This is the archived SXSW 2012 schedule. Please see the current schedule here.

How Not to Die: Using Tech in a Dictatorship

#sxsw #dictator

A discussion about how technologies that are often built in the west are being used around the world in extremely dangerous situations. Often there isn't an idea of how to protect individuals and their human rights when developing these tools, even when they're being used by activists and changemakers around the world. This panel will present concrete examples from Burma, Tibet, Liberia and Egypt.



Brian Conley Co-Founder Small World News

Brian Conley is co-founder of Small World News has been involved in media literacy and media democracy work for more than 10 years and has trained journalists and citizen media makers in a dozen countries. Brian designed the program and training for India Unheard, a national community news service comprised of Indian community activists from all over the country, and led Small World News’ work assisting Pajhwok Afghan News to develop a video service and expand the capacity of their provincial journalists to produce quality multimedia journalism. He has also designed an array of projects leveraging new and innovating technology to support journalists and community media in conflict areas.

Deanna Zandt Author & Media Technologist

Deanna Zandt is a media technologist and the author of Share This! How You Will Change the World with Social Networking (Berrett-Koehler, June 2010). She is a consultant to key progressive media organizations including AlterNet and Jim Hightower’s Hightower Lowdown, and is a Research Fellow at the Center for Social Media at American University. Zandt specializes in social media, is a leading expert in women and technology, and is a frequent guest on CNN International, BBC Radio, Fox News and more. She works with groups to create and implement effective web strategies toward organizational goals of civic engagement and empowerment, and uses her background in linguistics, advertising, telecommunications and finance to complement her technical expertise. She has spoken at a number of conferences, including Netroots Nation, SXSW Interactive, Personal Democracy Forum, the National Conference on Media Reform, Facing Race, Web 2.0 Expo, Bioneers, America’s Future Now (formerly “Take Back America,”) Women Action & The Media, and provides beginner and advanced workshops both online and in person.

In January 2009, Deanna was chosen as a fellow for the Progressive Women’s Voices program at the Women’s Media Center. She also serves as a technology advisor to a number of organizations, including Feministing, The Girls & Boys Projects and Women Action & The Media. She is on the board of the Applied Research Center, a racial justice think tank and home for media and activism.

In addition to her technology work, Deanna writes and illustrates graphic stories and comics, and volunteers with dog rescue organization Rat Terrier ResQ.

Mark Belinsky Co-Founder & Pres Digital Democracy

Mark Belinsky is an entrepreneur and technologist who has developed projects at the intersection of media, tech and data in over 26 countries. In Armenia, Mark co-founded and is a board member at Bem, a youth action center that serves as a platform for building an active civil society through media, performance and citizen journalism. Belinsky is President and Co-Founder of Digital Democracy, a non-profit that empowers marginalized communities to use technology to build their futures around the world. Combining these experiences, he has appeared as a guest on Al-Jazeera English, BBC Radio and NPR, testified at US Congress and consulted with numerous heads of state. He directs and produces films and strategizes on interactive media with his company New Words Media. Mark graduated from Johns Hopkins University with concentrations in Computer Science, Sociology and Media. When he can, he bicycles across countries.

Sabrina Hersi Issa Digital Dir Be Bold Media

Sabrina Hersi Issa is the co-founder of, a community dedicated to seeking sustainable solutions to global hunger launched in response to the famine in the Horn of Africa and powered by Somali diaspora around the world. She is the Digital Director at Be Bold Media, a digital media firm that runs online campaigns in the global public health space and builds apps for organizers around the world. She is the founder of Washington Women Social Entrepreneurs and serves as technology and communications adviser to The African Future, a Somali-led humanitarian relief organization.

Previously, she was a Program Advisor at Afghans for Civil Society, an NGO that developed women’s programs and independent media in southern Afghanistan and worked for Oxfam America. The Women's Information Network recently named her a Young Women of Achievement for Social Innovation and the Women & Politics Institute recognized her with it's Political Ambition Award. She was a New Leaders Council fellow and Washingtonian Magazine named her a Woman to Watch as part of it's Most Powerful Women issue. Sabrina graduated from Ohio State University with degrees in International Relations & Diplomacy, Political Science and Women Studies.

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