PALCONNECT – The First Palestinian Social Media Conference

بواسطة , نوفمبر 18, 2011 9:15 ص

The First Palestinian Social Media Conference
6 – 4 December
This is the first-ever Palestinian conference for social media. It will be held over a period of 3 days in the city of Ramallah on 4th to
6th December 2011 at the Ramallah Cultural Palace. The event will target and be open to Palestinian social media activists, journalists, media professionals, media outlet managers and representatives, academics, students, civil society representatives, ICT
entrepreneurs, and business community members from across the West Bank and the Gaza Strip

The goal of the conference is to gather Palestinians from various sectors together for the first time in one location to start a dialogue about the Palestinian social media landscape and the potentially important role it can play in building and strengthening Palestinian civil society, economic, and educational competitiveness. The conference will assist Palestinian social media practitioners, universities, journalists, and private sector representatives to organize and expand their networks, increase their knowledge, understanding, and use of new and innovative tools and technologies to benefit their efforts, get products to markets, and learn how to “tell their stories” more effectively. The conference will include presentations; panel discussions; work groups; strategy development, etc

Overall, the conference intends to create a culture of social media within the Palestinian society. It will be a unique and first-ever opportunity for social media practitioners with past initiatives and campaigns to get to know each other, in order to unite their work and increase the effect

A wide range of topics will be highlighted, with particular focus on 4 main areas. These include the use of social media for:

a. Advocacy

b. Education

c. Business

d. Technology

Other aspects will also be discussed including citizen journalism, new social media tools and skills, utilizing social media to make a change, using technology to support activism, granting social media activists support and protection, ICT infrastructure, networking and expanding existing networks, balancing the personal life with the social media profile, amplifying messages and reaching out to a larger audience through social media networks, economic innovation, effective story-telling for the internet, etc

Several local and international keynote speakers and panel participants will participate in the conference in order to lead conference panels. Video Conference will be utilized to link between conference participants from the West Bank and the Gaza Strip throughout the conference. Currently, this is the only mean of communication available due to the siege imposed on Gaza and the lack of access of movement between the two parts of the Palestinian Territories. Part of the panel sessions will be lead by participants from Gaza broadcasted to the West Bank via video conference

Live streaming of the entire conference sessions will grant the Palestinian audience from various areas around the West Bank and the Gaza Strip regions, that are unable to be physically present at the conference, an opportunity to “attend”, benefit, and take part in the conference. This feature is particularly aimed at large groups of people, such as universities, who will be encouraged to follow the conference activities and actually interact and participate in the conference

In addition to the series of panel sessions and discussions, there will be networking time slots, during which participants are granted opportunity to communicate and get to know each other to discuss networking methods and collaboration opportunities


 Robert J. Lopez

Robert J. Lopez is a media trainer and award-winning journalist at the Los Angeles Times. He has combined has combined an investigative reporting background with digital media and blogging skills to produce powerful multimedia projects and breaking-news articles for the The Times
Lopez was part of a reporting team that was honored with the 2011 Pulitzer Prize Gold Medal for Public Service and the George Polk Award and Seldon Ring awards for a series of articles that exposed government corruption in the City of Bell, southeast of Los
He is a former adjunct faculty member and consultant for the Annenberg School for Communications at the Univeristy of Southern
California, teaching digital journalism and investigative reporting. He has also served as a speaker for the U.S. State Department, providing social-media training for reporters and college students in Paraguay and the Bahamas. He is a graduate of the University of Hawaii

 Jillian C. York

Jillian C. York is the Director of International Freedom of Expression at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. She writes regularly about free expression, politics, and the Internet, with particular focus on the Arab world.  She is on the Board of Directors of Global Voices Online, and has written for a variety of publications, including Al Jazeera, The Guardian, Foreign Policy, and Bloomberg.  Views expressed on this blog belong to Jillian alone and do not represent her employers, past or presen

Chris Hoadley

Dr. Chris Hoadley is an associate professor and director of the Educational Communications and Technology program at New York University. Hoadley has degrees in cognitive science, computer science, and education from MIT and the University of California at Berkeley, and currently his research focuses on collaborative technologies and computer support for cooperative learning (CSCL). Other interests include research on and through design, systems for supporting social capital and distributed intelligence (especially for educational reform), the role of informatics and digital libraries in education, the psychology of computer programming, sustainability education, and science and engineering education

Hoadley is the director of dolcelab, the Laboratory for Design Of Learning, Collaboration & Experience. He is an affiliate scholar for the National Academy of Engineering’s Center for the Advancement of Scholarship in Engineering Education (CASEE). Hoadley previously chaired the American Educational Research Association’s Special Interest Group for Education in Science and Technology and served as the first President of the International Society for the Learning Sciences. For the 2008-2009 school year, he was a Fulbright Scholar in South Asia studying educational technology in rural Himalayan villages

Katrin Verclas

Katrin Verclas is the co-founder and editor of, a global network of practitioners using mobile phones for social impact. She is the co-author of Wireless Technology for Social Change, a report on trends in mobile use by NGOs with the U.N. Foundation and Vodafone Group Foundation. She served as Executive Director of NTEN: The Nonprofit Technology Network. Previously she was the program officer at the Proteus Fund, focusing on the use of technology in civic and democratic participation and government transparency

She is the editor of a forthcoming book on IT leadership in organizations, published by Wiley & Sons, and author of a chapter in Mobilizing 2.0, a book focused on engaging young people in public life.

 Christoph Sydow

Christoph Sydow is a blogger and journalist from Berlin, specialized in the Middle East. In 2005, he started, which was notably successful and is currently the most widely-read German blog specialized in the Middle East. He’s been closely following the developments of blogging and social media in the Arab World

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