CEU Summer University - Communication Policy Advocacy, Technology & Online Freedom of Expression: A Toolkit for Media Development

Course Directors: 

Susan Abbott
Cross-Pollinate Consulting Solutions, Denver, CO, USA

Kate Coyer
Center for Media and Communication Studies (CMCS) at SPP of CEU, Budapest, Hungary


Course Coordinator:
Eva Bognar
Center for Media and Communication Studies (CMCS) at SPP of CEU, Budapest, Hungary

Recent events in Egypt and Tunisia remind us that the development of the internet as a global, free and open resource stands at a perpetual crossroads. The issue of free and open communications is not only relevant in the case of repressive regimes and transitional democracies, but remains crucial across all socio-political layers. The complexities of the relationship between technology, free expression, privacy and policy lie at the heart of the relationship between global security and human rights.

This intensive summer course is designed to help both researchers and activists gain new insights into the role which civil society can play in advocating for free expression online and communication policy change.  Sessions will highlight the potential of technology and online tools for mobilizing and organizing constituencies and for enhancing the security and privacy of advocates.  Participants will be exposed to a wide range of practical and theoretical views related to communication policy advocacy and online tools and tactics, and learn how to integrate research into communication policy advocacy.

The course will be a combination of conceptual and research-oriented sessions, in addition to hands-on work in developing advocacy campaigns and exploring the latest developments in online tools for advocacy, security and privacy. The course will feature a range of lectures, group discussions and hands-on practicums, as well as field trips around Budapest to meet with organizations in this field, including multimedia innovation labs and "hacktivist spaces".