At APC we have been experimenting with many types of online and hybrid meetings ever since APC’s inception. But like man, y other organizations, large and small, the pandemic has pushed us into expanding this experimentation even further. We feel that finding new and improving old ways of connecting people is crucial for movement building and will obviously still be useful when/if we reach a post-pandemic world.
However, online organizing has many challenges, and this go far beyond the mainstream discussion which only focus on problems solvable by consuming newer and faster hardware/software or signing up for selling all your private data. We are interested in exploring the solutions for the human challenges posed by online and hybrid meetings, the inequalities intrinsic to the connected world, the power dynamics that the participants’ distinct points of departure produce, ways of leveraging all the technology we have available to connect those not at the centers of power - geographically and beyond, facilitation challenges for accessibility in terms of language justice, low connectivity, low hardware resources, and much more.
We would like to have this conversation at OFFDEM. We think this can be beneficial as a way to bridge experiences and solutions from the facilitation/organizing and the software development point-of-view.
Depending on who is joining the conversation, we can also explore some of the practical aspects of our hybrid meetings, sharing the software and hardware we use, facilitation skills and more.
Perhaps this topic could be integrated in the “Means of organization that engage and support local coordination and action”, although we already have 3 topics being introduced in this theme, it seems that the conversation we are proposing here resonates with the overall theme.
Happy to hear your thoughts about this proposal and if you think it will be better framed in a different way or in a different theme, thanks!
This is an important topic to me, I have been this year working with people whose access to data and electricity is thoroughly different than mine…
I must say that I would never dare to propose hybrid meeting in such a context, asynchronous communication seems the only respectful way, focusing on duration in communication and text based exchange.
In that case it seems that the human relation is to be worked through a lot more, allowing more time for decision making and get rid of any need for immediacy.
I strongly feel that building trust and relation replaces advantageously the immediacy of the hybrid meeting.
In all cases I wonder if your proposition does not relate also to:
I agree, this is something very interesting to explore. I’m super interested and impressed on all the low-bandwidth alternatives to video-chatting. At APC we have some experiences with events completely mailing-list based, happening in a set time-frame. We have also worked on events where activists gather in spaces where we could provide better hardware and network to connect them to other activists in a different space with a similar setting. I guess it is a matter of being creative and breaking with some paradigms, one is that the newest and shiniest tech must be used in all scenarios and the other is to focus only in individual solutions, when we could be talking about community infrastructures that don’t even need to be ephemeral.
Makes sense for me to group my proposition with the topic being introduced by VSP and @ksenia. On a second thought, the “Means of organization that engage and support local coordination and action” is very focused on, ahem, local organization and action, and when we are talking about online/hybrid we are very often talking about non-local coordination.
I’m really happy you want to join the conversation.
Is there anything you would like to add to the introduction, something you feel it is missing from what I’ve shared? I’m very happy if you want to co-lead this introduction and also share your experiences and perspectives, if you feel like it, obviously.