Just The Beginning. Fundacja TechSoup at the SHARE Conference in Belgrade
On Sunday early in the morning the festival that I previously promoted on the Netsquared blog came to an end. SHARE brought together activists, new media artists and Internet/ tech organizations representatives. We shared knowledge, experience and fun. We shared them by day (in the Dom Omladine aulas), and by night (in Belgrade night clubs). According to the organizers there is a theory that an event becomes a festival when its agenda is too rich to handle. That definitely is the SHARE case. When there is so much to do and see, everyone’s path through the program ends up being a little bit different. Hence, My SHARE was probably not what it was for anyone else. For me, it was a great introduction to the Balkans exciting tech scene.
As one of the biggest and most popular regional conferences SHARE was a great opportunity to meet and talk to tech activists and NGOs in the region. This is what Anka and I wanted, and for a good reason. This upcoming fall, TechSoup Europe (Fundacja TechSoup), together with the US State Department, is going to organize a TechCamp for 6 Balkan countries: Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, Kosovo, and Macedonia.The camp will focus on transparency and accountability in public life, and how technology can drive and promote them. We are currently looking for regional NGO partners, potential speakers, and trying to identify key topics that should be investigated during this regional meetup.
Last week we tried to understand what has been already happening in the regional accountability work, as well as the problems that Balkan organizations are facing. We wanted to make sure that the TechCamp concept resonates with the potential participants and organizers. We wanted to make sure that we know what is worth talking about, and who should we talk about it to.
A more detailed report from the trip will be coming up soon, so stay tuned. In the meantime I will try to embrace what I have learned. I'll read an “Almanac on Security Sector Oversight in the Western Balkans”, and “Institutions abused” -- two books I brought back from the trip. I will also subscribe to Bturn, an alternative media outlet for Balkans. For now I just want to thank the SHARE conference organizers, as well as everyone who we managed to meet and talked to. Hopefully “something wicked this way comes”. You know, Boston style. Stay tuned!
- Read more about the conference talks
- Read a Bturn article on how Kosovo 2.0, an independent media outlet and webportal has been forced to cancel its presentation at the SHARE conference for security reasons