PDF Ukraine 2017: Communities about Possible Risks of Technology

During this year’s Personal Democracy Forum Ukraine we focused both on the positive tendencies and possible risks that can be brought by technology.

PDF Ukraine was organized in Kyiv for the second time on 25-26 September, 2017. “How to use technology for human-oriented solutions without creating new risks?” was an overarching question we tried to answer.

The participants of the conference were welcomed by the Acting Deputy Director of UNDP Ukraine Ms. Van Nguyen, as well as by Luna Kalas (TechSoup Europe) and Krzysztof Izdebski (ePanstwo Foundation). Ms Kalas pointed out that since the first PDF Ukraine edition in 2016 TechSoup Europe has expanded the network of people who can both change lives and use technology. Mr Izdebski added that in times of technocratic movement it’s important to hold events like PDF UA that create communities which are willing to talk about the possible risks of using technology.

The agenda of PDF Ukraine 2017 was developed in close consultation with Ukrainian civic tech activists and organizations highlighting the most important and relevant topics for local actors.

On the first day participants listened to 17 speeches, including Cosmin Pojoranu’s (Funky Citizen Romania) presentation about this experience using Facebook during mass protests against corruption in Romania and Michael McNulty’s (National Democratic Institute USA) speech about the importance of an honest and transparent election process.

Krystyna Skopyk and Nataliia Ilchenko from Women Who Code Ukraine gave inspiring talks about women’s return to technology.

Open data in cities was another popular topic which was covered by the Israeli CEO of S.U.iTS & the Smart City Consultant to UNHABITAT, Rafi Rich, as well as Ruslana Velichko-Trifonyuk (Civic Network OPORA) and Nedim Useinov (TechSoup Europe) who talked about the development of open data policies for Ukrainian cities and the challenge of collaborating with city administrations.

At the end of the day TransparenCEE Community members held a panel moderated by Anna Sienicka (Vice President Europe, TechSoup) which gave practical insights on the process of building cross-border civic tech solutions, presented by Sandor Lederer (K-Monitor), Darko Brkan (Zasto Ne) and the creative strategist from Croatia Tin Geber.

The first day of the conference was concluded with a speech by Civic Network OPORA Chair of the Board Olha Aivazovska.

“Our main goal is to keep your attention. And this attention can concentrate in different ways, by various means. I do not mean that social networks are bad or the Internet is bad. I’m about to encourage you to assess risks and implications of using it better”, – concluded Ms Aivazovska.

The second day of PDF Ukraine 2017 was dedicated to workshops. Eleven workshops to more deeply explore exploring deeper the main questions of the previous day were held in both Ukrainian and English. Participants had a chance to learn more about the analysis of election data, combating corruption in the use of public resources, the use of state and public information registers, protecting personal data, the idea of public consultation and much more.

TechSoup Europe and Civil Network OPORA held a cross-sector workshop “NAME” in the framework of Apps4Cities (Dani Mist) and the TransparenCEE projects, which was aimed to bring civic activists, technologists, and city administration together to learn how synergy between local governance and civic activists can be achieved.

PDF Ukraine 2017 was organized through the TransparenCEE Network by Civic Network “OPORA”, by TechSoup Europe, and by the ePanstwo Foundation with the support of OSCE/ODIHR and UNDP Ukraine.

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