Over the past two years, there have been concerning instances of excess and malpractice by Big Tech, leading to serious social, political, and economic consequences. These include data extractivism, increased worker precarity, setbacks in gender justice, the domination of developing countries' infrastructure, manipulation of global governance spaces, and ecological exploitation, among others. These trends have prompted a crucial civic and political awakening, as civil society actors are starting to recognize the challenges posed by the digital realm. To transform this groundswell into a lasting global movement for change, it is necessary to foster perspective-building and develop the next generation of leaders in civic spaces. This involves engaging in cross-movement dialogue, coalition-building, and adopting a Southern standpoint to promote equity and justice.
A significant step in this direction was IT for Change's five-day residential institute on Frontiers and Frames for a New Digitality, which took place in Chiang Mai, Thailand. The institute aimed to equip civil society actors with the necessary vocabulary and tools to effectively address the emerging digital landscape and develop strategies for political organization. In 2022, a call for applications was issued for the institute, which is part of IT for Change's flagship program called the School of Digital Justice. The School of Digital Justice serves as a pedagogical platform to promote the vision of reimagining and achieving socio-structural transformation for a fair digital economy. Its objective is to democratize discourse and perspective-building on the digital domain by employing legal-institutional, feminist, and political economy approaches.
The institute took place from January 30th to February 3rd, 2023, in Chiang Mai. It brought together more than 40 participants and resource persons from over 20 countries. Through a variety of lectures, masterclasses, and interactive activities, the institute fostered multifaceted discussions on the history of internet governance, aiming to pool diverse insights and develop actionable visions for an equitable digital future. Get an inside view of the institution here.