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Call for Participants: "Investigating the Influence Industry" Summer School, July 2022

We are looking for journalists, researchers and civil society investigators from across the world with a passion for conducting investigations into the political influence industry and how personal data and data-driven technologies are used to influence voters, elections and political processes.

About the Summer School

We are looking for journalists, researchers and civil society investigators from across the world with a passion for conducting investigations into the political influence industry and how personal data and data-driven technologies are used to influence voters, elections and political processes.

The Investigating the Influence Industry: Summer School will cover:

  • tools and tactics that political actors and the companies they work with are using to conduct political influence,
  • investigation techniques and cases specific to researching the political use of data-driven technologies and their surrounding industry
  • networking and skill-sharing opportunities among participants to encourage connections with each other’s work and to advance this area of knowledge.

The sessions will be a mix of lectures, seminars and hands-on workshops. In addition, there will be extra sessions with guest speakers. The online sessions will be accompanied by resources provided by Tactical Tech's Data and Politics project.

Who Should Apply

Apply if you are:

  • an independent journalist;
  • a civil society/'citizen' investigator or researcher working collaboratively or independently;
  • a member of an NGO or other research organisation using and benefiting from investigations methods in the public interest;
  • an academic or student researching a related topic;
  • any other member of civil society with a demonstrated passion and curiosity for applying investigative methods and standards to document, verify and expose issues of public interest.

We particularly encourage you to apply if:

  • you are an experienced investigator or emerging investigator working in or with marginalised and disadvantaged (physical or digital) communities;
  • you have an interest in or work on local/regional issues and have fewer opportunities to access cross-national collaboration and skill-sharing events;
  • you wish to gain more skills and knowledge from others and connect with a network of experienced investigators and practitioners;
  • you are passionate about starting your own investigation and want to learn more about techniques and safety measures you can apply;
  • we welcome applicants who are at the start of their research / investigative journey, from across the world, and who have a curiosity to learn from others' experiences, as well as experienced researchers/investigators who wish to share skills and knowledge with others as well as to update their knowledge and skills;
  • we are particularly keen this year to accommodate Latin American participants.

How to Apply

Apply for the "Investigating the Influence Industry" Summer School 2022 by filling in this survey by 4th July (midnight anywhere.)

Selection Process

Applicants will be accepted on a rolling basis.

Please Note - this summer school provides a free learning and collaboration opportunity, and we do not provide stipends or grants for attending the online sessions.

Dates and Times

The "Investigating the Influence Industry: Summer School 2022" will take place in the form of online workshops between the 18th - 29th July 2022.

The main course will take place on three half-days each week, in the afternoons CEST (Central European Summer Time).

We are particularly keen this year to accommodate Latin American participants and adjust to the relevant time zones after applications are over.

Contact

If you have any questions please get in touch with amber @ tacticaltech.org (PGP fingerprint: 7FF1 2375 4A65 809D 0D0D BC8E 1FA0 DE80 4810 DF53)

About the Organisers

This summer school is hosted by the "Data and Politics" and "Exposing the Invisible" projects of Tactical Tech.

The Influence Industry project is led since 2016 by Tactical Tech’s Data and Politics team addressing the pervasive data-driven technologies used by political groups within elections and political campaigns. We’ve unpacked the technical processes of campaign apps, examined the spending on campaign and communication consultants, and worked with partners to investigate how data-driven tools are used in elections worldwide.

Tactical Tech’s Exposing the Invisible (ETI) project promotes and supports the safe and ethical use of investigative techniques to expose wrongdoing and promote transparency in invisible processes. At ETI, we provide regular workshops, investigation and training institutes as well as learning resources for investigators, such as this online Exposing the Invisible Kit. We believe in the power of investigation as an important form of public engagement.

The summer school is part of a two-year project to strengthen the knowledge and investigative skills of civil society, policy-makers, investigators, election monitors, and other professionals who work on politics and technology. This project is supported by grants from the Swedish Postcode Foundation and Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency.

This event is organised in collaboration with Exposing the Invisible as part of the “Collaborative and Investigative Journalism Initiative” (CIJI) funded by the European Commission under the Pilot Project: "Supporting investigative journalism and media freedom in the EU" (DG CONNECT).

This text reflects the author’s view and the Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.