Phase 2: Convene and Commission
Building on the momentum from Phase 1, we now seek to:
- Continue the conversation and exploration as a coalition this year. Stay dedicated to “learning in the open” and inviting other funders, practitioners and allies to learn alongside us. Co-create a funder proposition on what we believe will make an impact considering the breadth and scope of the topic and based on our learnings so far. Publish findings and process.
- Commission further research and promising pilots that put the recommendations into action. Document interesting developments and build a pipeline of potential projects to support as well as identify gaps. Iterate on findings and continue testing.
- Convene partners and practitioners to strengthen links across movements and craft effective narratives. Work with aligned funders who want to learn from and contribute to this effort. Gather practitioners thinking through the analysis and solutions. Host one small convening per quarter, a session at Mozfest and other key network events, and work towards a bigger convening end of the year as a showcase or “groundswell” event.
Lille (April 2022)
This convening gathered over 35 participants from digital rights funds to:
- Jointly explore the intersection of climate justice and digital rights
- Discuss the recent research findings from The Engine Room and issue briefs
- Identify opportunities to collaborate and move this work forward
As funders in the digital rights field, we envisioned this meeting as a catalyst for exploring and strengthening grantmaking strategies and for nurturing a funder community grounded in advancing people’s rights online and learning to respond to the climate emergency. The event built upon on three initial (remote) funder conversations in 2021 where we shared interim findings and learned about other organizations’ efforts. It was co-located with Ariadne’s annual meeting and the Open Source Infrastructure Funders Meeting.
Read our full event documentation, including Michelle Throne’s opening remarks and Fieke Jansen reflection.
Virtual convening (May 2022)
Following up from Lille and expanding the conversation to participants who were not able to attend, we hosted a virtual convening in May 2022. We set out to continue advancing the goals from our previous meeting, articulate areas of actions, and keep up the momentum.
We began to refine topics for “deep dives” as a funder collective and determine where and how we wanted to take the research recommendations forward.
RightsCon (June 2022)
The research was presented at RightsCon in a session on Digital Rights and Environmental Justice hosted by The Engine Room’s Becky Kazansky and co-presented by BSR, APC, OEDP and Maya Richman.
Berlin Digital Rights and Climate Justice Convening (October 2022)
To take initial funder conversations at the intersection forward, and to contribute to building a coherent and impactful strategy for a sustainable and equitable
internet, the Ford Foundation, Mozilla Foundation, Ariadne Network, Stiftung Mercator and the Internet Society Foundation hosted a two-day, in-person event in Berlin in October 2022, following the Bits und Bäume conference.
The event brought together around 50 people, representing digital rights and environmental communities, grassroots and indigenous movements, as well
as philanthropic funders, as thought partners on this complex and pressing intersection. The aim was to nurture a coalition with the goal to deepen the
understanding of the overlap between the different spaces, and to create a shared action agenda on four key topic areas in the research.
This report offers a snapshot of the discussions in Berlin and emerging agendas addressing the intersection of climate justice and digital rights.
We are interested in sharing our findings and connecting with other funders and practitioners working at this intersection. Below are events we plan on attending in some form. If you would like to invite us or recommend other opportunities, please get in touch!
- EuroDIG 2022 (June 21, 2022): “From commitments to action: Assessing the effectiveness of pan-European policies and regulations for the green digital transformation” with Alexandra Lutz (Parliamentary Assistant for MEP David Cormand, Greens/EFA), Almut Nagel (Green Digital Transformation - Policy Officer, DG-Connect, European Commission) and Michelle Thorne, (Sustainable Internet Lead, Mozilla Foundation)
- bits&bäume (Sept 30 - Oct 2, 2022): The Conference for Digitalisation and Sustainability in Berlin, Germany. Submitted a panel to present research.
- COP27: Still scoping what this could look like. Potentially collaborating with the Innovation Pavilion.
Based on the research and convenings, we are holding space for our networks to take “deep dive” on key strategic areas.
Those currently are:
- Advocacy and Governance
- Tech standards and Climate
- Climate Misinformation
- Open Practices & Knowledge Commons
- Fiscal Hosts & Climate Lens