While the growth of the internet initially empowered activists, recent years have seen the rise of a new brand of digital authoritarianism in which repressive governments use new technology to surveil and censor opposition and flood their publics with misinformation. While the challenges are real and significant, recent USIP research has uncovered countless stories of effective adaptation by brave and innovative activists on the frontlines of some of the greatest social justice struggles of our time.

These lessons come at a crucial time. As democracy wanes in many regions of the world, and the growth of advanced digital technology in everyday life only accelerates, effective adaptation to the repressive use of technology is a key challenge.

USIP hosted thought leaders and grassroots activists for a discussion on how they have responded to rising digital authoritarian tactics, as well as a presentation of new cutting-edge research from USIP experts on how social movements are using new technologies and organizing strategies to adapt and advocate for a more just, democratic and peaceful world.

Join the conversation on Twitter with #PeoplePower4Peace.


Glacier Kwong 
Project Manager, Committee for Freedom in Hong Kong

Steven Feldstein 
Senior Fellow, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Gbenga Sesan 
Executive Director, Paradigm Initiative

Lisa Poggialli
Democracy, Data and Technology Specialist, USAID

Matthew Cebul, moderator
Research Officer, U.S. Institute of Peace

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