2024 Global Gathering Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

From TCU Wiki

What is Global Gathering?

The Global Gathering brings together digital rights networks from around the world to strengthen human connections and knowledge-share, to ultimately improve the solutions and strategies addressing the most acute challenges arising at the intersection of human rights, social justice and technology.

What are the dates and location of the 2024 Global Gathering?

The Global Gathering will take place from September 27 - 29 in Estoril, Portugal.

What will the 2024 Global Gathering be like?

The Global Gathering provides digital rights defenders (DRDs) and their allies a space to network and build collaborations, share knowledge, collectively brainstorm, and most importantly, rejuvenate.

The 2024 edition will double in size to around 1,000 participants in comparison with 2023, as part of TCU’s three-year plan to grow the event in a safe, secure and sustainable way to the size and scope achieved pre-pandemic. The 2024 edition of the event will offer even more opportunities for DRDs to collaborate and showcase their projects.

There will not be an invite-only Summit as was hosted in 2023, which was unique only to that year.

The gathering, co-designed with the digital rights community, features numerous opportunities for networking, knowledge-share, and solidarity and collaboration building. The venue is completely outdoors, and the agenda allows for fluidity - both which allow for a relaxing, and rejuvenating experience. In addition, diverse types of satellite events, hosted by organizations in the community take place that week as well, creating a dynamic and festive community vibe.

What are the hours of the Global Gathering?

We will provide more detailed hours soon. However, note that the Global Gathering will start in the afternoons and run into the evenings. This structure provides partners and participants with ample time in the morning to host their own private meetings, catch up on work, or hopefully relax by enjoying the beautiful town of Cascais and everything it offers.

Given the ample and beautiful outdoors opportunities, we highly encourage that participants self-coordinate walks on the boardwalk/beach area, breakfasts/brunches at the many different eateries, or cultural points.

How can I participate in the 2024 Global Gathering?

Applications are open to any individuals working on digital rights, internet freedom, or issues arising at the intersection of human rights and technology. Deadline to apply: April 30!

APPLY HERE: https://gathering.digitalrights.community/

While we have doubled our capacity from 2023 to around 1,000 participants, we expect high demand for this year’s event, so submit your application to join as soon as possible.

What kinds of activities will be hosted at the Global Gathering and how can I propose to host or participate in one?

The goal of the gathering is to build and enhance networking, collaboration, knowledge-sharing, and solidarity between and among digital rights defenders. The agenda is being co-designed with our community keeping these goals in mind, and will feature meetups, discussions, booths with organizations and project showcases, select workshops, and partner-lead satellite events.

This year we are giving participants the opportunity to host two types of activities - Circles and Booths - that address one of the 2024 event’s four tracks: Ecosystem Wellbeing; Circumvention Technologies; Security, Threats and Risks; and Digital Rights 2050.

Learn how to submit a proposal: https://wiki.digitalrights.community/index.php?title=Submitting_a_Proposal

Do I need a visa to go to the Global Gathering?

Depending on the passport that you hold, you may need to apply for a Schengen visa through a Portuguese consulate or visa center in your country of residence. The good news - Team CommUNITY will be supporting all accepted participants through their visa process, so be sure to indicate in your application that you will be applying for a visa so that we can reach out to you.

Review how to start the process: https://wiki.digitalrights.community/index.php?title=Visa_and_Equity_Fund_Support

Is Team CommUNITY able to support participant travel costs?

The Equity Fund supports participants from historically low-resourced, under-represented communities who truly cannot attend the Global Gathering otherwise. The fund is intended for folks that truly have no other option and ensures that these voices are present in important strategic conversations. Deadline to apply: April 15.

Before applying to the Equity Fund, we encourage all individuals to consider alternative forms of funding, such as seeking support from your partners and/or employers, if those options are available to you.

Learn how to apply to the Equity Fund: https://wiki.digitalrights.community/index.php?title=Visa_and_Equity_Fund_Support

Why is the Global Gathering taking place in Portugal again?

In a post-pandemic world, risks related to border-crossings, visas, and digital threats have increased significantly. It is impossible for us to focus on the safety and security of our participants, and build out necessary process, talent, networks and protocols if we move the event every year.

In 2023 the local Portuguese community was incredibly welcoming to Team CommUNITY and the first post-pandemic Global Gathering, and we are continuing to build local partnerships and collaborations for the 2024 event. Portugal, most importantly, has a recent track record in passing progressive laws and supporting human rights. In addition, it has a well established hospitality industry that is used to hosting international audiences from all corners of the world.

It's worth mentioning that as a mode of operations, we also do not want to be an extractive, fly-by conference. Rather, we think it's important to establish roots and connections, and ensure that we are also taking care to elevate the local community.