Audiences: From the UN to Silicon Valley, from community organizers to grad schools, from women’s rights activists and science and engineering PhDs to middle schoolers, I’ve spoken widely on the promise and potential of leveraging technology to empower people to defend their rights.
Themes: I work at the intersection of technology, human rights, environmental rights & community empowerment. I most often speak about how technology can be used to democratize human rights, amplify the voices of women, indigenous communities and other marginalized communities, and how we all stand to benefit from not only from increasing access to tools but also by democratizing the process of tool-building.
I have specific expertise in:
- leveraging low-tech tools in remote/off-grid areas like the Amazon where some of the worst human rights and environmental abuses are occurring
- how indigenous communities are self-organizing to protect their land
- participatory mapping, citizen journalism and human-centered program design
- grassroots women & technology to address address gender-based violence in Haiti
- how photography can transcend language & literacy barriers
- the role of mobile phone & internet access in the dramatic political shifts in Burma/Myanmar over the past decade
- organizing civic tech events in unlikely places (Myanmar, Haiti & the Peruvian Amazon)
- the moral imperative of using technology to advocate for a more just world
- how poverty is defined by local communities in Mali (West Africa)
From working in technology for the past 8 years, I’ve seen firsthand the way that people of color and women’s voices are silenced and/or limited in the tech industry, and I’m passionate about how bringing more voices to the table – not as tokens but in full authentic partnership – benefits everyone, and helps create better tools.
I’ve also had fun speaking in an abandoned mansion about my secret Malian identity, giving an off-the-record ignite talk at Foo Camp on how to organize the world’s largest barcamp in an authoritarian country, and giving a keynote address to a conference of middle schoolers on building cross-cultural connections through digital expression.
October 20, 2017: Bioneers: Panel Discussion – Mobilizing Design, Technology & Science Communities
October 21, 2017: State of the Map US: Keynote address
- “A Map of Their Own: Mapping and Power in the Amazon,” mainstage talk. Personal Democracy Forum. Video. Slides. New York, NY. June 8, 2017.
- Harnessing Technology to Empower Marginalized Communities. UC Berkeley CITRIS Research Seminar Exchange. Video. Slides. Berkeley, CA. February 4, 2015
- November 20, 2014: TechChange. Brown Bag Lunch Presentation – Digital Democracy. Washington, DC.
- November 19, 2014: Fusion RiseUp. Panel – Surmounting the Setback. Washington, DC.
- October 31, 2014: International Women’s Foundation World Leadership Conference. Panel – Disrupting the Status Quo: Technology’s Impact. Atlanta, GA.
- October 11, 2014. Emerging Women Live. Panel – Women Across Borders. New York, NY.
- September 4, 2014: Web of Change. Ignite Talk – Let’s Talk About Dreams. Hollyhock, British Columbia.
- April 7, 2014. American University Leading Social Innovation class. Guest speaker. Washington, DC.
- April 3, 2014: New York University Law School Global Justice Clinic. Guest speaker. New York, NY.
- March 10, 2014. Commission on the Status of Women. Panel – Technology to Supercharge Human Rights. New York, NY.
- October 25, 2013: PopTech Social Innovation Fellow presentation – Digitizing democracy. Camden, Maine.
- September 11, 2013: School of Visual Arts Design for Social Innovation Program Speakers Series – Emily Jacobi. New York, NY.
- June 19, 2013: Equitas International Human Rights Training Program. Plenary talk – Security of Human Rights Defenders. Montreal, Quebec.
- May 30, 2013: Ashoka Future Forum. Panel – Storytelling for Movement Building. Washington, DC.
- April 6, 2013: Clinton Global Initiative University. Panel – The Human Rights Information Revolution. St. Louis, MO.
- March 6, 2013: Indiana High School Press Association. Keynote Address – First Amendment Forum. Indianapolis, IN.
- January 19, 2013: BarCamp Yangon 2013 – Opening Address. Yangon, Myanmar.
Talks prior to 2013 include Aspen Ideas Festival, American Academy for the Advancement of Science, Ignite NYC, International Conference on Crisis Mapping, Netroots Nation, numerous colleges & universities, tech and donor conferences, US State Dept Tech@State, UNDP & UN Women, United States Institute of Peace and the Yahoo! Change Your World summit.
Fill out the form below if you’re interested in booking me as a speaker.