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PdF To Produce TechCamp Santiago, Nov. 20, With State Dept.

BY Micah L. Sifry | Thursday, September 30 2010

Photo credit: Sebastian R.

We're pleased to announce that Personal Democracy Forum will be producing a one-day "Tech Camp" on November 20 in Santiago, Chile, for the U.S. State Department. This is the first time we're working directly for a government entity, and since PdF's blog techPresident also covers the U.S. government's use of technology, we want to be fully transparent about this relationship.

First, our work for the State is specifically with the Tech@State team. The State Department is covering the the costs of convening some 50-75 participants from around the Americas, plus a few poli-tech, and social media experts from the U.S. The selection of those participants and details of the program are being done jointly. We are being paid a producer's fee to cover our time working on the event.

Second, we will in no way let this relationship interfere with our editorial freedom to call things as we see them. Personal Democracy Forum maintains a divide between our editorial work on our publications, including techPresident, and our other endeavors. A full and current listing of our working relationships with other organizations can be found on our About Us page, under "Disclosures." Where relevant to a specific blog post, we will also disclose those relationships in the post.

Third, the Personal Democracy Forum Latin America (PdF Latam) conference taking place November 18-19 in Santiago, prior to the Tech Camp remains a completely independent endeavor. In fact, the request from State for our help in producing the Tech Camp came as a result of State hearing the announcement about PdF LatAm. With several known experts being present attending our event in Santiago, State realized that it would be extremely useful and cost efficient to hold the Tech Camp while these people were available and so nearby.

Finally, by helping produce this event, we are hopeful we can apply our passion and vision as to how interactive and connective technologies can empower grassroots activists and make for a more participatory and transparent politics/governance, to help advance knowledge among civil society organizations in Latin America and beyond. We will report what we learn and as always we look forward to your comments and, where needed, your critiques.