At Mozilla Festival 2015, we facilitated the Campaign Hack: Codesigning a Framework for Activism session. MozFest exemplifies the type of learning, hacking, making experience we hope to create with Hack Aye. It’s a unique event, with people from all over the world coming together to see where the open Web can take us in education, creativity, community engagement and elsewhere. Working in conjunction with a varied mix of techies, legal practitioners, activists and policy experts, our session was part of the Digital Citizenship pathway, exploring the tools and models that can increase empowerment and opportunity in the digital world, looking at issues such as privacy, accessibility and marginalisation.
In our session we began the process of designing a collaborative framework for planning activist campaigns using GitHub. GitHub is used for open source software projects, with a variety of features to support not only development of software, but also project management, via issues and other organisation/communication channels. We believe that tools like GitHub have huge potential in other areas of collaboration such as the arts and activism. Our hope with the Activism Framework repo is that people will use and/or contribute to a growing resource for anyone planning an activist campaign (online or off).
Specialised use cases could involve branching the repo, for example to focus on specific types of campaign such as work, environment, internet and so on. Anyone who wants to simply fork the repo and do whatever they want with it is also welcome to do so.
Learning to use existing tools vs creating new tools
At one of the sessions we attended, Getting Down with GitHub, novel uses of the platform were also explored. Our suggestion of a GitHub interface designed for activist campaigns has been documented as an issue and given the perfect name: GitUp. We would love to work on this as a future Hack Aye project – give us a shout if you’re interested in getting involved.
MozFest is such an intense, fast-paced experience that it takes a while to process what you’ve learned. In this blog post Sue started trying to figure it out: