IGF 2023 Town Hall #8 Digital Activism as a Key Support of Grassroot Inclusion,


Digital, Media, and Information Literacy

Round Table - 60 Min


Frontline activists today critically depend on Internet tools for engagement with their communities of affiliation, however their success is also critically entangled with how well those tools work for all irrespective of where you live in the globe. So when we speak of grassroots change making and inclusion we must remember its not only the infrastructure that allows for Internet access that is needed, but that digital inclusion includes a range of other access challenges (among others) from usability, training and localization to gender equity and cyber-safety. Digital inclusion truly needs to be addressed at the outset of any discussion of Internet enabled activism. This round-table panel discussion explores how activists globally have, by necessity, become the front-line practitioners working tirelessly to support digital inclusion through a collaborative and participatory approach to engagement. We will looks at issues of inclusion with a grass-root lens, exploring the various dynamics involved in digital activism in the often marginalized areas where organized action is most needed. Speakers will offer various narratives from The Gambia, Colombia, USA, etc on how they have been able to support an inclusive approach to digital activism with a holistic approach that includes everything from communications considerations to technical support and training. The session will explore ways that partnerships with local communities and community networks to understand and respond to a local context enables gender equality, access education and innovation and ensures that nobody is left behind. Whether dealing with cybersecurity where existing digital security methodologies (eg: Safetag) have been adapted to match with the real needs of communities or with community education where messages need to be appropriately and effectively delivered to many different types of people, we are sure to have lively conversation that illuminates the path towards a more inclusive Internet .

The Session will be well moderated online and in person with folks attending from various regions of the globe. The speakers are well vast in running and working in hybrid settings. The group is well gender balanced and will happen in a participatory approach


Jokkolabs Banjul
Stéphane Labarthe - Karisma Foundation Jonah Silas Sheridan - Information Ecology


Stéphane Labarthe - Karisma Foundation (South America, Colombia) Jonah Silas Sheridan - Information Ecology (USA) Advocate Zanyiwe Asare - Digitally Legal (Africa, Southern Africa) Madeline Ileleji Jokkolabs Banjul, (Africa, West Africa)

Onsite Moderator

Poncelet Ileleji

Online Moderator

Madeline Ileleji


Jonah Silas Sheridan


4. Quality Education
5. Gender Equality
9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
10. Reduced Inequalities
17. Partnerships for the Goals

Targets: The proposal is greatly linked to the following SDGS in 4, 5, 9, 10 and 17. As a major reason that, more than ever before, the world has gone fully digital, the COVID - 19 pandemic has also shown us that inclusiveness of all in online spaces is both a necessity and never a given if we want these tools to reduce, rather than broaden inequality (SDG 10). Succeeding at digital activism demands inclusion at the ground level and so is a powerful vehicle for digital literacy of all sorts and an on ramp to having education for all (SDG 4). In meeting the safety, health access and other needs of women, trans and binary people using Internet enabled tools, activists are finding they are often a driving force for creating the conditions for an Internet that works for people of all genders (SDG 5). Some of this work demands partnership with local industry to drive innovation that recenters Internet infrastructure as a community network that brings people together (SDG 9). This in-turn reduces inequalities by addressing those indeed of the right digital skills to fill included in all discuss and no better way to do it than using the partnership for goals opportunities where by all stakeholders are on the table together from community leaders to municipal council officials, youth and women to use digital activism to address grass-root inclusion at all levels where front-line practitioners are important drivers in this process. <-- SDG17 and this sentence feel like a stretch to me and I think removing it would be a good idea: