From March 2014 to April 2015, the Web We Want campaign is organising a year of action. To kickstart it, an open call was launched for Web 25:Year of Action Mini-Grants. People from 36 countries submitted proposals for a “birthday party” event or action to get popular audiences involved in debating, celebrating and imagining the Web they Want. The selected projects represent a geographically diverse group, as well as a wide range of communities, including hackerspaces, academia, youth groups and entire communities. Learn more about the projects selected as finalists below, and follow their progress both through the Web We Want website's Activity Hub, where we'll keep you posted on exciting new developments.
The highest-rated application came from the Women Inspiration Development Center in Nigeria, which is organising Radio Phone-Ins! to talk to people about the "Web We Want" in Osun and Ondo, Nigeria. European Digital Rights (EDRi) is bringing a series of capacity-building and networking meetings called “Energise! Network! Mobilise!” to Eastern and Southern Europe, which will be launched with a one-day “birthday party" event. In Latin America, Mexican hackerspace Rancho Electronico is organizing the Cripto-Rally, a city-wide game in which participants follow a trail of clues to a secret final destination, solving puzzles and realising creative and technical challenges related to freedom of expression, protection of personal data and the right to private communication along the way. Hillhacks, a coalition of technology volunteers from India, Germany and Japan that is based in the foothills of the Himalayas, is partnering with local Himalayan organisations to organise five Web 25 birthday (crypto)parties, which will feature short "lightning talks" on topics surrounding the idea of an open, free, diverse and universal Web.
Privacy Cafe is sending 30 dedicated volunteers on a bus to spread privacy knowledge and awareness across numerous cities in the Netherlands and will produce a handbook with materials, tips, techniques and advice for those who want to replicate the model. The Digital Rights Foundation (Pakistan) is launching the "Hamara Internet" (Our Internet) campaign to encourage increased use of the Web among women in rural Pakistan by teaching them how to use the Web smartly, including how use and create things on the Web and how to protect their privacy online.
In the Balkans, organisations OWPSEE and Zenska Posla will record the story of the Internet in Bosnia and Herzegovina by building a user-generated history of the Web. This history will be visualised through an interactive timeline, including text and images, together with short individual digital stories, audio/video interviews with people regarding their memories of key moments in the country's Web history, and a collective participatory video. The most significant stories will be selected and the storytellers will be invited to participate and develop their story during a storytelling workshop in Sarajevo.
In Colombia, the Karisma Foundation is working to increase awareness of the Ley Lleras, a law which requires Colombia to adopt US copyright protections and regulations as part of the Colombia-US Free Trade Agreement, and to incite Colombian citizens to discuss a copyright enforcement framework that will ensure the Web remains free and open. The organisation will produce a video that speaks to the need for a copyright reform law that takes cultural and educational rights into considerations, and will host a launch party in September 2014 to start the discussion. Inside Out TEDxVail (USA) will showcase large-format portraits of women and girls who do not have access to the Internet in and around Vail, Colorado. This show will remind people that even in developed countries, a large number of youth do not enjoy the benefits of the open Internet and will look to spark a conversation about how to promote greater Internet accessibility in local US communities.
As a way to celebrate the open Web, I-Vission International and activists in Cameroon will educate the general public about the importance of a neutral Web and freedom of expression online in Cameroon by leading training programmes to raise awareness and multi-stakeholder discussions. The organisation will also work to create an online Net Neutrality Observatory Group to make recommendations for policy development in the domain of net neutrality in Cameroon. In the Middle East and North Africa region, The Life Association is creating a Digital Museum of Digital Rights, which will serve as a public, dynamic and collaborative museum reflecting and rethinking the influence of the Internet in Egypt, and will encourage online and offline discussions surrounding an open and free Web.
While the funds for this call were limited, we received so many outstanding applications that we are looking for further funds to support many of the other projects that were submitted to us. Stay tuned! We hope to contact you with other opportunities very soon.