Upcoming Event: Social Media's Impact in Latin America

In a couple weeks, Global Mobile and NDN/NPI's Latin America Policy Initiative will be co-hosting an event with SAIS looking at the impact of social media, mobile phones, and other new network technologies in Latin America. Back in January, I published a report looking specifically at Mexican civil society, how those groups and individuals had adopted new technologies into their work, and how they could do better. This event will be an expansion on that, and you'll get to hear from people much wiser and more knowledgable than I.

Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy Judith McHale will give a keynote on how State's public diplomacy efforts in Latin America have evolved with changing tools.  Her speech...

[W]ill address how the State Department is advancing U.S. foreign policy in Latin America through increased engagement, including constructive and meaningful people-to-people exchanges, local and regional media outreach and the use of multiple social platforms to establish direct relationships across the region.

And she'll be doing a long Q&A, taking questions both from the audience and online.  Following her talk I'll be moderating what I expect to be a really interesting discussion with a few people working at the intersection of new technology, politics and civil society in different Latin American countries.  Panelists will include...

Chris Sabatini is senior director of policy at the Americas Society and Council of the Americas (AS/COA) and founder/editor-in-chief of Americas Quarterly. In a recent column at the Huffington Post, Sabatini explained how the U.S. embargo on export of ICTs to Cuba has, if anything, prevented any chance of an Egypt-style uprising there. He'll be elaborating on this issue and speaking about the potential impact of internet access in Cuba.

Carlos Ponce is a Reagan Fascell Democracy Fellow at the National Endowment for Democracy and the general coordinator of the Latin American and Caribbean Network for Democracy, a network of over 210 leading civil society organizations across the Americas. In his native Venezuela, Dr. Ponce successfully founded and led the Justice and Development Consortium—an NGO that develops justice-reform and conflict-resolution programs at the local level—and worked as executive secretary of Venezuela’s National Human Rights Commission.

Oscar Salazar is a social entrepreneur in the technology space and a political activist. He is currently the CEO of Citivox, a platform to enhance citizen-government communication and improve quality of life in communities in his native Mexico. Salazar is also co-founder of Cuidemos el Voto, a web- and mobile-based tool to improve election monitoring and protect voters’ rights.

It promises to be a fascinating discussion, and I hope you'll be able to come.  Space is very limited, though, so please RSVP soon.  If you can't make it, we'll be webcasting the whole event live.  Here are the details:

Tuesday, March 29, 12 pm - 2 pm 
SAIS Rome Auditorium, 1619 Massachusetts Ave., NW, Washington, DC
RSVP  |  Watch Webcast