Developers from around the world gather for SIF13

Today’s blog post is written by Mats Samuelsson, editor at the International Editorial Office at the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs. He is currently involved in the Stockholm Internet Forum on Internet Freedom for Global Development, SIF13.

Two days before the Stockholm Internet Forum (SIF13), around 30 leading internet developers will be gathering for workshops in Stockholm. Many of them come from developing countries. The summit has the support of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Sweden is thereby actively supporting progress towards a freer and more secure internet worldwide.

The idea comes from the Open Technology Institute in the United States. James Losey, who is leading the Summit with Marcin de Kaminski from Lund University Internet Institute, applauds Sweden’s drive and hopes that other governments will be inspired to play an active role in promoting internet freedom.

We spoke to James Losey, who was busy preparing for the SIF Developer Summit.


What will the Developer Summit lead to?

The summit will contribute to building a global developer community supporting human rights online by bringing together developers with diverse expertise and experience, and common overarching goals. Thirty or so developers are coming to Stockholm with concrete ideas that they are looking forward to exploring with each other, projects the summit will create space to work on, and key issues they would like input on. The summit is a place where all this can happen.


Has anything like this been organised before?

This is the first time that a diplomatic engagement on internet freedom between governments has been joined to the developer community, and this is a critical factor for future engagements. The political organisation around internet freedom must be linked to practical tool-building and education in support of safe and secure communications online.


How much interest has there been in participating in the summit?

There has been a lot of interest both in the summit and in the Stockholm Internet Forum, and I think that speaks to the value of incorporating similar summits into future diplomatic engagements on internet freedom. I would hope that summits can be incorporated into future events hosted not only by Sweden but by other foreign ministries that want to support internet freedom.


Who will be coming?

A lot of very interesting developers will be coming to Stockholm and what I think is most exciting is this opportunity to have a room full of brilliant developers focusing on different aspects of internet freedom. Creating space for new connections and having two days to dedicate to new ideas and solutions is incredibly valuable.

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