Facing 2020 at the CC Global Summit: A Look at This Year’s Keynotes

Claudio Ruiz

Let’s take a moment and step out of the heavy fog that is 2020 and try to look back at the last few months with a new perspective. Through the challenges and uncertainties, we believe there have been opportunities for personal reflection, social solidarity, and care. Of course, we recognize this is not true for everyone, but we certainly hope it’s true for most. 

One of the unique challenges for this year’s CC Global Summit was to connect events of the past year with our work—and find a path forward in hope and optimism. We asked: How can we best celebrate “open” and continue to foster the culture of gratitude and collaboration that our work and our community brings? How can we link the challenges we’re facing as a planet (e.g. health, human rights, democracy, etc.) with the opportunities for solutions found in creating a more open and free world?

Alongside the 100+ sessions hosted at this year’s CC Global Summit, we believe the three keynotes will help answer those questions, as well as reshape our perspectives, conversations, and attitudes as we near the end of 2020 and look forward to 2021. 

The 2020 CC Global Summit keynotes are: 

  • A Culture of Peace: the first keynote, held on Tuesday (12:00 UTC), will foster a necessary discussion on the role “open” plays in advancing peace. Speakers Bushra Ebadi (Canadian Commission for UNESCO), Deepak Ramola (Project FUEL), Leonardo Párraga (Juventudes Por La Paz), and Asha Siad (Memories of Mogadishu) will challenge the audience to critically examine preconceived notions of open access, open culture, and open knowledge, and to understand the role decolonized and democratized conceptions of these terms will serve in building the future we want. 
  • Hacer Feminista Lo Abierto: Poniendo Nuevos Engranes a La Cultura Libre (Making Open Feminist: Putting New Gears in Free Culture): the second keynote, held on Wednesday (15:00 UTC), will give Irene Soria (CC Mexico) the stage for exploring new definitions of “open.” Using intersectionality as a framing, Irene will help us navigate the relationships between race, gender, and social class as new ways of seeing the open movement. The session will be in Spanish, but the question and answer period will be in English. 
  • Democracy for Sale: the final keynote, on Thursday (15:00 UTC), will have CC’s CEO Catherine Stihler and Board Member Alek Tarkowski speaking with author Peter Geoghegan about his upcoming book, Democracy for Sale. In particular, the panel will discuss how rightwing ideology, money, and social media have been used to hollow out modern democracies, particularly in North America and Europe. The links between fighting for our democracies and fighting for “open” and the public interest will be discussed during this conversation. 

In one way or another, these keynotes touch on the most compelling questions and challenges we’re facing today and serve as the perfect framing for the entire 2020 CC Global Summit—and for our work as a community moving forward.