Recent innovations in science and technology have provided human rights advocates, journalists, and scientists with new tools to expose war crimes and other serious violations of human rights and to disseminate this information in real time throughout the world. The Human Rights Center at UC Berkeley is pleased to showcase these recent developments and push new frontiers of applied research.
The Soul of the New Machine conference gathered leading thinkers and practitioners to share best practices and develop new strategies for incorporating technology to address human rights abuses.
Yvette J. Alberdingk Thijm
Yvette J. Alberdingk Thijm is Executive Director of WITNESS, the international human rights organization that opens the eyes of the world to human rights. WITNESS empowers people to use video and online technologies to transform personal stories of abuse into powerful tools for justice, promoting public engagement and policy change.
She is an attorney with nearly two decades of experience in media and new technologies. Prior to joining WITNESS, she served as Executive Vice President of Content Strategy & Acquisition at Joost, the global online video platform formed by Niklas ZennstrÃ¶m and Janus Friis, the founders of Skype and Kazaa. Previously, Alberdingk Thijm spent more than a decade at MTV Networks International (MTVNI) and was instrumental in its international growth and forays into new media.
Alberdingk Thijm also served on the Advisory Board of Lioness, a documentary about five female soldiers in Iraq. She is currently spearheading WITNESS innovation strategies with projects like the Hub (http://hub.witness.org), the online global channel for human rights.
Michael Hoffman is the CEO of See3 Communications, a firm that helps nonprofits and causes use the internet for advocacy, education and fundraising. He is an internet entrepreneur, and an expert in the use of social media in the nonprofit sector.
Hoffman is frequently asked to consult with organizations about marketing strategies and new media development. He is frequently quoted in trade journals, industry blogs and the mainstream press about the intersection of social media and causes.
Hoffman is a founder of DoGooderTV and EarthFirst.com, and is a nationally sought-after speaker on topics such as cause marketing, and the revolutionary power of web video for social change.
Melanie Light is an author and multi-media dabbler. She is a co-author of Coal Hollow and the founding executive director of Fotovision, a nonprofit that provides community and education for documentary photographers.
She has written about documentary photographers in catalogues for exhibitions at the Southeast Museum of Photography in Daytona Beach, SF Camerawork and the Museum of Photographic Arts in San Diego, among others.
Gilles Peress is a photographer with The New Yorker and recipient of the 1996 International Center of Photography Infinity Award among many others. He has been with Magnum Photos, the prestigious photography agency founded by Robert Capa, since 1971.
His photographs are exhibited in and collected by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Chicago Art Institute; and the Minneapolis Institute of Art, among others. His books include Telex Iran: In the Name of the Revolution, The Silence, Farewell to Bosnia, The Graves: Srebrenica and Vukovar (with Eric Stover), and A Village Destroyed, May 14, 1999: War Crimes in Kosovo (with Fred Abrahams and Eric Stover).
Glenn Ruga is the founder of SocialDocumentary.net, a new web featuring documentary photography from around the world. He is also a full-time graphic designer, a part-time social documentarian, and a life-long human rights activist.
Ruga has created traveling and online documentary exhibits on an immigrant community in Holyoke, MA, on the struggle for a multicultural future in Bosnia, and the war and aftermath in Kosovo. Ruga is the owner and creative director of Visual Communications, a graphic design firm located in Lowell, Mass.
He is also the Founder and President of the Center for Balkan Development (www.balkandevelopment.org), a non-profit organization created in 1993 to help stop the genocide in Bosnia and create a just and sustainable future in the former Yugoslavia.
Rights that belong to an individual as a consequence of being human. The term came into wide use after World War II, replacing the earlier phrase natural rights, which had been associated with the Greco-Roman concept of natural law since the end of the Middle Ages. As understood today, human rights refer to a wide variety of values and capabilities reflecting the diversity of human circumstances and history. They are conceived of as universal, applying to all human beings everywhere, and as fundamental, referring to essential or basic human needs. Human rights have been classified historically in terms of the notion of three generations of human rights. The first generation of civil and political rights, associated with the Enlightenment and the English, American, and French revolutions, includes the rights to life and liberty and the rights to freedom of speech and worship. The second generation of economic, social, and cultural rights, associated with revolts against the predations of unregulated capitalism from the mid-19th century, includes the right to work and the right to an education. Finally, the third generation of solidarity rights, associated with the political and economic aspirations of developing and newly decolonized countries after World War II, includes the collective rights to political self-determination and economic development. Since the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, many treaties and agreements for the protection of human rights have been concluded through the auspices of the United Nations, and several regional systems of human rights law have been established. In the late 20th century ad hoc international criminal tribunals were convened to prosecute serious human rights violations and other crimes in the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda. The International Criminal Court, which came into existence in 2002, is empowered to prosecute crimes against humanity, crimes of genocide, and war crimes.