SOS Digital – Students of Sustainability Digital Training

Saturday 1st July – Tuesday 4th July 2017

We are working with SOS festival to provide a side program of workshops aimed at

  • Digital organising and campaigning
  • Digital communications, media and social media
  • Digital security

See the schedule here (we are the left column)

We will be tweeting from @actionskills and @glentodd on #SoSNewy and #SiSDigi. We are just starting out on instagram so will be posting from @glentodd and @actionskills

Confirmed Presenters


About SOS

Students of Sustainability is an annual environmental and social justice conference which brings together activists, students, educators and artists from around Australia for a week of education, culture, networking, celebration, delicious food and camping. In 2017, SOS will be held in Newcastle, New South Wales on Awabakal and Worimi Country.

Friday 30th June – Tuesday 4th July 2017


1st July Saturday
11:00 - 12:00 > Privacy for Organisers of Actions, Events and Movement building

Gabor Szathmari  @gszathmari

Technology is becoming key to organising actions, events and movement building. As part of using these powerful tools, we are putting more information, communications and data online than ever before.

Meanwhile, the Australian government is introducing laws to retain our data, and spending more money and resources on increasingly invasive spying techniques, together with data surveillance and filtering.

The workshop will focus on concepts and solutions to make your organising more private and secure. Aimed at beginners and relevant to experts.

There are ways to secure yourself and your groups. Let us show you how.

2:30 - 4:40 > Community Building on Digital Platforms.

Melinda Shobrook @CyberTribes and Tara Penales

Need to create an online community but not sure how to start?

Started a facebook group & now wanting to get out of it?

Got a digital audience but asking yourself what now?

This interactive workshop will look at :

  • what’s needed to become an effective ‘Community Builder’.
  • why people join a community, & what makes them stay.
  • key dynamics to be aware of in any online community.
  • the power & impact of ‘cyber-tribes’.
  • case studies of thriving grass-roots facebook groups, & Twitter communities.
4:50-5:50 > How anonymous are we?

Rosie Williams @Info_Aus

Privacy is dead… or is it?

What is metadata & what does it for the average person in the street? SnitchHunt is a game which engages people to think about how different datasets can be combined to identify and track individuals through their online behaviour

3rd July Monday
10:45 - 12:55 > Take Control: Practical Privacy for Activists

Michael @stainedface

A hands-on workshop to improve your digital safety. Develop a privacy protection plan to safeguard your activism and everyday life. Learn to mitigate risks and simple steps you can share with your networks. All skill levels welcome.

2:30-3:30 > Using strategy to max your digital campaign

Glenn Todd @glentodd

The best bits form my full day “Online strategy – planning for success” workshop.

Large digital agencies comprise of many specialised experts that have many years training helping big budget websites and marketing campaigns succeed. Glenn will introduce you to the core basic ideas that these experts apply and give ideas on how to apply these techniques on a shoestring budget.

3:40 - 5:50 > Lessons from running on the ground tech support at Standing rock and other protests.

Lisha Sterling @lishevita (via Live Video conference)

Standing rock’s communications and digital systems came under heavy militarized digital attack during the campaign, including hacking, hijacking of systems and personal phones and laptops. Lisha will discuss lessons learned that we can apply to our digital organising. She has been personally impacted by surveillance during her time at Standing Rock and the Woman’s march in Washington DC.

Lisha is the Director at Geeks Without Bounds.

2nd July Sunday
10:45-11:45 > Introduction to privacy, digital security and Crypto.


The idea is to run through this stuff in a condensed manner for people that  can’t spend a learning this.

3:40-4:40 > Pine Gap Spy and drone base on Arrernte land.

Chris Tomlin and Jason Freddi

An aboriginal perspective on the US Spy and drone base near Alice Springs on Arrernte land. As Pine Gap is a nuclear target, we need to talk about our mobs future.

4:50-5:50 > How US military surveillance systems impact australian activism and politics

Lisa Ling @ARetVet (via Live Video conference)

Discussion on US high tech weapons and surveillance systems and how they impact Australian activism and politics. Before becoming a whistleblower, Ling had a top-secret clearance in the US military intelligence and worked on the Distributed Ground System, a weapons system that makes use of drones to collect vast amounts of data to find and kill targets.

For more info see:

Australia contributes to this system via hosting bases including PIne Gap in Alice Springs.

4th July Tuesday
10:45-11:45 > Creative Campaigning with digital marketing and media.

Louise Purcell @thirdeyeguide

I am currently in the midst of a creative campaign called #createchange to assist with the Stop Adani movement. My workshop will explain the project I am currently running, how I outreach, and using social media for social change. I would also like to have participate elements where the group workshops creative responses to world issues and we discuss how individuals and small groups can effect the whole.


I have built a growing social media following which I now use to influence change and would like to help others use digital marketing and media in the same way.

Facebook and Instagram @thirdeyeguide

Exploring creativity, sustainability and mindfulness.

11:55- 12:55 > Live tweeting direct actions & events - Getting trending & influencing ppl

Nicola Paris @peacenicsta

2:30 - 4:10 > How to facilitate remote people to support Non-violent Direct Actions on the ground.

Frontline Action on Coal has formed a digital campaigning arm to support remote resistance to coal, CSG and to support #StopAdani. Come and learn how to work with us or just to learn our digital organising systems. We have created systems based on 4 years on the ground digital campaigning at Leard Blockade as well the Reef Defenders and the ClosePineGap campaigns. We will also be forming a sub comms crew to support actions after SOS.

SOS Digital – Students of Sustainability Digital Training by ActionSkills is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.