I am Jorge, a strategist and researcher focused on emerging technologies and behavior, particularly as it relates to creating and accelerating alternative models of ownership, commerce, political participation, and collective infrastructure in places like São Paulo, Lyon, and Jeddah. I'm fascinated about how people envision the future and act on it - especially in the peripheries or edges where different cultures, generations, and identities meet.
Diaspora communities are often in a precarious situation in the countries or societies they are in, but nevertheless showcase models of distributed power, decentralized organization, and collective identity that seem tailor-made for contemporary society, amid calls for new thinking around transnational ties, personal identity, and political mobilization. This is particularly obvious in times of increased conflict, natural disasters, and forced migration when Diaspora communities often take the initiative in mobilizing political power or kick-starting reconstruction in their homeland. In this session, we will explore the experience of three diaspora activists that have been active mobilizing their communities to respond to natural disaster, civil war, and political repression back home in Puerto Rico, Syria, and Turkey. What are the common challenges and themes of Diaspora communities as they respond to crisis? What role has technology played or might play? What strategies and models from Diaspora communities are representative of a new status quo for other types of networks?