and trying to view this digital rights advocate to bridge what is happening at the grassroots level and also at the high level, so that there is that knowledge exchange so that we can create a more open and democratic Internet for the future.

Thank you.

>> UFFA MODEY: Thank you very much, Esther.  And that was amazing.

At this point, I'm going to open up the mic for questions, comments, suggestions about the program.  We understand that we're probably talking about this from an organizer's perspective, but we really want to hear comments, opinions, questions, about the program, its impact, we would appreciate that.  Oh, we have two hands raised.  And we're also watching the online chat.  So if there's anything, let us know.

>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: Hi there, I'm Morgan Frost for the organization of private enterprise.  Thank you for organizing this session and it was great to hear more about the program.  Esther, I just wanted to follow up on something that you mentioned around lessons learned and sharing different experiences.  You mentioned harassment onlin,e but could you expand what were some of the commonalties across the different participants.  Thanks.

>> ESTHER MWEMA: Thank you so much for that question.  Yes, it was really good to have in our second cohort, we had seven countries.  And in the first cohort, we had over ten countries.  So from the Africa region.  And it was really interesting to see what the commonalties are, and part of that was the groups that came out of it.  There were groups on topics such as hate speech, Internet shutdowns, and privacy and surveillance and accessibility, and those are core issues that are affecting those regions.  And something that was very critical was how they were able to collaborate and create one project as a group even if they were from different contexts.  A standout was a group where we had an Ethiopian, South African and Kenyan and they created a project on the shutdowns in Tigray.  As a continent, we do have our own problems but there is a place to create a common digital rights advocacy to respond to that and it I thought it was very amazing and I recommend everyone to read the reports we have on that specifically.  Thank you.

>> UFFA MODEY: And thank you very much for that, Esther.  If I could add a bit more.  Another commonalty that we noticed was in the participants did cite what issues they wanted it to work on.  As organizers we provided thematic themes that we could support and encouraged the participants to ‑‑ after introducing what these things were to them, encouraged them to select the one that they would love to work on.  And it was always interesting to see what issues the participant wanted to work on.  And in each cohort, which ‑‑ which theme would be the most popular.

Access and affordability was always the group with the most participants and the first cohort, we noticed that hate speech was popular and Internet shutdown was not.

Fast forward to four months after hate speech was no longer popular, but Internet shutdown was now popular.  So that was something very interesting.  Thank you very much.

I know we have another question in the back, and can we please take that.  Thank you very much.

>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: Thank you, I'm Anton from Safe Net.  We are a digital rights organization based in Indonesia.  We started in 2013, as working for freedom of expression, but then since 2018, we are expanding our program to be more in digital rights and freedom of expression and also digital rights and digital security.  And so that's a self‑introductions.

I have four questions.  Thanks.  I'm really happy that I'm here and I can listen to your great story about your program.

I have three, actually.  First, I want to know more about how you keep the sustainability of the program, including with the participants after the program, it's not from the organizer but also maybe from NDI.  And then is there any success story that you feel proud about from the program?  And the last one, is there any possibility to expand this program to Southeast Asia, our region so we can collaborate more in the future?

Thank you.

>> SARAH MOULTON:  Thanks, Anton.  Big fan of your organization as well.  So I know we worked with you in the past, as NDI.  So, you know, the sustainability is a great question.  We know that us as NDI, we only have enough funding for certain cohorts or we can only go so far.  So we tried to kind of build in the relationship development aspect within the program so that the participants were interacting with each other, and developing relationships with each other, through these group project efforts and because we really believe strongly in the power of networks, and especially across cohorts and cross sector and geographies that those relationships are going to kind of help sustain that work, if you know that you can reach out to somebody for a particular problem or if you are ‑‑ you know, they have already been through this with you.  So knowing that we couldn't necessarily sustain ‑‑ you know, continue to fund their projects, that was one aspect of it, although I will say that anyone that has participated in this program I'm sure will be permanently part of both the Digital Grassroots and the NDI families.  So whether they want to be or not, they will be hearing from us and, you know, being part of that network of ‑‑ you know of grassroots digital rights leaders.

At least on that side of it, you know, we would hope to find ways to engage in the future but we did want to build in that component of the networking and just to add on to that piece, the mentorship program was also a key component that we wanted to include in this, because that would allow the individual participants to also meet and interact with a mentor who was advising them on their projects, which, again, we hope is more than just a one‑off relationship but somebody that they can go and ask questions to or at least they have met and can interact with in the future.  So we are hoping for that.

Ideally, yes, we would love to do something in Southeast Asia, as soon as we find funding for such a program or we do an adaptation there, but this is a model that we ‑‑ we liked and I think we learned a lot from the first cohort to the second.  And there would be more learning in the future every context is different, but I think for us, we were really excited about the format we had.

>> ESTHER MWEMA: Thank you so much.  Our programs are completely free, so all participants do not have to pay anything to attend.  And thanks to the funder for the project, we were able to give a connectivity stipend because that allows for digital rights advocates to engage without having to make the cost ‑‑ in some spaces we take for granted that people can join because there are a lot of issues that stop people from engaging such as access, or for example instability and that just makes me think of the success stories.  There are quite a few, but I will just mention to ‑‑ there is one for ‑‑ one of our participants is from Haiti.  During the course of the program, there's instability ‑‑ and there's still instability there.  And it was just quite profound to see how his group members were able to engage and spore his participation and create solidarity during that time, even though there were challenges with the participation of the participants to join the course that made it available and flexible for them to still be part of it and gain support from other participants during a very difficult time in their country.

Another success story that is a success story from the second cohort ‑‑ the first cohort, there was one participant who did not know about the open Internet principles and after the course, two months later, they said, I didn't know about this information, but because of the information I learned from the program, I was able to get a very competitive scholarship to study at a master's level.  So it's very transformative for this person's life.

And just also to see we have currently at this IGF two digital rights learning exchange participants to see that they are able to come and contribute their voice here, I think that's really a great success story.

And we are always happy to collaborate and share what we're learning and as we're planning to do is to make ‑‑ adapt the program so that it's ‑‑ it is easier to adapt it and it will be accessible online, hopefully, next year, fingers crossed.

Thank you for those amazing questions and back to Sarah.

>> SARAH MOULTON:  I would be remiss if I didn't talk about the biggest success story about all of this, Esther was one of our open Internet leaders from a couple of years ago and is part of her project with Digital Grassroots did an iteration of a course on our a ‑‑ an adaptation of our advocacy play book.

In that course, we also had a participant from Venezuela who successfully completed the course that she did as part of her project.  That person, David, went on to apply to the open Internet leaders program, the one that is administered by NDI and became an open Internet leader.

And then he has gone on to do many other things and become very successful in this space.  The fact then that we ultimately when we were ‑‑ as NDI, when we had additional funding because of the success of the course that Digital Grassroots had done, we were able to build off of that and doing the next ‑‑ the second round.  So all of these have kind of built off of each other, and then we had other former open Internet leaders serve as mentors to this ‑‑ the digital rights learning exchange program.

So we are trying to feed people back into it, giving back to the program, and those sort of ‑‑ it just builds off of each course that we do, participants come back and participate or they join other, you know, fellowship programs that we're affiliated with.  So to me, that's really been a success is to seeing how that network has interacted and grown and interacted with each other.

>> ESTHER MWEMA: Thanks for that.  I totally forgot some of those success stories.  Yeah, I am a success story.  Thank you so much.

Over to you, Uffa.  I don't know if there are people online.

>> UFFA MODEY: Okay.  Thank you very much, everyone.

I just ‑‑ before we go into our next steps and closing, I just want to ask if there's any other questions online or in person as a whole?

Questions?  Comments?  Opinions?  Feedback?

Oh, we have one.  Yes, please.  Go ahead.

Can we get the microphone, please.

>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: Thank you, Morgan Frost again.  I just had a follow‑up question.  Maybe for implementers who are looking at developing training content on digital rights, for instance.  What were some of the key aspects of course that you found most useful that we should be aware of?  Thanks.

>> ESTHER MWEMA: Thanks for that question.  And we're always happy to share.  So our reporters have all the details, but what I found to be really impactful was really the cohesion.  From the beginning our work was adapted to what the community needs.  When you are creating a curriculum, you have to do it in communicate, and in consideration of what the participants need.  So you have ‑‑ even the curriculum itself has to be responsive.  And as Uffa mentioned, the group work was done and chosen by the participants themselves.  So we were very democratic in that process and giving trust, actually, to the conveners and I really appreciate NDI and open Internet for democracy initiative for really trusting us to do this content and deliver this program successfully to have that level of completion rate in a remote program is really a testament to itself and these are amazing people who are doing amazing work in their communities.

And another thing is also to just ensure that you are also aware that people are giving their time, even when they are coming in the program and not everyone comes from the same place so providing connectivity stipends, providing mentorship and also providing flexibility for those who may be facing issues in their countries.  I also want to emphasize on the human aspects, digital rights is very personal.  It's a human expression online and I think what many programs lack is that that personal interaction treats people with respect and dignity and recognize that people have faced difficulties in that space and they are not just taking it like any other program.

So those are some of my experiences that I can share.  Thank you.

>> UFFA MODEY: Thank you very much, Esther.  And also to add more to, that something that we noticed in developing the curriculum was that the essence of the course was to enable these participants to critically think through the digital rights issues that they were working on.  So it's what was very important for us to put in activities that are would enable them to do this.  Every week, for each module, for four weeks or sorry, six weeks, they were able to receive some sort of assignment that would enable them to think through the issues and document it.

Being able to properly describe something, and write it in a few words, half a page or one page shows that you have actually reflected on what you are writing.  You have probably done research about it and you are able to put this in a coherent way that would make sense to anyone.  So apart from just delivering the content, part of ‑‑ apart from just developing content that was made for online learning environment, it was ‑‑ there was also the learning aspect of enabling the participants to reflect on their own issues and create some sort of content about this.  This was very important.  And then after they had done that, we had the chance to provide feedback, you would realize how they are thinking about the issuing, give them some sort of steering in that direction, and basically tell them how to think about it, if they are not thinking about it clearly.

So content in a generation with regards to digital rights shouldn't be only top down.

It should be inclusive of the people that are consuming the content as well.

Yeah, I think that's what I wanted to add about that.

Thank you very much.

Yes, we have a hand raised.

Thank you.

>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: Hi, I'm Daniel O'Malley, I'm with the Center for International Media Assistance.  And one of the questions I have for you in this, in our work, what we find is in ‑‑ we work a lot with journalists and news organizations and often it is the case that some kind of digital rights violation or issue will ‑‑ you know, their content will be taken down or their site will face a DDoS attack.  That's the entry point.  They hadn't thought about digital rights before until it impacts them personally.  Digital rights is often about a very personal experience.

I was just wondering if anyone in your groups come from that kind of journalistic background and if so, what has that been like for them and what have you learned in that experience and exchange?

>> UFFA MODEY: Yes, thank you very much.  I'm just going to now read one of our experiences during one of our participants.  During one of our online meetings, they said they were cyberbullied and cyber stalked online.  It was a traumatizing experience for them and that was their entry point to thinking about the digital rights issues and how they can be a part of it.

And another participant was not just looking at it from the aspect of an entry point.  It was something that was like a rippling effect to their advocacy.  They had created a social media page for advocacy, but they realized how that could actually turn into making them some sort of target for trolls online.  And so trying to do online advocacy, they realized instances where it can go dark very fast.

And a final instance, about a participant who was facing very terrible and democratic situations in their country, and was not able to participate by just the virtue of being able to connect to the Internet and join the meetings that was very traumatic for them and they sent a very detailed email to us, to say that even a pathway for me to learn how to do digital rights advocacy is blocked by digital rights abuses.

>> ESTHER MWEMA: And really coming to the personal stories one the participants come from a family of digital rights advocates and they lost their brother in that process.  So it's really ‑‑ when you have that program like that, you know that these are real lives happening and there are real consequences.  So what we also found in that same vein was that the intersection of the digital and other topics, like digital and someone working on gender, we found that there were some participants who wanted to use the Internet for their own project maybe on gender equality, or LGBTQI rights and ‑‑ even just to share their personal story on feminism, and there is a very violent pushback online, on those topics and personal stories are weaponized again women, girls, LGBTQI people and those who are on the margins.  Just creating this safe space for event to meet and learn, that, oh, we have these tools available and we can create this community of solidarity was very important for us.

>> UFFA MODEY: Thank you very much.  Once again, I'm going to ask if there are any questions from our on‑site ‑‑ I'm sorry, our online participants.

>> HANNA PISHCHYK: We actually have two questions from participants following our live stream.  So the first question is from Miriam, do you try to mix participants from different countries and groups or does it happen naturally when groups are formed by the topics and do you have future editions of the program?

>> ESTHER MWEMA: Thank you, Hanna, for that and online moderation.  We appreciate you.  So in terms of how the groups are created, participants in the first two weeks come on the program and try to understand, like, what is happening.  They take the curriculum, and then after the second week, we ask them what topics stand out to you the most and they go in breakout rooms and that's how they form their groups by themselves.  We don't control, assign anything not based on countries or gender or anything.  In terms of future iterations, right now, I hope ‑‑ we are planning on hopefully putting it online, the curriculum, but that is also a core funding issue that we are trying to solve.

We are looking for organizations that are willing to tap into this work and actually invest in the people that are working on the ground on digital rights because we all have to start somewhere and we hope that there can be political will from those who have the money.

I will ask Sarah to also answer that.

>> SARAH MOULTON:  Yeah, way to put me on the spot.  No, just kidding.

I think it goes back to what we were saying before about trying to ‑‑ you know, sustainability is hard, funding cycles are unpredictable and we can't always keep everything in going but that's why trying to keep the networking and the ‑‑ kind of groups that were built sustainable as possible through networking and relationship building and having it be more like ‑‑ a lot of credit goes to Digital Grassroots all the engagement you had with participants and giving them feedback on the projects and the follow‑up and the constant communication was really good.  It's not easy.  It's hard no do that.

To do that was ‑‑ with the idea of having a cohort that would feel connected long after the course ended as much as we could.  But that is also the fact that we can't always do this as much as we want.  Do plan to have this ‑‑ anyone who is interested could do so, in an asynchronous manner, it wouldn’t be the same, but we believe this content is really important and that there's clearly an appetite for it.  We had a lot of applications for this program ‑‑ again, it's like for us for the open Internet leaders program, there's clearly a demand and real interest among all of these new emerging and excited digital rights activists out there and I would love to meet demand.  Unfortunately, we have to find the funder somewhere.

We are trying in the way that we can, to keep people together, to connect them, to keep them within our networks and reach out to them when there's an opportunity to do so.  So as much as possible to do that.

>> UFFA MODEY: Thank you very much, can we take the second question, please.

>> HANNA PISHCHYK: Yes, sure.  Absolutely.

The second one, we can see companies making profit at the expense of civil and digital rights.  One of the possible solutions is national law that can regulate it and at the same time, authoritarian regimes abuse that censor the information that's relevant for discourse.  Are you trying to discover this.

>> UFFA MODEY: Okay.  So I will take that one.  In this program, we have actually done a lot to support them.  We do not necessarily try to define what exactly they should work on because like we have realized, digital rights issues can always be quite personal.  But when we see participants who do not really understand issues or are backed by an issue that they do not even necessarily know is an issue, like how think may be trying to publish a paper or policy that may be harmful for them in their own communities, that is when we kind of step in to tell them, no, this is not how you necessarily have to talk about that issue, because it may not necessarily be safe for you because we know how dictator governments can be violent in underrepresented communities and countries.  So to answer the question in a nutshell, we do not necessarily define how they should talk to their governments, but we encourage ‑‑ we support participants that want to do that kind of advocacy to their governments.

And when we realize that some participants advocate can simply spiral out of control in a way that would not be safe for them, then we try to let me say, educate them on the challenges and the opportunities for doing that kind of dicey advocacy.  Does that anyone want to add?

>> ESTHER MWEMA: That was a really good question.  And I think there are instances where big corporations try to co‑opt digital rights movements.  So for us, as grassroots organization, our goal is really to teach our participants not what to think, or what to do but how to do it and to make sure that the precipitations over an open Internet and democratic Internet are foundational to how they apply their knowledge or their opinions because context differ completely and a very good advantage we have is that we have participants from different countries and we're not focused on a specific issue.  So that is a really helpful way for us to just give the tools necessary for the participants also to stay safe in their advocacy, not ‑‑ and also things like avoiding burnout and making sure their issue is very specific and to the point.

>> UFFA MODEY: Thank you all very much.  Is there any other question on the chat?

Comments?  Feedback?

All right.

Thank you, once again, for joining this session.  I will just go over the next steps.  First one is to please download the report and share it within your networks.  The program report is quite detailed about the mission, objectives, and the issues that the participants worked on.  And that way you can get more insights as to how they address these issues and what it means to them.

Another thing is to please connect with the digital rights advocates from this program for further collaboration on their Internet advocacy community projects.  This was ‑‑ for some of them this was their first let me say, entrance into working for a project that helps advocacy in their community.  And so their feedback, your feedback would be really, really useful to them.  And like it has already been mentioned here, we are currently working and talking about building asynchronous version of the dear Alex course.  Stay tuned for that.  We will definitely share more.

Finally, I will invite anyone here who has any final words to please share.

Any final words?

>> SARAH:  Nothing special other than to highlight the value for us to support these emerging activists and for everyone to look beyond the superstars, so to speak.  We often see, you know, particularly at events like these or RightsCons or other events like this, that you will see a lot of those who may already have funding or opportunities or have really made their name already.  And I think it's really important for us to try to find that next generation of leaders or those who haven't had the opportunity because we are seeing given the crisis online, of trying to put, you know ‑‑ promote an open and democratic Internet will take everybody, not just elites, not just urbanites but those new to the space, those across multiple sectors, geographies, you know, we are all in this together.

And really trying to support those new leaders, those who are excited and passionate but may not have had the opportunity.  I hope Uffa you have given where to find all of those resources.  Okay.

I will also make one more plug for openinternet.global.  You can follow us on Twitter at open net global.  And, yeah, any other plugs you want to give.

>> ESTHER MWEMA: Thank you so much, and yes, our recent blog is on this the digital rights learning exchange, and you can go to www.DigitalGrassroots.org and I just want to say to those listening or no those who are trying to plan this project that investing in people is the only way we're going to get a democratic Internet.  And it has to be done intentionally if it's going to be sustainable.

But I also just want to thank those would have joined online and our online moderator for holding the fort online and those who couldn't make it to the IGF.  And also just to close, Digital Grassroots, it's not only for those in the TechSpace but our world is becoming digital, the Internet is a public utility.  And so the courses that we do really are for everyone for us to build a future that is open and democratic.

Thank you all for joining us here today as well.  I will allow Uffa to close.

>> UFFA MODEY: Thank you.  Just to clarify where the program report is.  We have put a link to it on the session ‑‑ on this session description.  If you already have access to the session, there's definitely a link for it there.  Thank you very much, once again, everyone, for joining and yes, please reach out to us for anything.  Thank you very much.