Political Activism and Storytelling in the Tech Era

November 26, 2014

4:30 pm

Tech Cocktail is a Media Partner during Sime MIA 2014

In order to understand what political activism is today, let’s compare it to political activism in its pre-digital form — pounding the pavement to distribute printed handouts, door-to-door networking, and participating in telephone trees. Today, political activists can drive their message quickly online. From Facebook protests, digital petitions (think Change.Org), and social cooperation through complex online gameplay, political discourse today is tightly embedded with technology and how communities interact online.

This year, Sime MIA is bringing leaders who exemplify how digital activism has enabled connection between different interest groups to propagate specific causes regardless of location. A featured leader is Yeon-mi Park, a North Korean refugee who fled to South Korea in 2007 and is now a fellow at Freedom Factory. She is also an expert on North Korea’s “black market generation,” millennials who she believes will start wanting changes with the current regime.

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Yeonmi Park

Adriana Lopez Velmut, whose brother Leopoldo López has lead peaceful protests in Venezuela heavily driven by social media (#SOSVenezuela), has been active, along with her family, in building a political movement that heavily relies on technology. These women are just two of the speakers who will talk about technological progress when it comes to engaging with the community to help the conversation attain a political outcome.

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There are critics of political activism online who call it “slacktivism,” claiming that the real-life impact of these activities is limited, and challenge that the main effect is to enhance the feel–good factor for participants. However, most evidence in recent years suggests that being active online promotes off–line participation. If anything, being politically active online has helped mobilize citizens by increasing an awareness of contemporary issues.

Sime MIA is taking place Dec. 1st-3rd and it will bring industry leaders from all over the world. Get your tickets here

 

 

 

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Camila has been heavily active in South Florida’s tech startup community, where she is a co-host of a local radio show called pFunkcast. Camila previously worked at Greenpeace International and the Organization of the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in various communication roles. A proud Brazilian who spent most of he life in Peru, she is passionate about traveling and documentaries.

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