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Technology Empowering U.S. Diplomacy and Development

Ignite Session - Speaker Bios


During our Ignite Session, we will be offering the audience exposure to four exciting new Internet freedom technologies, programs, and research. These will be presented in a series of ignite sessions, which are highly engaging 5 minute presentations with 20 slides set to auto advance for every 15 seconds.

Fieke Jansen (@FiekeJ): “Digital Defender Partnership,” Hivos

Fieke Jansen is based at Hivos where she is the knowledge officer for the Digital Natives with a Cause? Knowledge Programme.

In her Master in International Communication and her Advanced Master in International Development Cooperation she has looked at the role of media and digital technologies in social change processes like digital activism in repressive environments. Her areas of interest are to understand the new spaces, grey areas and changing dynamics that technologies bring to the world.

Danilo Bakovic (@FreedomHouseDC): “State of Internet Freedom” Freedom House

Mr. Bakovic is Director of Internet Freedom program at Freedom House. He has extensive experience in advocacy and civil society development — especially in civic engagement and mobilization, election observation, political campaigning, and digital security—and has trained and worked directly with activists throughout the globe and particularly Middle East. Currently he and his team provides the resources activists need to safely use digital tools in their critical work online and leads delegations of activists, advocates and academics from all corners of the globe to elevate civil society perspectives on protecting a free and open internet.

Danilo is a veteran of the Resistance movement (OTPOR!) and the Serbian struggle for democracy.

Adam Fisk (@adamfisk): “Lantern: Internet Freedom by Design,” Get Lantern

Adam Fisk is CEO of the Brave New Software Project (BNS), a nonprofit organization dedicated to building software tools that tackle the world’s toughest challenges. Currently, he and his team are working on Lantern, a censorship circumvention tool connecting people in blocked countries- over a quarter of the world’s population - to the open Internet. Funded by a multimillion-dollar State Department grant, this state-of-the art P2P software will launch in Fall, 2012. Prior to founding BNS, Adam spent over a decade designing the peer-to-peer (P2P) applications, LimeWire and LittleShoot.

Thomas Gideon (@cmdln): “Local Virtual Assembly - The Implications of Mesh-Networking in Restricted Environments", Open Technology InitiativeNew America Foundation

Thomas Gideon is the technical director for the Open Technology Institute at New America Foundation. As technical director, he is responsible for managing and supporting technological and data driven policy interventions, including the Commotion mesh wireless networking project, which focuses on connecting communities that are under served and at risk, and Measurement Lab, a network measurement research platform that has produced the largest cache of open broadband performance data on the planet. He also provides technical expertise to collaborate on issues around privacy, security, copyright, digital media and DRM.

Previously, Mr. Gideon has provided technical leadership and management for several D.C. area startups in many areas including advanced R&D, online education, and large scale web and database application development. Most recently he was a development team lead at Learning Objects, Inc.

He coordinated the D.C. area CopyNight for several years, is a council member-at-large for the ACM's U.S. public policy committee, and has spoken at numerous events as an advocate for free software and free culture.

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