Plan Your Own Event

Languages: Portuguese, French

This text is part of the #FASTAfrica Communications Toolkit

Take part in #FASTAfrica Week of Action – 1 – 7 May 2016!

Would you like to join the campaign by hosting an event? You don’t need special permission or credentials to host a #FASTAfrica event. Everyone can support the campaign by drawing attention to the need for fast, affordable, safe and transparent Internet in their own way.

Ideas for Activities

Anyone can organize an activity for #FASTAfrica — either big and small, quiet or loud. Events during the action week are meant to amplify long-term efforts for local and regional change.

Please note that we need everyone to share photos of activities as they happen via Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #FASTAfrica.

Ideas for Larger Groups, Organisations and Networks

Internet Speed Testing
Initiate a comparison of Internet speeds around the country and see how they vary in different locations with different service providers and plans. Are you actually getting the speeds advertised by your Internet service provider? Ask people to test their connections using (create a Speed Wave for comparisons) and compile the numbers so you can map and discuss results.

Participate in a Radio Show
Contact your community radio station and see if they will dedicate a show to the problem of expensive mobile data plans and how to solve it. Arrange for the live participation (or pre-recording) of a person who can improve Internet access in your country. Encourage calls and social media interaction. Offer an award to caller number 25 or message number 50 to keep the audience engaged.

FASTAfrica Salon
Instead of a traditional workshop or conference, consider hosting an informal “salon” for a group of people who want to learn more about why FAST Internet matters and what policies work. Combine artistic performances (music, video or poetry) with short, conversational presentations. Engage the creative communities when you live, perhaps through a cultural centre that could co-host.

Pecha Kucha Night (20 seconds x 20 slides)
Powerpoint presentations are never boring in Pecha Kucha style talks where speakers present their thoughts in only 20 slides that each display for only 20 seconds. Topics could be: What makes the Internet wonderful? What makes it a necessity rather than a luxury? How does a society benefit from the Internet? Attendees can write their names on a giant photo collage that is sent to stakeholders.

Spotlight on Experts
Bring one expert a day to a public space or classroom (or popular online forum) and let participants ask anything they want about Internet access. How does the Internet work? Why is internet access so expensive in Africa compared to the rest of the world? What makes the Internet fast? How do you get around Internet shutdowns? How do you encrypt? Make the questions and answers available to all.

Internet Policy Roundtable
Gather key people from civil society, the public sector and business to discuss what new policies and actions are needed to improve Internet access in your country. Share facts about the current state of the Internet and regulations, and discuss what strategies can be combined to speed up the process of change. Keep a good record of the meeting and follow up with participants on any proposed actions.

Public Light Projections
During the action week, beam a powerful campaign message on a building after dark. Say why your country needs better Internet and what can be done to make it affordable and accessible for everybody. Alert the press and share photos of your light installation with everyone. Previous examples of activist projections Luminous Intervention | Beautiful trouble | WITNESS | Take Part

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Ideas for Individuals or Small Groups

Start a #FASTAfrica Wall
Paint a wall in a public space in a dark colour (make sure to get permission first). Then begin a conversation on “Why do I need FAST Internet?”. Invite people passing by to write their comments and ask them to add their name, age and profession. For example: ‘With FAST Internet I can speak with my grandchildren abroad.’ Lulu, 57, school teacher. Photograph your beautiful wall and share on social media using #FASTAfrica.

Be the #FASTAfrica Paparazzi
Create a photo series showing how Internet is accessed in your country. Describe it and add locations. Is it FAST? Is it slow? Is it free? Is it costly? Who can use it and who can’t? Send us your photo or tag it using #FASTAfrica. Make sure you share it under a Creative Commons license so others can use it to illustrate the diversity of Internet access, and remember to ask permission from people whose photos you want to take. (See example from South Africa)

Sing a Song or Design a Meme About SLOW Internet
Is your Internet so slow or so expensive it makes you want to cry? Share your feelings about struggling to connect in creative, humorous or lyrical ways. You can’t find a public access point. You can’t apply to that job. You don’t have money for the extra megabytes. You had a Skype date and your Internet is down. We all know the feeling. Let’s talk about it! Share it using #FASTAfrica and we’ll spread the best ones far and wide!

Join our Social Media Squad
During the #FASTAfrica action week (May 1-7) we will be very active on social media and want you to join us! Help lead or participate in daily conversation topics, involving people in your own country as much as possible. Help share the knowledge and materials of the #FASTAfrica campaign.Join on the fly, or send us a message to let us know you will be online.

Host a #FASTAfrica house party
Gather friends, family or colleagues and inform them about the benefits of Fast, Affordable, Safe and Transparent Internet for a society. Discuss safe Internet use, show your grandmother and siblings how to use Google and Skype, or teach your friends how to do basic coding or web design. As complex or simple as you want – help create the Web We Want!

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Plan Your Own Event (10 Steps)

Does your event or activity have a clear objective?
Do you have a clear target for your campaign message?
 Who will participate and how will you inform them?
Do you have questions for colleagues in other countries?
Do you have a long term strategy for advocating change?

Step 1: Goals
Define your objective and how it will help bring about FAST Internet in your country. Define who you will be targeting with your message, and how many people you will affect.

Step 2: Event
Write an approximate timetable for the event from beginning to end, and consider whether it will be engaging, entertaining and meet your objectives.

Step 3: Budget
Is there a free venue available? Do you need refreshments, paper handouts, open wifi or anything else that could cost money? Write your budget, seek funds. (We’ve already given out all the grants we can for now!)

Step 3: Invitations
Think about your target participants and partners. What are their interests? How can you approach them? It is best if you can reach out to people individually at least 1 week in advance.

Step 4: Communicating
Does everyone understand the objective of your event as well as how it forms part of a regional #FASTAfrica campaign? Download campaign logos and materials.

Step 5: The Big Day
Good luck! Be open to feedback and to revising your event strategy as you go if something isn’t working well.

Step 7: Sharing
Document your activity immediately for maximum visibility and impact. We need everyone to share photos of activities as they happen via Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #FASTAfrica. Write a summary of the event immediately after to publish on your own website, in social media, or on Web We Want. Send us your link or text by email or @webwewant.

Step 8: Thanking
Download and print a #FASTAfrica Certificate of Participation in English, French or Portuguese to recognize participants on successful completion of activities and meetings.

Step 9: Friending
Encourage participants to stay in touch with you and also to get involved with regional and international activities via #FASTAfrica and Web We Want if they are interested.

Step 10: Evaluating
Be honest, what did you really achieve? Are there things you learned or accomplished that surprised you. What would you do differently next time? Let us know!

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Grantee Guidelines
If you have been awarded a grant for a #FASTAfrica activity please state visibly on your campaign materials, “This event was made possible by a grant from the Web Foundation”. We encourage sharing of all materials, images and output under Creative Commons licenses.

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Other campaign toolkits

The IFEX campaign toolkit contains very useful advice on planning free speech campaigns.

For more ideas on how to host small, medium, and large events, see these resources from Mozilla on how to host “maker parties”.

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